Line Bet or Handicap Bet

A line bet, also known as a handicap bet, is offered to cancel out the disparity in a match or fixture by subtracting points or goals from the favoured team and adding them to the underdog. In effect, this levels the playing / betting field.

For example, in a Collingwood Magpies and Geelong Cats matchup, the odds maker shows:

Collingwood Magpies (-8.5) 1.90
Geelong Cats (+8.5) 1.90

The line or handicap for the match is pegged at 8.5 points. The Pies are the favourites with the “-” sign, while the Cats are the underdogs denoted by the “+” sign. If you select the Pies, they have to win by at least 9 points for you to win the line bet. If you select the Cats, they should not lose by more than 9 points for you to win the handicap bet.

Dividends for a line bet or handicap bet are usually around $1.90 for both sides. This means that a $10 stake would amount to $19.00 in winnings, for either selection.

For soccer fixtures, odds makers also offer handicap draw bet.

Sydney FC (-1.0) 2.50
Draw (-1.0) 3.40
Melbourne Victory (+1.0) 2.37

In the example above, Sydney FC needs to win by exactly 1 goal for you to win the handicap draw bet. With dividends at 3.40, your $10 stake would return $34.00.

A line or handicap bet is an exciting way to peruse the outcome of individual matches or fixtures. Your favorite team may not win the match, but you can still win the bet!


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