In Soccer and all other competitive sports, there’s usually a difference in the quality of the two teams taking part. Whether this is real or simply perceived, the size of this dissimilarity depends on a range of influences, including financial backing, historical dominance, the home-field advantage, and player availability and injury.
When this contrast in teams; or players’ ability is significant, the odds on the favourite will be so infinitesimal that the rewards are minimal, so there’s no reason for people to stake on the outcome. You counter this, sportsbooks offer Handicap betting. In terms of Soccer, Handicap odds level the playing field by accounting for the distinction in the perceived strength of a team or player by literally applying an impediment to the goal, positive and negative, to each side.
This makes it possible for you to find more value when you’re backing the favourite in a traditional 1X2 wager, the most popular way to bet on Soccer. The Handicap is applied to the game’s outcome in terms of grading the stake and there are 3 different types you should know about before you start using this wager.
A Level Handicap comes into play when there is no perceived difference between 2 teams. This means that no bias is assigned, and both teams start the game with 0 goals. To win this bet, you’ll need to identify which team you think will score more goals than their opponent. While this Handicap is not relevant for one-sided meetups but it is useful because it eliminates the draw. If the match in a tie, all stakes will be refunded because neither team has any advantage in a 0 Handicap.
This Handicap is used when there is a perceived difference in ability between 2 teams. The supposedly superior squad will be given a goal handicap appropriate to them so that the playing field is levelled for wagering purposes. You’ll see -0.5 goals, -1 goal, -1.5 goals and so on.
If you’re betting on this team to win with a handicap of -1 goal, they need to do so by more than 1 goal. This will cover the Handicap so you can collect your return. If they win by just 1, the Handicap being applied renders the game a draw for staking purposes, so you’ll get your wager refunded. If the 2nd team draws or wins, however, you’ll forfeit the money you bet.
Split Handicaps are applied when the difference between the 2 teams’ abilities is small. It lets you split your stake over 2 Handicaps.
For example, Team A may be offered at (0 & -0.5). If you wager on them and they lose, you’ll forfeit both bets because they failed to cover either Handicap. But if the match ends in a draw, you’ll get half your stake refunded, because of 0 Handicap, and just the -0.5 wager will lose. If Team A wins, however, both Handicaps will be covered, so you’ll collect on both bets.