Handicap odds are best stated as one team starting with an advantage or disadvantage relative to the bet. When we look at the bet, a single-goal handicap in a football match indicates that when the referee blows the opening whistle, one of the sides is already in the lead. The same is true for other sports, although in most cases, the handicap will be greater than one goal.
These handicaps, in which you may bet on three outcomes, are also known as European handicaps. Asian Handicap is a variant on handicap odds that you should learn more about if you aren't already.
The traditional handicap odds that many people are familiar with from the kiosk are a common method of betting that may be found in a match between Bayern Munich and Bielefeld. The handicap at the bookies is built up as follows:
Bayern Munich - Bielefeld (0-1)
If you want to wager on the 1 number in this match, Bayern Munich must win by at least two goals. If they win by a single goal, the bet will be a cross, since a 2-1 victory will be leveled at 2-2 owing to the additional goal handed to Bielefeld by the bookmaker. If, on the other side, you believe in the away team, a draw will win the bet, as 0-0 will be converted to 0-1 and a probable victory would be prolonged.
In addition to the traditional example, handicap bets of varying sizes may be seen in sports such as handball, basketball, and American football.
Consider the following scenario: FC Barcelona and Skjern meet in a handball match. In this case, the bookmakers may have assigned the following handicap to the game:
FC Barcelona - Skjern (0-5)
The handicap game operates in the same manner as in our first example. If you want to bet on the number one, a Spanish victory of six goals or more is required to cover your stake. If Barcelona wins by five goals, the game will conclude in a tie with the aid of the bookmaker, since Skjern has been granted five goals from the outset. If Skjern loses by a maximum of four goals, draws, or wins, you have a chance to win if you bet on the handicap 2 figure.
In the basketball world, you may come across handicap bets that are considerably greater than the one above. In certain competitions, there is a significant disparity between the teams, and the bookies attempt to compensate for this by imposing a hefty handicap.
Let's use an example for argument's sake. In the NBA, the Miami Heat face the Los Angeles Lakers, and Betfair may have set the following handicap:
Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Lakers (0-14)
If you bet on the number one, the Miami Heat must win by at least 15 points. If you bet on a tie and the Heat win by precisely 14 points, you will win, whereas the Lakers must win, tie, or lose by a maximum of 13 points if you bet on the 2 number.
The home team is the favored in all three of our cases. If, on the other hand, the away team is the favorite, the same rules apply - just in reverse.
Even if the bookmaker applies a handicap to the game, there are three conceivable outcomes. You must still decide whether to support 1, X, or 2, but keep in mind that one of the teams will start with a goal or more advantage on this bet.
For many, handicap odds are a great bet since you may obtain better odds on massive victories for the favorites while also betting on certain underdogs with some assurance if you also win if they "only" draw.