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Metric Sports

Know when to middle. Know when to ride.

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In the wake of last night’s Denver come-from-behind ass whooping of Baltimore, there’s been a lot of buzz about second half plays and middles.  2H and middle plays, when used properly, can be profitable endeavors.  The problem with this being the opening weekend of football and more and more people coming out of Twitter hibernation last night is that some may think this is just the consistent “sharp” thing to do.

2nd half plays need to be based upon A) a team’s traditional success in that spot with the same coach/QB and B) the general flow of the game.  If you’re not watching the first half, it’s generally not wise (for most bettors) to make a 2nd half bet.

Last night worked because Peyton Manning is the king of the 2nd half and because Baltimore was having a new player get injured every series.  But what would happen if we had the same situation as last night with only two variables.  Denver still has revenge, their QB took them to the playoffs last year, they’re still at home, they were still 7+ point favorites, etc.

The only two variables are that the QB was not Peyton Manning, it is Sam Bradford.  Baltimore has no first half injuries.

Now the “obvious middle” situation is not NEARLY as obvious.  As a matter of fact, I would NOT middle or make a 2nd half play in that spot.  I would let my Baltimore + whatever ride.

If Tampa Bay is beating the Jets 17-0 on Sunday at halftime, you have a TB -3 full game ticket and the 2nd half line is Jets -3, are you going to middle?  There’s a GIANT middle window here, so it’s an obvious play, right?

There’s no chance I would middle in this spot, especially if Geno Smith has been completely ineffective in the first half.  I would take my Tampa ticket all day long at that point and might even go so far as to considering ADDING MORE Tampa at +3 in the 2nd half.

In summary, middles and 2nd half plays are great, when used selectively and properly.  The more experience you have, the more effective these tools are in your arsenal.  However, if you’re a relatively new capper, use these VERY selectively.  If you make a 2nd half play, do it because your research tells you it’s the right play, not because someone on Twitter tells you it is.  Don’t turn a winning ticket into a net loser.

Know when to middle.  Know when to let it ride.

Best of luck to everyone this weekend.