Soccer: Asian Handicap

Asian handicap betting is a form of betting on football in which teams are handicapped(1) according to their form so that a stronger team must win by more goals for a punter betting on them to win.  In the Asian handicap, the tie result is removed. You have two betting options, betting on home or away.

(1) Handicapping, in sport and games, is the practice of assigning advantage through scoring compensation or other advantage given to different contestants to equalize the chances of winning. The word also applies to the various methods by which the advantage is calculated. In principle, a more experienced participant is disadvantaged, or a less experienced or capable participant is advantaged, in order to make it possible for the less experienced participant to win whilst maintaining fairness. Handicapping also refers to the various methods by which spectators can predict and quantify the results of a sporting match. The term is applied to the practice of predicting the result of a competition, such as for purposes of betting against the point spread. A favored team that wins by less than the point spread still wins the game, but bets on that team lose.

How does Asian handicap work

The underdog will start the game with a fraction of a point/goal. For example, Real Madrid playing against Ipswich Town FC, and let’s say Ipswich Town FC was given a handicap of .5 goal. The starting score for the match would be Real Madrid= zero and Ipswich Town FC = .5. Now if Real Madrid scores 2 goals for the entire game and Ipswich Town FC also happens to score two goals, that would have normally been a draw, but seeing as the underdog team (Ipswich Town FC) had already started with .5 score, their final score would be 2.5 while Real Madrid is still at 2. The underdog team would have won that match.

Therefore, a draw will be impossible as there is no way any team can score a fraction of a goal to make the score even again, someone would have to win, however, the handicap is not a set fraction. It does vary. The handicap is a virtual goal head start and can increase in increments of ¼ i.e. ¼ goal, ½ goal, ¾ goal, 1 goal, 1 ¼ goal, etc.

  • 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.
  • Quarter (¼) handicaps split the bet between the two closest ½ intervals. For instance, a $1000 bet with a handicap of 1¾ is the same as betting $500 at 1½ and $500 at 2.
  • On Asian Handicap, The bettor’s stake is automatically divided equally and placed as 2 separate bets.
  • Lines with  ½  or full number have no split, Only one bet is taken in these scenarios.
  • Lines can be displayed in different methods. You just need to be converted in order to understand better.
-1½ -1¼ -1 – ½ 0 +1 +1¼ +1½ +1¾ +2
-1.50 -1.25 -1 -0.75 -0.50 -0.25 0 +0.25 +0.50 +0.75 +1 +1.25 +1.50 +1.75 +2

NS= No split – meaning bet does not get split in two- Only one bet is taken on the team


This an example of an Asian handicap between two La Liga Spanish teams. Real Madrid the favorite, which is signified by the: (-0.5). Barcelona is the underdog and is getting a half a goal, which is expressed as (+0.5).

Real Madrid (-0.5) 1.95

Barcelona (+0.5) 1.95

Since Real Madrid starts with a half-goal handicap, they must win the match outright and by one goal or more for you to win your bet. Barcelona can either win the match or tie for Barca backers to win their bet. Remember, since the handicap is Barcelona +0.5, if the score ended in a 1-1 draw, the extra half-point would give Barcelona the win. As mentioned above, it’s vital to note that if this game had a handicap of 1.0 or 2.0 goals a push would be in play.

In the case of Asian Handicap -0.5 example, if the favorite won by exactly one or two goals, depending on the handicap, stakes from both sides would be returned. The above odds are listed in decimal odds format, which is the standard for betting markets across Europe. These odds converted into Moneyline format come out to -108. That’s lower than the standard -110 vig charged on most sides and totals.