What are Asian Lines in Hockey and NHL Betting?

Asian Lines in Hockey (or Asian Handicap Lines) is a term all too familiar to any bettor and a tool anyone should use in their betting endeavors. Today, we will take a look at that are Asian lines in hockey and NHL betting and provide you with all the information you’ll ever need to know when using the most popular bet type in the world.

How Does Asian Handicap Work?

The Asian Handicap is very similar to spread betting. Its primary purpose is to eliminate the possibility of a tie in football, hockey, soccer, or any other sport that offers the Asian handicap market.

Asian Handicap bet, as the name would suggest, puts a handicap on one of the two teams or players that are involved in a game. With it, you can give the underdog team a headstart of X goals or take the goals away from the favorites.


As an example, we can take a look at a match between Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs.

As one of the strongest teams in the NHL, the Avalanche would enter the match as -125 favorites, while Toronto Maple Leafs are priced as +185 underdogs. Assuming that you expect the Avalanche to win, but only by a single goal, you would pick the Maple Leafs with a +1.5 goal handicap.

With this bet, you’re essentially giving the underdogs a 1.5 goal headstart. The added Handicap is then added to the final score, meaning that if the Avalanche wins with 3-2, the final score after factoring in the Handicap will show 3.5-3 in favor of the Maple Leafs.

The same logic applies with a negative handicap, where you’re deducting goals from the favored team.

If you would pick Avalanche with a -1.5 goal handicap and the game ends with a 3-2 victory, the final score after factoring in the handicap shows 2-1.5 in favor of the Maple Leafs.

The Asian Handicap market will often offer you a wide range of handicaps to choose from, ranging from +/- 0.5 goals to double digits. Naturally, higher handicaps will offer greater odds; however, no matter the size of the handicap, the principle remains the same.

Why is Asian Handicap Used?

The Asian Handicap is not necessarily used as a tool that allows you to bet on a team, which you believe will win the game by more than X goals / lose the game with fewer than Y goals, but mainly to remove the possibility of a draw.

The aforementioned Asian Handicap examples were not whole numbers, so the final result can never end in a tie since hockey has no such high as half-a-goal.

The first handicap offer is 0.5 goals. With it, you’re either giving the underdogs a (+0.5) headstart, effectively eliminating the possibility of a draw. If the game ends tied on the scoreboard (ex. 3-3), your selection will win by 0.5 goals.

The +0.5 Asian handicap bet is essentially the exact same as a 1X bet, where you win your bet regardless if your team wins or if the game ends in a draw. Meanwhile, picking a -0.5 Asian Handicap bet is essentially the same as betting on your team to win.

How About Whole Number Handicaps?

Asian Handicaps can also be whole numbers, such as +1, +2, +3, and so on. While this type of Asian Handicap does not follow its primary job of eliminating a draw, it is applied the same way as a +0.5, +1.5, +2.5 handicap.

With a +1.0 handicap, you’re picking the underdog to either win the game or play a draw. On the other side, choosing the outsider with a -1.0 handicap essentially means that you’re trusting them to win the match with at least two goals to spare.

Assuming we have picked Avalanche with a -1.0 goal handicap and they end up beating Maple Leafs by a single goal margin (1-0), your pick wouldn’t win, and the game is considered a tie. In such a scenario, your wager would get refunded to you.

There is also a +0 Asian Handicap bet, which is essentially the same as a draw no bet (DNB). With it, you pick which team will win the match, and if the game ends in a tie, you get your money refunded to you.

The Asian Handicap might seem weird to those unfamiliar at first, but it’s straightforward to understand and brings more balance to your wagering. Most importantly, it saves you from losing your bet if the game ends in a tie.

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