Understanding handicap meaning in betting is the key to cracking the code in sports betting. Because once that’s done, the betting gets a lot more interesting. So let’s get started.
If you’re new to betting, we’re quite sure that you must be overwhelmed with the sheer amount of sports betting terms that there are. There are things like odds, markets, and outcomes/predictions. An example would be handicap predictions. Let’s find out more.
What Is Handicap Meaning in Betting?
To understand the meaning of handicap in betting, we’ll need to understand the odds. To many punters, handicap bets are considered to have a higher degree of difficulty.
But that’s not really the case. You can only have a handicap market when the match is between a heavy favorite and an underdog side.
There are several kinds of handicap betting markets. Let’s take a look at them.
Level Handicap Betting
This type of handicap bet does not give the underdog team a headstart nor does it put a handicap on the favorite.
Level handicap bets exist only for one thing. You can see it in the name. It seeks to only level the match.
You can only have one of two results in a level handicap. Either Team A wins or Team B. Level handicap eliminates the draw outcome completely.
Single Handicap Betting
This is the most common type of handicap betting. The only purpose of placing a handicap like this is to give the weaker team advantage over the other one.
In the case of the stronger team, the handicap is the difficulty that the team has to overcome to win the match.
But what does it all mean? Knowing how this works is needed to understand handicap meaning in betting.
The bookmaker will assign a value to both the weak and the strong team. For the favorites, the handicap value will have a minus and for the underdogs, the value would be a plus.
The wager will be in favor of the team which has more score after all handicaps are settled.
Double Handicap Betting
This is one of the most difficult handicap bets to understand. Basically, you are placing two handicap bets. A double handicap bet between two teams would look like this:
Team A (0)/(-1) – Team B (0)/(+2)
Here, you have to bet on two outcomes on a single bet to get the maximum winnings. If you lose one of the bets, you lose half of your winnings. The first part of the bet signifies, which team wins. The second part of the bet is the handicap value.
In order for you to win the whole bet, the team you place your wager on has to win on top of overcoming the handicap. Unless you win both the bets, you won’t get all the winnings. You’ll only get 50% out of the total amount you could potentially make.
Handicap Betting Examples
Here we will take a look at some examples of handicap betting markets to better understand the meaning of handicap in betting.
Level Handicap Example
Since the purpose of this handicap is to eliminate a draw outcome, you can consider it just like a regular match-winner betting market. The only difference is the handicaps will be set so that the underdogs have a fair chance of beating the favorites.
Single Handicap Example
Let’s consider a game between Argentina and Italy. Now the handicaps are set to ARG (-3) – ITA(+3). Here Argentina is the favorite, and in order to win the wager, must beat Italy with a difference of 3 goals.
Italy on the other hand will have +3 added to their final score. If after the adjustment, the score is in favor of Italy, they will be considered the winners in this betting market.
Double Handicap Example
We can take the example of the Single handicap and modify it to understand the double handicap bet. So a double handicap bet for the same match would look like ARG (0)/(-3) – ITA (0)/(+3).
No matter who you bet on, they have to win the match for you to win the wager. If they don’t win, but you win the handicap bet, you’ll only get 50% of the winnings.
How to Calculate a Handicap?
Single Handicap Calculation
A handicap bet will always be represented with (+) and (-) signs. The minus sign represents the favorites, while the plus sign represents the underdogs. There will always be a value besides the signs. This is the handicap value.
The handicap value represents the advantage or handicap, depending on whether it’s the favorites or the underdogs. If it’s for the favorites you’ll have something like Team A (-3). This means that Team A has to win the match by a difference of 3.
For underdogs, it will look something like Team B (+3). So Team B will have 3 added to the final score line.
After the adjustment of scores, if Team B scores more than Team A, they win the bet, even if they lose the match. If the match draws, you’ll get your wager back.
Decimal Handicap Calculation
If you see decimal handicaps, they are in place so that there is no draw outcome. Because you will never see a score in decimals.
Since the bookmaker has to give your money back if the outcome is a draw, it’s a clever trick for them to not lose any money.
Double Handicap Calculation
As we’ve seen previously, a double handicap bet has two numbers for each team. The first of the numbers represents the team’s victory. The second number is the actual handicap. To win a double handicap you have to place a single bet with 2 outcomes.
If the team you bet on wins the match but fails to meet the handicap requirements, you win 50% of the wager. Similarly, if the team loses but fulfills the handicap requirements, you again get 50% of the wager.
To win the wager completely you need to win both the outcomes. The team has to win and also fulfill the requirements. Only then can you make the most out of your wager.
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Handicap Betting Conclusion
Handicap bets are often regarded as something difficult to understand. It’s also regarded with a high level of difficulty. But after reading this guide, it should be clear that it’s certainly not the case.
Handicap bets require a bit more understanding than your regular bets, but by no means is it difficult.
Handicap Meaning in Betting FAQ
In football betting, a handicap can not only be assigned to the final score of the match, but it can also be applicable to other things as well. It can be placed on things like corners, fouls, free kicks and so much more.
A handicap in basketball can be set on the score of the team or between the players playing the matches. They can also be placed on the number of fouls, steals, assists, three-pointers etc.
In golf, the handicap bets can be placed on the points earned by the players. The handicap values are adjusted according to the player rankings and their overall skill. It can also be placed on how many shots a player takes.
After you’ve properly understood the concept of handicap betting, you can play at any reputed online sportsbook. If the sport you’d like to bet on has the market available, simply head on over to that market, pick your team, and place the wager.