Regardless of the esports you bet on, at some point you will come across handicap bets. They may appear daunting at first, but this guide will help you understand them and take advantage of them for your benefit.
You will find handicap bets in almost every esport title. The most popular being; CS:GO, Call of Duty, League of Legends, Dota 2 and Overwatch. They are a fantastic way to help make watching the game even more entertaining than it already is.
What is Handicap betting?
Handicap betting is a form of betting where your bet will either give an advantage to a team or remove it, making the game and the bet more even. This helps to make the game more interesting, despite there being a clear favourite.
The overall aim of handicap betting is to create a level playing when teams aren’t realistically on the same level. It is also known as a form of ”spread betting”.
Teams that are likely to lose will be given an advantage before the game starts, either in rounds or maps. Whereas the teams that are likely to win will be given a disadvantage, either in rounds or maps.
How does Asian handicap work?
Asian handicap is a form of betting that removes that tie result. With a standard bet, your chances of each outcome are 33%. Removing the tie means there are only two betting options left, so you will have a 50% chance of winning. Asian handicap bets will typically give the underdog in the matchup a benefit.
The underdog will start the game with a fraction of a round or map in their favour already. For example, if Team A is expected to lose against Team B, Team A may start with a +1.5 map count in a Best of 3 series. This means that Team A would only have to win 1 map to win the +1.5 bet.
Handicap examples & explanation
In Esports betting, an Asian handicap will typically revolve around round count or map count. The handicap bet will either give or take rounds/map from a team, this results in the odds being closer. It’s particularly helpful when a team is 100% expected to win.
You will either find a + rounds handicap or – rounds handicap. The number of rounds will vary, and the odds will change accordingly. Below there is an example of how this may appear with your esports bookmaker on a CS:GO round handicap.
Example: If we look at the -4.5 round handicap for Natus Vincere at 2.21 odds. This means that on the bet Natus Vincere technically starts -4.5 rounds behind. They have to win the map by at least 16-11 for you to win your bet. If they were to win 16-12, the -4.5 would then be applied and they actually lose 12-11.5.
(image source: GG.Bet)
A map handicap can prove incredibly useful in a series where a team is expected to pull off a clean win. Again, you will find a + map handicap and a – map handicap. This follows the same theory as the round handicap, however, is just focused purely on the map count. Below you can find an example from a CS:GO match.
Example: In this example, the match is a Best of 3 series. In this case, you will only find +1.5 or -1.5 handicaps. If we consider the -1.5 map handicap for MiBR, this means that they are required to win the series 2-0 in order for you to win your bet.
If it’s unlikely a team will win the series, but could potentially win a map, people will often place a bet on the +1.5 map handicap. This means even if they lose the series 2-1 in real life, the +1.5 from your bet will be applied and they, therefore, win 2.5-2.
(image source: GG.Bet)
Why use Handicap betting?
Handicap betting in esports is incredibly useful when there is an obvious winner or clear favourite in a match. If you want to bet on the favourite but want better odds, then you typically give them a – handicap.
- Removing the possibility of a tie increases your odds of winning
- If they are used in an accumulator, there are less possible outcomes which increase the chances of winning again.
- Depending on the type of handicap you place, you may still win even if the team you bet on lose the actual game.
- It can improve already favourable odds even further.
- They can be more difficult to understand at times, but if you follow this guide it should make more sense.
- Fixed odds will provide better odds when betting on an underdog compared to a handicap bet.
Overall, I find handicap bets incredibly useful and think they can become a positive asset if you use them correctly. As mentioned, when you’re getting started with them they may seem confusing, but after a couple of bets, it’ll be smooth and easy to understand the process.
If you keep an eye on our predictions page, many of our predictions are actually handicap bets. So if you’re still struggling to get a grasp on the Asian handicap, just follow our predictions and you’ll hopefully see success come your way.