The definition of the middle is “equally distant from the extremes,” according to Merrian Webster dictionary. Betting a middle (also known as “middling”) is a sports betting strategy that makes the most out of a change in point spreads, odds, and totals. Middling isn’t a term that many who are new sports betting are familiar with. The opportunity to middle a game is when a point spread or total moves in a game. Bettors can middle a bet when a wager is placed on different sides of the same game. One of the reasons new sports bettors aren’t familiar with middling is because it involves multiple wagers on a game. Most new bettors are usually just interested in wagering once on a game. A middle opportunity often presents itself to bettors at different times of the week leading up to a game. Sportsbook operators are very aware that there are bettors looking to middle a game. They often have this in mind when setting and moving lines during the week. That said, there are still middle opportunities.
Finding a middleThe strategy to middle a game is most popular when betting on football. One of the reasons new sports bettors aren’t familiar with middling a game is because a middle requires two different wagers on the same game but not on the same team. Not all bettors are looking for this betting option since it involves risking double the money. However, it could be a way to minimize financial risk or be a profitable endeavor. The easiest way to understand middling a game is with an example:
- The New England Patriots open as 7 point favorite against the New York Jets. A bettor likes the Patriots and places a wager on the Patriots -7.
- During the week the line moves and the Patriots become a 10 point favorite against Jets. The bettor sees a 3 point difference and places a wager on the Jets +10.
Middle outcomesFinding an opportunity to middle a football game isn’t a guaranteed win. There are several different results possible. Here are possible outcomes using the Patriots vs. Jets example:
- A bettor wins both wagers: if the Patriots defeat the Jets by 8 or 9 points.
- The bettor wins one wager: if the Jets lose by 6 or fewer or the Patriots win by 11 or more.
- A bettor pushes: if the Patriots win by exactly 7 or 10 points (minus the vig).