When it comes to handicap betting, there is a bet type that allows you to either give one team more of a challenge, therefore increasing the likely odds that you’d be able to get on them, or else offer a weaker team a helping hand, offering them a better chance of winning whilst lowering their odds. Elsewhere you can read about -1.5 / +1.5 and -2.5 / + 2.5 bets that bookmakers will offer you, but sometimes the difference between the two teams is so great that you need to opt for something a little bit more extreme. That is where the -3.5 / +3.5 handicap bet comes in.
-3.5 Bets: For Really Strong Teams, Opt for a Large Handicap
There are occasions in the world of football when one team is just significantly better than the other. Perhaps it is in a competition such as the FA Cup, when a non-league team gets drawn against one of the top sides in the Premier League. On such occasions, the odds of the Premier League side winning are going to be extremely low, given it is akin to a foregone conclusion, whilst the odds on the non-league side progressing to the next round will be huge because it is seen as so unlikely. When you are keen to bet on the Premier League team but want longer odds, that’s where the -3.5 bet is what you’ll want to look for.
By placing this bet type, you are effectively taking 3.5 goals off the total that the Premier League team is going to end up with at the end of the match; at least as far as the bookmakers are concerned. You are betting on the superior team to be able to overcome the deficit and still win their match, meaning that they’ll score at least four goals more than the other side. If they manage it, your bet is a winner. If they don’t, you will end up losing the wager and the bookie that you’ve placed the bet will walk away with your money, as is so often the case with bookmakers.
It is useful to offer some examples in order to ensure that you get a good sense of what it is that we’re talking about when we discuss the -3.5 bet. Here is a look at some common scorelines that you might see during football matches, with the score as the bookmaker would see it depending on whether the -3.5 has been given to the home side or the away side by the placing of your bet.
One thing to note is that it would look extremely confusing writing out the scores in the traditional British manner, whereby the scores of the two teams are separated by a dash. Once you start adding in minuses, a 1-0 scoreline would look like 1- -3.5 in the event that the -3.5 was on the away team. As a result, we’ve opted for the American style of using a colon instead of a dash to separate the scores, so that same scoreline would look like 1:-3.5.
|Score||Match Result||-3.5 Adjusted Home Result||-3.5 Adjusted Away Result|
|0:0||Draw||Away Win (-3.5:0)||Home Win (0:-3.5)|
|1:0||Home Win||Away Win ( -2.5:0)||Home Win (1:-3.5)|
|0:1||Away Win||Away Win (-3.5:1)||Home Win (0:-2.5)|
|1:1||Draw||Away Win (-2.5:1)||Home Win (1:-2.5)|
|2:1||Home Win||Away Win (-1.5:1)||Home Win (2:-2.5)|
|1:2||Away Win||Away Win ( -2.5:2)||Home Win (1:-1.5)|
|2:2||Draw||Away Win (-1.5:2)||Home Win (2:-1.5)|
|3:0||Home Win||Away Win (-0.5:0)||Home Win (3:-3.5)|
|3:1||Home Win||Away Win (-0.5:1)||Home win (3:-2.5)|
|3:2||Home Win||Away Win (-0.5:2)||Home Win (3:-1.5)|
|3:3||Draw||Away Win (-0.5:3)||Home win (3:-0.5)|
|0:3||Away Win||Away Win (-3.5:3)||Away Win (0:-0.5)|
|1:3||Away Win||Away Win (-2.5:3)||Home Win (1:-0.5)|
|2:3||Away Win||Away Win (-1.5:3)||Home Win (2:-0.5)|
3.5 Bets: Offering the Weaker Team More Help
There might well be some occasions in which you think the so-called ‘weaker’ team might well stand a chance of getting one over on the stronger team, at least in the eyes of the bookmaker, but they’d need some help in order to do so. When that is the case, the best thing that you can do is opt for the +3.5 wager, given that that effectively says that the weaker team is starting the game with 3.5 goals more than the stronger team. You will need for them to be able to stop the other team from scoring four goals or more, but if they manage it you’ll win your bet.
As with the -3.5 market, the joy of this wager is that it removes the possibility of a draw and says that the bet will be decided one way or the other at the end of the football match. Your bet is on the ‘weaker’ team being able to win the match if they are given an advantage of 3.5 goals, so if the opposition team wins the game by anything less than four goals, your bet will be a winner. If the weaker team wins the game regardless, your bet will also be a winner. The flip side of giving the weaker team this advantage is that the odds on them winning will be lower than without it.
Just as with the -3.5 market, it is helpful to offer you some example scorelines so you can get a sense of what it is that we’re referring to. Although it would no longer be confusing to use the British method of displaying the score, we’re going to stick with the American way for the purpose of consistency in how we’re writing the scores:
|Score||Match Result||+3.5 Adjusted Home Result||+3.5 Adjusted Away Result|
|0:0||Draw||Home Win (3.5:0)||Away Win (0:3.5)|
|1:0||Home Win||Home Win (4.5:0)||Away Win (1:3.5)|
|0:1||Away Win||Home Win Win (3.5:1)||Away Win (0:4.5)|
|1:1||Draw||Home Win (4.5:1)||Away Win Win (1:4.5)|
|2:1||Home Win||Home Win (5.5:1)||Away Win (2:4.5)|
|1:2||Away Win||Home Win (4.5:2)||Away Win (1:5.5)|
|2:2||Draw||Home Win (5.5:2)||Away Win (2:5.5)|
|3:0||Home Win||Home Win (6.5:0)||Away Win (3:3.5)|
|3:1||Home Win||Home Win (6.5:1)||Away Win (3:4.5)|
|3:2||Home Win||Home Win (6.5:2)||Away Win (3:5.5)|
|3:3||Draw||Home Win (6.5:3)||Away win (3:6.5)|
|0:3||Away Win||Home Win (3.5:3)||Away Win (0:6.5)|
|1:3||Away Win||Home Win (4.5:3)||Away Win (1:6.5)|
|2:3||Away Win||Home Win (5.5:3)||Away Win (2:6.5)|