In sports gambling, looking for a middle is something that bettors might hear about more seasoned gamblers doing. And there is a reason for that, as middling can be a strong strategy when done well. In this guide to middling, we examine what a middle consists of and what bettors should do to find these opportunities.
What is a Middle in Sports Betting?
A middle is the act of placing two separate bets on the same betting market that are not identical bets, giving bettors the chance to win both of those wagers. This is most commonly done in the point spread and over/under betting markets, where bettors can use the line movement on a game to their advantage. These opportunities aren’t plentiful but could be valuable nonetheless.
For example, let’s say that the New York Giants open as a three-point favorite against the Dallas Cowboys. A bettor can wager on the Giants’ -3 in that game, but if their betting line moves to -7 before kickoff, bettors can wager on the Cowboys at +7 at that point. That would give bettors a victory on both wagers if the Giants won by anywhere from four points to six points, with that three-point window being considered the “middle.”
How to Find a Middle
To find a middle in the sports betting markets, bettors need to constantly watch the betting lines for the games they are considering wagering on. Doing this will allow bettors to monitor what the opening line was for the game, along with what line movements have taken place from the opening line drop to a game’s start time. Without said monitoring, bettors will miss out on many chances to hit a middle.
Bettors can also use the in-play betting marketplace to find chances to middle. During every game, lines are updated on a regular basis to reflect what has already happened in the game to that point. This allows bettors to get lines that are vastly different from what was available before the start of the contest, which can give bettors the window they need to bet on the same game twice with enough of a margin for both bets to win.
When to Middle
There is no set criteria for determining when to place two bets in an attempt to middle a game. Instead, bettors should just make sure that they are only placing middle wagers in situations where they do believe that both bets have a chance to hit. Getting a five-point middle window or larger is great, but if the favorite is going to win by enough to torpedo the underdog half of the middle, that window isn’t worth much.
Bettors who are able to use the live betting markets to find the widest possible windows for their middles are often in the best position to win their bets. This is often much more effective than waiting for substantial line movement in the pre-game marketplace. But different bettors have different systems for middling, and there is no one size fits all solution.