Handicap Betting

What is Handicap Betting? How does it Works? – Explained in Detail!

If you have ever been into sports betting, then you may have come across the term handicap betting. Handicap betting usually comes into the picture when a strong team takes on a weaker team. A lesser team is offered at a shorter price, which allows them to start the match ahead of their opponents. To make a sporting fixture even in terms of prices, bookmakers go for handicap betting.


How handicap betting works?

Let us take an example to understand handicap betting in detail.

Imagine that Liverpool is taking on Southampton in an EPL fixture. Here we know Liverpool is favourite to win the match. Because of the gap in the quality of the 2 sides, Liverpool could be priced around 1/20 win, while Southampton around 30/1. It is likely to attract customers looking for value, as Liverpool’s value is so short.

You can make the prices even more attractive, you could back Liverpool to win the game by at least 4 goals. This means that Liverpool starts the game with 3 goals down i.e -3 handicap.

On the other hand, Southampton with a +3 handicap, will start the game with 3 goals ahead. For that bet to win, Southampton should not lose by more than 2 goals. A 3-goal defeat would mean that the match was level according to the handicap bet. 

Handicap betting on Football

In football, you have ante post outright handicaps available before the start of any season. These bets are only available before the start of any season, as each team is given a specific handicap, depending on their chances of winning a league.

The favourites get the title of no handicap; other teams are given a higher points handicap, depending on their outright price to win the league.

Imagine that Liverpool is favourite to win the EPL title this year. Then they will be given no handicap. On the other hand, Southampton were given a head start of 47 points. The betting here is on which team would accumulate most points for the season. If Liverpool finishes on 88 points, then Southampton would need to finish on 42 points – 42+47 = 89 points.

Handicap betting in NFL

In American football, handicap betting is a popular type of sports betting. Based on the quality of two sides competing, an individual handicap is worked out by the bookmaker.

Let us look at an example to understand it better.

If there is a match between Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots, Patriots might be expected to win by a margin of at least 7 points. Patriots would be offered -6.5 handicap, while Jaguars would be offered a handicap of +6.5. If the bet on the Jaguars is to land, you would want them to keep the margin of defeat to 6 points or fewer.

Also Read: How does E-Sports Betting differ from Sports Betting?

Handicap in Rugby

Rugby handicap betting works in a similar way as that of NFL. Like the NFL, a customer is given odds of one team losing or winning by certain points.

Say if New Zealand were given a handicap of -6 against England, a bettor would need them to win by six points or more for a bet to land. 

Handicap in Basketball

Handicap basketball works on the same principle as that of NFL and Rugby. Both the teams are given the same price to overcome the predetermined points gap. The price could be positive or negative, depending on their status as underdog or favourite.

Handicap in Cricket

The principle of handicap betting in cricket is also the same, but the way it is done differs slightly. Here, the total number of runs scored by a particular team is the handicapped outcome.

For example, if India take on a Zimbabwe team in a T20 game, and score 220 runs batting first, you can apply a handicap on Zimbabwe’s run chase. This will mean that Zimbabwe will need to score a certain amount of runs for the wager to land, depending on the handicap price.

Also Read: History of Sports Betting – Where and When did it start?

What is Asian handicap betting?

Asian handicap betting gets its name because of the betting technique that is popular in Asia. The goal here is the same as that of standard handicap betting – to level the playing field. There are only 2 outcomes in the Asian handicap market, win or lose.

Here, if a team has a handicap bet to win by -3.5, it means that they would need to win by a margin of 4 goals.

Sports betting on Uwin app and site

If you are planning to place your bets on sports, then Uwin sports betting platform is the perfect place to be. Uwin promotions are best in the industry. You can checkout Uwin bonuses and use them to maximise your winnings.


  1. Which platform should I choose for sports betting?

You can choose a trusted platform like Uwin for online sports betting.

  1. Is handicap betting available for cricket?

Yes it is also available for cricket.

  1. When is handicap betting done?

Mostly when there is a fair gap between the skill set of two competing teams, there is handicap betting.

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