Betting on “the middle” is one of the most profitable bets in all of sports betting, still, only a few bettors can get hold of them, because it is hard. Some of the biggest payouts in sports betting history are made when bettors can successfully hit the middle.
The question arises, how exactly can you take advantage of this strategy?
In the post, we are about how the middling strategy can help you make profits more than expected.
What Exactly Is “The Middle”?
Middling is a betting strategy that exploits a moving total line or a shifting point spread line. Simply put, a middle occurs when a bettor puts a wager on two opposing bets on the same event. You can think of the middle strategy as a form of hedging but here are you not trying to reduce the exposure. As you have put bets on both the outcomes and there is a line moving between the time, middling gives you an opportunity to win both of them.
To be able to execute the middling strategy you need to stake on two opposing lines in such a way that the final score will land between both the totals or “the middle”. With a bet ends in the middle, both the wagers win.
To better understand the middling bet, you need to understand how point spreads work and also know about totals betting.
Here are the four different middling scenarios:
When the point spread becomes wider shifting further away from 0
When the point spread becomes narrower moving closer to 0
When the total moves up that are from 40 to 44
What the total moves down that is from 40 to 36
You have to remember that the numbers provided above are purely hypothetical and the point spreads and totals can move in many different ways. Depending on a wide variety of factors but the most common one is the adjustment by the sportsbooks when they try to balance the numbers of wagers on each side that results in movement of point spreads and totals. Newly available information like players’ injury and team structure can also cause point spreads and totals to fluctuate.
Point Spread Middling
Here’s a line movement example between Philadelphia Eagles and England Patriots. Every time the point spread moves, there is an opportunity to hit the middle. In the above example, is the point spread opens at +4.5/-4.5 and moves to +2.5/-2.5 the day after, you have the opportunity to put a middle wager? If in this scenario you bet on Eagles when the line opens at +4.5 and wager on Patriots when the line reaches at -2.5 after the shift, then you have the opportunity to win both the bets. If you are able to hit the middle, then you are up for a huge profit.
For you to hit the middle in this example, the Patriots have to win the game by 3 points. For instance, if they win the game 24-21, then you will win both the wagers. The Patriots would be covering the -2.5 spread by winning by 3 points and the Eagles will be covering the +4.5 spread by losing only by 3 points.
Now if you were to hit the middle of the total, the over must be a lover than the under for any of your two bets. For instance, if the line opened at 44.5 and moved to 39.5, there is an opportunity for a middle bet. If you take the under at 44.5 and able to take over at 39.5, then if the game finishes at anything higher than 39, you would have successfully converted the middle.
In the opposite scenario, if the line opened at 39.5 and moved up to 44.5, there is another opportunity to hit the middle. You have to take the over at 39.5 and catch the under at 44.5, if the game finishes with point totals over 40 then you would have successfully made use of the middling for making big profits.
How common is betting on the middle?
Most bettors think that the middling opportunities are not that common, but they are. If you follow college football, then you will know that totals shift by at least three points from the initial lines and till the time game starts. On many occasions, the point spread for college football games can shift up to 7 points. Not just soccer but arena football, Canadian football and college basketball games are also known to show significant fluctuations in their lines too.
The reason why you do not see the shift in totals or spreads in NFL and NBA games is that due to the huge amounts of bets that bookmakers receive, these games are intensely scrutinized and balanced. But you have to remember that no matter how infrequent a shift may in NBA and NFL lines, it does happen and at that moment you have the opportunity to make huge profits.
Why is middling such a great opportunity?
Middling is a low-risk venture that makes it is an excellent betting opportunity for beginners. As you bet on both sides of total bets or a point spread, it is guaranteed that one of them will be successful. Even if you do not hit the middle, you will be losing only the ‘vig’ to your bookmaker.
But we want you to remember, that just because the middle is available it is not the most likely result. Let’s understand it with an example. Suppose, you placed 21 bets on both the sides in an attempt to hit the middle, all of them at -110 odds. In such a scenario you have to hit the middle only once in order to secure a profit. That is 1 out of 21 bets, that translated into a percentage, with middling you need a 4.8% success rate to become profitable.
However, it is important to know that the “middle” is not foolproof. There are risks involved and you have to be aware of them before you start betting the middle. If you are not able to hit the middle more than 4.8% of the total bets, your bankroll can take a serious hit.
The Super Bowl XIII Changed Middling Betting
How enormous can be the impact of middling was first felt in 1979 during the Super Bowl XIII when the Cowboys pitted against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The latter was initially set as the favourite and the spread opened at -3.5 for Pittsburg and Dallas were at +3.5.
When the line was first released there was a high volume of bets on Pittsburg that made oddsmakers to shift the line for Dallas to +4.5 in an attempt to make the betting action favor the other side. By the kickoff, the majority of bets were placed on Dallas and the game finished at 35-31 for Pittsburgh.
As a result, all those who bet on Pittsburg at -3.5 and then on the Cowboys at +4.5, won their bets causing for the middle bet win of enormous size. Such was the impact of the game that bookmakers still refer to 1979 Super Bowl XIII as “Black Sunday.” That day bettors made fortunes while bookies suffered.
Hitting the middle with live betting
In recent years, live betting has surged in popularity. This has resulted in bettors getting more opportunities to make money betting on live events and in turn, has opened more opportunities to hit the middle.
Let’s say you are betting on a game between the Eagles and the Patriots. You wager on the Eagles getting defeated by 4 points or more. After the first quarter during the game say the Patriots are up by 14 points that can shift the line +7 for the Eagles as they are in no position to cover the spread which such a sizeable deficit. With only three quarters left they are not likely to make a comeback and cover the spread, but as it is common with sports betting, the outcome isn’t impossible.
Now if you bet on the Patriots before the game started at -4 and you bet on the Eagles at +7 after the first quarter, then you have an excellent opportunity to hit the middle. If the game finished 26-20 after the Eagles can mount a comeback, you would have hit the middle making significant profits.
Beginner Bettors must not do the Middling
Unless you are comfortable with the ins and outs of sports betting, you must not try to hit the middle. The middling betting technique not only requires you to have intense knowledge about the sports and different betting strategies but also asks for substantial time investment.
To hit the middle, you frequently have to check the sports betting lines and you have to do it at the same sportsbook where you placed the initial wager that means if you shopped across various sportsbooks to increase your chances of winning, you have to track lines with all of them.
To place the middling bet, you need to be confident that line is moving in the direction that is conducive of the win. When the line reaches there, you have to act fast.
This is why OddsMax recommends that you first become confident with other sports betting strategies and then try your hand at hitting the middle.