The UFC is set for a titanic event on Saturday, as Brandon Moreno defends his flyweight belt in a trilogy bout with Deiveson Figueiredo before heavyweight kingpin Francis Ngannou clashes with interim champion Cyril Gane
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Betting on a UFC fight has never been easier with websites like Sportsbook Review offering a host of the best available online betting sites.
In the early years of UFC betting only a small variety of betting sites would offer any online betting UFC fights odds for upcoming events, but today finding a place for MMA betting online has never been easier. Almost every bookmaker available will offer some kind of UFC betting market.
Where Can I Bet on the UFC?
In the modern age of sports betting, finding your favorite sport has never been easier with your favorite sportsbook becoming accessible through your desktop computer or mobile phone app.
The world of mixed martial arts is quickly becoming one of the public’s most favorite sport to bet and for good reason. The high energy, hardworking fighters of the Ultimate Fighting Championship put their bodies on the line every weekend to entertain the fans.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is reaching new heights of popularity. With the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Jon Jones & Amanda Nunes flying the flag of the UFC’s combat sport’s reputation war in Las Vegas, the sports betting market has also gained some serious interest. It’s the fastest-growing sport on the planet and in years to come sporting juggernauts such as the NHL, NBA, NFL could all be bowing down to the power of the UFC and mixed martial arts in general.
The United States is the home of the UFC but countries such as Brazil have been heavily involved due to their contribution in MMA. Brazilian jiu-jitsu and other combat sports can put themselves on a bigger map with a wider audience when fighting for the UFC, which will also eventually stem back to the betting market. The North American betting market, in particular, has taken a huge interest in mixed martial arts gambling.
There are three commonly used odds formats that you may stumble across whilst UFC betting. Decimal, Fractional and American odds all provide the same odds reading, just with a different approach.
We’ll be using the American odds format based on its simplicity of understanding, for example.
Bet one – $100 stake on Daniel Cormier at odds of +100 = $100 profit or loss.
Odds of +100 are known as ‘even odds’ or ‘plus money’ if referring to anything +100 or above; meaning that the amount you stake will be the same as what you profit. In reverse, when the odds are presented for the favorite, you’ll have to invest more to get a $100 return. These kinds of investments can affect your return of investment long-term, but we’ll discuss that later on.
Bet two -$200 stake on Jon Jones at odds of -200 = $100 profit or a $200 loss.
Understanding Probability and Finding Value
Simple probability is easy to understand and can give you a clear direction. When measuring the likelihood of a UFC betting outcome it’s often used as a percentage on betting sites, with 100% implying a guarantee and 0% implying impossibility. The toss of a coin is a perfect example of probability with heads or tails making the probability 50% for each side.
Sports betting on UFC probability, in particular, work in a slightly different way. A precise probability is impossible to come by, down to the variables involved. You can do all the statistical research, fighter analytics and take every factor that determines a result into account, but you’ll still be left with an inaccurate possibility.
The most you can do whilst handicapping the UFC is calculate your own belief of what you expect the outcome to be, which may sound daunting, but don’t forget sportsbooks are also in the same boat with pressures and time limits involved, unlike ourselves
Finding an edge over the bookmaker in the UFC betting markets isn’t a walk in the park. The odds created by them do often reflect the likely outcome, but they aren’t accurate representations of the probabilities that are used. They’ll have to guess which fighter wins and then adjust the odds around whatever built-in margin method is practiced.
Yes, of course, the betting odds always favor the bookmaker, but it’s more than possible to take advantage of the UFC betting market with knowledge and understanding of the sport itself and some basic investing strategies that we’ll cover to prepare you for fight night.
Money Line Betting
Perhaps the most simplistic method of placing a bet on a UFC fight and sports, in general, would be matched betting or better known as ‘betting the money line’.
Simply put: all you have to do is pick fighter A or fighter B. This method is obviously the most common but you’ll often find punters end their run-in frustration due to tailing the heavily juiced favorites. These losses tend to steer punters towards the parlay or prop bet markets in search for juicier pay-outs with less at stake.
