Middling a bet is always a tough decision in the moment if you’re the average person betting – your team jumps out to a lead, they’re covering by good margin, and you felt good about the bet pregame so why bet the other side and potentially cost yourself money? Then the other side of your brain is telling you to middle it and try to make more money but you’re not sure what to do.
There are a lot of different strategies to middling a game and there’s not one right answer because everybody’s bankroll and volume of plays are different and some guys can afford to take more chances, but for the sake of the average guy betting who doesn’t have a huge bankroll and isn’t betting a ton of volume, this is one way you can grind out some more profit over time and minimize risk.
Say you have $200 on the Bills -3. $220 to win $200 and the Bills jump out to a 14-0 lead early. The Bills might then become -9.5 or -10.5 on the live line. The standard way to middle is just bet the other side at +10.5 -115 (or juiced heavier at a lot of books in their live portal…look out for this because a lot of books try to take advantage of expensive vigs because they know you’re betting in-games on impulse). A lot of people aren’t sure how much they should bet on the other side. I personally think risking somewhere between 15-30% of your initial bet on the other side is a good balance because you can still squeeze out more profit if you hit the middle but you’re also not overexposing yourself on the other side of a good bet. I look at middles as a bonus payout instead of going for the jugular and betting the full amount, or close to the full amount, on the other side and trying to hit twice.
More importantly, instead of only considering betting the other side at the live line, look at the alternate live lines at plus money. In this example you might see the other side at +7.5 +135 or +6.5 +150. If you bet $50 on the other side at +6.5 +150 and the +6.5 doesn’t cover, you still profited $150 and don’t pay any vig on the 6.5. If the game lands on 4, 5, or 6 you profit $275. There’s nothing wrong with betting the +10.5, you obviously leave yourself a bigger window to middle, but paying -115 or more on a live line going against your initial bet when you don’t have a big bankroll can cost you money and momentum you can use going forward.
Again, there are a lot of good middling strategies, but talking to literally thousands of bettors over the years, the average guy can’t approach middling the same way a professional betting a ton of volume with a big bankroll can. Betting the NBA is by far the best sport to bet middles in my opinion because the score changes so often which keeps creating more and more middle opportunities, but it’s football season and this is one way to squeeze out a few extra bucks as you play during the season.