Asian Handicap in Soccer Betting: What Do .25 and .75 on the Spread Mean?

Asian Handicap in Soccer Betting: What Do .25 and .75 on the Spread Mean? article feature image
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Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

The Asian handicap is a type of spread betting in soccer very similar to the run line in baseball or puck line in hockey. It’s really just soccer’s name for spread betting, which is a bet on the margin of victory.

The key difference is that it introduces fractions of goals like .25 and .75 to the spread.

When you bet a team at a number like +1.25, you’re actually splitting your bet between two spreads — +1 and +1.5 in this case. If your team loses 1-0, you’ll push“>push on the +1 and win the +1.5. If your team draws 0-0, you win both bets.

If you bet a team at -1.75 and it wins 2-0, you win the -1.5 portion of the bet and push the -2. If it wins 3-0, you win both bets.

Let’s dive into some more specific examples.

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So, What Do .25 and .75 Mean on the Asian Handicap?

American sports bettors are used to whole or half numbers with point spreads — -3 or +7.5 in a football game.

Fractional spreads on the Asian handicap work the same, but they split your bet between the two closest half numbers. It’s just an easier way to denote that you want your bet split between two spreads.

Let’s say Italy wins 1-0 over Turkey in the opening match of Euro 2020, and use three different Asian handicap bets to show how it works.

One bettor bets $20 on Turkey +1.25, which DraftKings listed at odds of -141.

Again, you’re splitting that $20 into two $10 bets, both at -141 odds (though sportsbooks only make you place the one bet).

So what will your payout look like if Turkey loses 1-0? You push the bet at +1 and win the +1.5.

  • Bet: $20 on Turkey +1.25 (-141)
  • Result: Italy 1, Turkey 0
  • Total Profit: $7.10
Bet 1 Bet 2
Spread +1 +1.5
Bet Amount $10 $10
Result Push Win
Payout $10 $17.10
Profit $0 $7.10

How about if you bet Italy -1.25 at +117? That means the bet is split between -1 and -1.5. Italy needs to win by two goals for both halves of the bet to cash. But with a 1-0 win, you pushed one bet and lost the other.

  • Bet: Italy -1.25 (+117)
  • Result: Italy 1, Turkey 0
  • Total Profit: -$10
Bet 1 Bet 2
Spread -1 -1.5
Bet Amount $10 $10
Result Push Loss
Total Payout $10 $0
Profit $0 -$10

Is It the Same for Totals?

Yep, you can bet fractional spreads for totals, too. Let’s use a $20 bet on under 1.75 at +165 as an example.

  • Bet: $20 on Italy-Turkey under 1.75 (+165)
  • Result: Italy 1, Turkey 0
  • Total Profit: $33
Bet 1 Bet 2
Total 1.5 2
Bet Amount $10 $10
Result Win Win
Total Payout $26.5 $26.5
Profit +$16.5 +$16.5

Is the Asian Handicap a Good Bet?

Like everything in sports betting, the probability of each outcome is factored into the price. Some other articles on the Asian handicap will tell you it “reduces the variance” because soccer is so low scoring, which may be true, but you’re always going to pay for that reduced variance, or whatever other supposed advantage you’re getting with a different bet type.

The fractional spreads are a great option for some people who like the security of potentially winning one bet and pushing another, or losing one and pushing the other.

But you’re of course going to get a better price if you don’t take the security — Italy is +143 at -1.5 against Turkey, and +108 at -1.25.

It’s not inherently advantageous to bet fractional spreads like +1.25 or -1.75 instead of +1 or -2. The prices are always factored in.

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