Once in a while in every sport, certain teams tend to enjoy a huge difference in strength compared to their opponents. When such teams play against each other (more often in cups or national team qualifiers) bookmakers will offer extremely low odds to the prospective winner, sometimes even lower than 1.10. This is where handicap betting becomes a necessity.
The most popular handicap betting is the asian handicap. Like we mentioned in our previous article, what it does, is that it not only counterpoises the two teams’ winning odds (with the stronger one having to surpass the handicap to be declared winner), but it also eliminates the possibility of a draw.
The European handicap is slightly different from its Asian counterpart. Although a handicap still exists in terms of a goal advantage on the weaker side, this time you can also predict the outcome of a supposed draw. The only difference is that a ΕΗ draw can only be achieved if the favorite matches the goal handicap.
It may sound a bit confusing, however its actually really simple to get the hang of. All you need to do, is understand how the European handicap can be used in order to make a one sided match, more interesting.
How does the European Handicap work?
European handicap is basically a 3-way bet, similar to a 1X2 match result bet. That is why it is also found as “Single handicap” or “3-way handicap”. In any match with a significant difference in strength between the two teams, a handicap is placed on the outsider, in order to make it harder for the favorite to win the bet. Although most bookies offer the European Handicap option, 1xbet has the best odds by far.
The difference with Asian handicap, is that the EH is always an integer number, meaning it can be matched with a goal difference. Instead of placing an Asian Handicap of -1,5 goals or -1,75 goals, the European handicap is always of a -1, -2, -3 etc. kind.
Let’s try the following example: The German National Football Team is playing at home against Andorra and have an almost 100% chance of winning the match. The 1X2 bet odds for a Germany win should not surpass 1.01. The European handicap favors underdogs Andorra with a number of goals (usually 3 or 4), that Germany has to overcome in order to be considered as the winner. This makes betting on this match far more interesting as it is harder to correctly predict the outcome of the match.
Regardless of the final result, if the European handicap stands at 3 goals, Germany is considered the winner only if they win by four goals or more. Respectively, whoever backs Andorra, will win the bet even if they lose with less than three goals. The match is considered a draw if Germany matches the EH handicap and wins by exactly 3 goals.
Best European handicap odds
European Handicap Structure
European handicap bets usually appear like this:
Team A -2
Team B +2
What does this mean? Let’s take a closer look:
Team A -2: If you back this option, you win when the team in question wins by three goals or more.
Draw -2: In this case you win if the match favorite wins by exactly two goals.
Team B +2: The last option favors the outsider of the match. You bet will be considered a winning one if your backed team either wins the match, gets a draw, or even loses by one goal.
How do you win a 3way “draw” bet?
Although a draw result is found in Asian handicap betting as well, it is completely different from the EH. When you place a wager on a -1 Asian Handicap bet, if the favorite wins by one goal, you’ll get your money back, as the bet is considered a “push”.
On the other hand, if you place a -1 European Handicap bet and your team wins by a single goal, then you will lose your bet. That is because in Euro handicap betting you can’t get your stake back. The only way you could have won that bet, would be if you had placed a “draw” bet, where you expected a one goal margin win by the favorite. This option does not exist in Asian Handicap, given that it’s a 2-way bet.
Finding better odds
The European handicap is offered as an alternative betting choice in an increasing number of matches, even among opponents who, theoretically, have the same chances of winning. In this case, the EH is not used to balance the strength difference, but to give more tempting odds to the prospected winner.
Let’s say a Barcelona-Real Madrid derby has been scheduled on a neutral venue. If there are no significant absences, the odds should be around the same for both teams. Online bookmakers will offer European handicap odds for this match, only this time, the odds overcoming the handicap are much higher. For example, if a Barcelona win is offered at 2.20 in a 1X2 bet type, in European Handicap -1 the odds for their win would be over 3.50.
In this case, European handicap is recommended when we are positive of a team’s win and would like to pick better odds, with a corresponding risk.
To bet or not to bet?
If you choose to bet on European Handicap odds, you should know that you are taking a much higher risk than in 1X2 betting. The truth is that EH odds are easily found, as they are available on almost every online bookmaker on the market (Asian Handicaps are not offered everywhere).
If your favorite style of play includes backing stronger teams to win, usually at home, you should definitely take a closer look at European handicap. You can earn a hefty profit, if you find matches where the home team is expected to win by more than one goal. The odds difference could be huge, as 1.25 odds on a favorite, could be replaced by 1.60-1.70 odds for the same team winning by two goals or more. This can definitely make a difference on your bankroll.
The disadvantages of this style of play are pretty much the same with Asian Handicap. In most cases you are placing a bet relying only on a team’s motivation, as a team might not push for a second goal if they think they have won the match.
Relying on motivation
In the Germany vs Andorra example mentioned above, a win by one or two goals would give Germany the three points they need. They would not gain anything if they won by more goals, which in term, brings the added risk of a favorite relaxing, especially on huge handicaps. There is nothing more frustrating than watching a strong team slow down their tempo and not push for another goal, as they’ve secured a win but unfortunately, not our bet.
You should also be more careful about odds estimations and defining the meaning of a “worthwhile bet”. European handicap odds are always better than simple 1X2 odds, making it extremely easy to get carried away instead of making a careful estimation.
European Handicaps in other sports
European handicap is found in other sports besides football, however the essence remains the same. In basketball, for example, a points handicap exists that includes a draw. In order to win a draw bet, the favorite must once again match the said handicap. We can also find it in tennis betting (games or even sets difference), on other team sports such as volleyball, handball and water polo or even individual sports such as darts and snooker. Some online bookmakers offer a European handicap option even in American sports, like baseball or American football.
Bet on the best bookmakers with European Handicap
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