What is an Asian Handicap? Asian Handicaps Explained

30 May 2022
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The purpose of this article is to look at Asian handicap betting, mainly on football matches. We examine Asian handicap odds and provide Asian handicap tips and explain how to place your bets at online bookmakers, including Betway which is one of the best betting sites in South Africa.

Asian Handicap Prediction

Last modified: 2022-07-03 19:52:54 UTC+ 0
Yield: -0.58%
Portuguesa RJ vs Perolas Negras
Serie D Grp. A7
03/07 20:00
Perolas Negras +1.75 (AH)
In this match between Portuguesa RJ and Perolas Negras I believe that this team, should it lose, the defeat could come by the narrowest of margins. I find this line quite interesting and I think these...
Yield: -0.95%
Viking vs Rosenborg
03/07 20:00
Rosenborg -0.25 (AH)
Viking are coming into this match with 3 losses, 1 win and 1 draw while Rosenborg are coming into this match with 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. The away team looks more stable and favorable here to win this...
Yield: -0.95%
Flandria vs Deportivo Moron
Primera Nacional
03/07 20:30
Deportivo Moron -0.25 (AH)
Flandria are coming into this match with 2 losses, 1 draw and 2 wins while Deportivo Moron are coming into this match with 3 draws, 1 win and 1 loss. Both teams are similar in form and I’m backing the...
Yield: -0.95%
Gimnasia y Tiro vs Racing de Cordoba
Federal A Zona B
03/07 21:00
Racing de Cordoba -0.25 (AH)
Gimnasia y Tiro are coming into this match with 4 wins and 1 loss while Racing de Córdoba are coming into this match with 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. Both teams are similar in form and I’m backing the...
Yield: -0.95%
Nacional Potosi vs Aurora
03/07 21:00
Nacional Potosi -1.00 (AH)
Nacional Potosí are coming into this match with 2 draws and 3 wins while Aurora are coming into this match with 3 losses, 1 draw and 1 win. The home team looks more stable and favorable here to win this...

Asian Handicap Meaning

Asian handicaps are mainly football bets. The traditional football match result after 90 minutes has three possible outcomes: Home Win, Draw, Away Win. Conventional handicap bets are popular and Asian handicaps work on the same basis. Teams are given a handicap on the basis of their league position, squad strength and current form. The Asian handicap meaning stipulates bets are linked to the match-winner betting and is not usually expressed in full goals.

The team that is superior must win by more goals than the handicap for a winning bet. The same rules apply to Asian handicap betting which originates from Indonesia, hence the name. 

Handicaps are also called spreads and Asian bets have a spread from one-quarter of a goal to several goals. The increments are in one-quarter or one-half goals which may seem complex but we provide a guide to calculation below.   

Due to Asian bets not being expressed in full goals, there is one less possible outcome than in conventional match betting. That means there are two options which both have about a 50% probability. Any bet must have an outcome so there can’t be a tie. Many bettors like to have definite results when they place a bet. Handicaps in general and Asian handicap betting, in particular, meet this demand for no-tie results.  

Asian Handicap Prediction

Asian Handicap Basics

The mechanics of Asian handicap betting are quite straightforward. The abiding principle is that compilers set the handicap so both teams in a football match have as close as a 50% chance of winning as possible. In effect, it becomes a toss of a coin because, in an even betting market, both outcomes are equally feasible, such as Heads or Tails.

The probabilities are approximately the same for both teams when you adjust the result with the spread. That means bookmakers offer slightly less than 2.0 (Evens) to accommodate a profit margin. A common market in even contests offers odds of 1.91 (10/11) so the payouts are close to even money but not quite. Less generous bookmakers offer 1.83 (5/6) but these should be avoided.

Asian handicap betting is more interesting than normal handicaps because of quarter goals. The variance from one quote to the next is 25% and bookmakers can set the handicap as accurately as possible. Regular handicaps are quoted in half goals which means it is more difficult to create an even market. So, the odds could be 1.8 (4/5) and 2.0 (Evens) and either team can be the handicap favourite.     

Asian Handicaps Examples

Here are examples of bets when the handicap is in half goals:

Liverpool vs. Manchester United Asian Handicap

  • Asian Handicap: Manchester United + 0.5.  

Final Score Examples:

  • Liverpool 0 Manchester United 1: Manchester United win 0 – 1.5 on the handicap.
  • Liverpool 1 Manchester United 1: Manchester United win 1 – 1.5 on the handicap.
  • Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0: Liverpool win 1 – 0.5 on the handicap
  • Liverpool 2 Manchester United 0: Liverpool win 2 – 0.5 on the handicap

The actual result is adjusted by adding 0.5 goals to Manchester United’s actual tally. They were the underdogs and the biggest price in the three-way match betting before the kick-off.

