In English, ‘middle’ means ‘middle’. The word is also used as a verb, which would be something like “to middle”. In betting jargon, it means to make a new guess that overlaps the previous one, that is, to create an intersection in the middle. It is a strategy that can generate big gains with little risk. However, it is not for beginners. To take advantage of this strategy, you need intermediate knowledge of sports betting, plus access to accounts at several different bookmakers and a bit of luck as well.
NFL middle bet example
Let’s say the Eagles are going to take on the Cowboys on Sunday night. The Monday before, the bookmaker opens with the Cowboys as favourites to win by 7 points. You believe he will be able to cover the -7 spread and bet on them right off the bat.
Throughout the week, the various bets placed on the favourite team will cause the odds to fluctuate. The bookmakers adjust the new figures to reflect the interest of the public and on Friday you discover that the Cowboys are now favourites to win by 10 points.
These 3 points are a huge difference in American football. If before Dallas only needed a touchdown to cover the spread, now they will need to score points twice. It just got a lot harder, didn’t it? Maybe the underdog doesn’t seem like a bad choice now. That opens the door for a middle bet.
Now, with the new odds, you go to another site and place your bet on the Eagles to win with a +10 lead. Having placed those two bets, it is possible to win one or both at the same time. The double win occurs if Dallas wins by 8 or 9 points. If Dallas wins by 7 or 10, you win on one of the bets and get your money back on the other (push).
Middle bets are not foolproof. There is always the possibility that the score will not be what you expect. So you may win on one of the bets, but lose on the other one.
In the table below you can see some examples of possible outcomes:
- Final score Bet: Cowboys -7 Bet: Eagles +10 Result;
- Cowboys 31-20 Eagles 24-20 31-30 win/loss;
- Cowboys 30-20 Eagles 23-20 30-30 win / push;
- Cowboys 29-20 Eagles 22-20 29-30 win / win;
- Cowboys 28-20 Eagles 21-20 28-30 win / win;
- Cowboys 27-20 Eagles 20-20 27-30 push / win;
- Cowboys 26-20 Eagles 19-20 26-30 lost / won.
A real example: Super Bowl XIII and “Black Sunday
It is very good to have 2 or 3 points difference to make a middle bet, but it is not mandatory. There is a very famous example, which happened in Super Bowl XIII and made it known as “Black Sunday”.
In that game, the Pittsburgh Steelers started out as favorites to beat the Dallas Cowboys by 3.5 points. However, during the week, the odds changed and left the Steelers as 4.5-point favorites. Someone very smart and very lucky could have placed the bet in the middle and cheered for a Steelers win by exactly 4 points. And that was exactly the result.
The final score: Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31. This day was known as Black Sunday, especially in Las Vegas, because the result meant the defeat of the bookmakers in most of the games that were made for this famous matchup. Those who had the presence of mind to take advantage of the middle undoubtedly made a handsome profit.