What is the Cricket Handicap Market? (2021)

The Best Cricket Handicap Betting Sites

  • Unparalleled number of handicap markets
  • Brilliant niche betting options
  • Excellent betting markets for Australian Big Bash
  • Huge cricket betting section
  • Good range of markets for most of the biggest sports
  • Live streaming available
  • 100% welcome bonus available
  • Excellent mobile app offered
  • Great in-play console
  • Welcome bonus up to ₹12,000
  • Live streaming function offered
  • Big focus on IPL betting
  • Bet Builder offered
  • Outright markets available early
  • Numerous payment methods

Top 5 Best Cricket Handicap Betting Sites

  1. bet365
  2. 1xBet
  3. 22Bet
  4. Parimatch
  5. 888sport

What Is Handicap Betting?

bet365 handicap market*Odds correct at 11:03 BST on 7/4/2021

Handicap betting is a market that has become synonymous with team-based sports, allowing bettors to get longer odds-on picks that would usually have short prices. It also provides more security when betting on the underdog by shortening their odds.

Example: If India scored a daunting 400 in their ODI against Zimbabwe, the former would offer short odds to win. You could therefore apply a handicap of -30.5 runs, which will see the odds of India winning drift. However, you will still have a very good chance of your bet winning, even with this handicap.

This allows you to lengthen the odds you are betting on whilst still backing your favoured side. 

You can also apply a handicap in a positive way, too. In football, for example, you can back the underdog with a handicap of +1.5. This means that, if they lost 2-1, your bet will still come in, as your pick was not beaten by two or more goals.

Where to Find Cricket Handicap Betting 

The handicap betting market can be found available on any number of different sports. 

First, click on the cricket tab on your bookmaker of choice, which can be found either at the top of the homepage or on the left-hand menu. Next, navigate to the match you want to bet on, and search for the handicap market.

This market can be utilised on any of the three formats of the game with many of the top cricket tournaments. Unlike other betting markets, handicap betting works well on Test, ODI and T20 cricket. This market is also very popular when used on a number of other sports too, but that is something we will go into at more depth later.

Cricket Handicap Betting Tips

Handicap betting needs a good strategy in order to be effective. It is not good enough to simply look at the favourite and back them with any handicap that takes your fancy. If the handicap you choose is too big, you may ruin your chances of seeing your bet win. However, if you your handicap is too small, you could miss out on bigger winnings. Below, we have complied a number of factors you should take into account whenever you look to use the handicap betting market.

1. Do Your Research

Researching can help you to understand why the bookmakers have priced teams a certain way. Examine the odds, such as who the favourites and underdogs are, along with which way most bettors are going and the past performances of the teams in question. 

2. Know Your Format

As with many other cricket betting markets, the format of the game you are betting on will alter the way you should bet. Handicap betting in cricket is no different. While backing the favourite with a -20.5 run handicap in a T20 match can be a pretty good bet, it may not be a big enough handicap in a 50-over game where, for example, you may back a side -51.5.

Knowing the format you are betting on will affect how you bet. It can also have a big impact on how much profit you stand to make and how often you win, especially if you are betting on ODI cricket with a T20 mindset.

3. Look at Head-to-Heads

As mentioned in the research section, looking at the teams and how they have played in the past will give you a good idea of how the next contest might go. For example, if New Zealand are playing Bangladesh in a five-match ODI series and they have won the first three by 100 runs or more, their current form would indicate yet another victory over their upcoming opponents. With this in mind, backing the Black Caps with a big handicap could be a shrewd bet.

However, bear in mind that choosing to back a side based on their current form can be risky, as any number of factors could see a players struggle in an upcoming game. These factors could include a certain stadium, a missing player, the format of the match, whether the game is in a high-pressure tournament event or right at the end of a series that a team has already won. Any of these elements could affect how relevant the head-to-head stats will be.

4. Research the Players

Every team has a star player – or players. Betting on the handicap market can often hinge on how these players perform, and which way the match is tilting.

Example: If Ben Stokes is at the crease with England five down and still needing 250 to win, everyone will know that the batsman has the ability to lead a comeback. There can therefore be good value in slapping a handicap on England of +20.5 runs, meaning that, if they lose by less than 20 runs or win, then your bet will come in.

Knowing that a team still has players that can niftily turn around a situation can be the difference between nailing a bet or otherwise.

5. Use Smaller Leagues

This piece of advice is applicable right across the sports betting scene. When you bet on the biggest leagues and tournaments in the world, you can rest assured that bookmakers will have taken up a lot of time and resources into researching the players and the teams. This means that different markets will be fairly well-priced, while the favourites will often offer little real value.

