Tips & strategies to become a more successful MMA bettor
Ok, so there is a huge UFC card tonight and you want to bet on some action, what are your options?
The moneyline bet is a very easy term to understand. Simply put, if you are betting on the moneyline, you are betting on a fighter to win the fight. In MMA, there are three possible results for a moneyline bet; your fighter wins, and you win the bet, your fighter loses and you lose the bet, or the fight is a draw and your bet is voided.
For example, if the moneyline has McGregor at +175 and Poirier at -200. Based on this line Poirier is favoured to win.
If you bet $100 on Poirier you would net $50
If you bet $100 on McGregor you would net $175
Total Rounds (Over/Under)
Total rounds are over/under bets that are based on the total number of rounds the fight will last before a winner is announced.
Let's use the example of a fight that is set at 2.5 rounds.
If the fight lasts 1 or 2 rounds, the Under is the winning play.
If the fight lasts 3 rounds or longer, the Over is the winning play.
In MMA fighting, it is typical for heavyweight fights to last a shorter period of time compared to lightweights. When bookmakers set the line for the total, they consider how aggressive / defensive the fighters' style may be. Heavyweights are known to throw harder punches and go for the knockout, so heavyweight fights typically will last a shorter period.
In MMA, bettors have a limited amount of prop bets available to them compared to other sports such as football. A prop bet is a bet type that may or may not involve the winner of the fight. The most popular MMA prop bets are round betting (who wins and in what round) and method of victory (how they win). See below for examples:
Prop bets are a fun way to bet on MMA, and your best chance at hitting a big payout.
Future bets exist in MMA, but they are not very popular. But if you are interested in them, you can place wagers on who will be the Champion of every division at a certain time. For example, on DraftKings you can bet on who will be the champion of each division on December 31st, 2022.
In Play / Live Betting
Live betting is a popular option among sports bettors; it is simply placing wagers on a fight as the fight is unfolding in real time. This option is available for all the major sport markets, including MMA. The most popular live betting for MMA is on the moneyline. Sportsbooks have developed algorithms that spit out live odds as the fight is occurring. Normally you have a very small window to place your bet as every punch or takedown affects the new lines moving forward. If you like a live line that your sportsbook is offering, bet it fast, because that line will soon be off the board. In addition to live plays, sportsbooks offer new lines and odds during every commercial break, giving you a few minutes to place your wagers. Keep in mind that live bets have a greater vig (more expensive).
MMA Tips & Strategies
If you want to increase your chances of being a successful bettor, here are a few tips to help you on your way:
- Price Shopping: When placing a bet, you always want to make sure you are getting the best price/line possible. Don’t be afraid to shop around. Different sportsbooks offer different prices; and they fluctuate throughout the day. If you want to save a ton of time, check out betstamp.app. It's free to join, and all the line shopping is quickly and efficiently done for you. You get updates in real time of which sportsbooks are offering the best line.
- Track Your Bets: Keep records of your wagers and stay on top of what is working and not working for you. Without documenting your bets, it is difficult to see where you are winning or losing as a bettor.
- Bankroll Management: Set your bankroll and learn to manage it properly. Don't deviate too far from your average bet size and ensure that you are always betting within your limits.
- Hype vs Reality: It is notoriously difficult for sportsbooks to correctly handicap MMA action. This presents an opportunity to bettors to take advantage of weak lines that some sportsbooks may offer. A fighter's reputation might often exceed his true skill set or value. Do not get caught in the hype of a fighter. Instead, try to evaluate each fighter on a fight-to-fight basis. Who is the opponent? How do the fighters match up against one another? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- Fighters Coming off Injury / Rest: This may be one of the trickiest situations to account for. If a fighter has not been in the octagon for 12 months, how will he perform? Will he be well rested or just rusty? These questions are often difficult to answer. Be wary of laying a lot of action on fighters coming off major injury or rest.