In this article, betting expert Dave South (@LockupTipster) investigates whether identical betting markets can offer better prices and how we can use this to get more value out of our bets.

Do Identical Betting Markets Carry Better Prices Than Others?

There is so much to talk about in the gambling industry, especially the sportsbook. You could identify thousands of narrowed down topics to why books are priced to a particular percentage and investigating the likely reasons. However, today, one particular outcome I want to look at is the ‘not to lose market'.

So, what is the not to lose market?

The ‘Not To Lose Market'

Within sportsbooks, there appears to be many similar markets – but are they all offering the same prices?

I touched on the subjects in my early days conducting preliminary research. However, one of the sites which I work for actually took on some of the comments I made (with credit to myself), on that certain markets for certain outcomes can often be indifferent from the usual market that you may actually look for.

An Example

One market which I can relate this to is the corners market.

Often you will see the line set at 10.5 for instance and one bookmaker, bet365 in this example, has chalked up Over 10.5 at 10/11 (1.91).

Example 2

However, looking at an identical market, in this case the Asian lines, with the exact same bookmaker, we can get odds of 39/40 (1.975) for the same bet.

Example 1

Without looking, you would be forgiven for taking up the 10/11 available from the 2-Way market, yet it is the Asian lines option that offers the better value.

So, why is this?

The Mechanics

The Asian handicap market theory is designed to eliminate the eventuality of a draw outcome, by giving the underdog side a perceived measured handicap start to even the probability as close to 100% as possible.

The Asian lines often bet to a lower over-round than the European markets and could give punters another aspect of where the money is going if the bookmakers have adjusted their positions.

The corners bet was a mere example of how the Asian line, compared to a European market, can differ.

I really like the not to lose outcome, where I will look to take on the underdog to get a result often away from home against the favourite. Usually this is in the form of the ‘Double Chance' market to get the draw on your side in most cases and in exchange terms, effectively laying the outcome you do not fancy usually at the shortest price.

The Double Chance market allows you to bet that there is no draw in the game by backing either team to win, backing the home side and the draw or the visiting team and the draw to come in.

For instance, looking at the double chance market, if you are looking for the underdog side not to lose the match, then you would take them on and the draw to cover the not to lose aspect.

For the underdog, you will find other markets, which effectively yield the same outcome. This could be in the shape of either the handicap +1 market or the Asian Handicap market.

Another Example

In another scenario, the home side, which for the sake of this article we'll call ‘Team A', are available at 51/50 to win, but what are the underdogs handicap prices?

The away side, which we'll call ‘Team B', are a shade of odds-on generally on the Asian handicap +0.5 market (which translates as the win or draw market). However, 26/25 is available with one bookmaker, which actually creates a slight under-round of the market – (Team A 49.50% and 49.02%) creating a 98.52% market for arbitration punters skimming off the small margins.

Team B's Asian line price is 2.04 with one bookmaker, the +1 handicap is 10/11 generally and the double chance coupon is also best price 10/11 (1.91).

To illustrate, if you had £100 on the Asian handicap at 2.04, this would return £204.00, and if you punted on either of the other two European markets at 1.91, you would return £190.90 on the outcome leaving a £13 deficit on this particular market.


Always check between the same related markets to see where the best return is potentially.

Looking back at the corners example, this was by the same firm and the reasoning behind this goes down to the over round applied between the Asian and European market books.

I could identify plenty of other games where a similarity takes place, however this is advisory for the punter to take responsibility in capturing the best price where possible.

Very rarely have I come across an Asian market where the line has resulted in it being shorter than the European line for the handicap bets. One might assume that the European markets are adjusted accordingly.

Lastly – not all bookmakers offer the Asian handicap (William Hill, Coral, Ladbrokes and Sky Bet are all examples) whereas the likes of bet365, Unibet, MarathonBet and BetVictor do.