How to bet on handicaps in football
Published: August 16, 2022
 How to bet on handicaps in football

If you’re a punter looking for something different from the regular odds betting, you should look into handicap bets. Millions of punters exploit handicap bets as handicaps are fun and also come with a potentially higher ROI than the regular odds bet.


This article gives a deep insight into what handicaps are in football and how you can leverage them to maximize your winnings. It also covers handicap betting tips, how to bet handicaps in football, and what to avoid when placing your bet. For more expert ht/ft tips, match predictions, and betting tips, visit Takebet.


What is a handicap bet?

A handicap bet is a kind of bet where the weaker team is given an advantage in terms of goals so as to level the playing ground. Likewise, the stronger team is given a goal disadvantage. In this case, the evidently stronger team has to overcome the already set deficit to win you the bet.


When two teams face each other, it is more likely for the stronger team to always beat the weaker team, hence making the outcome very predictable and repetitive. Handicap betting was introduced to spice things up for punters in this area. It makes punters level up their game and take more interesting bets. Asian handicap is a type of handicap and is calculated just like the normal handicap bet.


For instance, If Liverpool and Wolves were to play a game of football, it is more likely for Liverpool to beat Wolves every time which would mean lesser odds on Liverpool as a particular outcome(win) is expected more often.


But what if Wolves is fighting for a place in the Europa League spot? Is Wolves expected to go all in to try to grab a win that favors them in the race for European Competition? IS Liverpool still expected to beat them by fine margins? This is where handicap betting comes in handy.


Since Wolves have a UEFA Europa League spot in sight, it is highly logical they put in more effort to win their game against Liverpool. Here, you can give Wolves the handicap advantage and Liverpool the disadvantage.


How to place a handicap bet on football?

To place your handicap bets, visit the website of your preferred bookmaker, log in to your account, or register a new one if you do not have an existing account on the platform. You may then navigate to the handicap bets section to explore your options and place your bets.


But first, let’s take a look at a few scenarios to help you understand how handicap bets work better:


Scenario 1:  Liverpool(-0.5) vs Wolves(0.5)

This is a half-handicap scenario wherein a draw is impossible. In this scenario, a 0.5 handicap means Wolves has half a goal headstart in the game against Liverpool. Likewise, Liverpool has a -0.5 handicap which is half a goal deficit.


If you bet on Liverpool and they emerge winners, you also win your bet. If they lose or draw the match, you will lose your bet. When favoring Wolves on your bet and they win the match or salvage a draw, you end up winning the bet.


Scenario 2: Liverpool(-1.5) vs Wolves(1.5)

This scenario is a bit tricky but is nothing you can’t understand. Since Liverpool are the clear favorites, they are given a one-and-a-half goal deficit. If you bet on Liverpool, they must win the game by at least two goals.


However, if your money is on Wolves, they need to win, draw or concede a single goal in the match. If this happens, you win your bet.


Scenario 3: Liverpool(-2.0) vs Wolves(2.0)

This is a whole handicap scenario which means a draw is possible. As you already know by now, this handicap scenario means Wolves head into the fixture with a two-goal advantage. If your money is on Liverpool, they are required to win the game against Wolves by at least 3 goals. This means the initial two-goal handicap deficit added to the three goals scored will result in a net positive goal difference.


Likewise, if your money is on Wolves, you win if and only if Wolves do not lose the game by more than a goal. That is if the game ends 3-2 to Liverpool, you win your bet. Also, if Liverpool wins the game by exactly two goals or Wolves lose the game by exactly two goals, your initial stake will be reimbursed.


Basically, the idea behind handicap betting is that whichever team you are betting on should have at least a net plus one goal difference when added to the initial handicap.


Top points to consider when doing handicap bets on football

Now that I’ve been able to establish how handicap bets work, here are a few points to consider whenever you want to engage in handicap bets.


  • Always consider the handicap scenarios. If you’re not an expert and you are likely to forget how handicap bets correctly work, make sure you refer back to this article to juggle your memory anytime you want to place your bets.
  • Also, I advise using a reputable bookmaker to avoid your bets being manipulated. You do not want to be caught in an event where the organizer manipulates the bet which results in you losing your stake wrongfully.


Do’s and don'ts when doing a handicap bet on football

A good punter has solid knowledge of whatever concept to be staked on. Ensure that you have a full understanding of handicaps and how it works. This will help you manage your risks and maximize your winnings from handicap bets.


Here are a few do’s and don’t to keep in mind when placing a handicap bet:


Manage your risks: Since handicap can prove to be highly profitable in games, a strategy to minimize your risk should always be in place. For instance, in a case where the two teams playing are balanced, you may want to avoid handicap bets as the pendulum could easily swing either way.


  1. Do Research: A  lot of people place bets purely based on their convictions without any research. While this may hit a few times, it is more likely not to. Check the performance of the teams over the last few matches, check the form of the player, the head-to-head stats, and trends. This helps you to reach a more logical judgment.
  2. Don’t get addicted: You do not always have to play handicap bets, try out your hand on other bets especiall when you're having a tough run.



In this article, I’ve been able to establish how handicap bets work with suitable examples. Handicaps are fun if you know how to play your way around them.


Remember to always do research about the teams you’re looking to bet on. Also, ensure that you check multiple bookmakers to compare the handicaps.


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