What is middle betting? What’s the difference between middling and arbing (or hedging)? How do I find middle bets?
These are all great questions. Middle bets are the lottery tickets of sports betting (some may call same game parlays lottery tickets and while they certainly are long shots because of their long odds, they’re not nearly as profitable as the books and social media would have you believe) Middling utilizes the same strategies we have already covered with arbing and hedging to find and wager on low risk, high upside bets. The payout on a middle bet can be huge, but they are extremely difficult to find.
So, what is a middle opportunity? Essentially, middle bets are bets where profit can be locked in by betting both sides of a points spread or total on different sportsbooks, like with an arb. Unlike an arb, however, our aim with a middle bet is to with both bets, or to win one side and push on the other. To reiterate, these opportunities are uncommon and difficult to find. And, since we’re rooting for an extremely small window of potential outcomes with a middle bet, they’re even more difficult to win.
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Let’s say the Atlanta Falcons are taking on the New Orleans Saints this week in the Superdome. The spread on DraftKings opens at Atlanta +3.5 at -110 and New Orleans -3.5 at -110. At the same time, Caesars opens the line at Atlanta +2.5 at -110 and New Orleans -2.5 at -110. This presents a middle opportunity – we can bet the Falcons +3.5 on DraftKings and place a corresponding bet on the Saints at -2.5 on Caesars. Now, one of three outcomes can happen for our bets. 1) If the Saints win by 4 or more, our Atlanta +3.5 bet is lost, but we cash the Saints -2.5. 2) The Falcons win outright or lose by 2 or fewer points. In this case, our Atlanta +3.5 cashes but we lose the Saints -2.5. In both these scenarios, we lose a small amount because of the vig we pay on the bets. 3) The Saints win by 3 points. This is what we were hoping for when we made the middle bet! Both the Saints -2.5 and the Falcons +3.5 bets cash, and we just hit a huge win.
Hitting a middle is going to be very profitable for the bettor. As you can see, however, it’s not easy for this to happen. In the above example, we need the Saints to win by exactly 3 to cash both bets and hit the middle, not an easy scenario, given all the possible score outcomes of the game. It’s also important to be mindful of the vig you’re paying on both sides of a middle bet, as too much vig will easily eat into your bankroll. Middling is a profitable strategy once you know how to do it, and middles can be found with point spreads, totals and alternative spreads and totals.
Middle opportunities aren’t overly common, so it’s not a strategy to build your entire wagering approach around. That said, our Middling Bets scanner can help you identify profitable middles. Go to the Middle Opportunities page under our SBI Scanners and you’ll see what middles are currently available. As with the Arbitrage Lines and Low Holds scanners, find a middle you’d like to look more at and note the bet, line and sportsbooks. Click on the calculator and the Bet 1 and Bet 2 Lines will auto-populate. Enter the amount you’d like to wager, and you’ll see how much you’d pay for under the Profit Amount for this middle.
Overall middles can be very profitable, but they’re very, very difficult to hit (thus the lottery ticket moniker), so it’s best not to pay too much for a middle bet. You’re better off finding guaranteed profit drivers under our Arbitrage Lines scanner. That said, if you find a good middle opportunity and don’t mind paying a little bit, middles can be a lot fun, are super profitable and make for a great story when you hit one!