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Asian Handicap Explained

The Asian Handicap is a type of bet that allows you to get a refund in certain situations. There’s more technicalities that will be outlined below but for now, that’s the core thing you need to understand and the main reason that the market(s) are so popular with bettors.

I believe the confusion comes as there are many more lines to bet on with Asian Handicap. This is because of the “handicap” element. The handicap works in the same way it might in Golf, giving a head start to the team the bookmaker considers to be weaker. You will see a (-) sign given to the favourite and a (+) sign given to the underdog, followed by a value.

The value you see is the handicap. So, in the example above from Bet365, we have Newcastle hosting Cambridge in the FA Cup. The home side is the obvious favourites, so we might explore the Asian Handicap in order to get better value from our potential bets on this fixture.

Negative (-) Handicap Betting

If we were to bet on “Newcastle -1.0 @ 1.40”, this means that Newcastle will start with -1 goals for our bet. For our bet to win, they will need to win by two clear goals. However, if they win the game by a single goal, we will receive our money back as a refund. As we mentioned in our Safer Betting Markets article, you will receive a full refund only when betting on whole numbers (1.0, 2.0, etc). When betting on decimals (1.25, 1.75, etc) you are not refunded but have a couple of methods for potentially winning.

Continuing with the Newcastle odds from above, let’s place a £10 bet on “-1.5, -2.0”. When I first started betting, I had no idea what this meant and to make things even more confusing, some bookmakers will display this line as “-1.75” (the middle ground between the two). Whilst betting on the full line previously (-1.0) would have given us a full refund if Newcastle had won by a single goal, this line does not. Here’s the possible outcomes:

  • Team Wins by 1 Goal: Lost
  • Team Wins by 2 Goals: Half Win (£5.25 Profit)
  • Team Wins by 3 Goals: Win (£10.25 Profit)

Positive (+) Handicap Betting

On the flip side, you can bet on the team the bookmaker considers the underdogs. Sticking with the example from above, let’s place a £10 bet on Cambridge and explain if and how you can win this bet.

This being the FA Cup, we are bound to see a few upsets. Betting on the Asian Handicap for the underdog gives you a degree of protection. Here we have bet on “+2.00”, which means that the team is starting with a two goal lead for our bet. So, here’s the possible outcomes and profit:

  • Team Lose By 3+ Goals: Lost
  • Team Lose By 2+ Goals: Refund
  • Team Lose By 1+ Goal: Win (£5.5 Profit)
  • Team Draw: Win (£5.5 Profit)
  • Team Win: Win (£5.5 Profit)

If you have not bet Asian Handicap before then it might seem crazy that even if your team is beaten by two goals that you will get a refund, but that is why so many people love this method of betting. It offers protection and full or partial refunds depending on the line you select.

Asian Handicap Cheat Sheet

To make things easier, I have created a PDF that you can view below or download for free here: Asian Handicap Cheat Sheet

Asian Handicap Cheat Sheet

Written by Joe (Founder @ OddAlerts)

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