While handball may often not be recognised as one of the world’s most popular sports, it is hugely popular in several countries in Europe. Indeed, thousands of people often turn out to watch their teams play in the likes of Germany, France, Spain, Scandinavia and the countries that formerly made up Yugoslavia.
It’s unsurprising, therefore, that while handball may not be a mainstream sport in many countries around the world, it is still possible to bet on both international and domestic handball action.
In the following sections, we’ll take a look at why betting on handball is so popular and how you can do so successfully by looking at the best handball betting strategies around.
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If you’re new to handball, you needn’t worry – it’s a simple game to get to grips with.
The game is in many ways similar to futsal, the indoor version of football. Handball uses the same size goals as futsal, with two teams of seven players (including a goalkeeper) facing each other with the objective of outscoring the other team. Games are played over a course of one hour, split in to two halves of 30 minutes each. Rolling substitutions are permitted in handball, with no need to notify the referee of the changes as they happen
Handball matches cannot end in a draw. If the scores are level after 60 minutes, two periods of overtime consisting of five minutes each will be played. If scores are still level after overtime, a shootout is used to determine the winner.
Although called handball, players can also touch with any part of the body above the knee and once a player gets the ball, they can pass, hold the ball or shoot – but they can only dribble for up to three steps and hold the ball for up to three seconds, ensuring a fast game. Only goalkeepers are allowed to come into contact with the floor of the goal area – hence why many players jump when they are taking a shot as they are approaching this area.
One major difference between football/futsal and handball, though, is the number of goals that are typically scored in a game. While most football matches tend to have less than five goals per game and futsal usually has less than 10, handball matches have no shortage of goals, with the majority of games seeing over 40 goals in total – putting it more on par with basketball in terms of end-to-end point-scoring action than the aforementioned sports.
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You’ll find national handball leagues in many countries around the world – regardless of how popular the sport is in that country. However, in the likes of Germany, France, Spain, Denmark and Norway, these national leagues are a very big deal and draw masses of fans to each game.
The German Bundesliga (more often referred to as the DKB HBL in order to avoid confusion with the football Bundesliga) is the most watched league in the world, with the likes of THW Kiel and SG Flensburg-Handewitt having thousands of supporters at each game.
The likes of the French National League (Ligue Nationale de Handball), the Spanish League (Liga ABOBAL), Hungary’s K&H Liga, Poland’s PGNiG Superliga and the Danish Håndboldligaen are also popular in their relative countries but all of Europe’s top teams also compete in the EFH Champions League and the EHF Cup in order to determine the very best teams on the continent.
The EFH Champions League was founded in 1956 and Barcelona have proved to be the most successful team in the competition, winning their ninth title in 2015. The competition is highly competitive, with no team having retained the trophy in consecutive seasons since Ciudad Real managed to do so in 2008/09.
As well as club action, international handball teams are also very well-supported in the biggest handball countries. The Men’s IHF World Handball Championships take place every other year, with France having proved to be very dominant in the competition in recent years with six gold medals. Sweden, Romania, Germany, Russia and Spain have also enjoyed considerable success at the men’s championships, while Denmark won their first ever title in 2019 by beating their rivals, Norway, in the final, having been joint hosts for the event with Germany. The 2021 tournament is set to take place in Egypt, while the 2023 tournament will be jointly hosted by Poland and Sweden.
The Women’s IHF World Handball Championships take place independently of the men’s tournament, although they take place in the same year, although typically hosted by a different country. Russia have proved to be the most successful nation in the women’s game, although the usual suspects tend to compete for the competition in most editions.
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Like most team games, the most popular handball bet is on the outcome of the match, i.e. which team will win. However, there are dozens of other handball markets available to bet on, with the total number of goals a popular bet (with players typically betting on under or over a certain goal line), while winning margin bets are also a great way to boost your odds when betting.
The most common handball bet is on the match result. This is a simple and quite self-explanatory bet.
That said, unless you plan on betting on big outsiders, it can be difficult to find particularly appealing odds when betting on single markets for match results. Therefore, many players instead choose to compile multiples – such as doubles, trebles or accumulators – thereby putting together several teams that they think will all win in order to get bigger returns from their stake.
If you know two high-scoring teams are facing each other – or, conversely, two teams with good defences, betting on the total number of goals may well be an appealing market for you.
On most matches, you’ll find a “line” – which is effectively the most likely number of total goals that the bookmaker expects to see in the match. You can then choose to bet under or over this line, based on your predicted outcome. So, for example, if the line was 45 and you choose to bet on over that amount, you’d win your bet if 46 or more total goals were scored in the match.
For neutral spectators, betting on total goals markets – in particular the ‘over’ result’ – can be a great deal of fun as it essentially leaves you supporting both teams as they attack, as this will help your bet.
If you want to get more value out of your match result bets, then betting on the winning margin can certainly help you to get bigger odds.
Winning margin bets simply work by selecting which team you think will win, and then the minimum number of goals you think that team will win by. So, you might get odds of 5/6 on THW Kiel to win their next match. However, you might get larger odds of 3/1 for Kiel to win by between 10 and 12 goals. These types of bets differ from your handicap bets as the goal margins have a high and a low point, rather than just a minimum winning margin, therefore making them akin to group round betting in boxing.
