Handicaps with different indicators in the rates signify either a specific advantage or a specific disadvantage that a match should end with. There are varying degrees of popularity for different handicaps, but it is safe to argue that handicap 1.5 enjoys great demand in football. Let’s see why this is so.
Handicap bets are used when the odds of the favorite team to win are very low. So, betting on handicap either reduces the risk of losing or increases it, but the odds are moving accordingly. As already explained in previous articles, the handicap can be positive or negative. In a positive handicap, a specific number of goals is added to a team in advance, whereas in a negative handicap, a specific number of goals is subtracted by a team in advance. So, a bet with a handicap implies not just that one team wins, but also that this win is with a certain difference in score.
This bet is suitable in cases where a match has an obvious favorite and thus the offered odds for its victory are negligible – less than 1.3. If you are confident that the game will end with a victory of the team by at least two goals, then you can bet on handicap (-1.5) to obtain a greater win.
Let’s see an example. In the English Super Cup match between Manchester City and Leicester, Manchester City is the clear favorite and so the odds offered by bookmakers are low. In fact the odds for City’s victory are 1.54, while for Leicester’s victory 6.22. Three out of the four previous games between the two ended in Manchester City’s victory and in two of them there were two goals of difference. The odds for City’s victory with a handicap (-1.5) are certainly more attractive at 2.36.
How is the outcome calculated? Let’s say that Manchester City wins by 5-3. Now, we need to subtract 1.5 from the total of Manchester City’s goals (this 1.5 is the numeric indicator of the handicap). So, we get a score of 3.5-3. In this score, City continues to have the advantage and while in real life it is not possible to score 3.5 goals in a match, in the betting world this bet has won and with much more favorable odds.
Now if you are confident that an outsider will play strong, give their best and accomplish either a draw or a minimal defeat against an obvious favorite, you should consider the positive handicap bet on this outsider.
How does it work? Let’s say that a fan bets on Leicester to win with a handicap (+1.5). The indicator of 1.5 is going to be added to the total number of goals scored by the team. If the game ends with a minimum victory of Manchester City (1-0), adding 1.5, we get 1-1.5 which is in favor of Leicester. The bet is won despite the fact that Leicester was defeated by City and the odds were much higher than they would have been if the bet was placed on the victory of Manchester City.
Handicap is common in other sports as well besides football. However, the handicap indicator (+/- 1.5) is much more useful and relevant to football, where a considerably large number of matches end with a difference of one or two goals in the score.
So, in sum, it is clear that betting on a handicap has to do with either a certain advantage or a certain disadvantage. The sign of 1.5 in the handicap bet itself indicates the math to be done: a “Handicap (-1.5) means that we subtract 1.5 from the number of total goals scored by the team, while a “Handicap (+1.5) means that we add 1.5.
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