What Does ‘Handicap’ Mean in Betting?


Handicap is a betting option that gives one team a virtual lead over the other to even the playing field. The handicap is usually expressed as a certain number of points or goals, and the team with the handicap must overcome the deficit in order to win the bet. In other words, the team with the handicap is considered to be the “underdog,” and the other team is assumed to be the “favorite.” Handicap betting is a popular way to even out the odds in a match, and it can be used to increase the chances of a bettor winning big.

Although spread betting can be considered as something similar, handicap betting allows the bettor to be in control of the size of the handicap and potentially earn a bigger payout.

The spread is designed to find a balancing point between both teams where either outcome is possible, handicap betting can open up different options.

For example, a game may see a heavy favorite with moneyline odds of -700 and a spread of 9.5 points. The bettor could opt for a handicap bet where the amount of points given is greater than 9.5. With each extra point given, the odds will increase and this is why it can be popular where bettors believe a large blowout is likely.