Middle Bets in Sports Betting

Middle bets, or popularly known as middling, are types of bets that try to cover the ‘middle’ of point spreads, totals, or the odds for a particular bet in the case of line shifting. Although the process is fairly simple, middle betting is considered a complex betting strategy because it requires sports bettors to be constantly on alert for line changes and act quickly and decisively. It also includes some calculations and requires a bigger bankroll because you’ll have to bet twice the amount since you’re placing two bets.

Middle bets are based on the line movements. The betting lines that sportsbooks provide are not fixed. Instead, they fluctuate as the event approaches due to various reasons, such as player injuries, team form, weather, etc. Thus, an opportunity might arise when the line has moved up or down since the bettor placed the original bet – opening up a gap where placing a bet on the opposing team might end up in both bets winning. This gap is called ‘the middle’, and the betting strategy that revolves around betting on this gap is called ‘middling’.

In this betting guide, we’ll discuss how middle betting works, provide some examples, and share some tips on where and how to identify middle bets.

Where to Find The Best Middle Bets

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The listed operators tend to offer the best odds on NFL Football, Baseball, Basketball, and other popular markets. To successfully find middle bets a bettor must constantly monitor line changes and try to find an edge. One of the best ways to do that is keeping track of the odds and line movements across different sportsbooks. Signing up on the above can help you middle your bets without worrying about your safety and security.

What Are Middle Bets?

To help you better understand middle bets, we should first discuss the sports betting strategy behind it. The whole point of middle bets is to get the chance to win two bets while betting on the opposing sides of the same bet. The strategy includes placing two bets on the same sporting event, with both of them backing opposing teams. This is only possible if the betting line moves before the game starts (or during the game if you consider live betting).

In the case of point spread middle betting, there are three possible outcomes. If the game ends with the point spread somewhere in the middle of both of the bets, the bettor wins twice. If the winning team covers the spread, or the losing team loses within the point spread, the bettor wins one of the bets. The third possible scenario is for the game to end exactly on the point spread, which means that the sports bettor pushes.

The key to middle betting is to first identify a middle bet with competitive odds and have enough of a bankroll to cover both bets. The first bet should be placed as early as possible so there’s enough time for the line to change. Also, early lines tend to provide better odds because they’re immune to market moves, which may make them more profitable even if the opportunity for middling doesn’t arise.

Middle Bets NFL Football Examples

The best way to explain middling betting is via an example. The most popular sport for middle betting is football due to the frequency of the margins. So, let’s imagine a game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.

The initial point spread for the game is set at Eagles -6.5. However, as game day approaches, DeVonta Smith gets injured, and the point spread shifts to Eagles -3.5. This opens up an opportunity for middling. A bettor that had initially placed a wager on the Eagles at -6.5 can now place another wager on the Chiefs at +3.5. In our imaginary scenario, if the Eagles win by 4, 5, or 6 points, the bettor will win both bets – hence the term middle bets.

If the Eagles win by 7 or more points or less than 4 points, the bettor will only win one of the bets.

Another example involves a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots. The initial point spread is set at Cowboys -7. However, news breaks that star quarterback Dak Prescott for the Cowboys is injured, causing the point spread for this football game to shift to Cowboys -3.5. In this hypothetical scenario, a bettor who took the initial spread at -7 can now take advantage of the updated spread and place a wager on the Patriots at +3.5. If the Cowboys win by exactly 4 points, the bettor will win both bets.

Ne Patriots Vs Dal Cowboys

Identifying a Middle

To identify a potential middle bet, bettors must monitor the point spreads and betting lines regularly. A good knowledge of both teams’ rosters, strengths, and weaknesses is also crucial, as well as being informed on any changes and potential disruptions leading up the the game. If there’s a significant shift in the point spread or the over/under, it might indicate a potential opportunity for middling. Keep in mind that middle bets are rarely available and you’ll likely have to place the two bets at two different sportsbooks.

Middle Betting Outcomes

When it comes to middle bets, there are three possible outcomes.

  • The first and undoubtedly the most profitable outcome is a “win-win” scenario, where both bets win.
  • The second outcome is a “one bet wins” scenario, where one bet wins, and the other bet loses. In this case, the bettor will break even or be close to even and recoup their initial investment. Depending on the odds, there might be a small profit or small loss.
  • The third outcome is a “push” scenario, where one or both bets are pushed, resulting in no profit or loss for the bettor.

