Betting GuideDealsProfitable TipsDaily PicksCalculators
VA
Best Sportsbooks US / Betting Guide / Betting Handicap Explained
Contains commercial content

Betting Handicap Explained

Publish Date:30/03/2022

Betting Handicapper

Looking to become a betting handicapper? Then you’ll need to read our guide to see what betting handicap means and discover why points spread betting is such an important tool for betting on sport!

We’ve found that handicap betting or points spread betting offers you a great way of getting more flexibility with the sports bets. After all, it allows you to shift the odds and spreads around to get better value or even more wins when backing your favorite team. Confused? Don’t be as our guide below simply explains what betting handicap is all about!

What does betting handicap mean?

Handicap betting, also known as points spread betting, ultimately means turning an imbalanced sporting encounter into an even money event. It’s a kind of sports bet that can give you better odds when backing a favorite or a better chance of success when betting on the underdog.

The basic term handicap betting refers to the fact that one team will be put at a handicap while the other team will be given an advantage. This handicap or advantage will be implemented in the form of points, goals or any other unit that is used to score a sporting encounter.

So in handicap betting, a favorite would be given a points disadvantage. This would make it harder for that team to score enough points for you to win the bet, but you would benefit from longer odds and spreads if they managed to succeed.

Conversely, the underdog would be put at a points advantage. Here the underdog wouldn’t have to score as many points in the game for you to win your bet. You wouldn’t get as much of a return due to the shorter odds and spreads. But you would benefit from the fact that you might actually win your bet. Add some expert knowledge and advice on when to hedge a bet, and you’ve got yourself a multi-layered betting strategy that can work in your favor.

Example of a betting handicap on the favorite

Handicap betting is probably best explained with an example. So let’s imagine that you’re on one of your favorite sports betting apps, and there was an NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets. Based on past form, the Chiefs went into the game as the clear favorites with the Jets given only a slender chance of winning.

This meant that the money line odds and spreads for a Chiefs win were -300 and the odds for a Jets win were +300. While the Chiefs position as being the favorites would mean that you’d be more likely to win your bets, the returns you’d make when betting on the money line would be negligible.

So here, you could try a points spread bet that would put the Chiefs at a 7.5 point disadvantage. This would mean that, if the game ended as a Chiefs win at 23-20, you’d lose your bet. However, if the Chiefs managed to win the game by 28-20, you’d win your bet. It would be a tougher bet to win, but the fact that you had made it harder for yourself, would mean that the odds would be longer and your returns would be better.

How a good betting handicapper will bet on the underdog

So let’s have a look at the other side of the equation. Above, we noted that the Jets were the underdogs and a sportsbook was offering you -300 money line odds for the Jets to win. While the returns from these long odds and spreads looked great, you realized that there was little chance of the Jets getting a shock win against the impressive Chiefs.

This is where you could try a points spread bet. Here the Jets would get a +7.5 points advantage. As a result, the game could end up as a Chiefs win by 27-20, and you’d still win your bet. It would take the Chiefs to beat the Jets by eight or more points for you’d lose your bet.

Such a bet has the clear advantage of giving you more wins if your favorite team isn’t that great, and knowledge like this comes in handy when you’re using betting deals and promos. However, it comes at the cost of having shorter odds and spreads which will give you fewer returns when trying points spread betting on the underdog.

The best sportsbooks for April

Bet365
1.
Favicon
4.7/5
First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Bet now
At bet365 we don't do ordinary, that's why if you sign up now you'll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
BetMGM
2.
Favicon
4.7/5
Up To $1500 in Bonus Bets Paid Back if your First Bet Does Not Win
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
PayNearMe
PayPal
Bank Transfer
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Bet now
T&Cs apply, 21+
FanDuel
3.
Favicon
4.6/5
Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets if your bet wins
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Prepaid Card
PayNearMe
PayPal
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Bet now
T&Cs apply, 21+
Caesars
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
100% up to $1000
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
E-Check
PayNearMe
PayPal
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Bet now
T&Cs apply, 21+
DraftKings
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
PayPal
VIP Preferred
Play+
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Bet now
T&Cs apply, 21+

Why you should consider being a betting handicapper

There are so many positives to giving points spread betting a try, but here are the key reasons why you should try handicap betting a try:

Better odds for the favorites - Betting on favorites is fun because you’re usually winning your bets, but the returns can be lame, especially if you’re banking on good wins like when you’re using sportsbook promotions. So with points spread betting you can bet on the favorites and still get a decent return should they win.

