How attractive is the handicap soccer betting market?

In today’s article, we will focus on handicap bets related to football matches (although, of course, they are also present in other sports). We will tell you more about them, and also touch on the topic of the popularity and profitability of this market.

As in any game sport where two teams meet in one single match, in football there is a difference in the perception of opponents in relation to each other. It can be either practically constant (for example, Barcelona and the conditional Getafe in the Spanish Championship), or tied to a given game (then factors such as the home stadium, support of the fans, the quality of the pitch, the weather, etc.) .). When placing bets, taking into account all these factors are transformed into odds, which the bookmakers set for the match.

Handicap Bets Setting

In the same meeting between Barcelona and Getafe, the odds for the favorite to win will be so low that most players will probably look for other, more interesting betting markets for this game. One of them is handicap betting.

In order to “equalize” the teams’ chances and increase the attractiveness of bets, bookmakers also offer to make bets with a handicap, otherwise referred to as “handicap”. In football, a certain numerical value is added to the indicator of the estimated number of goals for each team, which can be either positive (positive handicap) or negative (negative handicap). This gives players great opportunities to place bets, especially in those matches where the clear favorite meets the underdog, and, accordingly, have a better chance of making a profit.

There are three main types of bets in this market, and we will dwell on each of them in more detail.

Equal handicap

An equal handicap (or rather, a zero handicap) can be chosen in a situation where one opponent is approximately equal in strength to the other, and the odds of the bookmakers to win each of them are comparable. In this case, the bettor must determine for himself which of the teams he prefers, that is, which of them still has more, in his opinion, chances of winning.

His handicap bet (0) will play if the team of his choice wins with any score (we are, of course, talking about matches where there are no overtimes). However, he does not lose anything, and in the event of a tie, the bet will be returned in full. Obviously, this type of bet is more attractive from a financial point of view.

At the same time, it makes little sense to apply an equal handicap to matches where one opponent obviously clearly outperforms the other: in this situation, the odds on the handicap (0) for the favorite will be small, and the bet on the handicap (0) on the outsider will be too risky.

Single Handicap

This type of bet is most applicable for matches where the strengths of the teams are unequal. In this case, the bookmaker in this market offers to place bets on the favorite with a handicap (-0.5), (-1), (-1.5), (-2), etc. In the conditional game Barcelona – Getafe, your handicap bet (-1) on the Catalans means that in order to win at the bookmaker, you need Barça to win with a difference of two or more goals; if you win by one goal difference, your bet will be returned. Obviously, if the opponents draw or win Getafe, your bet will be covered with a copper basin.

On the contrary, Getafe will offer bets with good odds with a handicap (+1), (+1.5), etc. When betting (+1) on this team, you need Getafe to win or draw. If you lose by one goal, you will be refunded your bet, and if Barca wins bigger, you will fail.

All of the above does not mean that in relation to this match there is no room for bets with a positive handicap on Barcelona or with a negative handicap on Getafe. It’s just that in the first case, the coefficients will be scanty and for this reason unattractive, and in the second – on the contrary, large, but unrealistic.

Split handicap

This type of bet is also called “Asian handicap” or “Asian handicap”. Numerical values ​​here are expressed by coefficients like (1.25) or (-1.75). The essence of such a bet is that you actually split your bet between two handicaps. Let us explain this by the example of the same conditional match between Barcelona and Getafe.

So, let’s say you bet on Barça to win with a handicap (-1.25). This means that the amount of your bet (for example, 1000 rubles) is divided in half – 500 rubles for the victory of Barcelona with a handicap (-1) and 500 for winning it with a handicap (-1.5). Next, let’s look at the various options:

  • Barcelona won by two or more goals – your entire bet played;
  • Barcelona won with one goal difference – half of your bet is returned (500 rubles), while the other half loses;
  • Getafe draw or win – your entire bet loses.

A bet on a Barça victory, for example, with a handicap (-1.75), would be calculated in exactly the same way. Only in this case, if the Catalans won with a difference of two goals per half of the bet, there would be a return, and the second half would win with the odds set by the bookmaker. Plus handicap bets are settled in the same way.

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