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Handicap Bet in Basketball

Engaging in basketball betting brings its share of excitement, but the thrill reaches new heights when teams appear unevenly matched. This is precisely where handicaps step onto the court, serving as a clever tool to spice up the game.

They offer a unique way to bet, giving bettors a chance at better odds and strategic opportunities. In this guide, we'll simplify what Handicap in Basketball betting means.

The following guide will help you to understand it easily, so you can enhance your basketball betting strategy.

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What is Handicap Betting in Basketball?

In easy words, a handicap in basketball means giving a virtual advantage or disadvantage to a team in betting odds before the game even begins. It is represented by points and each of the teams has a “+” or a “-” sign before their name.

The “+” sign shows that the underdog team gets a lead while the “-” sign means that the favourite one faces a setback.

Why Use Handicaps?

Are you also confused as to why Handicap bets are used in the first place? Well, worry not, there are several reasons why many bettors use them to gain more profit.

Handicap bets, in general, serve two main purposes:

  • Balance the odds: When a clear favourite is facing a weaker opponent, the odds of the favourite winning are naturally much lower, making it less appealing to bet on. Handicaps bridge this gap by giving the underdog a virtual head start, making their victory more likely and offering better odds to you.
  • Create betting options: Handicaps introduce a new approach to strategy and excitement. Basketball Handicap betting allows players like you to give a fresh approach and understand the match in a new manner.

What Are the Different Types of Handicap Bets in Basketball?

Just like other games, Basketball also offers several types of Handicap bets. Though all of them follow the same primary benefit but are used in different situations and requirements.

Different types of Basketball Handicap bets are as follows:

  • Point Spread: This is the most common type, where the underdog is given a head start in points. For instance, if the Golden State Warriors are favoured against the Sacramento Kings by 10 points, a handicap of “+10” for the Kings means they begin the game with 10 imaginary points on the scoreboard. If the final score is Warriors 90, Kings 85, the Kings would “cover the spread” and win the handicap bet because their final score with the handicap (85 + 10) surpasses the Warriors' score.
  • Asian Handicap: This version offers more betting options with half-point increments. For example, a handicap of “+5.5” for the Kings means they need to win by at least 6 points or lose by 5 points or less to cover the spread. A tie results in a “push” and your bet is refunded.
  • Alternative Point Spreads: Bookmakers sometimes offer multiple point spreads with different odds, allowing you to choose the risk-reward balance that suits your preference. For example, you might find a Warriors -8.5 at slightly higher odds than a Warriors -7.5, giving you more flexibility in your betting strategy.
  • Quarter Handicaps: This type focuses on individual quarters instead of the entire game. You can bet on which team will win a specific quarter, taking into account the handicap assigned to each team for that quarter.

Tips For Success Handicap Bets

Just like other strategies in betting, Handicap betting also comes with its own set of risks and problems.

To overcome them and win more profits, there are certain things you need to keep in mind, such as:

  • Analyze form and matchups: Don't just rely on the handicap. Consider both teams' recent form, head-to-head record, and matchup dynamics before placing your bet.
  • Understand the odds: The odds reflect the bookmaker's assessment of the teams' chances of winning. Analyze the odds and compare them to your predictions to make informed decisions.
    Manage your risk: Don't chase losses or bet more than you can afford. Stick to a budget and manage your bankroll responsibly.
  • Start small and learn: If you're new to handicap betting, start with smaller bets and gradually increase your confidence and understanding as you gain experience.
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