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Exploring Handicap 1 in sports betting

It is not always quite profitable to bet on a favorite of the competition, since bookmakers often offer ridiculously low odds for such an outcome. And this is where a handicap bet comes along to increase price quotations. Soon afterwards appears a handicap on an outsider, and to sort it all out, just get a glimpse at all the information on Handicap 1 we’ve gathered for you here. 

Handicap 1 in sports betting

Before we get into detail, let’s see what handicap is in general. Handicap is the numerical advantage of one of the teams, which is added or subtracted from the final result. A handicap bet will be settled including the stated handicap, and the success of the handicap won’t necessarily mean the actual win of the team. Most often, outcomes with handicap can be found in football, hockey and basketball matches.

Handicap 1 means a bet on a first team (the host team). It can be either positive or negative. Bookmakers commonly abbreviate it as H1 (+1), H1 (-1), H1 (+2), H1 (-2), etc. Let's find out how they work. Let's find out how they work.

H1(-1): bet on a favorite

H1(-1) is a bet on the victory of the host team with a handicap of ‘-1’ (meaning goals in reference to football). The number after the name of the bet (H or Handicap) indicates the team, and the number in brackets is the number of handicap points. So in fact, the game starts with the score ‘-1: 0’ instead of ‘0:0’.

In most cases, gamblers use H1 (-1) exclusively when they bet on a win of a favorite. Indeed, by wagering on the front-runner with negative handicap, you can significantly increase the odd, but a possibility of making a profit will slightly decrease.

H -1 is just formally considered to be a bet on the favorite, because a deal on this outcome can be made with any team. It doesn't matter if the first team is the favorite or the underdog, the gambler always has the opportunity to succeed with the specified handicap. Another thing is when betting H1 (-1) on the outsider, the odds get pretty high, and the chance of succeeding tends to zero.

Handicap

Get ready for the following outcomes when betting H1 (-1):

1. Bet win: The first team wins with a difference in 2 or more goals.

2. Bet voided: The host team wins with a difference of exactly 1 goal.

3. Bet loss: The match ends in a draw or a victory of the second team.

H (+1): bet on an outsider

H1 (+1) is a bet on the host team win with handicap of ‘+1’. In this case, the match formally starts with ‘1:0’.

In most cases, this wager is made on games where teams are equal and it’s difficult to determine the favorite. It’s a kind of a safety net for a gambler. If the selected team fails in 1 point, nothing terrible will happen (bet gets voided).

H1 (+1) possible outcomes:

1. Bet win: The first team wins or the match ends in a draw.

2. Bet voided: The host team loses with a difference of exactly 1 goal.

3. Bet loss: The second team wins with a difference in 2 or more goals.

Football application example

H1 is basically used in football since this sport perfectly goes with this strategy. Football matches often end in a draw or a win of one of the teams with just one goal. And this is exactly the situation where handicap bets are applied. Of course, you can score the absolute win of one of the teams, but then the chances of succeeding significantly reduce. Having second thoughts? Let's take a look at some real-life examples:

Example #1: H1 (+1)

Let's take the group stage match of the European Championship 2020 between Finland and Russia. Russia is the obvious favorite, and no mind-blowing performance is expected though. Potential price quotations: 

Handicap

Win of Finland - 5.45; Draw - 3.8; Win of Russia - 1.74

Finland is able to confront its stronger opponent. And this is where 1.69 on H1 (+1) comes handy. Taking into account the possible outcome, the odds are rather fair and may lead to: 

  1. The win of Russia with a difference of 2 or more goals - bet loss.
  2. The win of Russia with a difference of 1 goal – bet voided.
  3. Tied score or the win of Finland – bet win.

As you can see, H (+1) gives us a lot of scenarios if we want to bet against a clear favorite.

Example #2: H1(-1)

For the second example, we will also take the group stage match of EURO 2020, but now the first team will be obviously stronger - England vs Scotland. The British should beat the Scots easily, of course, if no unexpected circumstances arose. Potential price quotations: 

Handicap

Win of England - 1.4; Draw - 5.1; Win of Russia - 8.9

Betting 1.4 on a clean victory of England is hardly acceptable for a single bet. With a bet on H1 (-1), the odds rise to 1.58 - quite a substantial odds difference with virtually the same stake, which may ultimately entail the following outcomes: 

  1. England wins with a difference of 2 or more goals - bet win.
  1. England wins with a difference of 1 goal – bet voided.
  2. Tied score or Scotland wins – bet loss.

As you can see, the risk of losing money remains at the same level as when betting on a solid win of England, but the difference in prices is much more tangible. The only downside is that the wager would get voided if the first team wins with a difference of exactly 1 goal.

Placing a bet correctly

One should follow certain rules drawn from the experience when wagering on handicap bets. However, it is necessary to determine the favorite and the outsider of the game in advance in order to understand which of the handicaps is better to choose. So what guideline should we stick to?

Requirements for betting on Handicap 1 (-1)

  • host team has won over 60-70% of home games this season;
  • host team win is estimated at 1.4 or less;
  • home win is the only option; 
  • several important players from the opposing team are out of the game;
  • opponents had much less time to rest.

Requirements for betting on H1 (+1)

  • only a few home games of the season were lost (with a difference of 2 or more points);
  • host team concede on average less than 1.5 goals per home game for the season;
  • sportsbooks estimate H1 (+1) at 1.4 and more;
  • the guest team has won no more than 60-70% of all away matches of the season.

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