Betting on UFC and How to Read UFC Odds
If you’re new to the world of UFC betting, you couldn’t have picked a better time to be a fan. The UFC is the biggest MMA organization globally. It’s awash with talent and has millions of fans.
More importantly, MMA is now available for betting at all leading sportsbooks. Some betting sites will even give you a free bet if you register an account on their site. That said, only bet on the UFC if you understand how it works. Read our tips below to become proficient in UFC betting.
Choosing a Betting Site
The UFC betting site you pick all depends on where you live, and what you want in a sportsbook. In this case, you want a bookmaker that covers MMA. Also, you probably want a site with great UFC odds, lots of bonuses, and quick payouts.
Don’t be in a rush to select a sportsbook. Shop around to find the right betting site for you. Most betting sites have bonuses. But these promotions are never the same. Compare the offers based on their terms and conditions.
Likewise, look for sportsbooks with your ideal payment options. Maybe you like to use Discover for online payments. Find an MMA bookie with free deposits for Discover customers. Additionally, it should have quick payouts.
As mentioned, you need a sportsbook with competitive odds. Think about this. You want to place a seven-leg parlay. At one sportsbook, your $20 stake could return $300. At a different site, the same bet can earn you $500. Where would you rather place your bet? Exactly—find betting sites with the best odds.
UFC Divisions and Athletes
In most sports, selecting the underdog in a match can increase your profits. It’s the same story in the UFC. Choosing Jon Jones to beat Stipe Miocic won’t win you as much money as selecting Stipe.
In other words, don’t fall for the temptation to select the most hyped fighters. Instead, compare different bet types to determine the best wager to place on every fight night.
For clarity, compare fights in the different UFC weight divisions:
- Light Heavyweight
Know a few of the top athletes in each division. Jon Jones is the heavyweight champion. Brandon Moreno leads in Flyweight. On the other hand, Aljamain Sterling is still the king of the Bantamweight division
Against that backdrop, UFC champions don’t always defend their titles. Leon Edwards is the welterweight champion because he dethroned Kamaru Usman. Likewise, Israel Adesanya is the middleweight champion once again after defeating Alex Pereira.
UFC Bet Types
In the grand scheme of things, making money in the UFC involves picking the right bet. Who do you think will win in a fight between Islam Makhachev and Dustin Poirier?
How do you think the fight will end? It could end in the hands of judges. Israel could knockout Dustin or it might end as a technical knockout. Another way to make money in MMA is by predicting the number of rounds involved.
Some UFC fights end in the first round. Think of the match between Jones and Gane earlier this year—the Frenchman lost before fans settled in the arena. Sometimes matches end in the second or third round.
If you can predict the winner of a fight and the round of victory, you’ll make more money than selecting the winner alone. If you want to increase your profits, consider placing a parlay bet.
Parlays involve adding different predictions to one bet slip. Let’s say you have $100 to spend. Selecting the winner of one fight will probably earn you $150. With parlays, you can predict all the winners in a fight card.
Your bookie will add up the odds for all predictions. It will then multiply the total odds with your stake to determine your potential winnings. Hint—parlays can make you a lot of money. But there’s a catch: you must predict all matches correctly.
Reading UFC Odds
Whether you pick a match winner or method of victory, place a bet on a site with competitive odds. Great odds maximize your earnings. For the uninitiated, reading odds is a skill you need to grasp.
In the US and Canada, betting sites express odds the Las Vegas way:
- Favorites (-)
- Underdogs (+)
Let’s say Khamzat Chimaev has a fight against Kamaru Usman. The Nigerian has -120 odds to win while the Swedish fighter has +150 odds. These odds mean Khamzat is the expected underdog.
Against that backdrop, you can conduct due diligence to determine the Swedish athlete’s odds of beating Usman. Assuming you think Chimaev can beat Usman, you will make $150 for every $100 you bet on the Swede. Keep in mind bookies also return your stake.
To make money from Usman, you need to bet $120. In return, you will win $100 plus your initial $120 stake.
Internationally, betting sites express odds in decimals or fractions. You might see something like this:
- Kamaru Usman—1.50 odds
- Khamzat Chimaev—3.0 odds
These odds could also be expressed as fractions:
- Kamaru Usman—3/2 odds
- Khamzat Chimaev—3/1 odds
When using international odds, your stake is not returned. Let’s say you bet $100 on Usman. Your expected return is $150. You don’t receive your initial $100 stake.
Analyzing UFC Fights
UFC betting is ideal for MMA fans. The explanation is straightforward. If you’re a fan, you watch fight nights regularly. You keep up with MMA news. What’s more, you know most of the top fighters.
With that said, you don’t have to be passionate about MMA to bet on the sport. All you need is to learn about top fighters. Then compare power rankings, past records, and present form.
Look at things like injuries and each fighter’s motivation. For example, Israel’s fight against Pereira was a redemption match. He was highly motivated to regain his belt. As such, he was the ideal fighter to bet on.
By comparison, a fight between Jones and anyone in the heavyweight division should favor Bones. He’s just too dominant. Also, he’s undefeated in the Octagon.
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