Asian Handicaps Explained

Asian Handicaps is a betting option commonly offered on soccer matches. While you are betting on a team to win, the handicaps give the participating teams an advantage or disadvantage in goals.

In other words, if a team is given an advantage, they will start the match with a certain number of goals. Likewise, if a team is given a disadvantage, they will start the match with a negative number of goals.

Keep reading to learn more about Asian Handicaps

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Asian Handicaps

Offering Asian Handicaps as a betting option, the bookmaker’s goal is to even the odds between two competing teams. This is done by giving the underdog a goal advantage (illustrated by a + sign) and the favorite a goal disadvantage (illustrated by a – sign).

Take this match for example

Example of match where Asian Handicap is perfect.
Turkey: 4.50 | Draw: 3.70 | Netherlands: 1.80

This image shows full time odds of a match between Turkey and Netherlands. With 1.80 in odds, Netherlands is clearly the favorite to win compared to Turkey’s odds of 4.50.

Now let’s have a look at the Asian Handicap odds for the same match.

Example odds on Asian handicap-.jpg
Turkey +0.5: 2.04 | Netherlands -0.75: 2.02

By giving a goal advantage to Turkey (+0.5) and a disadvantage to Netherlands (-0.75), you can now bet on either team to win with odds that are very close to 2.00. This is equal to a 50% chance of winning the bet, based on the bookmaker’s research and knowledge. 

Asian Handicaps is a good bet to place if you want to bet on an underdog with a higher chance of winning or a favorite as a way to win more money.

Since there aren’t any half or quarter goals in soccer, it may not make much sense for a team to start with an advantage or disadvantage of 0.25, 0.5 or 0.75 goals. We will, however, soon make sense of this. But before we do, you must understand that… 

Asian Handicaps Come in Many Different Forms

Betting online, you can find anything from +0.25 to +3.5 goal advantage for the underdog and the same disadvantage for the favorite. What you find will vary from one match to another. 

By continue using Turkey (TR) vs Netherlands (NL) as an example, the below table is illustrating the starting score of the match based on the advantage and disadvantage the teams’ have been given.

Handicap
Advantage
Starting Score
Handicap
Disadvantage
Starting Score
TurkeyNetherlandsTurkeyNetherlands
0.250.250-0.250-0.25
0.50.50-0.50-0.5
0.750.750-0.750-0.75
110-10-1
1.51.50-1.50-1.5
220-20-2
2.52.50-2.50-2.5

On mobile, swipe left/right to see the entire table

To clarify, the starting score is a virtual one that is applied only to your bet and not the real match.

Examples of Asian Handicaps

To further understand Asian Handicaps, let us explain it with a few examples. We start with the easiest handicaps, which are those that give an advantage or disadvantage in whole goals. 

Asian Handicap Examples of +1, +2, -1, -2

Suppose that the bookmaker is offering the following four alternatives to bet on:

Alternative AAlternative B
Turkey +1 GoalTurkey +2 Goals
Alternative CAlternative D
Netherlands -1 GoalNetherlands -2 Goals

Now, let’s assume that the real match between these two teams ends as follows:

Turkey 1 – Netherlands 2

For each of the four alternatives this would mean the following:

  • Alternative A: Turkey receives one extra goal, match ends 2 – 2. Bet is refunded, because of a draw. 
  • Alternative B: Turkey receives two extra goals, match ends 3 – 2. Bet is won, because Turkey wins. 
  • Alternative C: Netherlands gets minus one goal, match ends 1 -1. Bet is refunded, because of a draw.
  • Alternative D: Netherlands gets minus two goals, match ends 1 – 0. Bet is lost, because Netherlands lose.

Remember, no matter what the Asian Handicaps are, you are always betting on a team to win.

Asian Handicap Examples of +0.25, +0.5, +0.75, -0.25, -0.5, -0.75

Continuing our explanation of Asian Handicaps, let’s assume that the bookmarker is offering these alternatives to bet on:

Alternative EAlternative FAlternative G
Turkey +0.25Turkey +0.5Turkey +0.75
Alternative HAlternative IAlternative J
Netherlands -0.25Netherlands -0.5Netherlands -0.75

As the score of the match isn’t as important with these particular handicaps, we will explain the above alternatives differently from before, using tables. Here’s the first one for alternative E and H:

TeamHandicapMatch ResultBet Result
Turkey+0.25Turkey winsBet is won
Turkey+0.25Draw50% is returned, 50% is won
Turkey+0.25Netherlands winBet is lost
Netherlands-0.25Turkey winsBet is lost
Netherlands-0.25Draw50% is returned, 50% is lost
Netherlands-0.25Netherlands winBet is won

On mobile, swipe left/right to see the entire table

With the explanations below, please note that Turkey is considered the home team (their score to the left) and Netherlands the away team.

