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UFC Odds Explained

In many ways, the UFC has filled the void that boxing has left, becoming a widely popular combat sport with recognizable superstars and exciting pay-per-views. The only thing that makes UFC matches more exciting is having some skin in the game with UFC betting.

Basic Odds and Betting Options

UFC betting simply comes down to betting on who you believe is going to win the fight. Odds vary drastically from fight to fight based on the talent discrepancy between the two fighters.

For example, when UFC sensation Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson takes to the Octagon, betting on him to win is going to come at a premium. When Johnson squared off against Ray Borg at UFC 216, he was a -1150 favorite, which means that bettors had to pay $1150 to win just $100. Borg offered enticing odds at +700 (bet $100 to win $700), but he was easily dismantled by Johnson as expected.

Fights that aren’t so lopsided have much closer odds, as was the case in Conor McGregor vs Eddie Alvarez when McGregor was a -195 favorite (bet $195 to win $100) against Alvarez at +160 (bet $100 to win $160). As we said, odds vary greatly from fight to fight.

UFC Betting Strategies

The straightforward nature of UFC betting leads to straightforward handicapping and strategy as well. UFC bettors are tasked with picking winners, and the only way to do that effectively is to put in the time and do your homework.

The great UFC fighters are versatile, but regardless of how good a fighter is, he or she is going to have strengths and weaknesses. These show up in the style that the fighter employs. A powerful striker is going to try to keep the fight off the mat and win with punches and kicks. A grappler is going to try to get the fight down to the mat and win by submission.

Bettors should take the time to learn and understand the different styles present in MMA and how they play off of each other. While the superior fighter will usually be able to dictate the pace of a fight, one vulnerable weakness against the wrong opponent could send a favorite to a bitter loss and pay off a nice underdog wager.

Finding a Suitable Sportsbook

Depending on the sportsbook, different types of wagers in addition to moneyline betting are sometimes offered. Especially for big events like pay-per-views and main events, some sportsbooks offer prop bets including specific fight decisions (Fighter A by decision, Fighter B by knockout, etc.) and OVER/UNDERs on how long a fight will go.

The more seriously you take UFC betting, the more options you will want to have at your disposal. In the days before a big UFC event, check various sportsbooks to see which ones leave you with the best options and prices.