Set Handicap is used in Tennis as an alternative to the more popular totals markets and the match winner markets. With the handicap bet, you bet on one of the players to win more games than the other one. Depending on how strong a favorite one of the players is considered, the bookmaker will offer a set handicap bet which will start at a certain number.
For instance, in sports betting, if Rafael Nadal was playing against someone who is very low on the ATP list, the set handicap would probably start at around -5.5 games. This means that Nadal will not only have to win, but he would have to win with at least a 6 games difference. If this example is placed on a two-set tournament, Nadal would need a minimum of 6:3; 6:3 score so you can win the bet. However, you can also place a set handicap just for the sets. So if you think, Nadal will win both sets, you can place a 1.5 handicap on him. Learn more about Set Handicap right below.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Handicap Bets
As part of handicap betting, taking advantage of tennis bets can have both advantages or disadvantages. Its important to note that the (“-“) set handicap is used against the favorite while the (“+”) one is in favor of the underdog. When it comes to the first one, its always better to bet on the biggest handicap the bookmaker offers.
This means -5.5, -6.5, -7.5, -8.5, etc. is the best option when a strong favorite is playing an outsider. You would be at a disadvantage if you play this set handicap on a match where the two players are close in quality. Even if the player you think will win gets all three sets, if the score is something like 7:5; 7:5; 7:6 a -5.5 handicap would be failed.
Additionally, making a set handicap on the outsider will work the same way. A large + handicap won’t work good if the favorite is much stronger than the outsider. Even if the handicap is +6.5 or +7.5, if the underdog gets crushed you will still lose your bet. However, a small handicap of +2.0; +2.5 on a game where the two players are close in quality can give you nice returns. Even if the game ends 7:6; 7:6 against your guy, you still win the bet.
When it comes to just the sets as a betting type, they are usually 1.5 or 2.5, depending how many sets you need to win. In this case, betting on the weaker player can be smarter since he will need to win only 1 set for you to win the bet. On the other hand, the favorite will have to win all the sets so you could win your bet.
Placing a Set Handicap Bet
Lets imagine R.Bautista-Agut is playing against Rafael Nadal. Nadal is a strong favorite and the odds for his victory are small. Thats why you decide to put a 1.5 set handicap which means Nadal will have to win 2-0.
On the other hand, in a match between
D. Thiem vs M. Klizan, Thiem is a favorite but not an absolute one. That means a -1.5 handicap will have bigger odds.
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