Asian Handicap Betting Odds


The majority of World Cup bettors are used to dealing with decimal, fractional and moneyline odds. But there's another common type of odds used, and it's called the Asian handicap. Originating in Indonesia and spreading throughout Asia, these odds are quite popular with soccer (football) matches.

What makes the Asian handicap so intriguing is that it eliminates the possibility of a push. At the moment, this may not make sense because ties are common in World Cup pool play. So let's further explain this type of odds, starting with the basics.

Asian Handicap Basics

If you're familiar with spread betting, you know that the lines often use half-points when designating favorites and underdogs. Here's an example of what we're talking about:

Brazil  -.1.5
Chile   +1.5

In this match, Brazil must win by two goals or more for those who bet on them to also win. Chile must lose by one goal, tie, or win the match for a successful wager. But the problem here is that sportsbooks don't normally list World Cup betting lines like this because goals don't offer much flexibility.

In contrast, the Asian handicap allows for more flexibility through the use of quarter goals. When a line offers a quarter goal, one's bet is split between the next 1/4 interval on both sides of the quarter goal. For example, if you bet $100 on a 1 1/4 line, you are wagering $50 on a 1-goal line and $50 on a 1 1/2 line.

Rather than lines being expressed in terms of 1 1/4, many sportsbooks will list the Asian handicap in the form of two numbers - i.e. United States  +1.0, +1.5. So if you wagered $100 on this line, you'd be betting $50 on the US to win, draw or lose by less than 1 goal. You'd be wagering the other $50 on America to win, draw or lose by less than 1.5 goals.

Asian Handicap Examples


To better illustrate how an Asian handicap line works, let's say that you bet $200 on Germany in the following line:

Germany  -1.0, -.1.5
Ghana   +1.0, +1.5

If Germany goes on to win by two goals or more, you win both halves of your wager for a $200 profit. Now let's say that Germany wins by just one goal; in this case, one half of your bet ties while the other half loses. Assuming the game is a draw, you lose all $200. Now, let's check out one more example:

Germany  1.25
Ghana   -1.25

If you were to put $200 on Ghana and they lost by 1 goal, you'd win one half of your bet on the -1.5 portion. But the half of your bet that's on the -1.0 line would push. So you'd collect $100 in overall profit.

Factoring in the Juice

In the examples we've discussed, there is no juice taken out of the bets. But online sportsbooks don't just offer lines for free. They take 10% juice from the losing side as a fee for running the lines. So, in the case where you bet $200 on Ghana and won both halves, you'd actually receive $180 in profit. The reason why is because 10% comes out of the losing side's $200 before it reaches you.

Now that we've thoroughly covered the Asian handicap, you should have a good understanding of these odds when you see them offered. Many online sportsbooks that are based in Asia, or cater to this continent, offer the Asian handicap. However, don't be surprised to see these odds featured at sportsbooks in other areas of the world too.