More wins on the underdogs - Betting on underdogs can be a joyless experience. After all, those endless losing bets can make you wonder why you bet on sport in the first place. But once you try points spread betting on the outsider, you’ll eventually get some wins. Sure the returns might not be as impressive, but at least you’ll get a return that is better than the big nothing that you’d get from a losing bet.

More interesting betting options - We love points spread betting as it simply makes betting on sport a lot more interesting. There is nothing wrong with just sticking with basic money line bets, but we like being able to adjust the betting lines to either put the winning odds more in our favor or try and chase after the longer odds instead.

Remember to try handicap betting at a trusted sportsbook by looking at a  sportsbook review

or two on our site; it will provide a lot of insight as to where you’ll want to place your bets.

What sports can you try a points spread bet on?

The good news is that you can try a points spread on pretty much any sport where there are points involved. This means that you can put down a points spread bet on an NFL game just as easily as you would in a big NBA match-up. Points spread bets will also work wonderfully with any MLB game, and just so you know, points spread betting is also applicable to goals scored in the NHL.

Elsewhere you could try handicap betting in terms of goals scored in MLS soccer, or even try a kind of points spread bet on anything from tennis to rugby. You might even find some sportsbooks that will let you try handicap betting on racing events like NASCAR racing, Formula One and so on.

Awesome tips from an expert betting handicapper

We’re not just going to tell you what points spread betting is and leave it there. Here are some cool tips to try when betting on the spread:

Try live spread betting: Don’t like the spread bets on offer before the big game begins? Then see what your favorite sportsbook is offering in terms of live spread bets. It can take a bit of skill to get right, but live handicap betting can be an even better way to get more from your bets.

Try the same-game parlay: Why not include a points spread bet in the same game parlay? You could do it alongside selections for things like player props, totals and so on. Just remember to play with small stakes as parlay betting is very hard to get right. Thankfully you don’t need massive stakes to make impressive returns from this type of sports bet!

Things to be careful of when points spread betting

While handicap betting can be a lot of fun, it’s not a betting option that should be tried by everyone. Here are some simple reasons why you may want to give point spread betting a miss:

Not for casual bettors: If you’ve never bet on sport before, you probably shouldn’t start with points spread betting. This is because you need to have a decent understanding of how the relevant teams play in order to figure how much of an advantage or disadvantage to give to each team. As such, it might be a better idea to start off with basic money line bets and work your way up from there.

Potential to limit your enjoyment: While handicap betting is fun, it could put a dampener on your enjoyment of certain sporting events. Let’s imagine that you’d backed your favorite team, the Browns, to win their first-ever Super Bowl and they managed to win it with a tight 23-20 win over the Bears. However, you’d put down a spread bet that had put the Browns at a -7.5 point disadvantage. Sure, you’d be happy that the Browns won, but the fact that you lost your bet would take some of the shine off the victory.

The best sportsbooks for handicap betting

The great news is that pretty much every decent online sportsbook will have lots of spread bets available for each sporting encounter. This means that you can go to a betting site and know that you’ll get the flexibility you need to get better odds, more wins or somewhere in between. So be sure to sign up to one of the top online sportsbooks to experience the best in handicap betting!

Conclusion - Getting started as a betting handicapper

Once you’ve read this guide to betting handicap, you’ll understand that this is a supremely powerful kind of sports bet. This is because it doesn’t matter who’s playing as you’ll easily be able to balance out the playing field to give yourself a chance of getting better odds or a better chance of winning.

What’s best is that sportsbooks are starting to offer even more fun ways to bet on the spread. From live handicap betting to spread betting on sporting innovations like UFC and even esports, it seems like things are looking up for the average betting handicapper. There are so many ways to bet, and apart from a guide to handicap betting, you can also read about betting 1x2 explained on our platform. So keep it here to learn all of the latest ways in which you can take your point spread bets up a level!

