How to Middle a Game in Sports Betting
by George Monroy - 8/2/2013
Middling a sporting event is one of those little tricks of the trade that most advanced and professional sports bettors use to maximize their profit margins. Sports betting, just like any other endeavor, has its share of secrets and expert plays that separate the experienced bettors from the beginners—and the art of middling a game is one of them. If you have ever noticed a line open at a certain number and then move drastically in either direction, then you experienced the first stages of a potential middle opportunity.
Professional sports bettors are notoriously picky when it comes to wagering on spreads and shopping around for the right number. At the highest level of betting a half-point can make a huge difference between finding value on the favorite and finding value on the underdog. Let’s take a closer look at the process of middling a game and explain how it works
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How to middle a game
At its simplest level, middling a game is wagering on one side of a proposition and then betting on the other side once the lines moves in your favor. For example, if a bettor were to wager on the New England Patriots as a six-point favorite and then the line were to move to eight or nine points by the end of the week, he could then wager on the other side of the bet and have a middle situation.
In the above example, the bettor would have the Patriots minus six points and the underdog at plus nine points. The hypothetical bettor could win both bets if the Patriots were to win by more than six points but less than nine. The magic numbers in this situation would be seven and eight points. If anything else were to happen, the bettor would simply push his bets and only lose the juice or win one bet and push the other.
Why is middling profitable?
At first glance, middling might seem like a sure-fire way to cancel out two bets. In order to win both wagers, the outcome of the game has to land on a very specific set of numbers. For the novice bettor there might not seem to be a difference between taking the favorite at seven points then there is at eight or nine points. However, there is a point where the favorite no longer becomes profitable and the value switches to the underdog. The average bettor might take the Patriots in the previous example as a six-point favorite and then assume a blowout is coming and double down when the spread hits nine points—but that would assumption would be wrong.
The best bettors in the world are sticklers for something as small as a half point and will wait out a line until it mores to the right price and will not bet it at all if it does not move. There might be excellent value on the Dallas Cowboys at minus seven points but not as much at minus 7.5. The entire idea behind a middle is to catch the value at one point and then catch it again when it switches to the other side.
Middling with key numbers
A middle can be taken advantage of in any sport that uses a point spread, but it is probably most popular, and effective, in NFL football where key numbers play a large part in the process. Key numbers are the most common margin of victory during an NFL football game. The most common key numbers are three, seven, and 10, and if a bettor can wager on a middle that is centered around these major key numbers then his chances at making a profit are even stronger.
If a bettor can wager on a favorite at minus 6.5 points and then take the underdog at plus 7.5 or eight points, he is in a prime position for his wager to fall on a seven-point margin of victory and win both bets. Middling is a very specific way to wager on a game and should be done only after a bettor has completed a solid amount of pre-game handicapping. Once a sports bettor has a certain amount of experience under his belt, middling a game can be a larger part of his betting arsenal and a great way to get extra value out of a betting situation. Remember to bet wisely and may the middle be with you.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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