Asian Handicap Betting in Football

Asian Handicap Betting in Football
Dan A.
by Dan Afteni
Bet Guide

Football is one of the world’s most popular betting sports, but while most football punters focus on the traditional match winner markets, there are other, potentially more profitable alternatives to consider, such as soccer handicap betting.

One of the main advantages of handicap betting is that it offers a viable sports betting option in events where one team’s chances of winning are very high. In such events the favourite will often be available at a very small price, which offers little incentive to bet on it. But by adding a handicap to the market, which in theory describes the difference in ability between the two teams, better odds can be offered for punters.

What does a handicap mean in betting?

In the case of football, a handicap effectively levels the playing field between the two teams. Football handicaps take the form of goals. A theoretical goals handicap will be applied to the two teams with the weaker team getting a head start and the favourite suffering a goals deduction. Bookmakers then offer odds on both teams ‘winning’ with the outcome of the market determined by adding the handicap to the final score.

Football Asian Handicap Betting on Jetbull

Handicaps are often known as Asian handicaps, because this form of betting on football was first popular in Asia, before catching on in the rest of the world. Jetbull will offer three main kinds of football handicap, although all have one thing in common: the draw is taken out of the equation.

  • Level handicaps are offered when the bookmaker believes there is no difference between the teams. Both teams start with a 0 goal handicap, and all bets are refunded if there is a draw.
  • In a whole handicap, the better team will be given a handicap of -0.5, -1, -1.5 or more. If you placed a bet on a team with a -1 handicap, they have to win by more than one goal for you to be a winner. In the event of a handicap draw, your bet is refunded.
  • A split handicap is effectively two bets on two different handicaps combined. For instance, when you bet on a team with a 0 & -0.5 handicap, if the match is a draw, half your stake (on the 0 handicap) will be refended while the other half is lost. But if your team wins the match, both parts of your handicap bet will win.

To illustrate how a handicap works, let’s take an example. If you wanted to bet on a match between Chelsea and Liverpool with Jetbull, you might be offered this handicap option:

Chelsea 0.5 Liverpool -0.5

If you bet on Chelsea you would be a winner should Chelsea win the game, or there is a draw, but you would lose your bet if Liverpool were victorious. In this case, the fractional numbers in the handicap means that it is impossible for this game to end as a handicap draw. In handicaps that use whole numbers, a handicap draw simply results in all bets being refunded, removing the need for punters to work out what price the draw should be.

Live Asian Handicap Betting

Live or in-play betting as it is sometimes called is increasingly popular with football punters and Jetbull offers customers the chance to bet live with Asian Handicaps.

When you bet live on an Asian Handicap, you are betting on what will happen during the rest of the match. This means that any goals scored previously in the game are not considered as part of your bet, which is settled purely on the number of goals scored subsequently.

For example, let’s say Chelsea are leading Liverpool 1-0 with half an hour to go, but you think Liverpool are going to fight back. You back them at -0.5 and they score with five minutes to go. Although the game has ended in a draw, you win your bet because the score in the time between making your bet and the final whistle was 1-0 to Liverpool.


In an increasingly competitive betting market, finding ways to profit from your football knowledge outside the high profile match winners markets is a great idea. Although the handicap markets can take a while to get used to as they involve thinking about football in a different way, it can help you get a different perspective on your football betting. By taking the draw out of the equation, handicap betting also makes it easier to weigh up the odds on a particular game. Taking the time to understand handicaps can definitely improve your online sports betting.