Why Asian Handicap Isn’t Always Best

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Over the last few months we’ve slowly been revealing the intricate details of our powerful football betting combo method to our subscribers.

The general idea is to examine tips from a select group of profitable tipsters and pay particular attention to any tips that overlap. If more than one tipster or ratings service is going for the same team, the more likely it is that you’ll make money.

We’ve explored this strategy from various angles and this month we tackled a key question for our subscribers –

Should you bet with Asian Handicap or Home/ Draw/ Away?

For the initiated, Asian Handicap can be used to take out the draw. This means you might win or get your money back if there’s a stalemate instead of losing. There’s more to it than this, but the general gist is that you tend to sacrifice bigger odds in return for the security of covering the draw.

But is this always the right strategy? No! & here’s why…

First we’re going to set a baseline figure by revealing all bets selected by at least one of the four tipsters over the three seasons 2011-14.

All Qualifiers Win vs Asian Handicap

All Qualifiers Win vs Asian Handicap

Win = Home/ Draw/ Away betting

AH = Asian Handicap

You can see from the table above a fairly consistent pattern for both the Home and the more profitable Away bets – strike rates are increased with Asian Handicap, but profit (in ROI terms) is reduced by using the Asian Handicap option. There are no real surprises here; we’ve sacrificed a higher return on investment for a smoother more reliable path to profit, BUT …

… the key point is what this means in terms of Return on Capital (ROC), the bottom line measure of how much our “betting investment” is expected to return over time?

As it turns out, they end up almost identical for this group of selections, a ROC of around 385% over three seasons, equating to an annualised ROC of 128-129%, i.e. more than doubling our bank in the average year:

All Qualifiers – Return on Capital

All Qualifiers - Return on Capital

However, this only tells part of the story, because what we’re really interested in are the qualifiers that are picked out by multiple tipsters more than once. 
Let’s find out…

The Combo Systems - SBC92

Now we’re specifically looking at those bets which are picked by more than one tipster.

Multiple Qualifiers – Basic Performance Statistics

Multiple Qualifiers - Basic Performance Statistics

Now we can see another dramatic drop off in ROI performance with Asian Handicap betting, particularly with the home bets.

Multiple Qualifiers – Return on Capital

Multiple Qualifiers - Return on Capital

It seems that this time round we’ve also had to sacrifice some Return on Capital if using the AH approach to betting these selections. The straight Win bet approach has produced an annualised ROC of around 115%, but betting the Asian Handicap reduced this to around 91% per year, averaged over the three seasons 2011-14.

Why is this, and why did we not see this lower ROC for the earlier, wider group of all qualifying selections?

One possible reason, and something that certainly fits intuitively, lies in the nature of the two groups of bets. The bets which “don’t make the grade”, when moving from all qualifiers to the combo bets, are those which are selected by one tipster only. We’ve also observed that a disproportionately high number of low odds bets were flagged by one system only.

Another key reason is that performance of away bets. These are quite often at bigger odds and it seems that taking Asian Handicap in these cases dramatically erodes the value available.

Should you drop Asian Handicap

We’ve highlighted again the importance of using Return on Capital as the primary measure of a betting investment. We found that, for all qualifiers, the ROC was very similar whether you use Win or AH betting (128-129% per year over our 2011-14 sample), but this equated to a drop from 6.2% ROI (Win bets) to only 3.6% for the AH bets.

How best to utilise them may well come down to personal choice and your individual betting circumstances. Do you prefer the smoother, more predictable route to profit that Asian Handicap betting normally provides, or are you sufficiently comfortable with the greater highs and lows associated with the riskier, but apparently more rewarding, win betting approach? Have you been restricted by, or are unable to access, a number of bookmakers offering the stand-out prices on Win bets? Are you a more experienced, high roller wanting to take advantage of the greater liquidity and larger betting limits offered in the Asian Handicap markets?

This is just a snapshot of the analysis we undertake in our Smart Betting Club editions. If you want more sign up here.

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