Middling a game is a fine art that only the most expert of gamblers attempt. Middling is confident, fun and sometimes downright crazy. Once a bettor reaches the point of middling an NFL game, then he has finally arrived. What exactly is middling, you may be asking? The tactic involves wagering on two sides of a spread that has moved throughout the week to create a positive zone where a bettor can cover both lines and walk away with two wins on a single game.
Imagine Green Bay opens up as a seven-point favorite against San Francisco and you jump on the spread immediately before it gets moved up to 9.5 points later in the week. A middle would be to also take the 9.5 points and wager on the 49ers in hopes that Green Bay wins the game by more than seven but less than 10 points. The wager would give a bettor magic numbers of eight and nine points, and anything else would be a push (minus the juice). Middling can be a complicated concept, so let's take a closer look and figure out the best way to pull off the strategy.
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Most middling is done during the week while a line is moving from side to side. For those that are unfamiliar with the concept of line movements, when a sportsbook begins to see heavy action on one side of a wager, it moves the spread in the opposite direction to encourage action on the other team. For example, if most people are taking New England -7.0, the sportsbooks might move the line higher to -7.5 with the hopes that action will come in on the opposite side of the bet.
Middles, in general, do not have to involve a huge line movements, and many expert bettors will jump on a one-point middle and trust their handicapping ability. If a line opens at 6.5 then eventually moves to 7.5, an expert bettor will middle and take the magic number of seven. That situation is difficult to pull off, and to start bettors should look for larger gaps to middle.
Middling can also be done using the updated halftime spreads during a game. Imagine a situation where you wagered on an underdog plus seven points before the game and they are now winning 10-0 heading into the half. The second-half lines would probably have the game's original favorite as a new 10-point favorite (for the second half only), and if a bettor was looking to middle, he could take that new line and have bets on both teams with a huge nine-point middle.
The idea is to find situations where you can create a large gap that gives out as many magic numbers as possible. A middle isn't something you should always do, but there are situations where taking both sides, particularly after the half, can provide huge value. The point of all this is to start thinking in those terms and begin looking for spots to maximize profits.
The final way to middle a game is through in-game betting. In-game wagers are a relatively new concept where a sportsbook offers new and updated lines during the commercials of every game. The idea is enticing and another way to maximize profits during certain situations. The easiest way to middle a game is to take one side of the original line, say Seattle as a seven-point favorite, and if they happen to take an early lead, but you still expect a close matchup, take the new updated line, which will have the original underdog receiving even more points. You could easily create a situation where you now have Seattle minus seven and the underdog plus 14.
Sports betting can be a detailed and complicated undertaking. The entire point of the process, however, is to make money. And NFL bettors should always be on the lookout for the right strategy to make a profit during the season. Middling a game can be a powerful tool to use if you do it right. Just do not get caught up trying to find a middle every single week. Pick the right ones and look to make a profit.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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