Explanation of a bet on Turkey (+0.25):

  • If Turkey wins the match, you win the bet as they receive +0.25 goals to an already winning score. For instance, 1 – 0 becomes 1.25 – 0.
  • If Turkey loses the match, you lose the bet as a quarter goal can never make up for an entire goal. For instance, 0 – 1 become 0.25 – 1.
  • If the match ends in a draw, such as 1 – 1, the score will become 1.25 – 1. A quarter goal is not considered enough to count as a full win. Therefore 50% of the bet is won and 50% is returned. 

Explanation of a bet on Netherlands (-0.25):

  • If Netherlands wins the match, the bet is won as -0.25 goals to a winning score does not make a difference. For instance, 0 – 1 becomes 0 – 0.75.
  • If Netherlands loses the match, the bet is lost as they receive -0.25 goals to an already losing score. For instance, 2 – 1 becomes 2 – 0.75. 
  • If the match ends in a draw, such as 1 – 1, the score will become 1 – 0.75. The bet is lost, but 0.25 goals will not count as a full loss. Therefore only 50% of the stake is lost and 50% is returned.

0.25 quarter goals only make a difference when the match ends in a draw. You will either lose 50% of your bet or win 50% of your bet. The rest is returned.

Moving on to Asian Handicaps +0.5 and -0.5, we will use the same logic as above:

TeamHandicapMatch resultBet result
Turkey+0.5Turkey winsBet is won
Turkey+0.5DrawBet is won
Turkey+0.5Netherlands winBet is lost
Netherlands-0.5Turkey winsBet is lost
Netherlands-0.5DrawBet is lost
Netherlands-0.5Netherlands winBet is won

On mobile, swipe left/right to see the entire table

Explanation of a bet on Turkey (+0.5):

  • If Turkey wins, you win the bet as they receive +0.5 goals to an already winning score.
  • If Turkey loses, you lose the bet as +0.5 goals is not enough to make a difference. For instance, 1 – 2 becomes 1.5 – 2. Turkey still loses.
  • If the match ends in a draw, you win the bet as +0.5 goals is considered enough to be a full win. For instance, 1 – 1 becomes 1.5 – 1. 

Explanation of a bet on Netherlands (-0.5):

  • If Netherlands win, the bet is won as -0.5 goals is not enough to make a difference. For instance, 2 – 3 becomes 2 – 2.5.
  • If Netherlands lose, the bet is lost as they receive -0.5 goals to an already losing score.
  • If the match ends in a draw, the bet is lost as -0.5 goals will count as a full loss. For instance, 2 – 2 becomes 2 – 1.5.

0.5 half goals only make a difference when the match ends in a draw. You will either win your entire bet or lose your entire bet.

Moving on to Asian Handicaps +0.75 and -0.75, the same logic still applies, but here the number of goals that a team wins with will make a slight difference:

TeamHandicapMatch resultBet result
Turkey+0.75Turkey winsBet is won
Turkey+0.75DrawBet is won
Turkey+0.75Netherlands win with 1 goal50% is returned, 50% is lost
Turkey+0.75Netherlands win with 2+ goalsBet is lost
Netherlands-0.75Turkey winsBet is lost
Netherlands-0.75DrawBet is lost
Netherlands-0.75Netherlands win with 1 goal50% is returned, 50% is won
Netherlands-0.75Netherlands win with 2+ goalsBet is won

On mobile, swipe left/right to see the entire table

Explanation of a bet on Turkey (+0.75):

  • If Turkey wins, the bet is won as they receive +0.75 goals to an already winning score.
  • If Turkey loses by 1 goal, the bet is lost, but will not count as a full loss as they only lose by 0.25 goals. For instance, 1 – 2 becomes 1.75 – 2. Half of the stake is therefore returned.  
  • If Turkey loses by 2 goals, the bet is a full loss as +0.75 goals cannot make up for two entire goals.
  • If the match ends in a draw, the bet is won as +0.75 is considered to be a full win. For instance, 1 – 1 becomes 1.75 – 1. 

