What is a Handicap?
Handicap (also known as 'spread' or 'line') is a figure set by the sportsbook to counter the perceived bias in abilities of opponents. By giving each team a points/goals/runs handicap, this creates a market in which the chances of success for both teams are deemed to be even. A spread or line are other names for a handicap. An example of this is an NBA game between the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors in which the underdog Knicks could be given a +12.5 point handicap, whereas the favored Warriors would be given a -12.5 point handicap.