Middling is an advantage play that benefits from alternative interpretations of the handicap markets at different bookmakers. Whilst hitting a middle is unlikely and requires patience, we can get on many for no risk, and the rewards can be very high, usually in the hundreds of pounds.

Normally the sports associated with Middling are those with high scores; basketball, rugby, snooker and cricket all offer opportunities to take advantage of handicap middling.

For example – bookmaker 1 and bookmaker 2 may both offer a handicap market on the Hull vs Castleford rugby game.

Bookmaker 1: Hull -3.5pts evens
Bookmaker 2: Castleford +4.5pts evens

With this structure of handicap we have three outcomes:

Hull win by 5 points or more win – win at bookmaker 1, lose at bookmaker 2
Hull win by 4 points – win at bookmaker 1, win at bookmaker 2
Hull win by 3 points or less, draw or Castleford win – lose at bookmaker 1, win at bookmaker 2

So we have created a middle – if Hull win by exactly 4 points we are going to Disneyland.


The important concept to remember is that the odds on either side of the middle need to either be dutchable, or the loss needs to be low enough to justify the value in chasing the middle. Often it is difficult to determine what the odds of the middle occurring are, but a good rule of thumb is that any middle will be very rare.

A good strategy would be to take middles only when there is no loss.

To find middles, it can be helpful to employ the use of odds comparison sites like oddschecker. Trawling through the handicap markets of cricket, basketball, snooker and rugby markets can often highlight potential middles.

When looking for middles, use these rules

Middling Rules

1. The + needs to be higher than the –
2. A 1.5 gap is needed, except when (3)
3. A 1.0 gap is OK when there is a x.5 somewhere


(Team A, Team B)

(-7, +9)
(-7.5, +9)
(-7.5, +8.5)

Not Middles
(-8, +7) Both could lose
(-7, +8) One will always lose
(-7, +7.5) One will always lose

How Much Should I bet?

As middling should be risk free, bet as much as you can get on, be wary though – that £2,500 on Castleford +4.5 will almost certainly result in a goodbye email from the dreaded Mr Senior Trader

NFL Middles video by Basher Tom

Tracking Results

Check out the NFL middles tracker here to see how we’ve been getting on.