What does handicap mean in basketball betting

A handicap in the bookmaker’s sense is a type of bet that implies the creation of a special advantage (or, on the contrary, a lag) of one team from another. A handicap in football is determined by goals scored, in tennis – by games played, in hockey battles – by goals scored, etc. To determine if your bet has won, you simply need to add or subtract the handicap value from the final result of the game.

In this short article, we will analyze the use of the handicap in basketball betting. When we touch on this concept, we traditionally mean the handicap of the team that is considered the favorite of the game. The team that is considered the underdog receives a slight marginal advantage.

Thus, a certain handicap is created, equalizing the chances of teams in the eyes of the player. The favorite has a more difficult task, because to win he needs to overcome the established handicap, and this is not always possible.

What does the use of a handicap give?

Why give these odds to an outsider at all, why not just assess the chances of the teams and set the appropriate quotes? Such questions, logically, come to the mind of anyone who first encounters this concept.

The explanation is quite simple: the use of a handicap allows you to apply more balanced odds per game, which means making betting more attractive in terms of possible profit. If the handicap were not taken into account at all, the quotes for the victory of a clear favorite would simply be negligible and would not be able to interest the audience in significant coverage.

How does the classic basketball handicap work?

All markets available for money betting are also open for handicap bets. For example, a handicap with a value of 2.5 will make it possible for the bet to work if, at the end of the game, the score between the teams differs by 3 points or more. Sometimes bookmakers accept bets on a draw, taking into account the handicap. In this case, the handicap will be calculated in whole numbers.

Consider an illustrative example of calculating a bet with a handicap in basketball

According to the conditions, the favorite must win, taking into account the handicap set at 3 points. If the game ends, for example, with a score of 78:75 in his favor, the outcome of the bet will be a draw, i.e. 78: 78 (75 + 3).

Winning a handicap bet on a tie is rarely counted and only in European basketball. Asian bookmakers prefer in this case to simply cancel the bet and return the money to the players.

By accepting a bet with a handicap, the bookmaker gives the favorite of the game a conditional advantage. In basketball, this method usually adds a certain number of points in favor of the weak side. At the end of the game, these conditional points will be added to the real result on the scoreboard, and the final score will be calculated taking them into account.

Basketball handicap bets are accepted on three possible outcomes:

  • the victory of one of the teams;
  • draw result;
  • loss of the favorite or outsider of the game.

As one of the possible options, you can use the handicap on the favorite, thereby supporting the weaker team. You create additional conditions for the victory of the team, which is considered to be stronger in the upcoming match.

Otherwise, you can bet with a handicap on a weaker opponent. For example, the handicap value will be 4.5 balls. If the losing team is defeated with a score, for example, 81: 78 (the difference is only 3 goals), then the loss under the terms of the bet will not be counted. And you will receive your well-deserved cash prize.

A draw, which can be subject to handicap betting in European basketball, is also settled with a handicap.

What are the alternatives for handicap betting

If you do not want to bet money on the outcome of basketball matches with a handicap in favor of one of the teams, just turn your attention to something else. For example, on bets like “total” over / under. In this case, bettors’ forecasts are accepted both for the final result, for half of the game, and each quarter of the meeting.

In addition to teams, even individual players can participate in over/under bets. For example, you can bet your money on the fact that LeBron James will score over 32.5 points in the next game of the Los Angeles Lakers.