What is Asian handicap betting in soccer? Asian Handicap Explained

What is Asian handicap betting in soccer?

If you have ever looked at soccer odds, you will see that, much like in other sports offered by sportsbooks, there are sometimes games with heavy favorites.

In the UEFA World Cup qualifying, when you have world powers facing tiny countries, or even in the English Premier League, when Manchester City, Manchester United, or other teams face relegation fodder, the price to take the favorite might be too steep for you.

Who wants to lay -500 odds in a game on the moneyline? Not me, unless I am putting that team in a parlay.

There are other solutions, including regular and handicap betting.

In handicap soccer betting, such as the -1 line, if you bet a favorite at -1, that team has to win by two clear goals or more: if the team you bet wins 1-0, you lose you wager.

But, there is a better way for many: Asian handicaps.

Asian handicap betting is a type of wagering that effectively gives the underdog an advantage. Used in soccer, Asian Handicap removes the “draw” option for bettors and provides an edge to the underdog.

In typical soccer betting, you need to select either team to win the game outright or the draw. That gives you three options. Asian Handicap gives a bettor a choice between just the two teams but the favorite needs to win by a certain margin to be considered a winning bet.

When a handicap is made up of two parts, like -.5 and -1, it means that the bet is split 50/50 between the two handicaps. These are often referred to as -1/4 (-0.25) goal handicaps.

Sean Miller

An example of a -.75 or -3/4 goal Asian handicap came from a Premier League match  between Manchester City and Liverpool. On the 1x2 or money line betting, Manchester City was a -200 favorite as the home team (the 1 in the 1x2 betting odds), the draw/tie line was +375 (the x in the 1x2 betting odds), while Liverpool was a +425 underdog as the away team (the 2 in the 1x2 betting odds).

So you had to lay $200 to get a $100 return on Manchester City, which some people might not want to do.

But on the Asian handicap line, Manchester City was -.5, -1 (or -.75) for -130. That meant if the Cityzens were to win the match by two goals or more, you would have won your bet.

If City won the match by one clear goal (3-2 for example), half of your bet would be returned at the -1 line, and half would be won at the -.5 goal line. Any other result would be a loss if you bet on Manchester City.

If you took Manchester City on the -1 Asian handicap line, and the game ended 3-2, you would get your money back as a push, much like in other sports. However, if you took City -1 on the regular handicap line, and it ended 3-2, you would lose your stake: pushes lose on regular handicap wagers. 

So where do you place these bets online?

While some sportsbooks will have the Asian handicap on a soccer match, some are still behind the times and do not offer those lines.

Some that do offer Asian handicaps are Unibet, Parx, PointsBet, 888sport, and Betfred Sports, among a host of others. Every month, there are more online apps launching as well, plus more states joining the sports betting fray.

By the time 2021 ends, there could be six or seven more states, and over half of American states, that have some form of legalized online sports betting that offer Asian handicap soccer wagering for aspiring sports bettors.

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