# What Does Handicap Draw Mean in Soccer Betting?

When you place a bet on soccer, you’re mostly interested in two things, the outcome of the game and how the game will play out. In terms of the outcome, you want to put your money on the team that you think will win. As for how the game will play out, you want to bet on the handicap. Let’s take a closer look at what these terms mean and what you need to know in order to place a winning wager on soccer games.

## What Is The Handicap?

The handicap is the difference between the total number of goals that a team will score and the same team’s average number of goals per game in the previous three seasons. This number is then multiplied by two, taking into account the away goals rule when a team is playing at home and when the match is postponed due to weather or security concerns. Teams are categorized as either underdogs or favorites based on whether they are ranked lower or higher than the opposite team in the previous season’s final tables. For example, Manchester United would be categorized as an underdog because they were 10th in the rankings last year. In a similar fashion, Barcelona would be categorized as a favorite because they were second in the UEFA rankings last year. More on those rankings in a bit.

According to Uni Bet, the average score in a UEFA Champions League game is 6.05 goals per match. When taken into account the away goals rule, this rises to 6.52 goals per game. This means that if you back the team to score less than 6.52 goals per game, you’re backing the underdogs. Or, if you think a team will score more than 6.52 goals per game, you’re backing the favorites.

## How Do You Calculate The Handicap?

The handicap is a combination of three numbers, the team’s goals-for and goals-against average from the previous three seasons, along with the number of games played in the last season. To determine the handicap, simply add up the goals scored by a team in the previous three seasons, and then divide this number by the number of games played in the last season. So, for example, if a team scored 4 goals in the previous three seasons, but only played 12 games in the last season, their handicap for this season would be 0.5. In this case, the team is 0.5 goals below average for the season.

An alternative way of looking at this is to say that the team is 0.5 goals below average when the goals-for and goals-against figures are adjusted for the number of games played in the last season. In other words, if a team played two-thirds of their games last season, adjusted goals-for and goals-against would be two-thirds of their actual goals-for and goals-against for the season. This way of looking at it makes the handicap more intuitive. For example, if a team scored 0.8 goals per game in the three previous seasons, but only played 10 games in the last season, their handicap for this season would be 0.8 (rounded down). So in this case, the team is 0.8 goals below average for the season.

One last thing before we get to the good stuff, always check the league’s website regarding any recent rule changes that could affect your gambling decisions. For example, earlier this year, the English Premier League changed the way that away goals are tallied. Until June 2018, teams would only get one point for any away goals scored in the Premier League. However, from this season forward, teams will get two points for each away goal scored. This could change the way you view certain matchups.

## Winning The Handicap

Let’s say you’re watching the Arsenal vs. Liverpool game and you think that Arsenal is going to win. Based on this, you should bet on them. However, if you’re watching the same match and think that Liverpool is going to win, you should put your money on them instead. In the first case, you’re backing the underdogs and in the second you’re backing the favorites. In order to win the game, your chosen team must score at least twice the number of goals as their handicap. So, in the example above, if Arsenal wins by scoring 4 goals, your winnings would be 4 x 0.5, or two-thirds of the total profit (in this case, 2.25). If you’re looking to create a quick and easy to follow handicap system, then this one is for you. It may not always be the most scientific way of calculating the handicap, but it’s effective enough that you won’t find many bettors who don’t use it.