Wednesday, December 11, 2019


Handicapping Strategy: Middling

November 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

There are many different kinds of strategies when it comes to betting on sports, but we never know which ones work and which ones do. For those new to sports betting, handicapping is a good way to gather information and analyze it in order to predict the outcome of a sports match. One particular strategy that involves the handicapping skills is to Middle a bet. The reason middling is an often widely used strategy for beginners is that it lowers the risk of losing, or at least it lowers the amount you could end up losing. You would essentially be placing two bets, on the same sports match, but from two different sportsbooks. It sounds more complicated than it really is.

How to Middle a Bet

As mentioned before, you are going to be placing two bets at two different sportsbooks. So, you must be a member of at least two sportsbooks. Sometimes, it is better to be a member of several different sportsbooks, as this will increase your chances of finding two that have different odds for the same matches. It is not uncommon to find that most sports bettors are members of anywhere from 3 to 6 online sportsbooks. This doesn’t mean you have to have a big bankroll in each, that would bankrupt anyone.

Once you find the football match you want to bet on, you will need to look at the odds that each is given on the Point Spread. The Point Spread bet involves taking into account by how many points a team needs to win by or needs to keep the score under to win. After you have both sportsbooks that have different odds, you will simply place your bets. However, you will not be placing both bets on the same team. Instead, you will be placing one bet on the favorite and the other on the underdog. By picking opposing point spreads, you will have ensured a middling bet.

Favorite vs. Underdog

In order to know when to place the bet on the favorite and when to place it on the underdog is quite simple; by looking at the point spreads given at each sportsbook. When you bet on the favorite, you will bet on the lower point spread, and the higher point spread when it comes to the underdog. The higher the point spread is for the underdog, the better, as it gives them better chances of actually accomplishing it.

You must beware though, when the point spreads are really high, it usually means that one team has good chances of blowing them away, points wise.

Three Outcomes of Middling

There are really only three different outcomes when you middle a bet, which is why it is considered to be one of the safer types of bets. It will minimize any losses if you lose, and have the potential to earn you a good payout, even if they are small profits, you are still profiting. The three outcomes are:

  • Win/Win
  • Win/Push
  • Win/Lose

The best outcome possible is the Win/Win; although this has low odds of happening, if it does, your payout will be quite large. Most of the time, you see the Win/Push and Win/Lose where you will either get a small profit, or a small loss.

We will be using the match between the New England Patriots against the Carolina Panthers:

SB1

SB2

Win/Win

This has happened in the past, and it isn’t as rare as many would think. This outcome has the potential to give you the best payout possible based on your bets. This is when both of your bets win.

We have two different sportsbooks, as well as their point spreads. As you can notice, the point spreads for each sportsbook is different, even though it is the same match. This is exactly what you are looking for. In order to have a Win/Win, the match will have to end with only a two point difference in the final score. In other words, the Panthers can only beat the Patriots by 2 points. The way to figure out how much you would win, based on the amount wagered, is:

Team

Spread

Odds

$100

$1000

Panthers -1 -115 $87 $870
Patriots +3 -120 $83 $830

This means that if you bet $100 on each sportsbook, and both wagers win, you would end up with a profit of $170.

Win/Push

Win/Push is when you win one of the bets, but ties the other. These are more common than Win/Win, and will still provide you with a profit, although it won’t be as big. Using the same match and bets:

Team

Spread

Odds

$100

$1000

Panthers -1 -115 $87 $870
Patriots +3 -120 TIE TIE

This means that the Patriots managed to keep the final score difference at exactly 3 points. This means that Panthers still beat the Patriots by more than 1 point, but the Patriots managed to keep the score different at 3 points. You will simply earn an $87 profit, as in the event of a tie, you simply get your money back.

Win/Lose

Depending on what the payout odds are, you will either get a slight profit or a slight loss every time you get a Win/Lose. This is the most common outcome of the three. There are two ways to get a Win/Lose:

  1. The Underdog simply wins the game.
  2. The Favorite beats the Underdog by more points than the point spread.

 

Team

Spread

Odds

$100

$1000

Panthers -1 -115 $87 $870
Patriots +3 -120 Lose Lose

OR

Team

Spread

Odds

$100

$1000

Panthers -1 -115 Lose Lose
Patriots +3 -120 Win Game Win Game

 

With option #1, you will have a slight loss of $13. With option #2, you will still have a slight loss of $17. It all depends on the odds, so always look for the Underdog odds at either EVEN or having a + in front of the odds. This will ensure that you will get a small profit.

Remember:

  • Pick the lowest point spread for the Favorite
  • Pick the highest point spread for the Underdog, unless you find great payout odds with a + in front.

These two points will help you search for the NFL matches that you can middle on effectively. Do not try to middle on close point spreads, as they will always have worse odds of getting a Win/Win.