5 Tips for Betting on the UFC

By in MMA on
6 Minute Read
UFC Betting

Few sports organizations have enjoyed as much growth over the past decade as the UFC. Dana White and crew have taken fighting from a taboo, underground sport, to a worldwide enterprise.

One of the factors that has helped grow the sport over the years is its willingness to embrace gambling on UFC fights. While top fighters now bring in millions for a big fight, even more money changes hands between bettors and sportsbooks.

In this article, I’ll lay out some tips that can help you cash in on the action.

1 – Learn the Fighters

I know, I know, this is obvious. To that I would say, you’d be surprised at how many people throw down bets on fighters they’d never even heard of before the current night’s undercard.
UFC Fighters in Ring

The McGregors and Jon Joneses of the world might not require as much research, but if you really want to make money, you’re going to have to go outside of main event headliner fights.

As a sports bettor, you probably know that the more action coming in on a fight, the higher the incentive for sportsbooks to tip the scales in their favor. That can mean that there are better opportunities to win money, and thus, the sportsbook’s focus, is elsewhere.

You don’t have to know the details of each and every fighter on the circuit, but really getting to know a half dozen or so under-the-radar fighters can really make a difference.

2 – Be Skeptical of the Public

The better the public knows a sport, the less chance you have to employ the “fade the public” strategy. The opposite is also true in that when the public is generally uninformed, you can feel a little more confident going the other way.

The reality is that most sports fans are going be much better informed on the traditional major sports like the NFL, NBA, and even the NHL and MLB. You’re always going to have a percentage of fans who are diehard UFC followers, but it isn’t enough to truly swing the odds for most fights.

It would be irresponsible to say that blindly fading the public is a good strategy, but if you truly can’t make a determination after doing your research, it’s not the worst idea.

3 – Understand the Betting Options and Odds

You always want to bet on the person who you think is going to win a fight, but if you can’t get the bet at a reasonable value, it might be best to lay off.
UFC Betting Slips

To compare it to another sport that might be more familiar, imagine an NFL game that has the favorite at a moneyline of -950. The huge number indicates that yes, the favorite is extremely likely to win. With that being said, is the risk really worth the reward if you have to bet 9.5x more money than you stand to win? Most experts would say it’s not.

Speaking of the moneyline, get familiar with how it works because you’ll need that knowledge when betting on a fight. Remember that taking a few underdogs that are higher in the plus-money department can mean that you can withstand a few losses and still come out making a profit.

In addition to the regular odds that focus on the winner and loser of a fight, you should check out the prop bet options that can help pad your winnings (or cover some of your losses).

If you want to make a more specific prediction, and be rewarded for your clairvoyance, you can choose how a fighter will win.

For Example:

You can bet on a fighter winning by knockout, winning by decision, and even in which round they’ll win the fight.

If you don’t have a strong feeling on which fighter is going to win, you can also make a bet on whether or not the fight will end in a draw, as well as whether or not the fight will go the distance. Depending on what the odds are, these prop bets can actually provide some nice value for bettors and shouldn’t be ignored.

4 – Shop Around

Not to get preachy, but if you aren’t looking around for the best odds every time you make a bet, you’re missing out on free money.

The goal of all sportsbooks is to get half the money on either side of the bet so that side A’s losses will cover side B’s wins, and the juice will create the profit for the house. With that in mind, it’s important to note that, while odds might open relatively the same across UFC betting sites, it will almost always become more varied as money comes in. Simply put, the goal isn’t to create the “perfect odds” in terms of the outcome of the event, but rather create the perfect odds for that particular sportsbook.

Most people don’t have the time to look around for hours and scan every betting site on the internet to find the absolute best odds out there, but that’s no excuse for ignoring the shopping entirely.

Find a handful, maybe a half-dozen, sites that you’re familiar with and can access easily. Once you decide which bet you want to make, go through your grouping and choose the best odds for your situation. It won’t make you rich, but if you bet frequently enough, it can have a real impact on your bankroll.

The Bottom Line

Winning money through sports gambling isn’t particularly easy. Most people don’t have the time to look around for hours and scan every betting site on the internet to find the absolute best odds out there, but that’s no excuse for ignoring the shopping entirely.

Find a handful, maybe a half-dozen, sites that you’re familiar with and can access easily. Once you decide which bet you want to make, go through your grouping and choose the best odds for your situation. It won’t make you rich, but if you bet frequently enough, it can have a real impact on your bankroll.

If you’re struggling to grow your gambling profits, you’re not alone. Don’t make it harder than it has to be by neglecting to look around for a few minutes to find the best numbers.

5 – Know When to Lay Off

It can be extremely tempting to bet on all, or most, of the undercard fights leading up to the main event. If you’re going to be paying a decent chunk of change for pay-per-view TV, there’s a good chance you’ll want to take in some of the action even before the big names take the octagon.

If you really want to end the night with more money than you started, it’s probably best to pick your spots with the undercard fighters. Choose one or two fights and do some research leading up to the fight date, and really get to know the athletes competing. Even if you aren’t going to be betting the same amount on the lesser-known guys as you will on the main event fight, you don’t want to risk putting yourself in a hole.

Keep in mind that the earlier a fight is, the higher the probability that it won’t receive a ton of action. This can make sportsbooks more susceptible to making lines that can be taken advantage of if you take the time to learn more than the general public will know.

Conclusion

The UFC is growing in popularity among sports fans and bettors alike. Any competition that can be determined by one split-second knockout punch provides undeniable excitement. Few sports are poised to continue the upward trend like MMA.

UFC might not ever become the main component of your sports betting portfolio, but it can provide a nice boost if you create a profitable strategy.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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