Sports bettors are always looking for an inside edge against the online sportsbooks when it comes to betting on the games. Nobody bets to lose and even the best pro handicappers are always trying to improve their overall winning percentage.
One betting strategy that can provide an edge if it is executed properly is betting the middle. From the time a game’s point spread or total line is first released, it is always subject to change. The general betting public can move a betting line with heavy action on one side or the other.
Pro bettors or sharps can also move a betting line with a major play.
Potential for Free Profits By Middling
Betting the middle can be thought of as a hedge for two bets on the same game. While a hedge bet pertains to protecting your overall position in a pair of wagers, a middling bet has the chance to win both ways.
A hedge bet could be on the point spread for the second-half of a game. This is a way to cover a point spread bet you may have already made for the game as a whole. For example, you take Green Bay to cover the -6.5 spread against Minnesota for the entire game but you bet the Vikings to cover in the second half as +3 underdogs when they're down 20-10 at halftime.
Betting the middle involves two different spreads. Suppose Green Bay opens as an 6½-point favorite against Minnesota and you bet the Packers to cover. The spread jumps to 7½ points midweek. You could place another bet on Minnesota to win plus the points. If the Packers go on to win by seven points, you would win both bets.
You should also track the line movements in any game you plan to bet. Sometimes pulling the trigger as soon as a line is released makes the most betting sense. Sometimes tracking the numbers as you get closer and closer to game time is the best strategy.
If the number moves in your favor, this becomes a more solid wager from a value standpoint. If the number moves against your favor, do not bet the game.
Middling is a combination of both. Jumping on an early line, tracking the movement and then betting the other side if there is a gap in the spread or total of more than a point. It is always best to use spreads and totals with half points. This gives you a stronger chance to win both bets without the possibility of a tie.
Using the sample above, the only way to win both of your bets is a Green Bay win by seven points. That is why making money on middling bets is hard to do. However, as a hedge bet, you are going to win one side to limit your loss to the juice on the other wager.
The wider the difference in the point spread and/or total line, the better the opportunity to bet the middle. This does not happen all that much with NFL or NBA games given just how sharp the line are when first released. However, you can easily find bigger movements in the betting lines for college football and college basketball.
If you are interested in betting the middle, it helps to have betting accounts at two or three online sportsbooks. This lets you shop the betting lines for the best possible middling opportunities.