Sports Betting Guide
Middling in sports betting
What is middling? How to make sense out of it or what is the key to success when it comes to selecting a proper betting strategy? Let us find answers together in this sports betting guide.
First of all, what is middling? Basically, it is a betting strategy that is designed in a way to turn the price difference between online bookmakers in your favour. It is similar to what financial market traders use. It has its pros and cons, and while being a sort of complicated strategy, it can bring you the best possible results if successfully executed. So, how to make use out of it and what to pay more attention to while utilising this strategy?
The best way to explain this betting strategy would be using a practical example, which in our case is a basketball game. Let's assume there are two online bookmakers, A and B. The first one offers a 204.5 and the second one 200.5 total line. In such a case our so-called middle would be created by betting Under 204.5 and Over 200.5, this would limit our success criteria to 201, 202, 203 and 204 total points of the game. The main advantage of this strategy is that you can never lose both bets, you either win both or win one.
Besides Totals, middling could be used on Handicaps as well. It is a type of hedging strategy where you try to use line movements in your advantage, limiting your exposure. The main idea here is to determine if the middle would be a profitable one and whether it is worth betting on or not. Going back to the basketball example, let's assume that both odds are equally priced and would be bet on with the same stake. In order to explain you how this hedging works, let's use a $/€100 stake and simple odds of 2.00 (1/1), as an example. If we get lucky and land our middle on 201, 202, 203 or 204, our total profits would amount to $/€200 ($/€100 for each bet), therefore, losing one bet would result in overall $/€0 losses. Seems like a go for option!!!
Let's be a little more realistic and use the same stake with shorter odds of 1.90 (9/10). Then, in the best case, we would win $/€180 ($/€90 for each bet), in the worst - we would only win $/€90 and lose $/€100, leaving us down $/€10. Does it look like a profitable formula for you to beat the bookmaker?
Many punters get confused here, thinking it is not a worthy strategy and that it is not helping them to beat the bookmaker. Such people are usually basing their argument on one small thing «you are down $/€10!». Yes, it is true you are going to be down $/€10, however, you still get a $/€190 revenue (100 state + 90 winnings), which would be enough to cover the next 19 cases like that. Do you really think having a backup plan for the next 19 middling attempts is bad? Just for the record, your chances of landing a wager during a 19-bet span are around 5.3%. It is as likely to happen as landing a $/€10 single bet with the odds of 19.00 (18/1)!
How often can you find a good middle?
Just to make it clear, not all middles are the same. They don't only vary from sport to sport but also within. Finding a middle requires a deep understanding of scoring patterns and tendencies. The middle does not always have value, some of them are more profitable than others and vice versa. For example, using tennis as an example, we can say that four-game point handicaps are more valuable then three-game ones. The same distribution differences could also be seen over time. Such line shifts are very common in American college football (NCAA). You can usually expect at least three-point line change between the market opening and game day. It is also not a rare occasion when such line moves by even 7 points, which equals to a touchdown (+1 extra point). Lower and less popular leagues, divisions and sports often are subjects to bigger fluctuations, compared to top leagues. Therefore, make sure you have accounts registered at a couple of recommended online bookmakers with a rich sports betting offer.
Is middling a safe option?
Every bettor is different, they use different approaches & strategies and know better than anybody else what is the best way to beat the bookie. Interesting, but in the case of middling, there is nothing like doing it one way or another. Middling is the way it is, and only that way, you simply cannot do it otherwise. If a punter finds a middle in the NBA or Premier League and it does not have value, it will never have it regardless of how that particular punter looks at it. You can do middling only one way, which is actually an advantage of it. Mastering this strategy once will solve the problem of finding a middle for you forever. Once again, it is very important to remember - not all middles, have to be bet on! Moreover, you only need to hit it once in a while to stay on a good track.
If bankroll safety is your priority when choosing a proper betting strategy, then middling should be one of the best options for you. Let's say that you are going to bet 21 times at the odds of 1.91 (91/100) on both sides to hit a middle. You actually would only need just 1 to secure your profits for all the remaining wagers. One out of twenty-one! Your chances against the bookmaker here are as low as 4.8%. Not even 5% of success rate is enough to stay profitable for quite a while, isn't it impressive?
Despite only needing 1 out of 21 middles to land, there are still certain risks you might face. Never forget about the importance of staying focused and analysing every single piece of information before placing a bet. If you would like to learn more about the most common mistakes committed by punters, click here to read our sports betting tutorial. While middling seems to be very attractive and profitable, the improper use of it could lead to severe problems and even bankruptcy.
Are bookmakers aware of middling?
Just like punters, top online bookmakers are also well aware of middling. The question, however, is can they prevent punters from exploiting it? Not always but believe it, they will make it tough on you. The best example of a middle resulting in a huge upset for bookmakers occurred in 1979 during the Super Bowl XIII. It taught everyone a lesson and changed the middle betting forever.
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The actual game was between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers, where the latter one was a favourite. The opening day lines of -3.5 for Steelers and +3.5 for Cowboys set the tone. Due to a large volume of bets placed on a favourite, bookmakers had to move the line to -4.5 on Dallas to encourage some betting. Well, to say less, they succeeded, and moments before the kickoff, the majority of bets were placed on Dallas. The game finished at 35-31 for Pittsburgh. Many bettors won both bets, hitting a middle, which resulted in a huge upset for some popular online bookmakers. The losses were so big that Super Bowl XIII got the name of «Black Sunday», which it holds up to this day.
Livebetting as a middling enhancer
Livebetting became extremely popular in recent years. More and more punters are using this feature. It doesn't only bring more betting options but also more opportunities to gain the edge over the bookie. If you have some decent knowledge about the sport and can accurately predict the outcome of the game, you can use handicapping to your very advantage. Thanks to the tendency of teams making a comeback after being down at the beginning being quite common, you have the whole bunch of options right in front of you. From underdogs covering the spread to the favourites winning with a handicapped score, you can easily find a valuable middle.
Although this approach provides multiple options for your betting, it also carries high risks as well. We would rather suggest you get more familiar with less sophisticated techniques first before opting-in to something like livebetting, moreover, when it is accompanied with middling.
Does it pay off to middle?
At the end of the day, all betting strategies are aiming for profit maximisation. This is not possible without the extensive knowledge about the particular sport and bookmaking itself. Even though we have mentioned how attractive and clear middling is, it is still listed among the advanced betting strategies.
Besides all that, it also requires lots of dedication and patience. You always have to keep the upper hand on the line movements to pick out the right middle. Sometimes hitting a middle is equal to landing a longshot, so you must be disciplined and prepared for inevitable.
Having said all of that, there's no room in middling for newbies. New punters have to take their time exploring and learning the basics of betting and how to outplay the bookmaker. Only after gaining certain experiences and knowledge, you would be able to try out more advanced betting strategies like middling. If you would like to learn more about how bookmakers work, how to place your wagers properly and what to pay more attention to when registering & claiming your welcome bonus, please visit our sports betting guide section.