Handicap betting explained

The Handicap System

Every Australian punter has come across the handicap system at some stage or another on their betting journey. It is a point system, also actually called the point spread system, which was designed by bookies in order to even out the odds of a sport in terms of betting. In most sports or races there is a clear favourite to win and a clear underdog. The handicap betting system encourages punters to place bets on both teams, which in turn enables the bookies and betting sites to carry on operating.

Point System

At its core, handicap betting is a points system. Take two teams in a rugby game for example. Team A is the favourite and is slated to beat Team B by a certain amount of points. The betting sites and bookies will then allocate a minus amount of points to Team A before the match even begins. To beat Team B on the books, Team A will now have to win by that amount of points. If they do not win by that amount of points or more, Team B has won on the bookie’s books, and the payout goes to those who bet on Team B. This is, of course, a very simplified version of how the bookies set the handicaps up.

Shopping For Odds

The odds on each game or race vary from site to site. Not every betting site or bookie will allocate the same handicap to a team, so it is well worth your while to shop around a bit and find the odds that you think are the best representative of the teams or participants. There are a number of odds comparison sites which take the brunt of the work out of shopping around, as they do just what they sound like, and compare odds from various sites. This allows you as a punter to go to one place, and be able to choose what you think are the best odds for your game.

No Draw In Handicap Betting

One of the things that the point spread system, or handicap betting, has taken out of the equation is a draw. When two teams play, there will always be a clear winner according to the handicap system. This ensures that no matter what happens there will be an outcome according to the bookies.

Handicap Betting Profits

It is important to note that often the profits in a successful handicap bet are higher than in a straight moneyline bet. This is because judging who will win has been made more difficult by the handicap system. The underdog and favourite have been brought closer together in terms of odds, and therefore the lines have blurred a little. With all bets, the harder it is to predict, the more profitable it will be.

Handicap League Betting

This is a form of handicap betting which spans an entire league, and a long period of time as opposed to a one day game or match. At the beginning of the season, each team is allocated a handicap. The best team is a scratch or a 0, and all the other teams get given a virtual head start over them with an amount of points before any games are played. At the end of the season the handicap scores are added to the actual points total. The team with the most points then wins the league in terms of handicapping.