A number of global and local brands offer a full sports betting service to residents of India and this includes handicap betting. The most popular betting sports in India are football and cricket and both these sports provide scope for handicap betting. Bettors also place Asian handicap betting bets on football and cricket markets. So, here are the best betting sites in India for handicap betting markets, followed by our guide and FAQ.
Introduction to Handicap Betting
As part of this guide, here are the answers to the most common questions related to handicap betting in India. You’ll also find a more advanced FAQ at the bottom of this guide.
What is handicap betting?
Bookmakers compile betting odds for sporting events to attract bets on all options. The mathematics work in their favour and each betting market has a built-in profit margin. A bookmaker asked to quote odds for heads or tails from the toss of a coin would suggest 10/11 (1.91) for each outcome. As you know, the true odds are evens. But the variance is the bookies’ edge.
In some markets there is a strong favourite and weak underdog. For example, you could get a football match with the following odds for the result in 90 minutes:
- Home Team 1/10 (1.1)
- Draw 7/1 (8.0)
- Away team 25/1 (26.0)
Professionals and money buyers may stake ₹10,000 on the Home Team to win ₹1,000 but recreational players are not interested in that type of bet. Backing the draw or Away Team is having a bet for the sake of it and unpopular. Therefore, the bookmaker will find it difficult to balance the book. In cases like this, handicap betting comes into its own. Betting odds are amended so the outsider gets a virtual head start to level the playing field and attract bets on both teams to win and the draw. Then bookmakers adjust the line and odds in response to the weight of money.
What is handicap in betting?
The definition of handicap in betting is a head start given to the outsider to create a betting market which will attract bets on both outcomes. The best illustration of a binary betting market is the result of a toss of a coin, which can be heads or tails. In sport, a binary market is the winner of a match in the Indian Premier League for example.
The definition of handicap in betting is a virtual head start given to the underdog to offer more appealing odds.
There has to be a definite outcome if a match has a minimum number of overs for each side. The two possible results are a win for the Home Team or a win for the Away Team. Matches are generally even, but you could have a scenario in which there is a big favourite and outsider. So, a handicap would create a more balanced event and book.
The handicap meaning is an adjustment to match odds to equalise the probabilities. Asian handicaps are a derivation and eliminate the tie and quote quarter goals. Hence, Asian handicap betting provides more options and the probability of both outcomes is even.
How does handicap betting work?
Handicap betting creates balanced betting markets by applying a handicap to the favourite. In effect, a handicap is a head start for the outsider. Bookmakers issue match odds for a football match for example and then create a handicap. There is a direct relationship between the match odds and handicap. This relationship is consistent across leagues in different countries. So, handicaps for matches in the Premier League in England are the same for fixtures in Indian football. If the Home Team is 1/5 to win a match in either league, the equivalent handicap will be the same. Also, the calculation for the settlement of bets is also consistent across sports and leagues.
Example of handicap betting
The handicap meaning and definition of handicap are best explained with an example. The Indian Premier League is huge for betting and bookmakers offer odds on many markets. One popular bet is the number of wickets taken by two bowlers. This is a three-way market including the tie. So, here is a typical market for most wickets taken in a match:
- Ben Stokes 4/5 (1.8)
- Draw 7/2 (4.5)
- Mohammad Shami 5/2 (3.5)
In a handicap market, Shami would have a one wicket head start and the odds would be something like this:
- Ben Stokes minus 1 wicket 7/4 (2.75)
- Draw 7/4 (2.75)
- Mohammad Shami plus 1 wicket 7/4 (2.75)
The handicap creates an even book and there will be bets on all three options. Assuming both players take two wickets, Shami would be the winner on the handicap because he has a head start of one wicket. Consequently, Stokes would have to take two more wickets than Shami to be the handicap bet winner. However, If Stokes took one more wicket than Shami, the outcome is a handicap tie.
Bookmakers in India who offer handicap betting
Here are some of the best betting sites that offer handicap betting in India:
Spin Sports offers an online sportsbook that features betting markets in a wide range of categories including football and cricket. The site features handicap betting and Asian handicap betting for most sports. Bettors can place bets on handicaps and alternative handicaps. Mobile users can also place handicap bets on the full range of sports.
Royal Panda is an active bookmaker in India and offers customers a comprehensive sportsbook with a menu of about 30 sports. The operator offers handicap bets for desktop and mobile users for most of the betting sports. In particular, the site features handicaps and Asian handicaps for many leading football leagues around the world.
Zulabet has an outstanding sportsbook for customers in India featuring markets for the most popular betting sports and some of the more obscure. Handicap betting is an important part of the service, especially for football matches in many leagues. Bettors can also choose from Asian handicaps for major leagues in football and other sports.
The core produce with LeoVegas is a casino, but the operator has now launched a sportsbook. The site features all the most popular betting sports and the most bet on markets. There is a decent range of handicap betting opportunities and some matches include Asian handicap bets. These markets can be accessed on PC and mobile devices.
Handicap betting sports
Any sport with a simple scoring system is suitable for handicap betting. Team and individual sports matches are decided by goals or points and the team or player that scores the most goals or wins the most points is the winner. So, bookmakers can easily apply handicaps to most scoring systems. This applies to sports that are popular in India, betting sports in Europe and the four main professional sports in North America (football, hockey, baseball and basketball).
Any sport with a simple scoring system is suitable for handicap betting.
The three most bet on markets for most sports in any part of the world are match result, handicaps and totals. The terminology might be different but the bets are fundamentally the same. Three of the most popular sports for handicap betting with residents of India are as follows:
Cricket is the national sport of India and huge for betting. The Indian Premier League is one of the richest Twenty20 franchises in the world. It brings together the best limited overs players in the world on lucrative contracts. Bookmakers offer many betting markets for IPL matches, including handicaps. These bets are suited to head-to-heads between two batters and two bowlers. The winner is the player who scores most runs or takes most wickets. However, if there is a big favourite, bookmakers introduce cricket handicap betting to attract two-way business. Handicap betting is complemented by the best betting offers and many betting odds markets.
Football is the second most popular betting sport in India after cricket. The country does not have a strong domestic league or leading international team. However, there is huge interest in the main domestic leagues in Europe, including the Premier League in England. Hence, bookmakers offer handicaps, alternative handicaps and Asian handicaps on matches in the EFL. Sites feature handicap bets for the total number of goals, red and yellow cards and corners.
Another popular handicap betting in football market is each team’s points tally at the end of the season. The handicap relates to odds to win the Premier League. Liverpool start of Scratch and the other 19 clubs receive a varying number of points in this handicap football market. Football handicap betting is more popular than handicap betting on most other sports.
Betting on horse racing is legal in India and there are tracks in a number of states. Winning distances make for good handicap bets. Over the course of the season, bettors in India can bet on the number of winners for jockeys and trainers. Championships are won by having most winners and these markets allow for handicap betting. However, bettors in India not only bet on races in India but other parts of the world, such as the UK and Ireland. So, handicaps and Asian handicaps enhance the horse racing betting experience in India.