What if you could take the guesswork out of betting? What if you could place a wager with minimal risk but a high reward? There is one NFL betting market I’ve found ripe for middle opportunities.
NFL Betting: Line Shopping and Middling
For those new to sports betting, or perhaps new to this angle of sports betting, here is a quick primer on “line shopping” and “middling.”
The concept of line shopping is rather simple. You “shop” sportsbooks the same way you would shop in supermarkets. I live in New York and have accounts with six different sportsbooks. Every time I look to place a wager, I check the line on all six books and place the wager on the book with the best line.
When the average person places a bet, they are doing so because they believe that outcome is more likely to occur than the odds suggest. Most people don’t think about it that deeply — they are just placing a bet on something they think will happen. But even without realizing it, that is the calculation they are making.
Every season, I post weekly NFL player props using that exact philosophy. I look at the lines, evaluate the prices, and recommend plays I believe are more likely to occur than the lines suggest.
However, not every bet needs to be predicting an outcome. The concept of “middling” is betting both sides of an outcome, hoping the result lands in between the over and the under, allowing you to win both bets.
For example, let’s say Christian McCaffrey’s rushing yardage prop was set at 80.5 on one sportsbook and 100.5 on another. Regardless of what you think McCaffrey will do, you bet over 80.5 and under 100.5.
That way, if McCaffrey rushes for anywhere from 81-100 yards, you win both bets. If not, you split, and you only lose the vig. It’s minimal risk for a potentially large payout.
NFL Line Shopping: Finding Middles on QB Passing Yardage Totals
Currently, the top NFL betting markets are futures. Included in NFL futures are season-long player props. Not every book offers lines for every player. Some books don’t offer season-long player props at all. But on the ones that do, the lines are not exactly the same. In fact, there are some pretty large disparities we can take advantage of.
Recently, I did this with quarterback passing yardage totals. For every single quarterback listed, you can find a difference in his yardage total across sportsbooks.
Of course, not every line is worth betting on, though. The middle needs to be large enough that you can realistically hit it, and the vig needs to be low enough that you’re not risking too much on a low probability outcome such that you’re creating negative expected value.
With that in mind, here are 10 quarterback yardage props that I believe are worth chasing a middle.
FanDuel: Over 3875.5, -112
DraftKings: Under 4050.5, -120
DraftKings: Over 2600.5, -110
Caesars: Under 2800.5, -115
FanDuel: Over 3300.5, -112
DraftKings: Under 3500.5, -115
FanDuel: Over 3200.5, -112
Caesars: Under 3450.5, -115
FanDuel: Over 3925.5, -112
DraftKings: Under 4100.5, -130*
I included this because I bet it, but the under was -110 when I placed the wager. It has since moved to -130. The middle is still large enough to reasonably hit, but the -130 price increases the risk to the point where this is likely no longer +EV.
FanDuel: Over 4200.5, -112
DraftKings: Under 4350.5, -110
Caesars: Over 4325.5, -115
DraftKings: Under 4550.5, -110
BetMGM: Over 3125.5, -115
DraftKings: Under 3300.5, -110
BetMGM: Over 3499.5, -115
DraftKings: Under 3625.5, -125
Caesars: Over 3800.5, -115
DraftKings: Under 3950.5, -110
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