In the smaller leagues, though, bookies are less likely to have spent as many of their resources, meaning you can find bigger odds-on games that are a mismatch. For example, the Afghanistan Premier League will not be as well-researched as the IPL, meaning that you are more likely to get better odds on the favourite winning a match or the title than you would for Indian Premier League betting.

6. Play the Percentages

Working out what constitutes a good handicap to apply is very important in this market. Backing the favourite with a massive handicap may offer good odds, but you should question whether they will be able to win by enough to see your bet come in. Similarly, while an underdog may offer good value with a smaller handicap, you should ask yourself whether they can keep the match close enough to see your wager come in.

Having a good knowledge of both teams can help you predict whether a batting collapse is on the cards, or if a side will keep their opponents on their toes. It can also help you make more enlightened choices when it comes to handicap betting, preventing you from making bets that are very unlikely to pay off.

Geo-restrictions apply. You must have a funded account or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours

The Best Sports for Handicap Betting

Handicap betting can be used across any number of both the biggest and smallest sports in the world. 

Below, we have listed the most popular sports that generally offer handicap betting on most of their matches, all providing you with the ability to make good profit from the market when used correctly.

Alternative Betting Markets to Handicap Betting

In this section, we look at the most popular betting markets that require similar knowledge and research to the handicap betting market.

Over/Under Betting

Sportsbet cricket market*Odds correct at 13:28 BST on 12/4/2021

Over/Under betting will see you wagering on whether or not there will be more or less of a certain match event. For example, over/under six betting is very popular in T20 cricket. In this scenario, bettors will be given a certain number of sixes to be scored in the game, and they will have to wager on whether there will be more or less than this amount of sixes scored.

The same remains true when betting over/under on the total runs of a batsman. For example, in the IPL, you can bet on whether there will be more or less than 35.5 runs scored by a specific player.

Best betting site for Over/Under betting: Sportsbet.io

Draw No Bet

Cricket Country Championship*Odds correct at 11:14 BST on 7/4/2021

Draw No Bet markets are similar to handicap betting markets, in the sense that it allows you to augment the standard Match Winner market. The latter has three possible outcomes: home win, draw and away win. Draw No Bet omits the possibility of losing your bet should a match end in a draw, offering two possible outcomes: a home win and an away win. If the match ends in a draw, then your stake will be returned to you.

This market is often best used in very closely fought games, where the bookie cannot pick an outright favourite. You can also back an underdog at slightly shorter odds than in the Match Winner market, knowing that you are protected if the game ends in a draw.

Best betting site for Draw No Bet: bet365

Cricket Handicap Betting FAQs

What is handicap betting?

Handicap betting is when you apply a positive or negative handicap to your pick. For example, in football, you can back Manchester City -2.5 goals against Fulham. This means that Manchester City must beat Fulham by three or more goals in order for your bet to win. So, if City win 4-0, your bet will come in, while if they win 2-1, your bet will lose as they did not overturn the handicap.

In cricket, you can back a team with a handicap in a similar way. If India have set Zimbabwe a daunting total of 230 in their T20 game, you can give them a handicap of -30.5 runs. This will see the odds of India winning lengthen, offering you more value. If you have done your research well beforehand, you can be fairly safe in the knowledge that your bet will still likely win.

Which is the best site for cricket handicap betting?

Any of the sites we have listed above will give you all you need to bet on handicap markets in any number of sports. However, from all of these, we would recommend bet365 the most. The bookie provides competitive odds in their handicap and normal markets, along with excellent features like a bet builder, a range of other sports to bet on. They are among the best in-play betting sites and live cricket streaming sites, and accept a great variety of payment methods.

Is handicap betting available on sports other than cricket?

You can find handicap betting markets on a range of popular sports, such as soccer, basketball, tennis and more. Any of these sports will offer the same options as cricket handicap betting.

What other betting markets are there to handicap betting?

There are a lot of markets that are similar to handicap betting, such as Match Winner and Draw No bet. Other popular markets for cricket betting include Top Batsman, Top Bowler, To Score a Century, Most Sixes, To Win the Toss and many more.

Geo-restrictions apply. You must have a funded account or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours

CricketBettingAdvice Final Say

Cricket handicap betting is gaining popularity quickly, and provides bettors with good value. While the standard Match Winner market will offer little value on the favourites and a small chance of the underdog winning, the handicap market can provide bettors with the chance to augment the parameters of a possible victory in their bet. Don't forget to check out our top betting tips that you can pair this market with, too.

As usual, have fun, and bet wisely!

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