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What are Middles?

middle betting
Written by Anton

Betting middles is a pretty popular strategy, and I’ll give you some interesting information in today’s article.

Essentially, middles have something in common with arbs, and now we can find info about them on different great arbing services.

How to work with middles?

As I have mentioned their likeness, it would be appropriate to give a bit of a detail. When you’re betting middles, you make a stake on opposing outcomes of the event. But still there are some differences:

  1. Bets on both shoulders can win.
  2. Bet on one shoulder and partially the second one can win at the same time.
  3. Bet on one shoulder can pass, and the second one can be canceled.

Initially, bets on middles were only on basketball (it remains the most popular sport for this strategy). But, over time, this strategy spread over other kinds of sport.

The best markets for betting middles are totals and handicaps. And a middle itself is formed mostly on Live.

Example of a middle bet

Now let’s examine it on the example:
Imagine that we have a match with two rugby teams T1 and T2 with bookmakers like  Pinnacle and WilliamHill (the first came into my mind).

Pinnacle offer their odds on total of the match:

TU 39.5 — 1.90 and TO 39.5 — 1.90.

WilliamHill offer these:

TU 46.5 — 1.93, TO 46.5 — 1.93.

The middle would be formed of ТO 39.5 with Pinnacle and ТU 46.5 with WilliamHill (from 40 to 46 points). Now let’s decide on the sum of our deposit: let it be $200. As the odds are almost even on both outcomes, we bet $100 on each.

Let’s assume that the match has ended with score 23:19. The total amount is 42, and it means that both our bets have passed, as 42>39.5 and 42<46.5.

Profit from the bet on the first shoulder (39.5) is 100*1.9 =$190,and profit from the second one (TU 46.5) is 100*1.93 =$193. Total profit from both bets is $383 (or $183 without deposit).

You’d think it’s quite simple, but there can be a different situation when the match ends with the score 18:14 (32) and only one bet will pass (TU 46.5 in this case). Our profit here would be 100*1.93 = $193 which is less than our deposit by $7.

And if the second shoulder bet fails, we will lose $10. Gambler goes into the red because of the bookmaker margin. But there is nothing to do about it as that is specificity of the given strategy.

There are also positive middles where gambler always gets a small profit. But such middles are very rare.

Polish middles

A variation of middles which is not so popular among pros but also can give you a good profit. The main peculiarity is that we will not try to hit the middle but hope for the only unprofitable outcome of a 3way middle to fail.

For clarity’s sake, here is the example of polish middles:

We have a match between Bayern and Borussia Dortmund.  Scanner gives out such middles: H2(+0.25) @2.34 with Pinnacle, and W1 @2.12 with WilliamHill.

For those who don’t know: handicap+ 0.25 split it in two: zero handicap and bet on +0.5. Therefore, if the match ends in a draw, first part of your bet would be canceled, and the second one would pass through.

Thereby, we’ll profit if: Bayern or Borussia wins. In our case a draw doesn’t work for us because we’ll lose: first part of our bet would be canceled and the second one would fail.

Now let’s imagine we deposit $200. First, calculate the inversion of the outcomes: S=1/2.34+1/2.12=0.8990. It’ll help us to calculate the stake on each market: B1=200/(S*K1), B2=200/(S*K2). In this and all other cases K1 and K2 — the odds of the outcomes, B1 and B2 — stake on each outcome.

Consequently: B1 = 200/(0.8990*2.34)=$95.07,  B2 = 200/(0.8990*2.12)=$104.93

As I usually advise to round your stake, in this case we’ll also round them to $105 and $95, respectively.

Hint: if you don’t want to manually calculate the stake, you can use a calculator (this one, for example). It has function like stake calculation according to the specified parameters.

And now we’ll examine all possible outcomes of the event to calculate a possible profit (V). We’ll use a formula V1=B1*K1 — (B1+B2), V2=B2*K2 — (B1+B2).

  1. Borussia wins. 95×2.34 – (95+105) = 222.30 – 200.00 = $22.30 profit.
  2. A draw. In this case one part of the bet passed, and the other one canceled. Consequently, we use only one part of the bet in our calculations (47.5): 47.5×2.34 – (47.5+105) = 111.15 – 152.5 = $41.35 loss.
  3. Bayern wins. 105*2.12 — (95+105) = 222.6 — 200=22.6$ profit.

Taking into account everything that was stated above, this strategy is considered to be profitable for long term gambling, especially picking up the highest odds.


In today’s article I’ve clearly demonstrated you the main pros and cons of regular and polish middles. Now the choice is yours. If you’re interested in my opinion, there is no need to use it very often as it has one tangible disadvantage: there is no guarantee you’ll win no matter the outcome is as it is with arbitrage situations.

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