MMA wagering, particularly on the UFC, is a growing market for sports bettors across all of the legalized states in the US. In comparison to the other major sports in the United States, MMA wagering remains in its infancy. Mainstream UFC wagering has only been around for a couple of decades whereas professional football, basketball and especially baseball are decades ahead.
While MMA wagering only accounts for between 1% and 2% of sportsbook handle, we can safely expect that figure to consistently grow. It has only been two and a half decades since a sitting US Senator called MMA “human cock fighting” in a battle to fight against its legalization. Since that time proper rules have been put in place and it has become a mainstream sport and betting option. So much so that the UFC, the sport’s undisputed top promotion is now showcased on ESPN.
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Can I legally bet on UFC?
Yes! Well, the answer to this question is yes for the majority of Americans. 30 states currently offer legalized sports wagering within their state’s borders. Ohio is set to become the 31st state upon the turn of the calendar year to 2023.
Of course, this was not always the case. Until May 2018, only Nevada had legal sports wagering. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 prevented states from making their own decisions as to the legality of sports gambling within its borders. The 2018 overturning of PASPA opened the doors for each state to make their own decisions, and to date, 31 states have taken advantage, at least in some capacity.
MMA Betting Odds Explained
Mixed martial arts (MMA) and its most recognizable brand, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an odds based sport for betting purposes. Meaning much like baseball betting, the vast majority of bets on MMA come on the moneyline, and are odds based. There are some over/under offerings, such as length of time a fight lasts, but points does not have bearing in MMA, as there is no scoreboard keeping track of points scored.
Moneyline bets simply require you to correctly pick the winner of an MMA match. This will entail laying a minus figure on betting odds on a favorite, or taking a plus figure on an underdog.
To show an example, we will have Fighter A as a -150 favorite over Fighter B. The odds presented are always based on a $100 wager. This means that to bet on Fighter A, you would be risking $150 to win $100 on Fighter A. Larger or smaller wagers would follow the same proportion. To bet on Fighter B, you would be getting a come back at +130. This means you would be risking $100 to win $130.
Moneylines are often presented as a decimal in Europe. Fighter A would be presented as 1.5, meaning a $150 return for every $100 wagered. Fighter B would be presented as 2.3, meaning a $230 return for every $100 wagered.
MMA Betting Odds Explained
With the UFC being an odds based sport, the betting options are slightly more limited than they are on sports that use a scoreboard and have winners and losers based on a final score. Most wagers on the UFC, regardless of type, will come with odds attached to them. UFC wagering is often based on finding the best values for specific outcomes. Let’s take a look at the different types of wagering offerings available on MMA.
- Parlay Betting
What Is UFC Moneyline Betting?
Moneyline betting is a wager that is made to pick the winner of a fight, with method of victory not taken into consideration. Using our previous example of Fighter A being a -150 favorite over Fighter B, a moneyline wager on either fighter is picking only the winner of the fight. Let’s say our wager is on Fighter A. It would not matter whether Fighter A won via KO, TKO, submission, disqualification, unanimous decision, majority decision or split decision. As long as it is Fighter A having their hand raised at the end of the bout, a moneyline wager on Fighter A would be considered a winner.
What Is UFC Prop Wagering?
Prop wagering in MMA is similar to moneyline wagering, albeit with a more specific predicted outcome in exchange for a better rate of return.
We will once again use Fighter A and their -150 flat line as an example. The -150 flat line is only considered in regard to which fighter wins the fight, with method of victory not considered. Prop wagering allows the bettor to pick a more specific outcome with Fighter A winning, and get a better price for doing so.
For example, Fighter A might have +200 inside the distance (ITD) line. That means the same fighter would requite laying a minus figure on the flat line, also returns $200 on a $100 wager on the ITD line. An ITD wager on Fighter A would require them to win without the bout reaching the maximum scheduled duration and having the judge’s scorecards come into play. An ITD wager would be considered a winner if Fighter A wins via a stoppage of any kind. It would not matter if it were a win via KO, TKO, submission or disqualification, so long as the referee waves the fight off and Fighter A is the winner.
UFC props are offered in a long list by the time fight times roll around, and the rate of return on props raises based on the level of specificity. Continuing with Fighter A, let’s say that Fighter A is a grappling specialist, and has numerous wins via submission on their resume. Their prop line to win specifically by submission would likely not look wildly different than their ITD line, perhaps +260. In a scenario like this, it would be their prop to win via KO or TKO that would bring the much greater rate of return. That figure could look like +1000 or even higher in some spots.
Taking it yet another step further, betting a specific outcome to occur in a specific round can drastically raise the rate of return. Adding the specificity of the outcome happening in a specific round gives something of an exponential jump on rate of return. Let’s go back to our Fighter A to win by submission at +260 example. Adding that outcome to occur in Round 2 might raise the rate of return to the neighborhood of +1500.
When playing UFC props, bear in mind the more specific the outcome predicted, the greater the rate of return. When wagering, always weigh the rate of return against the probability of the outcome.
What Is UFC Over/Under Wagering?
Over/Under wagering in UFC is a bit different than in other sports. Other sports have over/under wagering on a total of points scored between two teams in a match. With the lack of a points scoring system and the fluid length of a bout duration, UFC over/under wagering is on how long a fight lasts.
