Middling is the technique of betting both sides of a sporting event because the pointspread has changed enough that it provides a middle number that would result in both sides covering the spread. To more clearly understand have a look at this example using an NBA basketball game. Opening Line: Lakers -3 Sonics.
The line is released for play in the morning with LA as a 3 point favorite. Heavy play on the Lakers forces the bookmaker to move the line all the way up to -5.5, where it levels out and action comes more equally on both Seattle and LA. The new line is 2.5 points more than the opener, creating a classic middle situation because there are now lines that could allow bets on either team to win.
In this case if a bettor wagered on the Lakers at -3 when it opened he could place a new bet on the Sonics at +5.5 and win both bets if the Lakers win by either 4 or 5 points.
The first thing worth noting is that in order to create a middle the bettor needs to make the early play. One way would be to watch the publicly available odds provided by services such as Don Best. These websites display the current odds at all the participating casinos.
The bookmakers update the odds every time they adjust the line. This information is watched closely by other bookmakers and when they see another casino move the line they very often, on the premise that the other bookmaker has moved due to heavy action, move their own line to match.
By subscribing to one of these services and watching the line moves any player can greatly increase their awareness on the slight nuances in line movement which can create middle opportunities.
In order to begin middling at the beginner level a player should first sign-up for an odds service and start studying the action as the lines move throughout the day. By paying close attention the bettor should be able to pick out two or three casinos that consistently seem to move their lines first and set the trends that other casinos follow.
Next, shop around for three or four sportsbooks to start accounts with. Several shops are needed so a wide variety of lines will be available to choose from. Begin comparing the current line at each sportsbook to the odds service and be aware of differences; this is where middles are found! Some books might not make a move as quickly as others, providing the beginner with an easy “in” on the line as it moves.
It is probably best to start out with accounts that do not use real money in order to get the feel for how each company works and to observe their bookmaking style. This sort of information will be crucial when making wise middle bets. It is also important to realize that profitable middling requires a large bankroll because bets need to be placed on both sides of the wager and the profits can be small due to the low percentages of middles that come in.