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Asian Handicap Betting Guide

Asian Handicap Betting Guide blog

Asian Handicap is one of the sports betting strategies that are used today. People are familiar with it to various levels, depending on one’s experience level as a sports punter. Why “Asian” – is it used only in Asia? What does handicapping mean? Does it help a punter win more? If so, how? Casual sports bettors may find it unnecessary to boggle their minds with such things, given that traditional sports markets such as the moneyline (1×2) suit their purposes just fine. However, for advanced punters and those looking to become professionals, the Asian Handicap is an arrow that shouldn’t miss in one’s betting quaver. In this article, we are going to define Asian Handicap and see how to apply it to profitable effect in sports betting.

What Is A Handicap?

One would never like to imagine their favorite team or athlete “handicapped” in any way or form, but when it comes to betting, it’s a good thing! A handicap is a disadvantage when trying to achieve something. That especially applies in the sense where one is in competition with others. The handicap means one is not competing on an even field with others. In sports betting, a handicap means the punter is creating a rule that puts the team or player in question at a disadvantage. Because of this disadvantage, the team or player is now less likely to win than before. Conversely, the opposing team has better chances. The effect of a handicap is that the odds of the team/player winning increase. This, in turn, means the punter stands to make more profit compared to a normal betting scenario. Handicap betting is popular in sports where scoring is point-based. Chief among these is soccer, but it is also common in basketball, rugby, and tennis. Typically the stronger team or athlete is handicapped by “deducting” goal(s) from them, while the underdog is “awarded” goal(s).

What About An “Asian” Handicap?

Asian handicap is a popular type of handicap betting today. This form is a bit different from a regular handicap and, in some ways, an advancement. The “regular” handicap, as defined above, is also called a European handicap. For a European handicap, whole goals or points are deducted or awarded to teams. Let’s use a soccer example. On April 27th, 2021, Real Madrid played Chelsea in the semifinals of the Champions League as the heavy favorites to progress. This would mean that Madrid is not just likely to clinch the win but also to outscore their English opponents to a large degree. A bookmaker might offer odds as follows:

REAL MADRID (-2) DRAW CHELSEA
1.80 2.20 1.60

The “-2” next to Real Madrid means 2 goals handicap the team. To win the bet with a Real Madrid pick, Real Madrid would have to outscore Chelsea by more than 2 goals. If Madrid beat Chelsea by just a goal, it would mean Chelsea won the game by a goal. If Madrid won by 2 goals, the game ended in a DRAW. And if Madrid won by 3 or more goals, the bet would be won. The above is a classic European or “regular” handicap example.

REAL MADRID (-1.5) DRAW CHELSEA
1.80 N/A 1.60

Notice the “1.5” instead of “2”? It means that Madrid has to win by more than 1.5 goals for the bet to be successful. This seems a ridiculous thing, given that there’s no such a thing as “half a goal” in soccer, but there’s a purpose to it. An Asian handicap removes DRAW as a possible outcome from the match, no matter the actual result. That’s because of the decimal goals and why many punters prefer this version of handicap. Unlike in the previous example, if Madrid won by two goals, there would be no DRAW, and it would mean Madrid beat Chelsea by 0.5 goals.

Why “Asian”?

The Asian prefix has something to do with the geographics but doesn’t affect how the handicap is used. Asian handicap as a betting concept originated from Indonesia in the 1990s before becoming popular worldwide in the early 21st century.

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