These betting lines generally come with over or under 1.5 rounds or over or under 2.5 rounds. The half rounds in MMA are not like half points in other sports that take a push out of play. They are literally a half of a round, or two minutes and 30 seconds of a five minute round.
An under wager would have to see the fight stopped prior to the specific time in question to be considered a winner. An over wager becomes a winner once the fight hits the specific time in question.
For example, we will use an over/under line of 1.5 rounds. At the two minute and thirty one second mark of Round 2, over wagers would be deemed winners while under wagers would be deemed losers.
Parlay wagering in UFC is the most similar, or essentially the same as it is in other sports. Parlay wagering is combining two or more outcomes in a bet with a raised rate of return for picking all of the outcomes correctly. A loss on any one of the pieces of a parlay makes the parlay a losing bet, so it does require us to be perfect on these bets.
Like other sports, a parlay payout in UFC is calculated based on the odds for each specific outcome in combination. Going back to our Fighter A example who was set at -150, we can explore odds on parlays including Fighter A.
Let’s say we want to use a two fighter parlay with Fighter A and Fighter C, who is also a -150 favorite. That two fighter parlay would return in the neighborhood of +177 were both fighters to win. A loss by either fighter would mean the parlay is a losing bet. When betting parlays, be sure to shop around different sportsbooks for the best rate of return. Also keep in mind the more legs added to your parlay can significantly increase your rate of return, but it also makes the bet more difficult to win.
With UFC betting being such an odds based endeavor, it can be quite helpful for sports bettors to keep multiple sportsbook accounts in play. It is not infrequent that you can find better odds for your bet just by shopping around a bit. Here are some of the very best ones for UFC wagering.
Best Online Sportsbooks For UFC Betting
BetMGM is a great sportsbook for MMA bettors. They have loads of offerings for every pay per view and Fight Night card. Every UFC fight will be made available, as well as offerings for other MMA promotions.
Whether you are looking for very specific props or over/under fight wagering, BetMGM will have you covered. They will also give you a sizeable risk free first bet to get your bankroll boosted immediately when creating your account. Just follow the link below for that.
Caesars Sportsbook is a great choice for MMA bettors. They offer all of the fight options UFC bettors have come to expect. Whether you want to bet flat lines, props, over/under or parlays, Caesars will have the offerings you need.
Caesars is certainly one of the most generous when it comes to new player offers. That holds particularly true for new customers that sign up using our exclusive promo code. Those perks do not come solely with the huge risk free bet, but also with Caesars Rewards perks. These can be used at Caesars establishments throughout the country and can also be used for free wagers and more.
DraftKings has become one of the behemoths of the sports betting industry, and for very good reason. Along with their countless standard MMA betting opportunities, DraftKings offers the most extensive prop betting markets for MMA fans. This includes a fantastic platform for live betting.
All DraftKings customers new and old are enrolled in the Dynasty Rewards program. Bettors earn points (called crowns) for each wager (and every daily fantasy sports entry) that can be redeemed for free betsand boosts, or even for their exclusive merchandise.
FanDuel, very much like DraftKings, has fully made the pivot from top daily fantasy sports site to top sportsbook while also maintaining the daily fantast sports level. FanDuel is another top option for UFC wagering, as they are in line with the other very top sportsbooks and have solid prop offerings as well.
FanDuel is very competitive with their promotional offerings as well. Their risk free bet option for new customers is very enticing, and that is not all they offer for new users.
Basic UFC Betting Strategies
UFC bettors are best served to remember that betting on MMA is a journey and not a destination. With no offseason, UFC betting endeavors take place year round. There is never an overwhelming importance on making a huge score on just one event. The key is long term profit and perhaps being able to raise your betting limits over time.
- Bankroll Management
- Sportsbook Bonus Hunting
Your bankroll is the money you have that has been allocated for sports betting. Protecting and being prudent with your bankroll is absolutely the best favor you can do for yourself. Without question, the most common mistake made by sports gamblers is over extending their bankroll, or betting beyond their means.
There are varying theories as to how much should prudently be wagered on each bet, but the consensus falls between 2% and 4% of your total bankroll per wager. If your bankroll is $1000, this means your wagers should within the $20-$40 window. This will allow you to have long term sustainability and not bring strife to the other portions of your life by over extending yourself on sports betting.
Sportsbook Bonus Hunting
The sports betting industry is a quite competitive one, and that is an advantage for you, the bettor. The competitiveness means you will have a very strong new player offer from each sportsbook. That holds especially true when taking advantage of excusive links here on ATS.io.
Whether it is a large risk free bet or a smaller bet and get offer, it is absolutely essential to take advantage of these top offers from each of the sportsbooks. The free funds offered simply for creating an account and making a portion of your wagers on an additional platform is a massive value for you that cannot be understated.
Do not fall into the trap of comfortability on just one platform. The import of welcome offers is just as crucial if not more so than shopping around for best betting lines on multiple platforms.
Important Dates For UFC Events
UFC differs from the other major sports in terms of important dates. There is no offseason in the UFC, and pay per view and fight night events take place year round. The UFC puts on approximately 45 Saturday events in a 52 week calendar year, so you never have to wait too long for the next event. Approximately once per month there is a pay per view event, that showcases the best fighters in the sport and often has championships from multiple weight classes in play. Be sure to check back here each and every week for the most up to date info and betting picks for the current card.