Mixed martial arts and UFC betting go hand-in-hand. In fact, the UFC now regularly shows the betting odds on each fighter during their broadcasts, allowing you to see where the betting action is flowing in real time as you watch the fights.
The first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with the UFC beyond just the headliners. This means learning the rules regarding disqualifications, rounds, illegal moves, and points. You could stick to betting on the big fights, though those often have more lopsided odds, or you could study up on the full card and place numerous wagers. Though UFC broadcasts usually show just a handful of fights, the actual card starts long before the TV cameras turn on and often feature up to a dozen fights.
If you are comfortable with your knowledge of how the UFC works and are eager to learn how to bet on the UFC, here is a quick primer on UFC odds and the types of wagers you can place.
Most bets are placed on the moneyline, which is simply the ratio between your initial wager and the payout. Here is an example you may see at an online sportsbook:
Anthony Smith +550
Jon Jones -800
The plus sign denotes the underdog and the minus sign denotes the favorite. As you can see, Jones is a heavy favorite so betting on him is prohibitively expensive. An $800 bet would win you just $100. On the other hand, if you have a good feeling about Smith, an upset victory would turn your $100 bet into $550.
Most fights aren’t that lopsided. For example:
Jessica Andrade -125
Rose Namajunas +105
This is a more even matchup where you can realistically bet on any fighter. Andrade is a slight favorite, so you would have to bet $125 to win $100. Namajunas is a slight underdog, so a $100 bet would win you $105.
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How to Bet on UFC
Moneyline UFC odds are available at every sportsbook in New Jersey. Along with the fight winner, you can also bet on the over/under, though unlike other sports it doesn’t involve points.
You can bet whether a three-round fight will last over or under 1.5 rounds and whether a five-round fight will last over or under 2.5 rounds. Because some matchups are more likely to go the distance than others, each one of these options will come with its own corresponding moneyline that denotes how much your bet can win.
Some sportsbooks will also allow you to place prop bets, like whether a certain fighter will win by knockout or submission.
The key to placing a wager on the fights is research. Many online outlets offer great analytics that allow you to study fighters’ past performance and how they match up against future opponents. You can readily find stats like strikes landed percentage, takedown percentage, and past bouts and then turn that knowledge into cold, hard cash.