Even if you’re not a UFC fan, you’ve likely heard about a little event coming up, eponymously named UFC 200. It’s an event so big, they’ve had trouble finding fights worthy of putting on such a historic card. (Although that could be because it’s not the best-run organization in the world?)
Combat sports have long gone hand-in-hand with betting, which is part of the reason Las Vegas is such a common host for the biggest bouts. And fight fans will once again descend on Sin City on July 9 for what could be the grandest night in mixed martial arts history (at least until the next UFC event).
We want to make sure you’re not left out of the fun, no matter your knowledge of fighting. So here are some quick tips on how to bet MMA ahead of UFC 200.
Looking at the past five UFC events, at least one underdog on the main card has won. In three of those five events, a 3/1 underdog (or worse) has emerged victorious. All sports have the allure of unpredictability, but that seems to ring even more true in fighting. One wrong move, one connecting punch, and even the biggest favorite can be felled. If you had bet $100 on every underdog in the main card of UFC 199, you would’ve made upwards of $600.
Given that UFC 200 features a lot of closely matched opponents, you won’t find many long odds. But there are certainly a few intriguing underdogs, like Brock Lesnar going off at +150.
For about four years, it wasn’t a question whether Ronda Rousey would win or not. Instead, if bettors wanted value, they had to predict how she would do it. Would it be by knockout, or perhaps her devastating armbar? Heck, the odds of one of her fight’s going to decision were about as long as the odds of her losing.
Betting on how a fight will be decided is a good way to find more profitable odds, even when one fighter is heavily favored. For example, T.J. Dillashaw is a huge favorite over Raphael Assuncao at UFC 200. Dillashaw is a knockout artist (only 33-percent of his fights end in a decision), yet current odds for the fight not going to decision are +145. For those bad at math, that’s a better potential payout than taking Dillashaw to win at -400. And you’d win that bet if Assuncao scored a knockout or submission as well.
Some fights just seem like a complete toss up, but that doesn’t mean you need to stay away. If you have a sense the fight will either go to the cards or end early, you can play the over/under on rounds. Typically, the o/u is 1.5 for a three-round fight and 2.5 for a five-round fight. You can also get more specific and bet whether a fight will have a second round, third round, and so on.
Depending on the style of the fighters involved, the odds will shift, but you can almost always get long odds on a fight ending in the first round, something that has happened five times over ten main card fights at UFC 198 and 199.
(Photo Credit: Andrius Petrucenia (originally posted to Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
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