Sports odds can move up and down depending on a range of factors, but the odds you get when you place your bet stay the same. Sometimes, after you have placed a bet on the point spread for a game, the odds move and give you the opportunity to bet again to win at least one of the two wagers. Put simply, middling is a strategy where a bettor backs both sides of the same bet, but at different point spreads, to open up the chance of hitting the "middle" and winning both while risking relatively little in return.
For example, if you have backed the Kansas City Chiefs at -3.5 points, and the line moves to -4.5, you then have the opportunity to back the opposing Denver Broncos at +4.5. In that situation, you know that one of your bets will win, regardless of the scoreline.
If you placed $10 bets on both at odds of -110, you would be in line to potentially win both bets if you hit the "middle" and the game finishes with a 4-point Chiefs win. For any other points differential, you would take only a minor loss:
In this example you're staking $20, but only risking $0.91 of it for the chance to potentially win $18.18.
The key to success in middling depends on your ability to identify the games that will see the point spreads move, as favored teams gain steam with sportsbooks in the lead-up to games. Most sportsbooks set their odds at -110 for point spread markets, meaning that if you can hit one "middle" per 21 middling attempts, you will break even. If you hit two or more per 21 attempts, you're in profit.