The Asian Handicap is a market that I have been integrating into my accumulator picks more often in recent times. It’s essentially a handicap bet where you give one team either an advantage before the start of the game or a disadvantage. I’ll explain this in depth later in the article.
What I like about the Asian Handicap is that it allows me to pick teams that are big favourites for games – or generously priced underdogs – and still get a fair price.
For example, Chelsea might be 1.30 to beat Sunderland at home, which is a price that I likely won’t add to a straightforward acca. But, with a handicap of lets say -1.5, then they might be more favourably priced at around 2.00 and still likely going to win by that margin or more.
What is the Asian handicap and how does it work?
As you will now know, the Asian Handicap is a form of handicapping that was first popular in, you guessed it, Asia! Since then the market has spread over to Europe and is now one of the biggest grossing betting markets in the handicap betting section.
The concept is pretty simple in that it’s essentially giving one team a head start over the opposing team. This handicap is then either added or subtracted to the full time result to get the handicapped result.
It differs from a standard handicap bet in that it takes the draw pout of the equation by offering goals in fractions. A typical bet might be Chelsea -1.5 goals at odds of 2.00. This means that -1.5 goals will be removed from the actual Chelsea score line at full time to create the handicapped result.
The reason they make it a fraction of the whole number is to eliminate the draw. A standard handicap will work in whole numbers, so that same bet might look like Chelsea -2 goals at odds of 2.00. If Chelsea then go on to win that game 2-0 then the theoretical score line would then be 0-0 after the handicap has been subtracted. Some bookmakers will see this as a losing bet and others will void or push.
You back Arsenal handicapped at -1.5 on the Asian Handicap. This would read; Arsenal -1.5.
This would essentially mean that you are backing Arsenal to win the game by 2 or more goals. Any other result would mean that you lose the bet.
Arsenal actually win the game 3-1 meaning that after their handicap of -1.5 has been removed, the final result for the purpose of this bet would be Arsenal 1.5 v 1 Tottenham, giving them half a goal win.
If Arsenal only won this game 2-1, then you would lose your bet. The initial 2-1 score line would then be edited to Arsenal 0.5 v 1 Tottenham. So, even though they won the game outright, the handicap would alter this result.
The spilt handicap makes life a little trickier and does actually add in whole goals, rather than fractional ones. A typical bet might look like Newcastle United (-1, -1.5) giving two options.
What happens for these types of bets is that your stake will be split between the two. So if you staked a bet on Newcastle with a split Asian Handicap of -1,-1.5 then half your stake would be on the ‘-1 goal’ and the other would be on the ‘-1.5 goal’.
It’s worth noting that if the game after being altered by the handicap ends as a draw, then the stake will be pushed and returned to the bettor.
Games to choose
After getting the technical stuff out the way, let’s take a look at which games to target for these markets.
I generally like to target the big favourites when betting with the Asian Handicap, and this is for two reasons.
The first is that the odds for the heavy favourite to win are likely going to be poor and so I’m less likely to include them on my acca. Adding a team priced at 1.30 is not going to make a huge impact on the overall price of the acca and I see it as a being a bigger negative than anything, in that if it wins, it won’t add a much too your overall acca.
The second is because the bigger teams that are playing the lesser teams are much more likely to win and win comfortably. Remember, with the Asian handicap you often need a side to win well and scraping over the line may not be good enough.
A -1.5 deficit essentially means that you need to win by two or more goals, so picking games that you think are going to be tight or two well matched teams isn’t going to pay off for these types of bets.
I find that the Asian Handicap comes in especially well in the early rounds of cup competitions, as opposed to league games. The cup can obviously draw anyone against anyone, so the likelihood of a bigger club facing a smaller club is more likely.
Cups such as early rounds of the FA Cup, League Cup, Johnstone’s Paint, Europa League and Champions League are great events to start with. As the rounds wear on, the games become more evenly matched as the bigger teams tend to progress, so bear this mind.
Where to bet on the Asian Handicap
You can find even the most obscure games and they will often run this market for goals from a split 0.0, -/+0.5 right the way up to +/- 6.00 goals, something that not a lot of bookmakers can offer.
If you want to start betting on the Asian Handicap with bet365, then by clicking this specially tracked link you can also claim a deposit bonus worth up to £200. (NO PROMO/BONUS CODE REQUIRED: When you click the link above, you don’t need to enter a promo code into the box at the registration set up as the link enables you to get the maximum (£200) that is available)
I just wanted to add a final point for those of you looking to create acca’s with Asian handicap bets and are looking to cash out.
The Asian Handicap odds work differently than most odds in that they rounded to three decimal places. This means that they change a lot when betting play and even a 1/1000th change will mean that it becomes very difficult to tie down the price.
This is only really for later in the games, where the odds fluctuate more than say half way or even a third into it. It also only applies to those looking to cash out, due to the few second delay that most bookmakers include after clicking the cash out button.