It’s important to point out that there isn’t guaranteed profit with the middle betting strategy, and in most cases, at least one of the scenarios will result in a small loss.

Bet Types You Can Middle

Bettors can utilize middle betting on various bet types, but the two most popular options are point spread bets and over/under bets. There are also middle arbitrage bets where a bettor can place bets on both teams to win at different sportsbooks and come out in profit, but this is extremely rare and is usually only possible by placing live bets.

Middling in point spread is the most common type because the spread can change dramatically before the game starts. For example, a -1.5 point spread bet on the Giants means that they need to win by more than 2 points to cover the spread. However, if the spread increases to -7 for the Giants in the days leading up to the game, it opens up a possibility for middling.

With over/under bets, you’re betting on whether the total number of points scored by both teams will be lower or higher than the given number. That number is not fixed in one place permanently, though, and it can change due to a variety of reasons. For example, if the LA Lakers are playing against the Golden State Warriors, and the O/U is 210.5 points, a bettor can place an Under bet. However, if the oddsmakers change the line to 195.5 points, the bettor can then identify a middle and place an Over bet. If the final score is 100-98, it means that the combined number of points is 198, and the bettor has won both bets.

Nfl Odds Table

Are Middle Bets Profitable?

Although middle bets can be profitable, their profitability depends on several factors, including the size of the middle and the odds offered by the sportsbook.

If the middle is bigger and the odds are competitive, winning both bets can be very profitable. However, they also carry a certain level of risk, which is why it’s essential for sports bettors to thoroughly analyze all the potential outcomes and calculate the expected value and the vig before placing middle bets.

Vig in Middle Bets

The vig, short for vigorish, or popularly known as ‘juice’, refers to the commission that the sportsbook charges for accepting a bet. Since the margins in middle betting are usually very small, the vig is very important in determining the potential profitability. The overall value of a middle opportunity depends on the vig, and the lower the vig is, the higher the potential profitability of a middle bet is.

The standard vig at most US sportsbooks is 10%, but there are sportsbooks with reduced vig that will increase your middling profits.

Middle Bets Strategy & Tips

Middle bets are not as complex as they seem at first glance, but it’s still essential to develop a sound strategy to maximize the chances of success. Here are a few tips that can help:

  • Research is key: Any relevant news or updates that could impact the game can be useful information. Monitor the teams’ rosters, injury lists, player behavior, weather, and every other aspect that could impact the game.
  • Monitor the betting lines: You can’t place a middle bet if there’s no middle opportunity – which is why you should keep a close eye on the lines leading up to the game to identify a potential middle opportunity. Due to the nature of this strategy, you’ll have to monitor multiple sportsbooks at once, which means that you’ll have to create accounts and fund them at multiple sites.
  • Bankroll management: As middling requires two bets to be placed upfront, it can be a hard hit on the bankroll. If you hunt multiple middle bets in one game week, you might have to place several bets on multiple sportsbooks. That’s why proper bankroll management and being on top of your strategy is crucial to minimize the risk of losses.
  • Place the first bet as early as possible: Middling is only possible if the line changes. By placing an early line bet, you’re putting yourself in the best position for middling before the public betting trends shift the lines.
  • Consider live betting: Although it’s usually used in another strategy called hedging, sometimes it might be possible to find a middling opportunity with live bets. However, you should be very proactive, monitor the lines and the odds since minute 1 after the game starts, and act quickly if you spot favorable odds.

What is the Difference Between Middle Bets and Arbitrage?

Middle bets are often confused with another popular sports betting strategy known as arbitrage. Both of these strategies involve placing opposite bets to take advantage of the discrepancies in the point spreads or the odds, but there’s a key difference between the two.

While arbitrage bets guarantee a small profit regardless of the outcome, middle bets aim to win both bets and bring higher profits. Arbitrage opportunities are typically very short-lived and require fast action to secure the bets at the given odds at different sportsbooks.

What is it Called When You Bet in the Middle of a Game?

Betting after the game has started is commonly referred to as ‘live betting’ or ‘in-play betting’. The majority of legal US sportsbooks offer this service, and it allows bettors to place bets on various outcomes during the course of a game. Since the odds are changing in real time, live betting might open up unique middle betting opportunities depending on game situations and the live odds.