What is the handicap in basketball betting and how does it work?

Home » What is the handicap in basketball betting and how does it work?

The handicap in basketball betting can transform your odds of winning and improve your odds. Read on to learn about one of the most important terms in online basketball betting:

Handicap is an anglicism that in Spanish means “disadvantage”, being a value that is commonly applied in sports betting, having a special presence in the world of basketball.

When we apply the handicap to a team in question, a series of extra points are attributed to that team, which can be positive or negative. Because it now has these extra points, its odds of winning vary, and therefore so do its odds.

The ultimate purpose of the handicap in sports betting is to balance the odds of success in a bet with the amount that can be won.

How can I identify a handicapped bet?

These types of bets are very easy to identify, as next to the team name there is a “+” or “-” value followed by a number. This indicates whether the handicap is positive or negative.

Example of a handicap:

Imagine you want to bet on F.C. Barcelona Basketball, and they have a handicap of +4.5. Well, if at the end of the game they score 90 points, for the purposes of your handicap bet it will be as if they had scored 94.5 (the 90 points scored plus the 4.5 handicaps). This type of bet increases your odds of winning.

When the handicap is negative, exactly the same thing happens in reverse. For example, imagine the same scenario where you want to bet on F.C. Barcelona Basketball, but this time the team is given a handicap of -5.5 points. If at the end of the game they have scored 90 points, the 5.5 points must be subtracted from the handicap, so for the purposes of your bet, it will be as if they had scored 84.5 points (90 real points, -5.5 handicap). This type of bets is made in order to improve the odds.

Why is the handicap applied to sports betting?

Its main objective is to improve the odds of winning or the odds of a sporting event, always looking for a better balance.

This can also be better understood with an example:

Let’s imagine that the best team in the NBA plays a game against one of the worst scorers, for example, Miami Heat against Orlando Magic, the odds of Miami Heat winning could be 1.05 (very low), however, if we apply a handicap of -10, it would no longer be enough for Miami Heat to win but should do so by a value greater than those 10 points.

When the handicap is applied, the odds change because they even out, and could go up to 1.60, resulting in a bet that would be much more worthwhile than the 1.05 odds.

This is also the case in matches with very even odds, for example between Barcelona and Real Madrid, where the odds tend to be practically the same, let’s put 1.90 on it. If, for example, we bet on Barcelona with a handicap of +3.5, we would win the bet even if Madrid won by 3. What we do with this strategy is to “hedge” against the possibility of a very close score, in exchange for reducing the odds.

How to place handicap Basketball bets

Placing handicap bets is just as easy as placing conventional bets. To do so, all you have to do is access the basketball section of each bookmaker, and once inside, you will be able to check the priority nature of this type of bet, since in most cases we will see that the handicap appears next to the team, since, as we have already mentioned above, handicap bets on basketball are very common.

Some bookmakers also allow you to easily search for other handicap bets by entering the match in question and you will usually find a tab usually called “alternative handicap” which shows other bets available for the same sporting event.

Basketball betting handicap types

Generally, the types of handicap bets in this sport are those that affect the team’s total score, i.e. their total points scored.

However, there are other types of handicap bets that do not affect the final score but only act on one period of the game. For example, there are handicap bets on the winner of the second half, which work in exactly the same way, but only take into consideration the points scored in the second half (or in the period indicated in each case). Another very common option is betting with a handicap on the winner of a quarter.

Are handicap bets worthwhile?

Handicap betting is very practical in the general betting world and is a must if you want to bet on basketball on a consistent basis.

A few tips

The most important thing is to assess whether you are facing a game that really requires a handicap, i.e. if the odds are so low that it would not be worth it without it, or if it is a sporting event where we have so many doubts that we need to increase our probability of victory.

On the other hand, greed also breaks the sack in bookmakers, a very high handicap may seem succulent at first, but it can also cause a bet that seems simple at first, to end up being unsuccessful.

Also, we can find ourselves in games where one of the teams has a high probability of scoring a lot of points, for example, if the opposing defense is weak, in these cases, there are usually large differences between the scores of both teams.

As you can see, there are a number of variants that we must take into account when applying the handicap or not. Knowing the tips for betting like a pro will help you to better master all these techniques and, above all, remember: practice makes perfect.

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