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European Handicap in Basketball

European Handicap in Basketball

Basketball stands as one of the most popular sports in the world. And as such, most bookies offer European Handicap on it. Here the bookmaker discerns the weaker and the stronger team and adds points to the former. Consequently, the favourite team faces more challenges in winning due to the points that it is handicapped with.

Theoretically, European Handicap ensures a balance in the chances of winning.

How does European Handicap work in Basketball?

European Handicap involves adding a certain number of points to the weaker team to give them a starting advantage. These fictitious points will be added to the outcome at the end of the game. European Handicap is a 3-way bet market, so bettors can bet on a win, draw or loss. The handicapped result will be resolved into any of the stated outcomes.

Example of a European Handicap Bet in Basketball

Let’s take a game between Team A and Team B to enforce European Handicap betting further. Say Team A is the favourite, and the bookmaker puts European Handicap of – 3 points on them.

If the team wins by 3 points, the game is considered a draw. If a bettor backs the favourite or the underdog, the bet is lost in this case. The only way to win from the above scenario is when you bet on a Draw. From this example, it’s clear that the European Handicap rules revolve around the handicapped result.  

What happens when a Draw Occurs? 

Still with the above scenario, staking on a draw would take the form of ‘Draw (+3).’ The bet is won if the favourite team wins by 3 points or the underdog loses by 3 points. 

The winning draw option is only available in European Handicap. With the Asian Handicap variant, only two outcomes are possible, so in the event of a draw, the stake is refunded. 

Alternatives to European Handicap 

There are several alternatives to European Handicap as far as Basketball is concerned. The Asian Handicap is the most popular one with just 2-way betting. In this case, bettors can go for a half-point handicap. 

There is also the Over/Under totals market. Here you can stake on the final score of the match. Bettors can also bet on Over/Under for each quarter or half. Players can also bet on individuals. For instance, bettors can stake LeBron James scoring over 30.5 points in an LA Lakers game. This market also applies to assists, rebounds, and blocks. 

When to stake on the Favourite or Underdog

The aim of adding points to the underdog is to level the playing field as much as possible. So with European Handicap, the odds on both sides are closer. Now the question is, which team do you bet on? 

If the favourite is a very offensive side with great players that can score buckets of points, you can stake on them. 

Also, in the case where the underdog boasts of great players and a knack for creating offsets, punters can stake on them. Either way, Basketball, being a team sport, all the factors have to be considered.


European Handicap is the go-to betting market in a match between two teams that are far apart in terms of quality. The European Handicap table is able to create more equality in the odds for such fixtures. It also offers great betting options that every basketball enthusiast would be interested in.

Stephen Olayanju
Professional casino content writer with 5 years of experience. He has been privileged to work with many popular casino brands, which are mostly ghostwritten. He’s a casino player and punter too, and has helped many players to get most out of gambling.
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