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Middle Bet Guide – What is it, Arbitrage Betting

As we know, sportsbook lines are always changing. Just because you place a bet at one line on one day does not mean by the time the game starts the line will be the same. This can create some real advantages for you, the bettor, especially if you get in on a line when it’s favorable.

What is a Middle Bet?

A middle bet, or middling, is the practice of betting two sides of a line with the possibility of both bets winning. This phenomenon occurs when the lines move after you place that favorable bet we talked about above. 

The one thing to keep in mind when middling is your bankroll. While middling can give you an edge, it also requires double the money upfront since you are making two bets. 

As always, nothing in betting is guaranteed, so use our OddsJam Industry/Arbitrage plans to find middle opportunities with the most value, and always factor in this extra cost to your bankroll. 

Now I know what you’re thinking. “This sounds amazing! But, how do I FIND a middle bet?” Never fear my concerned reader friend.

What are Middle Arbitrage Bets?

A middle arbitrage bet is similar to a standard middle bet but is typically a safer method for a lower, but more guaranteed payout.

Arbitrage is when a sports bettor places a bet on both outcomes of a particular line and has a guaranteed profit. For example, there are instances in line movements or Positive EV betting when a bettor can bet on both teams to win a game on different sportsbooks and come up positive, barring a tie.

There are also instances in which you could win one bet and get the other refunded, which is even more profitable and risk-free.

For example, OddsJam’s Arbitrage Calculator has a bet for the upcoming Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild game. By placing Wild +1.5 at -227 on BetWay and Avalanche -1.5 at SuperBook, a user can profit risk-free. Placing $100 on both of those lines at these odds results in a $2.45 profit, regardless of the outcome.

While $2.45 certainly isn’t a very high profit number, higher bets and better line shopping can result in much better returns.

How to Find a Middle Betting Opportunity

There are four different scenarios where a middle bet can occur based on the type of bet and how the betting lines move:

  • The point spread shifts further away from 0 (+3/-3→+7/-7)
  • The point spread moves closer to 0 (+3/-3→+1/-1)
  • The total moves up (36→40)
  • The total moves down (36→32)

Point Spread Middling

Anytime the point spread moves there could be an opportunity to middle. Let’s look at a theoretical example:

Los Angeles Rams -7Los Angeles Rams -10
San Diego Chargers +7San Diego Chargers +10

If you saw the opening line and liked the Rams you would likely place a bet on the Rams. As the week progresses anything can happen from injuries, weather, or illness. 

Before the game starts you see the line has moved and now the Rams are favored even MORE. If you know about middling, you know there is now an opportunity. 

In order to middle this bet you would place a bet on the Chargers +10

In this scenario there are three possible outcomes, because remember there is no guarantee both sides WILL hit but you can mitigate your losses.

  • Both bets hit: Rams beat the Chargers by 8 or 9
  • Bettor wins one bet: Chargers lose by 6 or less OR the Rams win by 11 or more.
  • Push: Rams win by exactly 7 or 10

Total Points Middling

It is also possible to middle on the total points of the game. For example:

O/U 39.5O/U 44.5

In this example, the over under line opens at 39.5 and you decide to take the over 39.5. Before the game starts you check the line and see it has increased to 44.5.

Since you know about middling you now also take the under 44.5 bet. If this game scores between 40-44, both of your bets have hit!

Remember, using OddsJam’s betting tools allows you to stay on top of the current betting odds and how they may vary throughout the week. By monitoring these odds, you’ll have even more chances to middle in the total points markets and earn yourself risk-free profit!

Live Middling

With the introduction of online sports betting, live betting has become an increasingly common trend. Live betting is another way you the bettor can get an edge on the books because live lines move much more frequently than pre-match lines.

Let’s look at our previous O/U example.

O/U 39.5O/U 44.5

Once again you decide to take the over on the opening line. As the game is played the books notice that this total is going to be higher than the opening line had originally anticipated, so they bump the line up to 44.5 in the second quarter.

If you are watching the lines live during the game, you would see a middling opportunity arise! Just as the last time you would take the U 44.5 bet and if the score is anywhere from 40-44 both bets will hit. 

Live betting can create an advantage but can also be risky. The books are moving the line up, but it is always possible the game can be a blowout and the point totals continue to go up. 

If you know what you’re doing then middling can become a very profitable venture for you. So take what you’ve learned, find some middling opportunities, and hit the books where it hurts!

Check out also puck line betting.

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