I regularly bet on MMA fights including every UFC event and I have learned a lot about handicapping mixed martial arts in the past few years. My goal in this article is to teach interested individuals how to pick a fighter to bet on in the MMA.
Watch the Odds
I can’t stress enough how important it is to watch the odds – especially when gambling in sports. UFC odds are released very early and often times bettors have weeks or months to wager on the big fights. In that time the odds change based on how much action a bookmaker receives. One fighter may “open” as a favourite of -110, but by the time the fight starts he may be a -200 favourite.
If you don’t understand odds -110 means you’d need to bet $11 to win $10 whereas -200 odds equate to the bettor needing to wager $20 to win $10. Obviously betting the fighter in the example above at -110 is much more profitable over the long-run regardless of whether the fighter wins or not.
Ensuring that you get the best odds is one of the main parts of becoming a successful MMA handicapper. There are numerous free odds comparison tools online that I use and you can use as well when trying to find the best UFC odds to bet on.
Understand the Fighters History
Countless bettors in the UFC don’t have a clue about what they’re doing and they simply bet on the big names in the promotion that have been hyped up through the years. The problem with this strategy is that most veterans in the UFC at this point are way past their prime and they don’t win consistently like they used too.
There are several sites that track every fighters record and fights. You can see when and where the fighter has fought recently and this type of information will allow even the most casual fans to learn how fighters have performed recently. Recent form is huge in MMA and if your fighter isn’t in good form you should move on to better bets.
When looking at a fighters history you should also see how they win/lose most of their fights. Do they always win by decision or is the fighter able to win most of his fights by stoppage? Does the fighter always get KO’ed or submitted? These types of questions need to be answered before placing a wager on any fighter in the UFC.
Don’t Be Scared to Parlay
In most sports you’ll read that you shouldn’t parlay bets together. This is the correct strategy in sports with point spread bets, but not in MMA. Parlays are your best friend in MMA because they allow you to bet the big favourites without risking a huge amount of juice. Favourites often lose, but losing a parlay because of a favourite stings much less than losing a straight bet with a huge favourite.
I never advise betting on fighters straight-up when the odds are above -250 in MMA. If the odds are higher than -250 you should find another strong favourite that you like to parlay with your initial pick. This will increase the payout odds and lower the amount of juice that you need to risk on your wager.
What I don’t recommend doing is betting on parlays and nothing else. If you have a few underdog picks you like make sure you don’t just parlay them together. Always bet the underdogs you like straight-up. Winning 1-2 of your underdog picks could equate to a good night depending upon the odds, but obviously a parlay wouldn’t win.
Understand Other Types of MMA Bets
I know that you want to learn how to pick a fighter to bet on in the Mega88, but sometimes you should be looking at other profitable wagers instead. Betting on the over/under on how long a fight will last is popular, but I prefer betting on fighters to win by TKO/KO or submission.
If I know a fighter is going to try and submit his opponent and he’s capable of doing so I’ll wager on the fighter to win by submission at plus money odds. The odds will payout much more than betting on the fighter to win straight-up. There is less risk in the fight and if the fighter anyway wins by the end of the fight then I win the bet.
If I know a fighter is a striker and he’s capable of knock downing his opponent, I’ll wager on the fighter to win by submission at small odds. The odds will payout much more than betting on the fighter to win straight-up. There is less risk in the fight and if the fighter indeed wins by the end of the fight I will win the bet.