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Obviously, the answer to “what is the best handball bet?” is “the bet that wins”. However, that doesn’t mean there is any single market you should bet on in handball in order to boost your chances of winning.
However, like with most other sports, there are some simple strategies you can implement in order to increase the likelihood of your bet being successful. After all, differs from most casino games and other betting games like the lottery, in which people do not impact the result, but instead are based on pure chance. With this in mind, we’ll take a look at how you can use this to your advantage when betting on sports like handball.
The biggest advantage to sports betting over casino betting is the fact that events are dictated by people, rather than random acts of pure chance. Therefore, it’s integral to factor this into your handball betting strategy. There’s no need to be betting blindly.
Unlike a roulette wheel, team sports can be affected by injury, coaches, high or low confidence and tactics, amongst many other things. It is therefore vital that you do your research ahead of placing a bet on handball in order to gain an edge.
Frequently watching handball matches can certainly be very helpful in trying to predict the outcome of future matches. Indeed, the more you know, the better.
Throw yourself into the handball world, whether that be the latest handball news, team info, transfers and other results and you will put yourself in a bet place to make a more educated handball bet.
Following on from doing your research, it can also be hugely beneficial to monitor handball statistics in order to recognise patterns that certain teams follow. Some teams may tend to play conservatively when starting the match, but then open up as the game goes on. Bearing this in mind, it may even be better to hold of betting on some teams ahead of games and instead bet on them in-play when their odds are better.
Likewise, you can also bet on the number of goals certainly players score, so be sure to keep track of a team’s top players and scorers. Of course, you don’t have to just bet on individual handball matches, you can also bet on several outright handball markets, such as the winners of competitions or leagues, including the likes of Germany’s handball Bundesliga, and the national leagues of France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, as well as international events like the Olympics or World Championships.
Form guides and statistical summaries are an invaluable resource to anyone looking to bet on handball. The internet is a treasure trove of sports statistics, so use them to your advantage.
As we just briefly touched upon, there can be some big advantages to in-play (AKA live) betting.
In-play markets can not only be very beneficial in terms of securing the best odds at the best time, but they can also enhance the experience of watching a handball match live.
Indeed, if you have a good eye for handball, live betting markets may prove to be a handy way to test out your theories regarding how the match will pan out – especially if one team shoots into an early lead.
There are dozens of handball live betting markets at Mr Green, typically including the match result, the number of goals to be scored, winning margins, handicap bets, half-time and full-time betting, amongst many others. Indeed, you’ll typically find all the markets available to bet on in-play as you would pre-match.
While keeping up with the latest handball news and statistics can certainly be useful when conducting your research, it’s also important that you don’t get sucked up in the hype of certain teams or players.
When a team or player is being hyped up a lot by fans and the media, you’ll often see the odds on these teams getting extremely short – often too short. This, though, does provide an opportunity for the level-minded players to find some good value. If you see a team is getting overly hyped, it’s worth keeping an eye on the opposition’s odds, as they may start to get bigger than they should be. This is a common trend in sports betting as a whole, in fact.
Furthermore, you should try to look at betting on handball matches from an impartial standpoint. If you become too closely concerned by a particular team, you may start find your predictions become distorted – something you certainly want to avoid.
Wherever possible, try to keep your emotions and desires out of it when betting on handball.
And while you should stay aware of the hype train and be careful not to get swept up in your own team preferences, you should definitely trust your instincts when it comes to placing your handball bets. Do your research and then trust your gut. Does a certain team seem overpriced or has another team been on a ‘good’ run of form but, in reality, you’ve seen them and they’ve just had luck on your side?
Put all your knowledge and instincts together in order to decipher the shrewdest bets you can place.
One trap that many players fall into is that they look at a list of odds and then they try to make their selections based on the biggest looking odds, using the premise of “it could happen”.
Instead, a smarter approaching to placing your bets is to look through the fixtures (including the statistics, news and form) and make your predictions first. Then, when you have your predictions in place, you should look for what odds are most appealing based on your predictions. Don’t let the odds sway what you think will happen.
Like with all gambling, though, the most important is to never, ever chase your losses –and especially not by placing bigger and bigger bets.
Before placing any bet, you should be comfortable with losing your stake. If you win, great. But if your bet loses, it certainly shouldn’t leave you down or with a sinking feeling. Only ever bet what you can afford to lose. And that goes for handball betting, as it does for any other sports betting or even casino or slot games. Even if you don’t win, make sure you don’t really lose out.
Sports betting should only be viewed as a form of entertainment and not as a way of making money. Of course we all want to win, but make sure you’re not feeling down when you lose.
If you’d like to get more bang for your buck when betting (and let’s face, wouldn’t we all?), by making use of the latest bonuses and promotions at Mr Green, you’ll be able to significantly increase the value of your handball bets.
Mr Green has no shortage of sports bonuses and special offers available to customers, including a free bet offer to new customers – which can be used on handball betting markets amongst others.
At the time of writing, new customers at Mr Green can get a £10 free sports bet after placing their first £10 of sports bets on the site. Obviously, this is a great way to boost your betting value and give you more chances to win without spending any more.
But it’s not just new customers at Mr Green that can enjoy handball betting bonuses, existing customers are also frequently awarded with special benefits. These are typically advertised on the website, although you should also keep a close eye on your emails from Mr Green, as you’ll also be exclusively selected for other promotions from time-to-time.