Asian handicap betting is a popular form of soccer betting that serves as an alternative to the traditional 1×2 betting lines that used to dominate the sport. Asian handicap betting reduces the number of possible outcomes from 3 in 1×2 betting down to only 2.
A typical example of this would be Manchester United having a -0.5 handicap when facing Chelsea, which means that a bet on Manchester United only pays out when Man U wins the match, while a +0.5 handicap bet on Chelsea would payout if Chelsea either won the game or the game finished in a draw.
Things get much more complicated when quarter goal or two-way handicaps are involved. For example Manchester United could be a -0.25 goal favorite over Chelsea. At first glance 0.25 goals looks very strange because you would think that it would basically mean the same thing as a 0.5 goal handicap because a Man U win still covers the -0.25 goal spread, while a draw or Chelsea win still beats the spread the other way. But in reality the -0.25 Asian Handicap splits your bet into two halves. The first half becomes a -0.5 handicap, while the other half becomes a 0 handicap (aka no-draw bet). So if Manchester United wins the game the entire bet is paid out, but if the game ends in a draw half the bet is lost and half the bet is refunded. Check out the example below for a more detailed explanation.
Asian Handicap Bet Example
Here is an example of an Asian Handicap line on an international soccer match. I will compare it to the typical 1×2 betting line to give you a better idea of the differences. I’m using decimal odds to make it easier to notice the changes.
Asian Handicap Line
Russia (-0.25) 2.150
Portugal (+0.25) 1.725
In this case the teams are very close in terms of skill level, but there is a small favorite so the Asian Handicap that most evenly balances the teams is a quarter handicap. The (-0.25) can also be written as (0, -0.5) which means the same thing. That half of the bet is applied to a ‘draw no bet’ wager and half of the bet is applied to a -0.5 goal handicap.
So let’s say you wanted to bet $100 on Russia (-0.25) on the Asian Handicap. Here is how your bet would be payout for each of 3 different outcomes:
- Russia wins the game – Your entire bet is paid out at odds of 2.150 for a total payout of $212.50 on a $100 bet.
- Portugal wins the game – You lose your entire bet.
- Draw – Half of your bet is returned and half of your bet is lost for a payout of $50 on your $100 bet.
When compared with the 1×2 line you can see that you win less if Russia wins by betting the Asian Handicap ($212.50 compared to $250 with 1×2), but if the game ends in a draw you still receive a refund on half of your bet so you save $50 if this outcome occurs.
Alternative Asian Handicap Lines
If your bookie offers a wide variety of odds then there may also be many other alternative Asian Handicap lines that you can bet on for the match. Here are some others with Russia winning the game:
Russia (-0.5) – This bet would be the exact same as the 1×2 line bet, but often times you will find different odds for each. So be careful when betting on this line. Be sure to compare.
Russia (-0.75) 3.00 – If Russia wins by 2 or more your entire bet is paid out at 3.00 odds. If Russia wins by 1 half of your bet is paid out at 3.00 odds and half of your bet is refunded. If Russia loses or the game ends in a draw your bet is lost.
Russia (-1.00) 4.25 – If Russia wins by 2 or more the entire bet pays out. If Russia wins by 1 the entire wager is refunded. If the game ends in a draw or a Russia loss your bet is lost.
Russia (-1.25) 4.80 – If Russia wins by 2 or more the entire bet pays out. If Russia wins by 1 half the wager is refunded and half is lost. If Russia draws or loses your bet is lost.
And so on and so on. You can often find a wide variety of Asian Handicap bets at the best online sportsbooks.
Asian Handicap Sports
Asian handicap lines are most often seen when betting on soccer matches, but they can be found for any sport where a draw is a normal result. That being said, not many other sports that can end in a draw are as low scoring as soccer so you would be hard pressed to find quarter/two way Asian handicap lines for any sport other than soccer.