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No. 3 in the world by Forbes behind basketball and soccer) it only makes sense that the passion people have for the sport translates to betting. Sportsbooks are well aware of this and make it easy for bettors to have something riding on the outcome of the bouts. You can bet on who will win, how they will win, when they will win, and how long the fight goes, among other offerings.
MMA betting uses the moneyline, which may appear a little daunting at first glance, but is actually pretty simple once you have an understanding how it works. To see the moneyline in action, let’s take a look at the odds on an actual fight from a UFC Fight Night card.
The odds on a bout between Alex Oliveira and Niko Price are shown as:
Alex Oliveira +145
Niko Price -170
Price is the betting favorite, which is signified by the – (minus) before his odds, while Oliveira is the underdog, as signified by the + (plus) before his odds. What the -170 for Price means, is that you have to risk $170 to win $100 if you want to bet on Price. It’s important to note that you do not have to wager $100, but moneyline odds are given in relationship to $100 amounts for ease of calculations. If you want to bet on Price, you could wager $17 to win $10, bet $51 to win $30, or bet $680 to win $400. You’re only limited by your sportsbook’s minimum and maximum wagers.
For Oliveira, the +145 means that for every $100 you wager on Oliveira you will win $145 if he wins the fight. Again, you do not have to wager $100 on Oliveira. You could wager $20 to win $29, $50 to win $72.50, or $300 to win $435, etc.
Choosing the winner of the fight, as was shown above, is the most popular way to bet MMA fights, but there are plenty of other options for betting who wins a fight. In the Oliveira vs. Price fight, you can also wager on how the fight winner will be determined; whether it’s by knockout, judge’s decision, or by submission. The odds are:
Price by KO/TKO/DQ +138
Oliveira by KO/TKO/DQ +450
Price by Decision +300
Oliveira by Decision +400
Price by Submission +1200
Oliveira by Submission +600
As you know from above, the first item on the list – Price wins by knockout, technical knockout, or disqualification returns $138 for a $100 wager, but now Price must win by one of those three ways for you to win your bet. If Price wins by decision or disqualification those who bet on him to win by KO/TKO/DQ have a losing wager even though they had the correct fighter winning the bout.
It is interesting to note the odds to win by submission, where Oliveira is +600 and Price is +1200, which is due to Price not really being a submission fighter.
The odds on a draw are generous at +6600, but very few bouts end in draws, which is why the odds are so high.
You may also see methods of victory grouped together, as is the case for the Price vs. Oliveira fight. Here, you find odds of:
Price by KO/TKO/DQ or Submission +120
Oliveira by KO/TKO/DQ or Submission +260
Price by Decision +300
Oliveira by Decision +400
These odds are calculated in the same manner as the others, but now your fighter can win by any method of stoppage if you wager the KO/TKO/DQ or Submission bet. A $100 on Oliveira to win by KO/TKO/DQ or Submission returns $260 if you’re correct, while a $20 bet returns $52 in profit.
Rounds are another way of betting which fighter wins the bout, but here you’re asked to pick which round the fighter wins in. The fighter can win by submission, knockout, or disqualification, as the only requirement is that you predict the correct round the fight is won in. Here, the odds are:
Price Round 1 +300
Price Round 2 +500
Price Round 3 +800
Oliveira Round 1 +550
Oliveira Round 2 +800
Oliveira Round 3 +1400
If you bet Price to win in the second round and he does, a $100 wager would return $500 in winnings, while a $30 bet would give you $90 in profits. But if Price wins in the first or third rounds, or by decision, your wager is a loss.
Betting total rounds in an MMA fight is practically the equivalent of betting an over/under in team sports, as you are betting how long the bout is going to last. For the Price vs. Oliveira there are two different wagers offered for how long the bout goes. The first is over/under 1.5 rounds. With rounds lasting five minutes, a half-round is 2 minutes and 30 seconds. So, basically, you are betting if the fight will last longer than 7 minutes, 30 seconds without being stopped for any reason. The odds offered are:
Over 1.5 rounds -162
Under 1.5 rounds +120
If you wager the fight will last longer than the midway point of the second round, you’re asked to risk $162 to win $100, but again, you don’t have to wager $162. It can be $16.20 to win $10, $34.40 to win $20, etc. If you want to wager the right does not last to the halfway point of the second round, you risk $100 to win $120. You can also risk $25 to win $30, $75 to win $90, etc.
The other wager offered is simply betting if the fight goes the distance or not. Here, the odds are:
Fight Goes Distance +150
Fight Does Not Go Distance -200
If you wager the fight goes the distance, you risk $100 to win $150, but need all of the rounds to be completed without a fight stoppage. If you wager the fight does not go the distance, you’re asked to risk $200 to win $100, but need the fight stopped for any reason. If you wager the fight does not go the distance, it makes no difference which fighter wins or how the bout is settled, only that the fight is not settled by judge’s decision.
Those are the basic MMA wagers offered on a typical bout. For the really big bouts, you may see even more bet offerings, such as which fighter wins a particular round or more Total Round offerings. But as long as you have a good grasp of the moneyline and how it relates to MMA betting, you will be ready for anything the sportsbooks throw at you.