An Asian Handicap is a sports betting term used to describe spread betting in football (soccer). Described as Asian because of its Eastern origins, the phrase has little else to do with the region. This form of soccer betting has gained increased popularity over the last few years and is now offered by a variety of mainstream bookmakers.Football bets can be made using a few different formats. From a gambler’s standpoint, Asian handicap odds provide many benefits. For starters, the Asian handicap system eliminates any chance for loss due to a tie, which increases the gamblers chances of success. Secondly, bookmakers typically charge less Vigorish than with other bets.
Soccer is one of the few sports in the world where a tie is a fairly common outcome. With traditional fixed odds, ties are treated as an additional outcome to the game. In other words, bettors lose when they place a wager on either team to win and the game ties. With Asian Handicaps, however, the chance for a tie is eliminated by use of a handicap that forces a winner. This creates a situation where each team has a 50-50 chance of winning; similar to the odds for a basketball or baseball game where a tie is impossible.
This system works in a straight-forward manner. The bookmakers’s goal is to create a handicap or “line” that will make the chance of either team winning (considering the handicap) as close to 50% as possible. Since the odds are as close to 50% as possible, bookmakers offer payouts close to even money, or 1.90 to 2.00. Asian Handicaps start at a quarter goal and can go as high as 2.5 or 3 goals in matches with a huge disparity in ability. What makes Asian Handicaps most interesting is the use of quarter goals to get the “line” as close as possible. Taken in conjunction with the posted total for the game, the handicap essentially predicts the game’s final score. Take a look at this example:
Match: Everton vs. Newcastle United
Handicap: 0 : 1 1/2
Explained: This handicap states that Everton is “giving” Newcastle one and one half goal for the match.
This means is that Newcastle is starting the game with a 1.5-0 lead. If the final score of the game is 2-1, then a bet on Newcastle wins the with the final score (considering handicap) as 2-2.5.
Subsequently, many matches are handicapped in 1/2 and 1/4 intervals; both of which eliminate the possibility of a tie since no one can score a half-goal. Quarter (1/4) handicaps split the bet between the two next closest 1/4 intervals. For instance, a $1000 bet with a handicap of 1 3/4 is the same as betting $500 at 1 1/2 and $500 at 2. With 1/4 handicap bets, you can win and tie (win 1/2 of wager) or lose and tie (lose 1/2 wager).
Whole Handicaps and Ties
Handicaps that are whole numbers still allow for the possibility of a tie. Sportsbooks will refund both bets in the event of a game tied by the handicap.
Reference & Payout Charts
- Asian Handicap Betting Article from DragonBets.com
- See their Asian Handicap article for quarter handicap payout charts.
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