What Does It Mean to Handicap Betting?

You’ve probably heard of ‘hunching’ or ‘gambling’ where you place a wager on the outcome of a sporting event or a game. But did you know that those are just two examples of ‘handicap betting’?

This type of gambling is when you put a bet on a person or an event that you believe is going to lose regardless of what happens. For example, you might bet on a heavyweight boxer who you think is going to lose the fight because he is ‘handicapped’ by the weight of the world. You’re not actually trying to win the fight; you just want the other guy to lose so you can go home happy!

Now, this type of betting can seem like a total guessing game, but in reality, this kind of betting comes with statistical data and odds that you can use to make informed decisions. In this article, we’ll discuss the origins of handicap betting, how to calculate stats, and the long list of sports that do this spectacularly.

Origins Of Handicap Betting

It’s important to understand the history of handicap betting if you want to practice it responsibly. According to Fortune magazine, ‘handicap betting’ was first brought to the U.S. in the early 20th century when horse and dog racing began to gain popularity in the country. The practice was officially banned in New York State in 1919, but many people were already engaging in it secretly before the ban was put in place.

“The growth of gambling in the early 20th century was partly because so many people had an appetite for flocking to the races, and partly because betting was seen as a legitimate means of entertainment,” Tim Radford, head of gaming strategy at online bank bookmaker Paddy Power, tells Fortune. “People were starting to understand the concept of ‘handicapping,’ where you put a bet on an event that you knew was going to lose. Someone who was good at handicapping horses would be able to tell you which horses were most likely to throw a shoe, or whether they were going to win or place.”

It wasn’t until the 1950s that professional sports leagues began to accept and promote the use of handicap betting. Just try finding an NBA, NFL, or NHL game from 1957-1959 if you don’t believe us!

How To Calculate Stats And Odds For Handicap Betting

Although you probably aren’t going to get paid if you bet on the outcomes of sporting events, that doesn’t mean you have to play for free. To calculate the stats and odds for a particular event, you’ll need to study the previous results of that sport in question and see how the handicap stacks up. Then, you can use the stats to determine how much money you’ll need to win or lose in order to feel satisfied with your wager.

You’ll need to study the history of the sport and find the average points scored per game, then use that average along with the number of games in the season to come up with an estimate for the total number of points that will be scored in the upcoming season. For example, if you’re estimating the average points per game for the NBA, you would need to look at the previous five seasons and see how many games they played per year. After that, you would simply need to divide the total number of points scored by the number of games played to come up with an estimate for the points scored in the current season. (For more information on this topic, check out How Can I Calculate The Point Differential For Team A vs. Team B In A Football Match?.)

Once you have an idea of how many points will be scored in the season, you can use that figure along with the following formula to determine the projected winning percentage for the chosen team:

  • Winning percentage = (# of wins x 2) / (# of games x 2)
  • If the total number of wins is less than half of the number of games played, then the winning percentage is rounded down to the nearest whole number.

Now that you have that winning percentage, you can use it to figure out the required number of wins needed in order to beat the odds. The following formula will help you do just that:

  • Required number of wins = (1 + winning percentage) / 2
  • If the winning percentage is less than 1, then the required number of wins is rounded up to the nearest whole number.

For example, if you have a winning percentage of.7 (which means that you’ll need to win 7 out of 10 games to see your team as the winner), then you’ll need to win 8 games to come out on top. If you’re playing single-handedly, you’ll need to win 9 games to feel like you’re not cheating!

The Long List Of Sports That Do This

We mentioned above that sporting events such as horse and dog racing were the original source of handicap betting, but this type of gambling is now found in a number of different sports. Here’s a full list of the major sports and the types of events they use to create odds:

  • American football: Home Run Chasing
    • Baseball: Bets Against the Odds
      • Basketball: Against the Spread
        • Cricket: Early Stokes
          • Duckpin bowling: Blindfolded Bowling
            • Equestrian sports: Racing for the Disabled
              • Fishing: Fish Off
                • Golf: Scrambling For The Green
                  • Hockey: Shootouts
                    • Lacrosse: Face-Offs
                      • Motorsport: One-on-One Racing
                        • Nascar: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
                        • Pelota: Argentine Pools
                          • Poker: Bluffing
                            • Racket sports: Singles & Doubles
                              • Racquetball: Banditos
                                • Racing: Handicap Racing
                                • Skiing: Slalom And Supertrailing
                                • Soccer: Penalty Shootouts
                                • Tennis: Sets Of Doubles
                                • Ultimate Frisbee: Touchdown & Conversion
                                • Volleyball: Blockbuster
                            • Walking: Dog and Horserace Walking
                            • Wrestling: Lumberjack Wrestling

                          As you can see, there are a variety of options for those who want to get into handicap betting. Just remember that, like any other type of gambling, it is completely up to you as to whether or not you want to get into this type of betting. Just make sure that you are aware of all the rules and regulations relating to this type of wagering.