Betting the money line is still today the most popular betting method across all sports with profits ranging from 40% to 60% of your initial stake on the favorites side to bet.
Method of Victory
The UFC has been putting on some of the most entertaining fights for 25+ years from pay per views to fight nights, which in retrospect, makes them a baby in comparison to its competitors. And for entertainment purposes, there’s nothing a fight fan loves more than a UFC knockout/KO/ or TKO victory to end the fight.
Also known as a prop bet, in the method to victory market, the betting site will provide a range of odds for the specific outcome of the fight e.g. knockout, submission or by decision.
Sometimes a fighter’s path to victory can be so lob-sided, that if you believe he’s going to win, it’s worth raising your odds by adding the method.
When betting on the UFC with a method of victory, please bear in mind, this method will remove the 50/50 chances of straight betting a fighter to win. As there are now 3 available outcomes you’ll be betting up against.
UFC Parlay Betting
Betting on UFC can become a frustration when a fight night card is stacked with heavily juiced favorites. This is when parlay betting can become a valuable tool to use.
A parlay is a series of money line bets you have chosen being risked under the same stake, with a lower probability but a higher return. There is no limit as to how many fighters you can add to your slip, now and then a fight card will provide some very tempting fighters to put your money behind but their odds are often heavily swayed when you combine these odds. With a similar fight situation, you can combine your high-odd selections to receive a better pay-out.
Parlay betting is a fun method but also a dangerous one as your probability is dramatically decreased with each selection you add to the parlay. I’d advise to master your straight bets before delving into parlays. Check out our parlay calculator to easily calculate parlay payouts.
UFC Over/Under Betting
The Over/Under bets are another common sports market often utilized by bettors. The sportsbook will provide a round total and you have the choice of predicting the fight to survive over the total time, or under.
The majority of fights are three; five-minute rounds with the exceptions five-round championship fights. More often than not, the bookmaker will offer the choice of over/under 2.5 rounds on a three-round fight. The odds will be dependent on each fighter’s record, longevity and finish history.
If you placed a bet on the contest to go over 2.5 rounds, you would need both fighters to avoid a knockout, submission or disqualification within 12 minutes and 30 seconds. So long as your fighter reaches the second half of the third round, your bet will be successful.
UFC Round Betting
The UFC round betting market is basically what it says on the tin. You bet on which round you think the fight will end in. Odds on round betting are more lucrative and tempting, as predicting the round a fight will end in also includes the chances that bout won’t end at all.
One way to extend your odds even higher is to choose the fighter and round combination for your wager
UFC Prop Bets
The UFC prop betting market focus on the finer details of the contest you’re betting on. We’ve already discussed two prop betting markets in ‘method of victory’ and ’round betting’, but other prop bets include:
· Points handicap
· Fight to go the distance
· Fight of the night awards
Each time you’re deciding which UFC fight is worth looking at or which fighter you think is going to win, it’s important to understand which fighter your bookmaker is favoring.
It can be a pleasant surprise if you’re planning on placing a wager on Demian Maia, and then when the odds are released your fighter has been pitted as the heavy underdog. At the same time, it can also hinder your thought process, and sometimes affect your final judgement. Always remember, the bookmaker is making judgements in a similar a fashion, but more often than not with less time and more pressure.
From a sample size of 625 fights, UFC underdogs priced between +100 / +122 have a returned an investment percentage of 11%. Meaning if you were to bet $100 on each of those fight’s you’d have turned a profit of $4510. The probability can drop to as low as 45%, which proves the guessing game can backfire. 52% of the underdogs in this price range won their fight, making moderate-slight underdogs a great long-term betting investment.
Compound interest is a method used amongst business and the banking industry; it doesn’t seclude itself to MMA betting. The fundamentals involve regularly staking a small amount of your bankroll (1-5%), which leaves a lot of wiggle room to balance out the losses and can allow bets to remain the same.
