Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 3rd September 2023
Often considered one of the most complex and difficult areas of sports betting, Asian Handicap is at the same time arguably the most exciting betting option around.
Asian Handicap Explained
We admit, Asian Handicaps can be a bit confusing at first glance, but once you’ve mastered this discipline there will hardly be another betting option for you.
Asian Handicap, in a nutshell, is a bet on the outcome of a football game which eliminates the possibility of a draw – thus narrowing the possible outcome to either home win or away win by applying a certain handicap – a positive or a negative, head start or deficit – before the game commences.
The handicap is rarely a round figure and usually, comes with a decimal: -/+ 0.5 Asian Handicap, -/+ 1.5, -/+2.75 and it basically represents a margin of goals a team you select will be given to start the match with.
Asian Handicaps can also come with a round number in which case the actual result of a game can get equalled by the score line. There is no need to worry as in this case you simply get your stakes back.
The handicap is however designed to level the field of play and even the chances of each outcome as closely as possible. The Asian Handicap is, however, a great way to enhance the odds on a low-value match in which one team would be made a heavy favourite to win. Let’s assume that Liverpool will be priced at around 1.20 to win the game against Hull City and it would be fair to assume that this game will not have too many people interested in betting on the Reds.
On the other hand, with Hull at a predicted long-shot price, not many people would be willing to bet here either which is when the Asian handicap comes into play.
Liverpool fans will have a good understanding of how their team fairs against the lowly sides and could be wise enough to put their bias aside and place an Asian Handicap bet on Hull City to win +1.5.
Such an outcome would usually be available at prices around 2.00 and higher, which would be a good bet to place with all the knowledge about the two teams involved. Research is an integral part of any betting strategy and punters are not advised to venture into Asian Handicap market without getting the full lowdown on the competition and teams they want to bet on.
In this particular case, Liverpool are known to struggle against so-called ‘smaller teams’ and might end up winning the game with a one-goal margin of let’s say 2-1, which would ultimately see your bet go through as the final outcome with your selected Asian Handicap market would sit at 2-2.5 in favour of Hull City.
Asian Handicaps are a particularly good betting option in matches that are expected to be more one-sided and in which the favourite side are considered the high-scoring team. The natural example is Barcelona.
Led by their incredible MSN trio – the Catalans tend to score a lot of goals and betting on them to win a game – especially at home – hardly gives good value and high prices. Therefore, in a home game against Osasuna for example, Asian Handicap offers some hidden value to try and exploit.
The valuable handicap in this particular case could be Barcelona – 2.75 or better yet Barcelona -3. You should not let the quarter goal confuse you as it is simply the equivalent of half the stake being placed on Barcelona -2.5 and half the stake on Barcelona -3.
Naturally, it is quite easy to calculate which result will work in your favour here. If Barcelona win by 2 goals or less, you lose. If Barcelona win on three-goal margin, the half-stake on -2.5 is a winning bet, whereas the rest is void. Clearly, any win above 4 goals is a win for the entire stake and in this case, the higher price can be found at Barcelona -3, often going beyond 4.50.
In-Play Asian Handicap
Another useful way to exploit Asian Handicap is to deploy the In-Play betting strategy. This betting option will put extra spice to live betting as it will reset the line to square one every time a goal is scored, but for a keener observer, there is a good value that can be found in between the lines.
Opposing the leader In-Play in football matches is not a betting option a novice punter would think of, but be brave and try it as it can result in some great winnings in the end. There is an unwritten rule that teams which take a lead in a match – usually in a well-balanced game – will often concede a goal rather than score another one.
It is a risky statistic worth exploring In-Play and here is an example how to use it to your own benefit:
Let’s say that Stoke City take a lead against Leicester City at the half-hour mark. A goal for the Gunners would reset the Asian Handicap market to Stoke City -0.25 at 2.30 whereas Leicester City +0.25 could be available at 1.90 or perhaps go evens.
Since there would be a strong possibility that the Foxes will go on to score next in an attempt to get back in the game as soon as possible they could be a good option to bet. On the other hand, even if they do not score and the final result remains 1-0, your bet will be considered a half win, which ultimately is much better than a loss.