Soccer Betting: What is an Asian Handicap?

Asian Handicap is a type of soccer (football) betting that effectively gives the lesser team an advantage. This type of soccer betting removes the draw (tie) option for bettors and provides an edge to the underdog team. This betting system comes from Indonesia and is like the runline in baseball and the puckline in hockey.

In typical soccer betting, you need to select either team to win the game outright or pick it ending in a draw scenario. That gives you three options: win, lose or draw. Asian Handicap gives the bettor a choice between just the two teams but the favorite needs to win by a certain margin to be considered a winning bet.

Below we’ll break down a few of the possibilities you’ll encounter when betting the Asian Handicap.

Asian Handicap Betting

Unlike traditional soccer odds, the stake for Asian Handicap looks a little different. In a match between West Ham and Tottenham, the odds for a win, lose or draw bet would look like this:

West Ham -160

Tottenham +270

Draw +230

However, without the draw, the basic odds would appear like this:

West Ham -0.0

Tottenham +0.0

Any soccer game that sees the Asian Handicap at 0 essentially means the game is between two evenly matched teams. Whichever team you wager on needs to win for you to win your bet. Since this type of soccer betting takes the draw out of the equation, if the teams tie, your bet is refunded.

When your bet is refunded, it is called a PUSH.

Handicap 0.25

Let’s say Real Madrid is playing Barcelona with a handicap of 0.25. Odds would look like this:

Real Madrid -0.25

Barcelona +0.25

This line says the favored team (Real Madrid) is one-quarter of a goal better than the underdog (Barca). By betting a “quarter bet” you are minimizing your risk because it essentially means that you have two options not to lose your bet.

If you wager on Los Blancos at -0.25 and they win, you win your bet. But, if the game ends in a draw, it would be considered a “half lose” and you would get half of your original bet back.

Handicap 0.5

This type of stake means that one team is half a goal better than its opponent.

LA Galaxy -0.5

Toronto FC +0.5

These odds demonstrate that the favored team needs to win outright to cash your bet. But an underdog bet is considered a win if they prevail or draw.

Using the MLS example from above, LA Galaxy would need to win the match outright in order to be considered a Sportsbook for those who bet the favorite. However, since Toronto FC is being given a half-goal advantage, the payout for bettors would only occur in the case of an outright win or a draw.

Handicap 0.75

This is likely the most complicated type of Asian Handicap betting. Odds would look something like this:

Manchester United -0.75

Liverpool +0.75

If you were to bet on the favorite, Man United, and they win by two or more goals, your wager is a Sportsbook. Should Man U win by just one goal, you’d get 50 percent of your bet back while the other half would be deemed a Sportsbook. If the favorite was to lose or draw, then you’d lose your bet.

On the other side, the underdog Liverpool would have different outcomes for bettors. If the Reds were to draw or win outright, then you win your bet. Should they lose by one goal, you’d receive half your money back with the other half being deemed a loss. If Liverpool loses by two goals or more, your bet is a loss.

Handicap 1.0

This means that one team is a goal better than its opponent. Odds would appear like this:

Bayern Munich -1.0

Paris Saint-Germain +1.0

Those who bet on Bayern (the favorite) would need the team to win by two or more. If Die Bayern wins by one, it is a draw and your bet is refunded. If they lose outright, the bet is considered a loss.

Conversely, PSG bettors would only win their bet if the game ends in a victory for Les Parisiens. If the underdog team loses by two or more, your bet is a loss. A tie would see your bet refunded.

How Asian Handicap Works

Your Wager Full Win Partial Win Full Loss Partial Loss
-0.25 Win by 1 Or More   Lose By 1 Or More Draw
+0.25 Win By 1 Or More Draw Lose By 1 Or More  
-0.5 Win by 1 Or More   Lose By 1 Or More
Or Draw
+0.5 Win by 1 Or More
Or Draw
  Lose By 1 Or More  
-0.75 Win by 2 Or More Win By 1 Lose By 1 Or More
Or Draw
+0.75 Win by 1 Or More
Or Draw
  Lose By 2 Or More Lose By 1
-1.0 Win by 2 Or More   Lose By 1 Or More
Or Draw
+1.0 Win by 1 Or More
Or Draw
  Lose By 2 Or More  

Advantages To Asian Handicap Betting

Though it may seem confusing at first, Asian Handicap soccer betting is actually a great way to minimize risk. Instead of a typical bet that gives bettors a one-in-three chance to win, the Asian Handicap gives you a one-in-two chance to at least get some money back. Whether you’re betting on the Champions League or Liga MX, Handicap odds will be available at most soccer Sportsbooks.