How MMA Handicapping Works
With sports betting becoming more and more legalized across the United States and around the world, you might be interested in how it works. Specifically, since you’re on an MMA website, you are probably interested in how MMA handicapping works. That’s where we’re here to help. We’re going to show you the basics of MMA handicapping, how it works, and how to get started betting on the fights. We will take you through all aspects of MMA betting, including betting on the moneyline, parlay bets, total bets, prop bets, future bets, as well as live betting.
Betting on MMA: The Moneyline
Wagering on MMA can be a very entertaining, and potentially profitable, venture. But first, you have to know the basics about how it works.
When it comes to MMA, you have an advantage over team sports because it’s one-on-one combat. That means you are betting on one fighter to beat another fighter. When you look at the betting odds for a fight, you will see one fighter favored and one fighter as the underdog on the moneyline. With the moneyline, you are picking who you believe will win the fight.
Let’s use an example. Fighter A is a -200 betting favorite, while Fighter B is a +150 betting underdog. If you want to bet on Fighter A to win, -200 odds means that you would have to bet $200 to win $100. This is called a straight bet on the moneyline. Since Fighter A is the favorite, you have to lay juice, which is why you need to bet $200 in order to win $100, in this example. Of course, you could bet less, such as $20 to win $10, or even more, such as $2,000 to win $1,000. But either way, in order to bet on the favorite, you would have to bet more than your potential return. While a favorite is more likely to win, you also have to risk more money.
If you bet on Fighter B, who is a +150 underdog in this example, you would only have to bet $100 in order to win $150. This is because the fighter is the underdog, so theoretically they have a less likely chance to win according to the odds, meaning your payout would be higher than your initial risk. Again, you could bet less, such as $10 to win $15 or even $1,000 to win $1,500. If you like an underdog in a fight, you could get very good odds of them winning.
The above examples are what is known as straight bets on the moneyline. In the above examples, you are betting on one fighter to win. Nothing else matters in order to win your bet. As long as your fighter gets their hand raised in victory — whether it’s by decision, knockout, submission, or even disqualification — you will win your bet if you bet them on the moneyline.
We also want to make note of two other outcomes in MMA aside from winning and losing. There is, of course, the possibility of a draw. If that happens, you would get your money back, unless you bet on the prop of a fight ending in a draw (we will discuss props below). There is also what is called a No Contest. In this case, your bet would be voided since there’s no result.
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Betting on MMA: Parlays
Of course, there are other ways to bet on fights. One of the most popular ways that people wager on MMA is by making a parlay. In a parlay, you are combining multiple fighters winning into one wager. For example, you might make a two-team parlay of Fighter A winning as a -150 favorite and Fighter B winning as a -125 favorite. Combined, the odds are +200. This means that you only have to bet $100 in order to win $200. Of course, both fighters need to win their fights for you to win your bet. If one fighter loses, you will lose your bet, even if the other fighter wins. While parlays have the advantage of you having to risk less in order to get a greater reward, they are more difficult to win because you need to string together multiple victories instead of just betting on one single fighter to win their fight. Still, parlays are a very popular way of betting, since you need to risk less money in order to get a greater payout.
Betting on MMA: Totals
Another way to bet on MMA is by betting on the total. This means that you are betting on how many rounds the fight will go. For example, three-round MMA fights are commonly given a total of 2.5 rounds. This means that if you bet on the OVER, you will win your bet if the fight goes OVER 12:30. If you bet on the UNDER, you will win your bet if the fight ends under 12:30. If the fight ends exactly at 12:30, you would get a push, which means you would get your money back. If you aren’t sure who will win an MMA fight, but you have a good feeling about the fight either going the distance or ending inside the distance, the total is a good way to bet.
Betting on MMA: Prop Bets
Prop bets are another popular way to bet on MMA fights. With prop bets, you are betting on a specific outcome in a fight. For example, you might bet on Fighter A to win by submission at +500 odds. You will often get better odds with a prop bet since it’s more difficult to predict the exact outcome of a fight. Of course, if in this example, Fighter A wins by TKO instead of submission, you would lose your bet since you didn’t correctly predict the outcome of the fight. Still, you can find some great value in prop bets, so they are certainly worth checking out.
Betting on MMA: Future Bets
There are also future bets in MMA. This means you are betting on something that will take place in the future. For example, you might bet on someone to become the champion in a certain weight class by the end of the year, and you’ll likely get very good odds of it happening. Again, it’s more difficult to predict future bets since it will be further away, but at the same time, you could get some excellent betting odds on future bets if you like something.
Betting on MMA: Live Bets
Another way to bet on fights is live bets. This means you are betting on MMA fights while they are taking place. This gives you the added advantage of actually watching the fight unfold, so you have a better idea of who is winning. Of course, since the sportsbooks also know who is winning, it would cost you more money to bet on the winning fighter than it would at the start of a fight. For example, if Fighter A was a -200 favorite to win before the fight and already has one round in the bank, they might be a -300 favorite during the fight. At the same time, if you think the fighter who is winning might end up losing, you could get some good value on the underdog, if you are willing to take the risk and bet on someone who is currently losing.
As you can tell from this article, there are many ways to bet on MMA. You can make straight bets on the moneyline, you can make parlays, you can bet on the total, you can place prop bets, you can make future bets, and you can place live bets. The options are endless. Remember to always bet responsibility and enjoy the process. After all, sports betting is supposed to be entertaining. At the same time, you can use your knowledge of the sport and make a profit. We wish you the best of luck and hope that this guide helps you out in your MMA betting journey.