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Paid to play both sides in Vikings-Saints

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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening

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Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Mike Wilkening

With the Saints prevailing 14-9 vs. the Vikings Thursday night, bettors who bet New Orleans at minus-4½ or less and Minnesota at plus-5½ or more both ended up winning their bets. 

This phenomenon is called "middling." Micah Roberts of does a nice job describing how sharp bettors took a shot on Vikings-Saints landing on a final margin of five points and profited nicely. Dave Tuley of also mentioned this interesting phenomenon. The line for the game moved around quite a bit, leading to this relatively rare opportunity for bettors to cash on betting both sides.

When the Vikings had an extra point blocked in the second quarter, the possibility of the game landing on five flashed through my mind. And indeed, it did. 

Perhaps the most famous middling episode came in Super Bowl XIII, when the Steelers beat the Cowboys 35-31. Leading up to the game, the line varied between Pittsburgh being favored by 3½ and 4½, meaning bettors who took Pittsburgh on the low end won, as did those who took the points with Dallas at 4½. Also, those who bet the game at four pushed and got their money back. The game is referred to as "Black Sunday" by bookmakers. 

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