How to Wager on the UFC: A Bettors Guide
by George Monroy - 12/27/2012
The UFC is one of the fastest growing sports organizations in the world, and it has taken mixed martial arts from the backrooms and dark corners into the limelight with prominent ESPN coverage and free fights on network television. The UFC stuck a deal with Fox over a year ago, and it has since put on five pay-per-view-caliber shows on free TV. The deal will only bring more exposure to an already growing sport, as it helps build stars and delivers exciting matchups to fans starving for high-profile fights.
The growing UFC exposure also means more opportunities for sports gamblers to wager on events. As bettors learn more about mixed martial arts and its stars, sports betting on UFC events should only become more and more popular. Here is a quick guide on how to bet a UFC fight with a few tips on how to get the most value out of your wagers. Remember, betting on mixed martial arts is only going to continue to grow, so being able to take advantage of a well-timed UFC wager can only help expand your bankroll.
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Moneylines: Betting a mixed martial arts fight is very similar to betting boxing. If you have bet boxing then you know that you can only use the moneyline when wagering on a fight. The betting lines on favorites range from anywhere between a -110 all the way up to -1000. Anderson Silva, the current UFC Middleweight champ, and pound-for-pound MMA king, has been a -1000 favorite a couple of times over the last few years. MMA moneylines rarely move past that number since anything can happen in a fight where the combatants are only wearing four-ounce gloves.
If you are betting the underdog, then, of course, you would be getting a positive moneyline of anywhere between +110 to +750 or so. Since moneylines don’t really go higher than -1000 then betting the underdog cannot go higher than around +750 depending on the sportsbooks that you use. But, of course, there are exceptions: Anderson Silva has been a -1350 favorite in the past, and one matchup involving women’s MMA fighter Cristaine ‘Cyborg’ Santos got as high as -2000.
Rounds: Another wager that is available for MMA bettors is the “over” and “under” on the number of rounds a fight will last. A normal MMA bout is scheduled to last three five-minute rounds. A championship MMA bout is scheduled to last five five-minute rounds. Also a main event of a UFC card that does not feature a championship bout is scheduled for five five-minute rounds as well. It is important to know the distinction, as wagering on an under of 1.5-rounds during a three-round fight is completely different than taking that same under on a five-rounder.
The moneyline on fights that are expected to go over can range from -110 to the -600 range, depending on the situation. There are certain fighters, and fighting styles, that tend to go the distance more often. So, if you were to wager on a matchup between two wrestlers, the line would probably see an over/under of 2.5 rounds (for a three-round fight) at a moneyline of -400. Fights that are expected to go under tend to have closer to normal moneylines, and those odds can even creep into the positive sometimes. A matchup between two knockout artists would have a typical over/under of 1.5 rounds and a have -110 moneyline. The reason for the large difference is probably related to the fact that you cannot predict when a knockout is going to happen, but you know exactly when a decision takes place.
Parlays: The difficulty in wagering on MMA fights is that the moneylines, at times, can be huge, and that would force you to put much of your bankroll at risk for a minimal return. A great way to bet on a fight is to use a well-timed parlay in order to bring the moneylines down as much as possible. Betting a two- or three-wager parlay is a great way to take a large moneyline favorite and make the line more affordable.
If you were to parlay a substantial favorite of -700 with two other solid favorites of -250 each, you would get a little over even money on your wager — and if you were to parlay that same huge favorite with two picks of -110 you would get over 3.5 to 1 on your money.
Being able to understand and bet UFC events could be a huge boost to your bankroll. The sport will only get bigger over the next few years, so now would be the time to add MMA betting into your bag of sports betting tricks. Remember to bet wisely, and may the moneyline be with you.
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