The Handicap
23 April 2012

People have been asking us what a Handicap is and the purpose it serves in sports betting. For many seasoned bettors the concept of a Handicap is 2nd nature. But for the less experienced punter it can be confusing to understand what it means and its implications on the outright betting of the game. Having had so many queries, we feel it requires some explanations and tips.

This type of betting is typically offered in Rugby and American Sports. In America, they call it a “Point Spread” or “The Spread”. The reason we offer Handicap betting is to offer punters a bet at even money. A Handicap is the number of points added to the score of the underdog or subtracted from the favourite’s score to even the pricing in an unevenly matched game. Let’s take a look at a Super Rugby example:


  • Vodacom Bulls 1/20 – Clear Favourite
  • Draw 40/1

  • Rebels 10/1 – Clear Underdog
  • This match is pretty boring as a punter unless we add points to the Rebels to provide a more even probability in the outcomes of the game (or subtract the same number of points from the Bulls).

    Our bookmakers decided that the “Handicap” we will impose on the game is 24.5 points. Effectively we feel that at that Handicap the probability of a winning result from either team is equal. The .5 points ensures that the punter is on either side of the Handicap, thus eliminating the draw.

    With the Handicap of 24.5 the betting is far more interesting for a punter.
  • Bulls 10/11

  • Rebels 10/11
  • As in the case just described, the two winning outcomes for the punter are:

  • If you take the Rebels (+24.5) and the Rebels win the game or lose by 24 or less you get 10/11 on your money.

  • If you take the Bulls (-24.5) and they beat the Rebels by 25 or more, you get 10/11 on your money.

    For example:

  • Final score is 40-10 Bulls win (a difference of 30 points)

  • Those bets for the Bulls (-24.5) would win

  • Those bets for the Rebels (+24.5) would lose

  • Final Score is 40-20 Bulls win (A difference of 20 points)

  • Those bets for the Bulls (-24.5) would lose

  • Those bets for the Rebels (+24.5) would win

    Another way of looking at a Handicap is that you are giving the underdog a head start in points. Voltbet have given the Rebels a 24.5-0 point lead before the game even starts at a price of 10/11. At Voltbet we typically offer many different Handicaps to provide the punter with plenty of options at different prices. As we always post our Super Rugby pricing on Wednesday, we quickly find out if the market agrees with our Handicaps and sometimes we adjust the pricing accordingly. To see if this week’s Handicaps will work for you go to

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    Hi Stapper man - ek dog dis opbouende kritiek. Kan ek asb net 1 IK punt kry dan is ons darm ewe slim.
    Posted by Varsity Street 5 on 23 April 2012 18:53
    Varsity se handicap is kritiek op Pierre Spies. Dus kan hynie verder dink nie Deur vol te hou met kritiek het sy IK's al tot nul gedaal.
    Posted by Stapper on 23 April 2012 18:40
    Daar is nie 'n groot probleem met die voorspelers - dis net dat die proefneming meet twee no 8 nie werk nie - PS en CJ Want CJ oorskadu PS. Maar ek dink FL sal dit gou regstel deur CJ to drop as Steggies reg is - ons moet nie worry.
    Posted by Varsity Street 5 on 23 April 2012 18:04
    Kan ons nie PS inruil vir oupa Victor?
    Posted by Varsity Street 5 on 23 April 2012 17:57
    Die persoonlike aanvalle op Pierre Spies kan geensins bydrae tot sy eie opbou nie.
    Posted by bloukaap on 23 April 2012 17:33
    Bulls has a handicap with Pierre in the team
    Posted by Bull perd on 23 April 2012 16:43
    Vergeet van die handicap, ons wil graag weet wat het Saterdag met die Bulle aangegaan?
    Posted by Joe78 on 23 April 2012 15:28
    Highlights of the Super Rugby match between Vodacom Bulls and DHL Stormers, from Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria.

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