Middle is a potentially very profitable situation that can occur in sports arbitrage betting. A middle is a situation where if the match ends with a certain outcome, you can win both bets or get a refund at one and win the other.
Middles can be found in many markets but the most common are Asian handicaps and Overs/Unders. Although basketball is the most common sport, middles can be found easily in other sports such as football or NFL.
Below are some examples of what are the types of middle bets in arbitrage betting.
Bet 1. Place 100$ on odds of 2.05 at -7 for basketball team 1.
Bet 2. Place 100$ on odds of 2.05 at +7.5 for basketball team 2.
- If team 1 wins with less than 7 points bet 2 wins and the total profit is 5$.
- If team 1 wins with over than 7 points bet 1 wins and the total profit is 5$.
- If team 1 wins with 7 points then bet 1 is refunded and the total win is 105$ (bet 2).
Middles like that can occur in other markets too such as overs/unders ( over 150 points with under 150.5 for example).
”Half middles” is the situation where you win the one side of the bet and get a half refund at the other.
Bet 1. Over 2.5 at bookie 1.
Bet 2. Under 2.75 at bookie 2.
If the match ends with 3 goals you win bet 1 and get the half stake back at bet 2.
This is the most profitable situation at arbitrage betting. Here if the match ends with a specific outcome you can win both bets.
Bet 1. Over 150.5 point at bookie 1.
Bet 2. Under 151.5 points at bookie 1.
If the match ends with 151 points then you have won both bets.
Most of the time you will not find an arb situation which is also a middle as we saw in the first example. When the combination of bets leaves as with a negative arb percentage then that middle bet is called negative.
If we change the odds in the first example to 1.98 then we have the following possible outcomes.
- If team 1 wins with less than 7 points bet 2 wins and the total loss is 2$.
- If team 1 wins with over than 7 points bet 1 wins and the total loss is 2$.
- If team 1 wins with 7 points then bet 1 is refunded and the total win is 98$ (bet 2).
This is a -2% arb but if you hit the middle the profits are huge. The profits that you make worth taking negative arbs in the long run.
When betting on negative middles the bets you are taking have no value. That means that you can stay under the radar for a longer period as bookmakers will consider you as a regular punter.
Unlike the other type of middles where you want a specific result, at polish middles you need an exact outcome NOT to happen to win. Below is an example to illustrate that condition better.
Bet 1. 75$ at odds of 1.60 at Draw No Bet for team 2 to win at 1st half.
Bet 2. 24$ at odds of 5 for team 1 to win at 1st half.
Let’s see all the possible outcomes:
- If team 2 wins the 1st half you end with a total profit of 21.
- If team 1 wins the 1st half you end with a total profit of 21.
- If the first half ends at a draw then you are getting a refund at bet 1 and lose the whole stake (-24$) at bet 2.
So basically you are betting against the first half draw at value odds.
Polish middles should be handled with care as the losses can be high. Their biggest advantage is that they can be used when you have been limited by bookies to small stakes. Since the potential profits are much higher than the original arbs, smaller stakes can be used to achieve high returns.
Betting on middles can be highly profitable in the long run. They are risk-free bets with high potential returns. The fact that small stakes can be used makes them suitable for newbies and also for those who have faced bookie limitations. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you explore that type of betting.
I hope that you have found my article useful and informative. If so, feel free to share it or leave a comment below.