In this article, I will explore the differences between Asian Handicap and European Handicap bets.
What Is Asian Handicap Betting?
Asian Handicap betting is a type of sports betting originating from Asia. It is designed to eliminate the possibility of a draw, which is a common outcome in sports like football, basketball, and rugby. In an Asian Handicap bet, a handicap is applied to the team that is considered the underdog, giving them a theoretical head start before the game even begins.
The handicap is expressed as a half or quarter number, such as -0.5 or +1.5, which means that the team with the negative handicap (-0.5) must win the game for the bet to be successful, while the team with the positive handicap (+1.5) can still win or lose by a single goal or point, and the bet would still be successful. This system creates only two possible outcomes for the bet.
What Is European Handicap Betting?
European Handicap betting originates from Europe and uses whole numbers for handicaps, allowing for the possibility of a draw. In a European Handicap bet, the handicap is applied to the team that is considered the favourite to win, with the underdog receiving a theoretical advantage in the form of a handicap.
For example, if a team is given a handicap of -2, they must win by at least three goals for the bet to be successful, while the opposing team must either win the game or else lose by a single goal for the bet to be successful. If the favourite team wins by exactly two goals, the result is a draw.
Therefore there are three possible outcomes to the European Handicap which bettors can select: Home win, Draw, or Away win.
What About Handicap Betting In The USA?
In the United States, no differentiation is made between whole number handicaps and those expressed as half or quarter numbers, and both are commonly referred to as the “point spread.”
Half-point increments allow US sportsbooks to avoid the possibility of a “push,” where the point spread falls exactly on a whole number and the bet is refunded. By offering half-point spreads, the sportsbook can ensure that there is always a clear winner and loser in each bet. For example, a football game might have a point spread of -3.5 or +7.5, rather than -3 or +7.
As highlighted, the key difference between Asian Handicap and European Handicap betting is the way the handicap is expressed. Asian Handicap uses half or quarter numbers, while European Handicap uses whole numbers. This means that Asian Handicap bets eliminate the possibility of a draw, while European Handicap bets allow for it.
Another difference is that Asian Handicap bets generally have a lower house edge than European Handicap bets. This means that Asian Handicap bets offer better value for money, as the bookmaker takes a smaller cut of the winnings.
Finally, in terms of strategy, Asian Handicap betting is generally favoured by professional gamblers, as it requires a greater understanding of the game and a more nuanced approach. European Handicap betting, on the other hand, is often favoured by casual bettors, as it is easier to understand and less complex.
Ultimately, the choice between the two handicap markets comes down to your personal preference and betting strategy.
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