Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

What is an asian handicap bet in football? How does it work?

Asian handicaps are used primarily when wagering on soccer. While you might find something similar in NFL betting, it is categorized differently/

Asian Handicaps effectively give the underdog an advantage. The betting lines remove the “draw” option for bettors and provide more compelling odds for dogs.

In typical soccer betting, you need to select either team to win the game outright on the money line or the draw (1×2 betting). That gives you three options.

  • Home team wins
  • Away team wins
  • Draw

Asian Handicap gives the bettor a goal spread (similar to point spreads found in the NFL/NBA). The favorite must win the game by a set amount (i.e 1 goal, 2 goals). The underdog doesn’t necessarily have to win the game they just need to cover the spread for your bet to win.

A unique feature of asian handicaps is that you will often be presented with two point spreads and you split your stake 50/50. For example, if you see the Asian handicap listed as -0.5, 1, half your bet is placed on each betting line.

A recent example of a -1.5, -2 Asian Handicap bet came in the UEFA Champions League round of 16. Juventus hosted Atletico Madrid. In this example, a wager on the Juventus on asian handicap line (-1.5, 2) at +110 would have been a winner as they won the match 3-0. Had it ended 2-0 half the bet would grade as a win, the other half as a push (stake returned to bettor).

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