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What is the Asian Handicap?

The Asian handicap is a form of betting on football which was initially popularised in Indonesia but has since spread to be used across the world. The purpose of the Asian handicap is two-fold. By giving one of the teams a ‘virtual’ lead of a certain number of goals it balances out the often large imbalance in the perceived likelihood of each team winning and it removes the possibility of a draw, as is the case with draw no bet wagers.

How is the Asian Handicap Used in Sports Betting?

In a match with a particularly strong favourite, it may seem like a waste of time to bet on the outsider, while the odds offered on the favourite don’t offer a great deal of value. In a case such as this, giving the underdog a 1, 2 or 3 goal lead will shift the odds by requiring the favourite to overcome a ‘losing’ position before being able to win the match.

An example of the Asian handicap:

Liverpool are playing Everton and recent form and injuries to Everton players means that they are strong favourites to win.  The Asian handicap gives Liverpool a minus goal handicap and Everton a plus goal handicap. This means that Liverpool, for betting purposes, start the game a goal behind, and have to win by 2, 3 or more goals for a bet on them to pay out. Everton, meanwhile, start the game a goal ahead and, as long as they can hold on to this lead – i.e. not concede a goal – they will win the bet. This will shift the odds to make them more attractive and will mean that a draw in the actual match will still result in a win for Everton.  This Asian handicap will be expressed using a -1 or +1 next to the name of a team. For the purposes of this bet, if Liverpool were to win the actual match by a single goal it would be declared a 1-1 draw, and the stake would be returned.

See Also:

Half Goal Asian Handicap

Split Line Asian Handicap

Draw No Bet

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