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Betting on Handball

Although handball originated in early Greece and has been an Olympic sport since 1972, it is primarily played in Europe and has seen its popularity rise dramatically since the Croatia-Morocco finals in the 2004 Olympics.  A handball team is composed of a goalkeeper and six field players.  The team consists of 14 players with seven on the field at a time.  The players pass, dribble and throw a mini-football with their hands to score goals in the other team’s net.  The field is a rectangular 40 meter x 20 meter surface.  The length of the game is one hour with a ten minute break between halves.  The action is fast-paced and the rules are simple making handball an easy game to follow.  Throughout Europe, crowds of around 20,000 are commonplace.

The preliminary rounds consist of six groups or flights with four teams in each flight.  The top two teams in each flight progress to the next round. Europe’s dominance in handball is so pronounced that only Egypt and Tunisia have managed to reach the final four.

Gaming sites expect heavy activity and have posted odds for many of the opening round events.  Many of the first round games are appear to be uneven matches.  For example, Germany opens against Brazil and is strongly favored 1.847 (-8.5 goals).  Brazil is a 2.08 (+8.5) underdog.  The total goals over-under is set at 56.5.  These odds represent typical lines in handball wagering. For more examples, our picks for best online sportsbook (below) can show you active lines and even more detail than we can.

The internet has increased handball wagering.  The core wagering market still remains in Europe but there are plans for expansion.  Handball tournaments are for men’s and women’s teams.  There are national handball leagues in Hungary, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway and Spain.  Most of these leagues are featured in on-line wagering sites such as our recommendations below.

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Handball matches rarely result in a draw, but many gaming sites offer draw lines with very high payout odds.  Parlays are optional combination bets are usually available.  In last year’s handball World Championship series, one gaming site reported wagers from more than 70 countries. 

Recreational wagers compose about 45% of betting pools.  Serious handball bettors can find varying lines on several gaming sites.  Handball is hotly contested and a good wager will surely get the juices going.


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