What is an Asian Handicap value bet?

By:
Sam Hayes
05/17/2023
Blog
What is an Asian Handicap value bet?

Sports betting parlance can be particularly overwhelming, particularly for rookie punters and anybody who has placed any sort of sports bet will have seen the term ‘Asian Handicap’ on a bookmakers’ betting site.

However, there are plenty of punters who may not be too familiar with the concept of Asian Handicap betting and how effective it can be, if used properly.

Here is a comprehensive guide to Asian Handicap value betting:

What is an Asian Handicap?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the name of the Asian Handicap is simply because it is a betting strategy that originated in Asia, and it has since gone on to gain popularity around the world.

Many sports betting sites offer Asian Handicap options for bettors looking to diversify their wagering strategies. Betting strategies all have their pros and cons and whilst some are more applicable than others to certain players, the concept of Asian handicap betting is unique in that it tries to level the playing field between two teams or players by giving one side a handicap.

Subsequently, this means that the stronger team or player is handicapped, and the weaker team or player is given an advantage. The purpose of the handicap is to make the game more interesting and to increase the chances of winning for both sides.

One of the USP’s for Asian handicap betting is also its adaptability. It can be moulded to suit the scoring system in pretty much any sport and as a result, it is used in low scoring sports such as football and ice hockey, all the way through to high numerical sports such as cricket and basketball.

How does Asian Handicap value betting work?

The concept of value betting is a betting strategy that involves finding bets with a positive expected value. In other words, value betting involves identifying situations where the odds of winning are in the punter’s favour and placing bets on those situations accordingly. Value betting works on the premise that the player identifies bets where the odds are greater than they should be and therefore takes advantage of those odds by placing a bet.

In the world of Asian handicap betting, using value betting effectively is a pillar on which the whole strategy is built upon. As mentioned, Asian handicap betting levels the playing field by setting a pre-arranged handicap on one of the participants involved in the game – meaning that the odds served up at the start of the event are significantly closer than in more traditional forms of betting.

As a result, if a punter can successfully eek out an outcome that not many people are anticipating and they back it through an Asian handicap value bet, they will receive a bigger pay out than they would do just for backing the outcome ‘normally’.

Asian Handicap Bet – Working Example

The complexity of an Asian Handicap bet is best explained with a working example.

If Manchester City were playing Arsenal and Manchester City were the favourites to win the match in the ‘win’ market, they may be placed with an Asian Handicap.

This would look like this: Manchester City -1.5.

Working back to the premise of levelling the playing field, this means that Manchester City are starting the game with a 1.5-goal handicap, which means that they need to win by two goals or more for the bet to be successful.

So, should City win the match but only by one goal, for example by a 2-1 scoreline, then the bet would be lost, as they have still lost the game – according to the pre-arranged handicap. However, if City were to win the game by two goals or more, then the bet would land.

This betting style also works in reverse, as in this particular fixture Arsenal would be given a 1.5-goal head start, meaning that if they that lose by only one goal, the bet is still successful, as it is if Arsenal were to win or draw the game.

How to use Asian Handicap value betting effectively?

As with any betting strategy, being in tune with the possible outcomes in any given fixture and being opportunistic is key when Asian Handicap value betting. Punters need to work hard to identify situations where the odds are greater than they should be, and they need to look for situations where the handicap is not properly reflecting the true strength of the teams or players involved.

Being successful when Asian Handicap betting relies on finding discrepancies between the odds being offered in the result market and seeking out niche bets within the score.

Working to the previous example, Manchester City may be the heavy favourites to beat Arsenal as they are playing at home. Yet, if they have some injuries to key players or another big fixture coming up, they may prioritise sneaking over the line, rather than looking to put their opponents to the sword, therefore backing Arsenal with a pre-ordained handicap could be profitable.

Asian Handicap Value Betting

The unique and flexible nature of Asian Handicap value betting makes it a hugely attractive proposition for punters, as it levels the playing field in any given fixture.

As with any betting approach, plenty of research and prior knowledge is needed but handicapping one team in a betting market can shift the odds heavily in favour of the punter, regardless of their betting aspirations and it is a very useful tool for all levels of bettor.