Handicap betting, an intriguing and potentially lucrative approach to sports wagering, is a vibrant part of the Philippine betting scene. This form of betting, also known as spread betting or line betting, is designed to level the playing field between a favorite and an underdog. It does so by applying a “handicap” to one of the teams, making the betting market more balanced and engaging. By understanding handicap betting, Filipino bettors can unlock additional betting opportunities, enhancing their betting experiences and potentially, their returns.

Handicap Betting

Understanding Handicap Betting

In essence, handicap betting involves giving one selection a head start (positive handicap) or a deficit (negative handicap) before the event starts. Let’s delve deeper into this concept:

  1. Positive Handicap: Applied to the perceived underdog, a positive handicap gives the team an advantage before the game begins. For instance, in a PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) game, if the Blackwater Bossing is given a +8.5 handicap against the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Blackwater begins the match with an 8.5 point lead in betting terms.
  2. Negative Handicap: Conversely, a negative handicap is applied to the favored team, starting them off at a disadvantage in the bet. If Barangay Ginebra is given a -8.5 handicap in the same game, they effectively start the match 8.5 points behind.

The beauty of handicap betting is it allows bettors to win, even if the team they bet on doesn’t technically ‘win’ the match. If you backed Blackwater Bossing with a +8.5 handicap, and they lose by 6 points, you would still win your bet because, with the handicap applied, they are 2.5 points ahead.

Handicap Betting Strategies

Handicap Betting Strategies

Handicap betting requires strategy and keen insight into the teams involved. Here are some strategies that Filipino bettors can use:

  1. Understand the Teams: Thorough knowledge about the teams involved, their form, their performances against the spread in the past, and how they perform as favorites or underdogs can be invaluable.
  2. Shop Around: Different bookmakers can offer different handicaps, and finding the best value is key to successful handicap betting.
  3. Look at Alternate Handicaps: Some bookmakers offer alternate handicaps. These are different handicap lines that allow you to adjust the risk and reward balance.
  4. Use Handicaps in Accumulators: Handicap betting can add extra value to accumulator bets. You can balance the risk of your accumulator by including handicap bets on strong favorites.


Handicap betting presents an exciting and potentially profitable facet of sports betting, particularly for Filipino bettors willing to dig deeper than simple win-lose outcomes. Understanding the mechanisms of handicap betting and applying astute strategies can help you harness its full potential. With the right knowledge and strategy, you can add an extra layer of excitement to your betting and potentially increase your returns.