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What is a handicap soccer betting?

Find out the meaning of soccer handicap betting, how it works and the different types of soccer handicap betting markets. Continue reading to become a handicap betting expert.

In soccer as is an all competitive sports there is normally a difference in perceived quality of the opposing teams; the size of that difference varies depending on a complex range of influences ranging from historical dominance and financial backing to situational factors such as home field advantage or player injuries/availability. Soccer betting interprets these factors and represent them as chances of success for each side in the form of odds.

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Handicap betting explained

Where the perceived difference in abilities is significant the betting odds on the favourite will be so small that it provides minimal returns and therefore little incentive for bettors.

 

Handicap

A numerical figure set by the bookmaker to counter the perceived bias in abilities of opponents - this provides more balanced odds.

GLOSSARY

To counter the perceived bias in abilities, and to provide more balanced and appealing odds, bookmakers offer what is known as handicap betting. In the context of soccer, the Handicap odds level the playing-field by accounting for difference in perceived strength of the participants by literally applying a goal handicap - positive and negative - to each side. This gives bettors the opportunity to find more value than when backing a heavy Favourite in traditional 1X2 bet - the most common way to bet on soccer.

The handicap is applied to the actual outcome of the game in order to grade (result) the bet. There are three types of Handicap bets you need to be aware of before betting:

Level Handicap

A level Handicap is where there is no perceived difference in abilities between Team X and Team Y, so no Handicap bias is assigned and both teams start with 0 goals.

To win a bet, the bettor must identify the team which they think will score more goals than their opponent. This type of handicap isn't relevant for one-sided encounters but is useful in that it eliminates the draw; if the game ends in a tie all bets are refunded because on a zero handicap neither team has any advantage.

Single Handicap

A single Handicap occurs when there is a perceived difference in abilities between Team X and Team Y.

The alleged superior team will be given an appropriate goal handicap to level the playing field for betting purposes i.e. -0.5 goal, -1 goal, -1.5 goals etc.

For example, if you bet on Team X with a handicap of -1 goal, they must win by more than one goal to cover their handicap and win you your bet.

If they only win by one goal, the result with the handicap applied is a draw for betting purposes, so your bet is refunded. If Team Y draw or win, you will lose your bet on Team X.

Split Handicap

A split Handicap occurs when the difference between the two teams’ abilities is small; allowing you to spilt your stake over two handicaps.

A split Handicap occurs when the difference between the two teams’ abilities is small; allowing you to spilt your stake over two handicaps.

For example, Team X might be offered at (0 & -0.5). If you bet on Team X and they lose, you will lose both bets, as they did not cover either handicap.

If the match ends in a draw, half of your stake at (0) will be refunded, and the other half at (-0.5) will lose. If Team X wins however, both handicaps will be covered, so both bets win.

If you’re stuck in the past slavishly following three-way fixed odds betting, the chances are you’re not getting a decent return on your investment, and your betting might benefit from the fresh perspective that soccer handicap betting provides.

Now that you know how handicap betting can be used to increase your profits, don't miss out on our number one most popular article - Staking: One method to improve your betting