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What is a Three-Way handicap in hockey and NHL betting?
A three-way handicap, also referred to in betting circles as an Asian handicap, sounds like a complicated process, but in fact, it is quite an easy concept to grasp once you understand the finer points of how the wager works.
The three-way handicap’s purpose is that it is designed to create an option where you are presented with an equal chance of winning even if you opt to bet on the underdog, the squad that is considered by the bookmakers to be the weaker of the two teams and therefore, less likely to win.
The wager takes into account the goal difference in a specific game. It is predicated on offering a positive handicap to the weaker team in order to balance the scales of competition.
Three-way Handicap betting explained
Let’s explain the concept via a specific example of the three-way handicap put into practice. You’ve got an NHL game between the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Minnesota is in the midst of a grinding seven-game road trip and has lost three in a row. The Blue Jackets are home and rested, not having seen game action for two days. The Wild have a couple of key players injured, while Columbus is completely healthy.
It’s obvious going into this game that the Wild are the weaker team, so a three-way handicap betting line on this game might look something like this: Minnesota Wild (+1), draw (home +1), Columbus Blue Jackets (-1).
In this instance, the Wild have been gifted a goal by the bookmakers to start the game, so if you bet the Wild, you will already be up 1-0 at the opening faceoff. Should you get the favored Blue Jackets, you will be giving away a goal and, in essence, are starting the game already trailing 1-0 on the scoreboard. Were you to wager on the draw outcome, Columbus is given an extra goal on this wager, so if you bet the draw and the
Blue Jackets win by a goal, that’s also a winner for you due to the plus-one goal handicap attached to Columbus.
The bonus with the three-way handicap wager is that if you bet on the team with the negative number, you only lose your bet if the favored team wins by two goals or more. And bettors who opt for the positive number get the added bonus of cashing a winning ticket if the score is tied after 60 minutes of play.