There are two main types of handicaps in football. The main one is the 1X2 handicap (sometimes called European Handicap) and the other increasingly popular one is the Asian Handicap.
The Asian Handicap is there to eliminate the draw essentially and produce two sets of results with odds of approximately even money. You can read more about Asian Handicaps here. With the 1X2 handicaps its there to give punters an extra way to bet on the result.
Lets go through an example with some real odds. The example will use a game between Newcastle and Blackpool in September 2010. Newcastle are at home. The 1X2 odds (or win-draw-win) are 1.57, 3.6 and 5.5 respectively. The 1X2 handicap odds are Newcastle (-1) 2.5, Blackpool (+1) 2.15 and the handicap draw is 4.0. On the Asian Handicap the odds are Newcastle (-1) 2.0 and Blackpool (+1) 1.8. Notice there is no handicap draw for the Asian Handicap.
The different in handicap odds can be explained by what happens when Newcastle win by exactly one goal, for example 2-1. In the case of the 1X2 handicap you lose whereas in the Asian Handicap you gets your money back. See the table below.
|Result/ Bet||Newcastle win 1X2||Draw 1X2||Blackpool win 1X2||Newcastle 1X2 Handicap||Handicap Draw||Blackpool 1X2 handicap||Newcastle Asian Handicap||Blackpool Asian Handicap|
|Blackpool Win||Lose bet||Lose bet||Win Bet||Lose bet||Lose bet||Win Bet||Lose bet||Win Bet|
|Draw||Lose bet||Win Bet||Lose bet||Lose bet||Lose Bet||Win Bet||Lose bet||Win Bet|
|Newcastle Win by exactly 1 goal||Win Bet||Lose bet||Lose bet||Lose bet||Win Bet||Lose bet||Push (money refunded)||Push (money refunded)|
|Newcastle win by 2 or more goals||Win Bet||Lose bet||Lose bet||Win Bet||Lose bet||Lose bet||Win Bet||Lose bet|
Handicaps are very straight forward once you get the hang of them. At KLSbetting, we prefer the Asian Handicap. The absence of the handicap draw makes it harder for the bookmaker to add a margin to the bet.
The 1X2 handicap is useful when you think that a team will win by exactly one goal. Sometimes there is value in backing mega favourites to draw on the 1X2 handicap. Many punters believe in such one side contests the favourite will win by several goals but there are many times when the favourite will win by just the single goal. When you are getting odds of 4.0+ for this, it makes it better value than betting on the straight win at say, 1.3.