The latest offers to boost your bets

Bet365
1.
Favicon
4.7/5
First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Bonus, Min. Deposit: $10
Go to Bet365
Get bonus now
At bet365 we don't do ordinary, that's why if you sign up now you'll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
BetMGM
2.
Favicon
4.7/5
Up To $1500 in Bonus Bets Paid Back if your First Bet Does Not Win
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Min. Deposit: $10
Go to BetMGM
Get bonus now
T&Cs apply, 21+
FanDuel
3.
Favicon
4.6/5
Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets if your bet wins
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Deposit, Min. Deposit: $10
Go to FanDuel
Get bonus now
T&Cs apply, 21+
Caesars
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
100% up to $1000
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Deposit
Copy
Get bonus now
T&Cs apply, 21+
DraftKings
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Deposit
Get bonus now
T&Cs apply, 21+

Betting handicap FAQ

💪What are some good handicap betting tips?

Make sure that you read our guide to get some great tips for when you try betting handicap. We’ll examine all of the different ways in which you should research each of the competitors so that you know exactly how much to handicap on both the favorites and the underdogs. All of which should mean that you’ll get a superior way to try this advanced sports bet.

🔮How should I make a handicap betting prediction?

Check out our guide that shows you what an expert betting handicapper will do in order to form a solid prediction. This will help you understand how experienced bettors analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each team. Plus we’ll even outline some of the more common rookie mistakes so that you don’t do the same when you next try handicap betting.

🏈Where can I get handicap explained for football betting?

Read our guide to see what it means to try betting handicap on football. We’ll walk you through the basic theory of handicap betting and then illustrate this with a few handy examples from the NFL. All of which means that you’ll be perfectly prepared to enjoy handicap betting on any football game. Perfect for taking your NFL bets up a level!

❓What is the handicap meaning for betting?

Be sure to read our guide to see what betting handicap really means. While there are plenty of guides out there that attempt to explain this type of sports bet, we have found that they can be confusing. So we have made sure that our guide gives you the information you need in clear and concise terms. All of which will help you understand what handicap betting means.

👀Where can I get sports handicappers free picks?

We’ve got an expert betting handicapper right here who has written a special guide that’s packed with picks for this unique kind of sports bet. This means that you can read the guide and get expert insight into how to make your handicap betting predictions. Obviously there is always a margin of error when it comes to sports betting, but we think that our guide will definitely help you out!

Read Also
What Does Plus and Minus Mean in Betting? Explained by Betting Experts!
Ever wondered in betting what does plus & minus mean? You’re not ...
1x2 Betting Explained: What Does 1x2 Mean in Betting?
Need to have 1x2 betting explained? You’re definitely in the right place. ...
Bet365 Promo
Betting Under & Over Explained
Did you know that you don’t always have to bet on the ...
Sports Betting Spread Explained
What is the spread in sports betting? If you’ve never seen it ...
What are Betting Lines?
Looking to have betting lines explained? You’re in the right place! Join ...
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
4.7/5
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
4.7/5
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
4.6/5
Caesars
Caesars
Caesars Review
4.5/5
DraftKings
DraftKings
DraftKings Review
4.5/5
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
T&Cs apply
4.7/5
At bet365 we don't do ordinary, that's why if you sign up now you'll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
Up To $1500 in Bonus Bets Paid Back if your First Bet Does Not Win
T&Cs apply
4.7/5
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets if your bet wins
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Caesars
Caesars Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
BetFanatics
BetFanatics Bonus
Bet $100, Get $100 in Bonus Bets Every Day for 10 Days!
T&Cs apply
4.5/5

Make $2,600 Monthly Profits with Sports Betting

  • bullet-checkmarkDaily picks from betting experts on odds boosts and casino promos
  • bullet-checkmarkAn average of 25% ROI, with a total of $4,900+ profit in October
PromoGuy logo

Go Pro! Claim An Exclusive $5 Off PromoGuy Plus Discord

Sign Up Now!
Subscribe to our picks by email so you never miss out on a single bet!

21+ and present in VA. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

Close
Our Sports Pros recommend these awesome sports betting sites this week:
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Play now