For some reason, it seems that whenever the words “Asian” and “Handicap” are mentioned together, then many bettors and traders eyes immediately start to glaze over. Or else, they will profess to understand them and make assurances that they are fully comfortable with them – but then proceed to completely ignore them and never use them.

This is somewhat surprising because often-times there can be more value to be had using an Asian Handicap bet compared to your run-of-the-mill standard bet that we’re all so used to and comfortable with. Also, and perhaps more importantly, Asian bets have the potential to open-up new and different hedging possibilities that can lead to greater profits for all you traders out there, so they really shouldn’t be ignored as they tend to be.

How many people, for example, have you heard discussing a Draw No Bet but never once mentioning AH+0? You’ve probably listened to someone in the last day or so declare that they were going lay some team or another, but I’d be surprised if they also weighed-up if the odds were better on AH+0.5 for the other team.

If you’re not familiar with Asian bets, then you yourself may be muttering under your breath at this point, asking what the hell I’m banging on about – but I would ask you to bear with me. Of course if you fully  understand Asian bets, then by all means quietly pass me (and this post) by and we’ll say not more about it, but if you’re not overly-familiar with Asian bets or tend to swerve them, then perhaps you should spend then next couple of minutes reading. It may just be worth your while.

The Basics:
As the name implies, Asian Handicap betting incorporates a handicap system to adjust each team’s final scoreline, adding or subtracting a handicap value to determine a winner/loser. The idea behind all this is to remove the draw from the equation, leaving only two possible outcomes For example, if Man Utd are playing at home against Reading, then you may see something like this:

  • Man Utd -2.0: Odds of 1.85
  • Reading +2.0: Odds of 2.15

Do bear in mind that I have just made these odds up as an illustration. So if you back Reading at odds of 2.15 and Man Utd go on to win the match 2-0, then that means a win by two goals but then subtract their handicap of -2 goals, resulting in the match ending in a draw as far as the Asian Handicap system is concerned. Under such a situation, your full stake would be returned and the bet considered void. If Man Utd only win by one goal, then you have won your bet.

Actual Result:           Asian Result:

    0-0                  -2 - 0 (Reading win. You win)
    1-0                  -1 - 0 (Reading win. You win)
    2-0                   0 - 0 (Draw. Stake returned)
    3-0                   1 - 0 (Man Utd win. You lose)

Okay, so that’s a basic example, but now I’ll try and provide some practical, day-to-day uses for Asian Handicap bets so that you might start incorporating them into your usual weaponry of tactics.

Draw No Bet:
Forgive me if I start with the most obvious Asian Handicap bet first. But if you like a DNB now and then, it would definitely be to your advantage to also look at an Asian Handicap +/-0 bet also. If Liverpool are playing Arsenal and you see Arsenal +0, then that’s exactly the same as Draw No Bet on Arsenal. This is an Asian bet but there is no handicap applied to either team, and as there is no draw result in an Asian bet, it then becomes a DNB. This is always worth looking at across all the bookies you have accounts with, as you could well better the DNB price found on Betfair. SBOBet are good for this, as are the might Pinnacle and 188.

Lay a team
Instead of laying teamA because you think they won’t win the match, why not consider striking a +0.5 bet on teamB? This positive handicap on teamB means that if teamA don’t win the match (by at least a one goal advantage), then you will win your bet. A draw scoreline of 0-0, 1-1, etc plus the half-goal given to your team by the handicap means your team wins the match.

Back a team
This of course is the opposite of above. We back teamA for -0.5, meaning we think they will win the match. If they do win the match 2-1, then we take -0.5 away from their scoreline, leaving us with a 1.5-1 scoreline. Our team wins and thus so does out bet.

You may be sighing heavily at this point, so I'll leave it here for the moment. In the next post, I'll deal with more interesting ideas such as: If teamA win by at least 1 goal…”, or perhaps “if teamB only manage to lose by 2 goals…”. This opens-up more possibilities and more flexibility. I'll also delve into the dark waters of split Asians, which do seem to intimidate some people.


Just one quick answer to a comment:

Neil Daley18 February 2013 20:19
I've also been experimenting with MySql and PHP. Works great once you get it going. Have you managed to automate the process of getting data from straight into you database or do you download it first?

I haven't attempted to automate retrieving the data (yet) as I need to insert it into an Excel sheet first so that I can amalgamate that data with the score time data that I hold. I can then insert a fully-enriched data set into my database.

I'm really getting to grips with it all now and am well down the road to having what I want. Working-out how to code-up all my algorithms in SQL and/or PHP will take some work but I'm well on track.