What is a Middle in betting?
A Middle is a situation where a bettor takes advantage of differing spreads or totals across multiple sportsbooks. The idea is to bet on both sides of the spread or total in order to create a situation where one of the bets is guaranteed to win, while both bets could also win. An example of this would be if a bettor bets on the Chicago Bulls -4.0 and New York Knicks +6.0 and the game ends 110-105 to Chicago. Here the bettor will win both bets, in other words, “catch the middle”.
Best Markets for Middle Betting
You can bet on the Middle through placing bets on any market which has a total or spread associated with it. The most common market used for middling is betting ATS, however betting on the total and player props is also viable. Moneyline markets can’t be used for middle betting as there is no total or spread attached to it, meaning it is impossible to create a scenario where both bets could win, which is the goal of betting on the middle.
Taking an underdog at +4.5 on one sportsbook and then taking the favorite at -1.5 with another sportsbook is a middle bet. This is a middle bet because of the overlap of the different spreads. If the underdog only loses by 2, 3, or 4 points both your bets would win and you would make a significant profit. However if you weren’t lucky and this did not occur you would either breakeven or only lose a minimal amount as at a minimum one of your bets will win.
Middle Bet Example
For example, let's say for an NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings Sportsbook A had their opening spread line set at 6.5 points, whereas Sportsbook B had their spread set at 2.5 points.
If on Sportsbook A you were to place a $100 bet at -105 odds on the Vikings +6.5. Where on Sportsbook B you placed another $100 bet at -105 odds on the Packers -2.5. Here you have placed a total of $200 in bets and have created a middle bet opportunity where it is possible for both your bets to win.
|Stake||Total Stake: $200|
|Bets||Vikings +6.5||The Middle||Packers -2.5|
|Game Result||Vikings win or lose by 2 or less points||Vikings lose by 3 - 6 points|
Packers win by 3 - 6 points
|Packers win by 7 or more points|
|Total Return||Only your Vikings bet wins|
$100 @ -105=$195
|Both bets win|
$100 @ -105=$195
$100 @ -105=$195
|Only your Packers bet wins|
$100 @ -105=$195
As you can see, Middle Betting is a low risk, high reward strategy where the profits are big when you successfully ‘catch the middle’ but the risk is low. Although a middle result may seem unlikely to occur, it is more likely than most people think, this is because values around the sportsbook lines are generally the most likely margins of victory. So even if you can only find a 2-point middle bet opportunities over a long term betting on this will likely still result in a high return on your investment.
There are occasions where Sportsbooks have lines that have a whole number rather than ending in an interval of 0.5. For example if in an NBA game you used the total points markets for your middle bet and your two bets were Over 221.5 and Under 225. If the game ended with a total score of 225 your Over 221.5 bet would win but your Under 225 bet would result in a 'Push” (meaning you get your money back). This end result would still be very profitable, however still only half as profitable compared to a full middle bet win!
Strategies used in Middle Betting
Middling opportunities can occur in betting markets for a range of reasons, mainly due to a disagreement in Sportsbook opinions on a certain event. To find middle bets your goal is to find discrepancies / differences in betting markets. You can do this a couple of ways, the most simple way is to manually check a specific event across multiple Sportsbooks to try to find the biggest differential in spread/total values. This may be time consuming, however it does work and it is possible to find some middle opportunities doing so.
The other option is to find a good odd comparison site which automatically monitors odds and odd movements which allows you to look at all events from multiple Sportsbooks at once, without the need to manually check. Some odd comparison sites are paid services that even offer the option for alerts to notify you on good middle bet opportunities. However there are still some good free odds comparison platforms, which can get you started being a successful middle bettor before making the jump to a paid service.
Multiple Sportsbooks Accounts
To ensure maximum profit and be a successful middle bettor your goal should be to find the biggest discrepancy within different spread/total markets, this gives both of your bets the highest potential to win. It is very unlikely that these discrepancies will appear on the same Sportsbook bearing any technical error on their side in which case they have the right to void your bet. It is beneficial to be signed up to multiple Sportsbooks to give you more of an opportunity to ‘line shop’ and find the best odds and line discrepancy. The more sportsbook platforms you have at your disposal, the higher success rate you will have at finding middle bets, however with this in mind please beware that the Sportsbooks you sign up to are legitimate and legal in your jurisdiction. Sign up to multiple Sportsbooks here now to start your middling journey!
Team & Sport Knowledge
Being on top of the latest sport and team news can be beneficial if you want to make profit through middle betting. If you know or heard a rumor of possible late team change, or an unexpected storm brings rain close to the start of a game you can use this knowledge to create your own middle bet opportunity. This is because if this team/weather change is significant and may impact the game, this will reflect in the betting line set by the sportsbook.
For example the Los Angeles Lakers are due to play the Phoenix Suns in a couple of hours and the current spread is set at -5.5 (Lakers being favorite). You were quick to hear the news that LeBron James will be a late out for the Lakers. A big team change like LeBron not playing will have an impact on the betting spread of the game, if you were quick to act on this you may have managed to place a bet on the Phoenix Suns at +5.5 before the sportsbook adjusted their odds. After the Sportsbooks have altered their odds/spread values factoring LeBron James’ omission the game spread could have now moved to -0.5. Since you beat the sportsbook by placing a bet on the Sun at +5.5 you now can place your middle bet betting on the Lakers at -0.5 and you have created a 5 point middle bet opportunity where both of your bets could win.
To learn more check out our Middle Calculator.