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 middle
The 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.
The 3 point difference in this example is the middle. Now that the bettor has two wagers, there are multiple chances they can win. The best outcome for the bettor is found in the middle of both wagers.
Finding 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).
Middling a football game isn’t a guaranteed win but it can help minimize financial risk. Winning the actual middle could prove to be especially rewarding since two bets are won on the same game.
Betting a middle is also a way for gamblers to earn some extra loyalty points from sportsbooks that offer rewards for each dollar wagered. Nobody should place extra wagers for loyalty points. This is just an extra benefit.
A middle can come from different point spreads too. For simplicity, we’re using an example using two of the key numbers.
Betting a middle is another tool
Finding a middle and wagering on both sides of a game is another tool in a sports betting tool belt. Sportsbook operators have a built in house edge of paying $10 for every $11 bet. Sports bettors have certain tools they can use to offset the edge sportsbooks has.
Sportsbook operators must make lines for every game. One of the biggest advantages bettors have is to only wager on games they select. A sharper bettor will wager on games they feel as though they have an advantage.
Finding a middle opportunity is another one of the advantages for bettors. There aren’t middle opportunities available too often. That said, when a middle opportunity is available it behooves a bettor to take advantage of the moment.
A middle could help to minimize risk for a wager on a specific game. Betting a middle could also give the bettor a chance at a larger win if the final score of the game falls in between the two wagers.
Finding a middle isn’t for everyone
Not all sports bettors are the same. There are plenty of casual bettors who are just looking for a little extra fun while watching their favorite team play by risking a few bucks. Middling games probably aren’t meant for this kind of sports bettor.
Midding a game isn’t for everyone. A casual recreational bettor probably isn’t tracking line movement throughout the week. Even if they are tracking line movement, the bettor might not be interested in making multiple wagers on a single game. That’s okay, everyone has different reasons to wager on sports.
Again, finding an opportunity to middle is just another weapon a slightly advanced sports bettor has available to use every now and again. It isn’t for everyone but it’s certainly a useful wagering option for plenty of sports bettors.