The UFC has evolved a lot since the early days. I still remember the first time I found a video of Royce Gracie in UFC 1 using some sort of dark magic–that I will eventually know it was BJJ–to essentially dominate larger opponents. It blew everybody’s minds.
The sport is now more popular than ever and the betting market is one of the most exciting opportunities out there for us, the fans, to make a profit and add extra fun to the sport we love.
I’m fully aware of the unpredictable nature of the sport. In UFC an underdog can easily knock off a champion with one move and change the entire landscape of the sport.
You might think, then why would I start betting in something so unpredictable. Well, that is exactly why you might have an edge. UFC betting still qualifies in the sports wagering world as a small market when compared to football, for example.
As a consequence, your knowledge of the sport plays an essential role in finding an edge and make a profit as odds are not as sharp yet.
My goal today is to give you the basic elements you need to know to start making a profit from your favorite sport. Something that a few years ago I thought would have been impossible for me.
Let’s Get Technical…How Do Odds Work In UFC Betting?
The odds are the probability of a specific event happening. Think about the probability of Khabib winning by submission against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi. The odds will also let you know the amount needed to wager to profit a specific amount if your bet should win.
In UFC 239 Jon Jones was a huge favorite with -750, Thiago Santos was the underdog at +400. Simply put, you need to bet $750 on Jones to earn $100 and if you bet $100 on the dog, Santos, you could make $400 if Santos would have won that night. This is called moneyline betting. Congrats! You now understand how American odds work. Easy, right?
Now, here’s where it gets interesting for us–die-hard fans of the sport– UFC odds tend to be artificially higher than they should. This is especially true for top fighters. Think back when Ronda Rousey was facing Holly Holm.
Few predicted that Ronda Rousey would be upset by Holly Holm at UFC 193. Rousey was a massive favorite, going at -1000 or even more at some sportsbooks. Holm was a +600 dog. We all remember how that ended, with a kick in the head.
As a general rule, laying big money on favorites isn’t the best way to profit when MMA betting or sports betting in general. However, this is not always the case. But more on that later.
For big fights like Khabib vs. Conor, there will also be a decent number of proposition bets. Here is where I believe you might find the most value for your knowledge of the sport.
These bets will focus on aspects such as the fight going to distance (the fight goes all rounds and no knockouts), if the fight ends in round 1, a fighter wins by KO, if the title fight last 5 rounds and if the winner comes by unanimous decision, etc. Betting sites offer live MMA odds if you’re interested in live betting.
Don’t Waste Money With Massive Favorites
We all love a great matchup. Like when Nate Diaz made Conor McGregor tap. Or when Jon Jones fought Daniel Cormier. As a practitioner and fan of the sport, I love those moments. And I’m certain so do you.
However, as a sports bettor, it is imperative that you resist the urge to bet on big events. Or at least to bet only on the fighter you admire. Usually, those fighters are massive favorites.
Betting is not about feelings. Is about qualitative fighter analysis, statistics, probabilities, and maximizing earning potential.
If you want to make a profit betting UFC fights, you need to be cold and take your love for fighters and emotions out of it. I love Jon Jones fighting style but is usually not wise to put $750 to win $100 like in the example we talked about above.
Betting on big favorites can feel safe, but is typically not very profitable -–especially compared to other sports. There are rare occasions, but most of the value lies in the underdog or in prop markets.
There’s More Value In Propositions When It Comes To Big Favorites
Due to the insane amounts of casual fan action that you might find in UFC betting – superstars like Conor McGregor, end up with inflated odds. But don’t worry. There’s more than just moneyline betting on McGregor winning a fight (if he ever comes back).
Taking a look at McGregor’s nine UFC fights before his fight with Eddie Alvarez, six of his eight UFC wins were KO’s. The price of a KO victory for that fight was +110, while a simple winning bet was -170. If you have a strong inclination that McGregor will knockout Alvarez, you get a much cheaper price
On top of that, you need to follow their training camp the best you can, weigh-ins, the face-offs, press conferences, and other media appearances. I remember I wrote a UFC betting pick when TJ Dillashaw was fighting Henry Cejudo.
I wrote it before the weigh-in. And I had a prop, TJ winning by KO. After I saw how depleted he looked after the weight in, I changed my mind.
To put it in simple words. You’ll find the true value in UFC betting analyzing more than just stats. What was the focus of their training camp? Mentally how do you see the fighter? Is he a KO artist? How crafty he is on the ground? Is he on a winning streak or he’s hungry to come back to win his glory back? All these are simple questions that you need to ask yourself to increase your edge.
Once you analyze these subjective aspects of the game. You run the numbers and make your call. At the end of the day remember, we’re not predicting who will win but who is the most reasonable bet based on our knowledge of the sport and the odds available.
How To Place Your First UFC Bet
I can’t emphasize this enough. One of the most important things you need to find is a legit set of UFC betting sites. Yes, I said sites. You need to keep your options open. Different sites offer different odds, promotions, benefits, and downsides. You need to find safe sites to makes sure you’ll receive your earnings.
I know you might be new to the UFC betting world. Follow these steps and you’ll be safely placing your first bet in no time.
Select a Sportsbook – Many sites are scams. Avoid those completely. SafestBettingSites.com has in-depth reviews of trusted online UFC betting sites to pick from. Any sign of mistrust expressed by depositors is taken into account and reviews are downgraded.
Signup Bonuses – Betting fights the smart way is all about building up your bankroll. A great way to do so is using bonuses for your deposit. Use your UFC bets to earn the bonus payout you need to make a set amount of wagers to take full advantage of these signup bonuses.
Making A Deposit – Once you have your reliable MMA/UFC sports betting site, deposit your money. You can use credit cards, debit cards, PayPal or my personal favorite, cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and other cryptos come with no fees for deposits and withdrawals. Payouts are also fast.
UFC Line Shopping – Shop odds at different sportsbooks. If you really like a line at a sportsbook, double check if you find another one that offers a better price.
Placing Your MMA/UFC Bet – That’s it. You are ready to place your bet. review your bet, confirm, and now you can relax and enjoy the fight. Good luck.