Handicap 0: meaning in sports betting
If you are new to betting, then it is very likely that at some point you can be very confused by the load of information. While things are clear and straightforward with bets on the outcome and on totals, they usually get more complicated with handicaps. It might take some time to understand the term handicap. In its generic sense, a handicap is an attempt to predict the score difference in a game. But just as this now seems easy to understand, another term appears – “zero handicap”.
You should by no means ignore zero handicaps. They are quite popular bets, as they allow you to protect yourself to some extent and receive your money back if a match ends in a draw. In a zero handicap there are only two betting options possible – H1(0) and H2(0). So, it is not going to be difficult to understand it.
The advantage of a zero handicap is that if a specific team wins no matter the score, it is a winning bet, while if the match ends in a draw, then the money is returned to the bettor – unlike regular handicaps which are lost when a match ends in a draw. Consider that you bet on a zero handicap on Juventus in the Italian Championship match with Milan. There are three possible scenarios in this case:
- Juventus wins (no matter the score) and you get your winnings based on the odds;
- The match ends in a draw and the bookmaker returns to you the amount you bet;
- Juventus loses and your bet is lost.
The disadvantage of a zero handicap, on the other hand, is that it is generally offered at lower odds than regular bets on the victory of a team. However, fans of betting justifiably name zero handicap ‘insurance’, because a zero handicap allows you to at least have your money returned to you in case of a draw.
A zero handicap bet can be placed on one or the other team. So, when the opponents of a game are equivalent and pretty much at the same level, meaning that it is quite difficult to unambiguously predict the winner, then a zero handicap gives you the chance to play it safe and protect yourself. In this case it is worth looking at the statistics to find implicit advantages of teams and then bet with zero handicap. You will have yourself at least protected in case everything goes not as predicted. If there is a clear favorite in a match, then a zero handicap is not a wise option as it will offer rather low odds.
Let’s see an example. In the Italian Championship game between Inter and Milan, a fan believes that Inter has better chances to win and so he places a bet on “F1(0)” – a zero handicap on Inter. The match ends in a 3-3 draw, and as there is no winner, the bettor receives his money back.