Here is another example of an Asian handicap bet for an international match:

South Africa vs. Brazil Asian Handicap

  • Asian Handicap: South Africa + 1.5.  

Final Score Examples:

  • South Africa 1 Brazil 0: South Africa win 2.5 – 0 on the handicap.
  • South Africa 1 Brazil 1: South Africa win 2.5 – 1 on the handicap.
  • South Africa 0 Brazil 1: South Africa win 1.5 – 1 on the handicap.
  • South Africa 0 Brazil 2: Brazil win 2 – 1.5 on the handicap.
  • South Africa 0 Brazil 3: Brazil win 3 – 1.5 on the handicap.
  • South Africa 0 Brazil 4: Brazil win 4 – 1.5 on the handicap.

Asian Handicap Calculation

In the South Africa vs. Brazil example, we add 1.5 goals to the number of goals scored by South Africa to calculate the handicap result. You would get the same outcomes if you reduced Brazil’s tally of goals by 1.5. However, the convention with bookmakers is to base their bet settlement on the outsider but in any case either adjustment produces the same handicap outcome.

You can place full goal Asian handicaps which can result in a draw. In some sports, dead-heat rules apply which means half the stake is lost and the bet is settled at the full odds for the other half of the stake. However, Asian handicaps are settled as a push. There is no winner so bettors are refunded the full stake which can be used for another bet.   

Also, bookmakers will offer Asian handicap betting in-running so you can place bets during live games. There is often the cash out option so you can take some control of the bets before the final outcome. You can cash out Asian handicap bets placed before the match or earlier in the match. The cash out value depends on the spread, odds and stake of the original bet and the current score.

Asian Handicap Tips

Here are several Asian handicap tips which can help you with your bets:

Match Odds

The match odds are the best indication of the relative ability of each team. However, you may believe the underdogs have been given a generous head start so you might see some value in the odds. You will have plenty of time to place Asian handicap bets with the current spread so you can take advantage of any good odds.

League Table

The league table shows which team has won more points and for and against goals. The positions are not always the best guide as one team may have played fewer matches and had stronger opponents. The table only takes shape after about 10 fixtures and it becomes clear the teams that will be fighting to be champions of facing the nightmare of relegation.

Injuries and Suspensions

The manager or Head Coach selects the starting 11 and substitutions. There may be injuries and suspensions to consider which will have an impact on the strength of each team and the match odds. The manager may also rest key players if there is a more important upcoming fixture in which the best players begin the match.   

Past Results and Statistics

There are many online sources of recent form, head to head results and goals records for each team. You can out work home and away scoring averages which can be a guide to the spread. You should look at past results from the last three seasons and form over the last five fixtures in league competitions.

How to Place an Asian Handicap Bet?

Here is a step by step guide to Asian handicap betting:

  1. Identify the match that you believe provides a good handicap bet.
  2. Examine the league table and match odds.
  3. Decide the bet on in terms of goals.
  4. So, if the handicap is  0.5 the underdog gets a one goal start.
  5. Compare the odds with a number of bookmakers.
  6. Decide on your stake.
  7. Place the bet.
  8. Adjust the actual result for the handicap to see if you have won or lost.

The favourite usually starts with a deficit of 1 to 4 goals. It is rare for a bookmaker to quote a line greater than 4.5 in league fixtures. For example, there are rarely massive favourites in fixtures in the English Premier League. You could get higher spreads for a Cup match when the favourites play in a much higher league than their opponents.

However, league matches are generally competitive for betting so Asian handicaps are usually from 0 to 2.5 goals. There are close international fixtures but also games in which there are big favourites. There are generally fewer goals in these matches and the spread will reflect scoring averages.   


Here are the answers to some common questions about Asian handicaps:

What is the difference between a handicap and Asian handicap?

A handicap expresses outcomes in half goals while Asian handicaps express outcomes in 0, one quarter, one half, three quarters and full goals. The market can better reflect the superiority of the favourite and produce two options that are close to 50-50 chances.

How does an Asian handicap work in soccer?

In soccer, the underdog gets a head start by a certain number of goals, depending on the disparity in the match odds. Bookmakers adjust by the spread to determine the handicap result.

What is alternative Asian handicap?

An alternative handicap will quote the number of goals in the spread when the match is very unevenly matched. The spread could be more than 1.5 goals which is the most common Asian handicap.

How does handicap work in Betway?

Betway quotes handicaps for football matches and other sports. You can navigate to your preferred match, click on the handicap odds, complete the Bet Slip and place the bet.