Explanation of a bet on Netherlands (-0.75):

  • If Netherlands win with 1 goal, the bet is won, but will not count as a full win as they only win by 0.25 goals. For instance, 1 – 2 becomes 1.75 – 2. Only 50% of the stake is won. The rest is returned.
  • If Netherlands win with 2 goals, the bet is a full win as it doesn’t matter if they lose 0.75 goals. For instance, 1 – 3 becomes 1 – 2.25. 
  • If Netherlands lose, the bet is lost as they receive -0.75 goals to an already losing score. 
  • If the match ends in a draw, the bet is lost as -0.75 goals will count as a full loss. For instance, 1 – 1 becomes 1 – 0.25. 

0.75 three quarter goals always make a difference to match draws. Your bet is either a full win or a full loss. They can also make a difference to match wins and match losses depending on the score of the match, resulting in a 50% win or 50% loss of your bet.

Complete Cheat Chart for Asian Handicaps

If you find it confusing to fully understand Asian Handicaps, the below cheat chart is a great tool that can be used. This shows you the outcome of your bet depending on the score of the match. 

Table for Asian Handicap Advantage

Handicap AdvantageResult of the Team You Bet OnOutcome of Your Bet
+ 0.25WinBet won
+ 0.25Draw50% won, 50% returned
+ 0.25LoseBet lost
+ 0.5WinBet won
+ 0.5DrawBet won
+ 0.5LoseBet lost
+ 0.75WinBet won
+ 0.75DrawBet won
+ 0.75Lose by 1 goal50% lost, 50% returned
+ 0.75Lose by 2+ goalsBet lost
+ 1WinBet won
+ 1DrawBet won
+ 1Lose by 1 goalStake refunded
+ 1Lose by 2+ goalsBet lost
+ 1.25WinBet won
+ 1.25DrawBet won
+ 1.25Lose by 1 goal50% won, 50% returned
+ 1.25Lose by 2+ goalsBet lost
+ 1.5WinBet won
+ 1.5DrawBet won
+ 1.5Lose by 1 goalBet won
+ 1.5Lose by 2+ goalsBet lost
+ 1.75WinBet won
+ 1.75DrawBet won
+ 1.75Lose by 1 goalBet won
+ 1.75Lose by 2 goals50% lost, 50% returned
+ 1.75Lose by 3+ goalsBet lost
+ 2WinBet won
+ 2DrawBet won
+ 2Lose by 1 goalBet won
+ 2Lose by 2 goalsStake refunded
+ 2Lose by 3+ goalsBet lost

Table for Asian Handicap Disadvantage

Handicap DisadvantageResult of the Team You Bet OnOutcome of Your Bet
-0.25WinBet won
-0.25Draw50% lost, 50% returned
-0.25LoseBet lost
-0.5WinBet won
-0.5DrawBet lost
-0.5LoseBet lost
-0.75Win by 2+ goalsBet won
-0.75Win by 1 goal50% won, 50% returned
-0.75DrawBet lost
-0.75LoseBet lost
-1Win by 2+ goals Bet won
-1Win by 1 goalStake refunded
-1DrawBet lost
-1LoseBet lost
-1.25Win by 2+ goalsBet won
-1.25Win by 1 goal50% lost, 50% returned
-1.25DrawBet lost
-1.25LoseBet lost
-1.5Win by 2+ goalsBet won
-1.5Win by 1 goalBet lost
-1.5DrawBet lost
-1.5LoseBet lost
-1.75Win by 3+ goalsBet won
-1.75Win by 2 goals50% won, 50% returned
-1.75Win by 1 goalBet lost
-1.75DrawBet lost
-1.75LoseBet lost
-2Win by 3+ goalsBet won
-2Win by 2 goalsStake refunded
-2Win by 1 goalBet lost
-2DrawBet lost
-2LoseBet lost

Encountering Asian Handicaps at Bookmakers Online

You must know that Asian Handicaps is a term that can only be found on soccer bets. However, if you like the concept of giving teams an advantage or disadvantage, most other sports offer the same type of bet. Here they are either called “Spread”, “Spread Bets” or just “Handicaps”. It’s the same thing. 

It’s not only possible to find Asian Handicap odds on full time match results, but many bookmakers are also offering different variations of it. This includes:

  • Handicaps based on score at half time
  • Handicaps based on score after 30 minutes 
  • Handicaps based on corners in the match

In terms of profitability, Asian Handicaps are said to have a lower margin than many other bets (source), which means that you as a bettor is expected to win slightly more in the long run. In the end, it does, however, always come down to making the correct predictions, regardless of the bet type.

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