You may already have already heard about the betting market known as ‘Asian Handicap’. It is a form of betting that started in the far east – hence the name.
To understand why Asian Handicap bets were created, you have to understand the football betting market. In any football game, there can only be three outcomes in a match. A team can either win, lose or draw.
Generally, Asian punters only like to bet on sporting events which have a solid outcome. That means a player or a team either wins or they lose. There is no possibility of a draw, for example, a tennis game. Two players with one winning and one losing.
What Is An Asian Handicap?
Football is one of the few sports in the world where a draw is a fairly common outcome. With traditional fixed odds, draws are treated as an additional outcome to the game. In other words, bettors lose when they place a wager on either team to win and the game is drawn.
But the Asian market is huge for bookmakers so they needed to create a system that would effectively remove the possibility of a game being drawn. The idea was that is would create more betting interest in games. Even if the two teams are completely mismatched.
So with Asian Handicap betting, the chance for a draw is eliminated by use of a handicap that forces a winner. This creates a situation where each team has a 50-50 chance of winning.
The way of doing this is to ‘handicap’ a team. In the same way that horses are handicapped with extra weight in the saddles, football teams can also be handicapped. Now if you’re thinking the players run around with bars of lead in their boots then you’re mistaken!
The way of handicapping a team is much simpler. You just give the team they are playing against a 1.5 or 2.5 goal head start. The .5 makes a draw impossible, as no team can score half a goal.
Take a look at this example of an Asian Handicap. Chelsea is playing Chester City at home in the FA CUP 4th Round. Normally you couldn’t get a decent bet on this game. Chelsea’s odds would be so low that it wouldn’t make it worthwhile betting on them. And Chester’s chances of actually winning the game are remote, to say the least. But with the Asian Handicap, this game becomes far more interesting.
Chelsea is expected to beat Chester City so the bookmakers have set the handicap on Chester City at +2.5. Effectively Chelsea are 2.5 goals down before the game has kicked off. So if you want to back Chelsea they will need to win by 3 clear goals.
Alternatively, you could back Chester if you think they can avoid defeat by 2 clear goals or less.
So there you have it, a simple rundown of a typical Asian Handicap football bet. The bets can get more complicated especially if two teams are fairly well matched, but I will get into that another time.
If you are interested in placing Asian Handicap bets, then the following bookmakers offer them on Premiership and most European League games. Paddy Power Bookmakers, Betfair Bookmakers, and Ladbrokes Bookmaker.