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Online Gambling Sites > Betting Guide > Betting Handicap Explained 2024: All You Need To Know About Handicap Betting

Betting Handicap Explained 2024: All You Need To Know About Handicap Betting

Publish Date:19/05/2023
Fact checked by: Heather Williams

As you become more familiar with your chosen sportsbook, you will notice there are many markets you might not have seen before. Among these are the betting handicap markets where savvy bettors can find value in games that you might have thought were not worth looking at.

To make the most of this often overlooked practice, you will need to learn why sportsbooks have handicap betting markets and discover what a betting handicapper is.

Betting handicap explained

Outside of the betting world, a handicap is seen as anything that impedes you. At the best betting sites, that principle is applied to betting markets. You have plenty of games in various sports where one team or individual has such a massive advantage that barring freak events, the result is all but a foregone conclusion.

Of course, you could bet upon other markets; for instance trying to predict the correct score, or under over markets for points scored, or many of the other factors in the game. However, there are also the handicap markets where sportsbook operators add a handicap factor to make it more interesting, and allow you to find value bets where you thought there weren’t any.

How do sportsbooks apply a betting handicap?

The easiest way to explain this is by using some examples. Imagine the Super Bowl champions were to play your local college football side; there is little doubt about who would win – so while it might be entertaining to watch, you wouldn’t get any sort of decent return from any wager that you put on. However, if the college team were to have a 40-point head start, that might make it a little more even.

That is what sportsbooks do in the handicap markets. Their oddsmakers look at the two teams, and the circumstances around the game and work out what they think the difference would be. They then ‘handicap’ the favorite by this amount to level the playing field a little.

So, in this case among the handicap market, you would see the Super Bowl champion with -40 under their name. This means that if you placed a wager on them in that market, you are wagering on them scoring at least 40 points more than the other team. This might look a lot like spread betting, and for all intents and purposes, it is the same, so anyone with experience in spread betting would take to handicap betting very easily.

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Placing a handicap bet - explained

Despite being a useful tool, especially for sports betting 1x2, handicap markets can be hard to find at US sportsbooks. You might find them by clicking on the event in question, and scrolling to the bottom of the available markets. Otherwise, you might find exactly what you are looking for in the spread betting markets which will be on the top betting lines with the moneyline bets.

What is a betting handicapper?

To fully understand handicap betting, you also need to know about betting handicappers. These are experienced bettors who examine the various sporting events and pinpoint wagers that they feel the sportsbooks may have got wrong when they were setting the odds. They are likely to specialize in one particular sport and tell others what they have discovered, usually for a small fee.

While a handicapper might seem just like what elsewhere would be referred to as a ‘tipster’, they are not trying to necessarily pick winners. They are looking for places where bettors can find value in the odds set by a sportsbook.

Conclusion

The world of handicap betting is an interesting one as it gives you more markets to explore when you want to place a bet on your favorite sport. The extra opportunities presented by handicap markets might appeal to you, or instead, you also have the option of following a betting handicapper, who gives you an insight into what they feel are the best bets to place. However, you need to remember that no matter how experienced a bettor is, winning is not guaranteed.

Now that you have had the principle of betting handicaps explained, you might be interested in exploring other markets too. If you look elsewhere on the site, you will find short informative online betting guides covering almost every aspect of sports betting, with plenty of information on casino wagering as well.

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Main keyword FAQ

💡What is a betting handicap?

As a sports bettor, you will often overlook certain games or matches because you know they are not worth betting on. However, a betting handicap can open up a whole new range of opportunities, so to find out what a betting handicap is and how it works, check out our short guide.

💭 Where can I find the best betting handicapper?

Betting handicappers can be found easily online, but picking the right one for you can be difficult. By reading our latest guide, you will see exactly what a betting handicapper does, so you can work out if using one will improve your betting experience. 

🎈 Is handicap betting a scam?

Handicap betting can make some events that weren’t worth betting on look far more attractive. For this reason, you might be worried it isn’t legit and the sportsbook is running some sort of scam. By reading our latest guide, you will be able to see exactly what handicap betting is, so you see for yourself whether or not it is legit.

💸What is the difference between handicap betting and spread betting?

Handicap betting is used by sportsbooks to make wagering on some events more appealing, but to some, it looks just like spread betting. To see if there is a difference check out our latest guide, which has all the information you need.

✨Is handicap betting available for all sports?

Sportsbooks cover a large number of markets over a wide range of sports, but handicap betting is not available for all of them. After checking out our latest guide, you will see how handicap betting works, and the types of sports where this might fit the best. 

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