How Does Handicap Betting Work In Football?

Handicaps in football are used to even up games between two teams for betting purposes when both bookies and punters perceive the game to be a mismatch. For example, if Manchester City were playing Norwich at home, the bookies may bet something like 1/10 Manchester City, 10/1 the draw, and 20/1 to Norwich. Most punters believe that Manchester City are almost certain to win but aren’t interested in backing them. Meanwhile, only a few hardcore Norwich fans might risk their hard-earned money at 20/1.

To make the Manchester City match more appealing, the bookies will offer handicap betting, with Man City having to concede a stated number of goals to Norwich. These can be done as a whole number to create a three-way handicap betting market or as fractions to create a two-way handicap betting market.

What Is Three-Way Handicap Betting?

Three-way handicap betting in football is when there are three possible outcomes at the end of the match. This is a home win, a draw, and an away win, just like in normal football betting. However, one team will have to give up an agreed number of goals to start with to even the betting up. For example, Man City is maybe –3 against Norwich. The –3 is then removed from the actual score-line at the end of the match to determine the handicap betting winner.

If Man City were to win 3-0, 4-1, 5-2, etc, this would mean the handicap winner was the draw. That’s because subtracting three goals off Man City in these scenarios would make the score 0-0, 1-1, and 2-2.

If Man City were to win 4-0, 5-1, 6-2, etc, City would then be declared the handicap winner, 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, etc.

If Man City were to win 3-1 or 4-2, for example, Norwich would then be declared the handicap winner 0-1 or 1-2.

What Is Two-Way handicap Betting In Football?

In two-way handicap betting in football, the start that one team must concede to the other is declared as a fraction, for example, 1.5 goals, 2.5 goals, 3.5 goals, etc. This means that there can’t be a draw, so there are only two possible results, a win for the home team or a win for the away team – hence the name two-way handicap betting.

If Man City concede 2.5 goals to Norwich, they will be declared the handicap betting winners if they win by a margin of three goals or more. A victory by anything less than three goals, a draw, or a win for Norwich will see Norwich declared as the handicap winners.

What Is Handicap League Betting In Football?

Most handicap betting in football is for individual matches, but many bookmakers also compile handicap odds for the Premier League. For example, all 20 teams will be given a handicap that will be added to their final points total. The team with the most points then wins the handicap league. The bookies normally offer 15/1 or 16/1 for all teams, though these prices can be subject to change due to demand and supply.

For example, Man City may be the scratch markers, with Liverpool +3, Manchester United +8, Chelsea + 10, Arsenal + 16, and Tottenham + 20. The teams that are most likely to be battling it out for relegation normally get starts varying between +40 and +50. For example, let’s say Watford get a +48 start.

If Manchester City end the season with 95 points and Watford 48 points, this means City’s total is 95 + scratch and Watford’s total is 48 + 48 = 96. That means Watford will finish ahead of Man City in the handicap league. Of course, their points total also needs to be more than the other 18 teams for you to win.

When Should I Bet On Football Handicap Markets?

Just like in any other form of betting, you should bet on football handicap markets when they offer you value odds. This is when you perceive that the odds offered are greater than the probability of the bet winning.

When formulating a football betting strategy, it’s a good idea to check the statistics. You’ll want to consider past head-to-heads between the two teams, as well as the current form of both teams. Players missing through injury or suspension can also have a big effect on how teams play, especially if that player is a key striker, the main defender, or the midfielder that normally pulls the strings.

Where Do You Get The Best Handicap Betting Odds For Football?

Many bookmakers offer handicap betting on football and their odds will be determined by the opinions of their odds compilers. As punters, it’s our job to decide when those odds give us an edge. To always take advantage of the best odds, it’s a good idea to have a portfolio of bookmakers you can use, as well as access to the various betting exchanges.

What Do I Do if I’m Not Good At Picking Handicap Football Winners?

If you’re not very good at picking handicap football winners or you don’t have the time to do the required number of hours of study to make it pay, one option is to follow the advice of professional football tipsters. Some of these offer their tips for free, though the best will normally charge you a subscription for access to all their tips.

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