Mixed martial arts is a relatively new sport in terms of gaining serious attention on an international level. The major organization for this sport is the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and UFC betting is an area that offers a lot of opportunities for savvy bettors to gain an advantage against the handicappers. There are a ton of different opportunities to build models to figure out the odds of different fighters winning in different matchups, and with more detailed statistics starting to be widely available, the time is right to try to get ahead of the curve and figure out how to handicap fights well enough to make a profit.
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The Fundamental Ideas Behind UFC Betting
Unlike team sports with many players to consider, MMA betting is all about figuring out how individual fighters match up against each other. In that sense, you have many opportunities to try to figure out how these individual people approach their contest, how their offensive and defensive capabilities match up and how you can try to approximate each fighter’s chances of winning. You can do this for each position that the fighter can be in (standing, on top, on bottom), and you can also incorporate their chances of winning in different ways.
The length of the fight is also something that you have to take into consideration. Most fights consist of three rounds that are five minutes each. However, main events and title fights are always five rounds that are five minutes each, so with all else being equal, there’s going to be less of a chance of the fight going to the judges. On the other hand, since these fights tend to be between people who are more closely matched in skill, you could argue that the fights will go to a decision just as often since it will be harder to determine a decisive winner.
Money Lines For MMA Betting
Because there is no scoring of points like most sports, betting in MMA is almost always based on money lines. The favourite will be given a number like -140 which means you will have to bet $140 to win $100 if your fighter wins. Along these lines, the underdog will also be given a number like +125, which means that a bet of $100 would profit $125 if the underdog happens to win. The first point of analysis of any fight is to look at how often each fighter has to win for a bet on either to be profitable.
If you want to know how often a fighter has to win for a bet to be profitable, here’s what you do. You need to know how much you win if your fighter wins, and you need to know how much you lose if your fighter loses. Divide the amount you would lose by the sum of both of these numbers, and you have the threshold for how often your fighter has to win for the bet to be profitable.
Suppose we have the example above where one fighter is -140, and the other is +125. A bet on the favourite would need that fighter to win at least 140/240 = 58.3% of the time to be profitable. Along the same lines, a bet on the underdog would need that fighter to win at least 100/225 = 44.4% of the time (meaning the favourite wins less than 55.6% of the time). These numbers also give you “the gap,” a concept that will help you figure out what the bookmakers think about a given fight.
Using the Gap to Evaluate MMA Fights
Using the -140/+125 example we have been looking at, we found that a bet on the favourite is profitable if he wins more than 58.3% of the time, and a bet on the underdog is profitable if the favourite wins less than 55.6% of the time. This establishes an idea called “the gap,” The gap for this fight is when the favourite wins between 55.6 and 58.3 of the time. The first thing you should do when analyzing any fight is to find the gap.
So here’s what the gap tells you. For the handicappers to put these money lines on this fight, they believe that the favourite will win between 55.6 and 58.3% of the time. If they are correct, then any bet on either of the fighters will be profitable for the sportsbook. However, if they are wrong, then one of these two bets will be profitable, and you will be able to get an advantage. You need always to find the gap first because it’s the basis for determining if there is an advantage when betting on a fight.
Other Types of UFC Betting
Other than money lines on the winner and loser of a fight, you can also place other types of UFC bets. For example, you can bet on whether or not a certain fight will go to a decision, and this is a favourite type of bet to analyze for people who are big fans of digging into data because you can look at the past trends of each fighter to try to figure out the chances of the fight going to a decision overall.
On top of that, you can bet on whether the outcome will be a draw, a win by knockout, a win by submission, or many other things. Some of these bets can be pretty specific, so you’ll need to make sure that you’re really prepared with your analysis.