If your starting bankroll is $1000 and you wanted to make a 2% every day, you can find a bet that’s going to give you a $20 return. If the wager is successful your new bankroll will be $1020 and the following day you’ll be after another 2%. So, because of your winnings and added bankroll, your return will need to slightly increase to $20.40. The next bet you place will give you a bankroll total of $1040.40.
Obviously, at first glance, these numbers don’t sound astonishing, but overdue-course compounding can kick-in a big way. 36 successful compounding can double your bankroll.
Now, these numbers presented are hypothetical but give you a clear and easy example of how compounding can work out and is almost foolproof, assuming that you have patience and dedication to UFC or MMA betting, it’s not the worst method to approach especially with juiced odds.
Flat Stake Betting
Flat stake betting is very similar to compound betting with one key difference, your wager amount doesn’t change using the flat stake method. Your stake size remains the same, therefore labelling the flat stake style as the ‘boring’ or ‘safe’ method.
The problems with flat stake betting are you have to work harder to find value. I’ve been flat stake betting for over five years and have utilized fighters who are being undervalued by the betting sites. This allows me to suffer more losses and find profit with even a percentage hit rate as 50%.
In sports betting, the house (aka the bookmaker) will always hold an edge, also known as vig or vigorish. The implied probability of a set of events will always add up to over 100% and the amount that is over 100% is the bookmakers’ over-round (profit expect).
In other words, they aren’t lying when they say ‘the bookmaker always wins’ because of their house edge from bettors who’ve laid extra juice on the favorite is what’ll be paying your underdog winnings.
Implied probability in UFC betting is what the odds recommend the likelihood of an outcome happening is. The calculation is made by dividing one by the percentage odds.
So, if Anderson Silva is priced at +150 to win the fight, his implied probability of winning is 40%. If he was priced as the favorite at -200, his implied probability of winning would be 67%.
To profit utilizing implied probability you still need to find value in fights you think that bookmaker has inaccurately priced. The best handicappers on the planet will always make their wagers with a positive expected value, and these predictions are sometimes wrong but expected investment in the long run. Finding positive value is second nature to implied probability. Finding odds where you believe the real probability is higher than the implied probability is easier said than done
Your stake will vary depending on which betting method you approach, but it’s important to always remain disciplined.
Methods such as flat stake betting can take a long time to see any significant return on investment, which may seem you’re doing something wrong in the beginning, but it’s important to always remain calm. Impatience will only lead to chasing bets and silly mistakes.
Set aside X amount of money you want to invest into UFC betting, and treat that bankroll like a business.
UFC Betting Sites & Wagering on MMA Conclusion
Winning predictions don’t always amount to a profiting bankroll. The odds of those winning bets are what matters and if you’ve won 70% of bets but still aren’t profiting, you’ll know why. Sportsbooks are somewhat in the same boat as the bettor with possible outcomes and prediction methods, the built-in the margin to protect bookmakers from their losses isn’t something us punters have on instinct, we have to protect ourselves and our bankroll, and the best way to do that is by exploring your betting methods because there isn’t one guaranteed way of doing this job.
There is no secure and protective way to bet on the UFC but our best advice would be to assess the bookmaker’s value or non-value. If the wagers that you place have a positive expected value, theoretically you should make money in the long-run.
The value you find lines up with your perception, so it’s probably a good idea to become somewhat of an expert in the sport you’re betting. The value is subjective and only becomes valuable if your judgement is a good one. Identifying value and opportunities in the UFC betting market can become a fulltime job.
Where to Bet on UFC 253
UFC betting online is simple. To find the best UFC fights and odds you can use a comparison betting site like Sportsbook Review before placing your bet. UFC online betting has never been easier and finding the right sportsbook is imperative. Fortunately, SBR has your UFC online betting needs covered.
Having all the available odds on one page for each UFC event saves you the time of hunting for the best odds manually, and we all know line-shopping can consume valuable hours so be sure to use an odds comparison site before you begin sports betting UFC.