What Does -1.5 or +1.5 Mean in Betting?

-1.5 & +1.5 betsIt is common for bettors to look for ways to make their wagers have longer odds than they might do if there were to just take the straight odds offered by the bookmakers. One such way of doing as much is by opting for one of the various handicap betting options that bookies will put forward, normally when one of the teams is considered to be significantly better than the other. Taking a -1.5 bet means that you think that one of the two teams will score at least two goals more than the other, removing the handicap that you’d put in place and taking the win.

-1.5 Bets: Handicapping the Stronger Team

The entire point of handicap betting is that it’s the sort of thing that you only tend to want to do when you think one team is superior to the other. That is also the distinction in terms of when a bookmaker will offer you handicap odds, considering there isn’t a huge amount of point doing so if the two teams are quite evenly matched. One of the bet types you can place is one in which the bookie offers you odds on the superior team winning -1, -2 or -3, say. In that sort of instance, a draw is a possible outcome. Another option is to go for the -1.5 bet, which removes the draw.

In other words, if you are betting on, say, Liverpool v Everton, there is no question that Liverpool are the stronger opponent so you might think that there is no chance of a draw. If that is the case, you can opt to bet on Liverpool -1.5, given the team’s clear superiority of their Merseyside neighbours. This bet essentially removes 1.5 goals from the total that Liverpool have scored at the end of the game. It means that the Reds need to win by two clear goals against the Toffees in order for your bet to be a winning one, with any smaller margin meaning you’ve lost your wager.


It is entirely fair for you to have read the above and still be a little bit confused about what we’re talking about. As a result, it is worth looking at some specific scorelines to see if that helps you get your head around it all.

Here are a select set of example scores that might happen in a match, alongside what the score would be if the home team were given the -1.5 handicap or if the away side was to be handed it. Because writing something like 1- -1.5 would look confusing, we’ve opted for the American style of scoring that separates the scores using a colon:

Score Match Result -1.5 Adjusted Home Result -1.5 Adjusted Away Result
0:0 Draw Away Win (-1.5:0) Home Win (0:-1.5)
1:0 Home Win Away Win (-0.5:0) Home Win (1:-1.5)
0:1 Away Win Away Win (-1.5:1) Home Win (0:-0.5)
1:1 Draw Away Win (-0.5:1) Home Win (1:-0.5)
2:1 Home Win Away Win (0.5:1) Home Win (2:-0.5)
1:2 Away Win Away Win (-0.5:2) Home Win (1:0.5)
2:2 Draw Away Win (0.5:2) Home Win (2:0.5)
3:0 Home Win Home Win (1.5:0) Home Win (3:-1.5)
3:1 Home Win Home Win (1.5:1) Home win (3:-0.5)
3:2 Home Win Away Win (1.5:2) Home Win (3:0.5)
3:3 Draw Away Win (1.5:3) Home win (3:1.5)
0:3 Away Win Away Win (-1.5:3) Away Win (0:1.5)
1:3 Away Win Away Win (-0.5:3) Away Win (1:1.5)
2:3 Away Win Away Win (0.5:3) Home Win (2:1.5)

It is important to note that this bet is different from the likes of the Over / Under bet, which can also feature a -1.5 but is not the same bet type, so be wary.

+1.5 Bets: Helping the Weaker Team Out

There is an alternative bet that you can place that works in a similar way but is aimed at helping the ‘weaker’ team out rather than punishing the stronger one. It is a feeling that there is a difference between the two teams, but actually said different isn’t really that bad. It is also confusing insomuch as the -1.5 wager will give you longer odds on Liverpool, because you’re giving them an obstacle to overcome, but placing a +1.5 bet will give you shorter odds on Everton. This is because you’re effectively giving them a 1.5 goal headstart.

Again, the thing to remember is that there can no longer be a draw, on account of the fact that there is no such thing as half a goal. You are placing a bet that, if given 1.5 goals before a ball is kicked, Everton will be able to win the match. If they do, which would require them to win by two goals more than Liverpool manage to score, you’ll win your bet. If they don’t, your bet will be a loser. You should consider placing it if you think that Liverpool are stronger than Everton, but not so strong that they’ll be able to overcome a 1.5 goal deficit to their scoreline.


As with the -1.5 bet, it is helpful to offer you some example scores in order to give you a sense of what to expect from your bet depending on what happens in the match that you’re betting on. We will once again use the American way of scoring things, just to keep things consistent. We will also offer the possible results depending on whether it is the home side or the away side that has been given the +1.5 goals in your bet:

You might be watching a match and wondering what is likely to happen in the event that opted for the -1 option. Here is a selection of scorelines, giving you a sense of what the outcome would be on your bet if that is how things end up when the full-time whistle is blown and the bet is decided.

As an aside, because writing the score as ‘1-0’ and so on would look confusing when you add in the handicap, making it 1–0, it makes more sense to us to display the scores here as 1:1. This will allow you to see when a goal would’ve been taken away from a team by the handicap relatively easily. It isn’t how British football fans are used to seeing the scores displayed, but it is the better way of doing it here.

Score Match Result -1 Adjusted Home Result -1 Adjusted Away Result
0:0 Draw Home Win (1.5:0) Away Win (0:1.5)
1:0 Home Win Home Win (2.5:0) Away Win (1:1.5)
0:1 Away Win Home Win Win (1.5:1) Away Win (0:2.5)
1:1 Draw Home Win (2.5:1) Away Win Win (1:2.5)
2:1 Home Win Home Win (2.5:1) Away Win (2:2.5)
1:2 Away Win Home Win (2.5:2) Away Win (1:2.5)
2:2 Draw Home Win (3.5:2) Away Win (2:3.5)
3:0 Home Win Home Win (4.5:0) Home Win (3:1.5)
3:1 Home Win Home Win (4.5:1) Home win (3:2.5)
3:2 Home Win Home Win (4.5:2) Away Win (3:3.5)
3:3 Draw Home Win (4.5:3) Away win (3:4.5)
0:3 Away Win Away Win (1.5:3) Away Win (0:4.5)
1:3 Away Win Away Win (2.5:3) Away Win (1:4.5)
2:3 Away Win Home Win (3.5:3) Away Win (2:4.5)