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UFC Betting Guide: How to Bet, Read Odds & Make Profits

Here is everything you need to know when betting on UFC online. From our UFC betting guide, you will learn how to read and calculate odds (with examples) and what you have to be aware of if you want to make money on UFC bets online.

UFC betting guide
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    How Do Betting Odds Work in UFC?

    At first glance, UFC betting odds can give a bettor a sense of being overwhelmed. With so many bouts and numerous betting lines offered on each of those bouts, determining how and when to bet on the UFC can prove a daunting challenge. 

    A UFC betting line on a bout will look like this:

    Fighter Odds

    Amanda Nunes -300

    Julianna Pena +230

    In this betting line, Nunes is the favorite and Pena the underdog. At odds of +230, that means a $100 wager on Pena returns a profit of $230 should she win the bout. Odds on the favored Nunes are based on what needs to be bet in order to return a +100 profit. In this instance, that amount would be +300.

    A similar odds format will be employed on prop wagers such as total rounds, exact method of finish and type of finishing move. 

    Who Decides UFC Online Betting Odds?

    Oddsmakers employed by online sportsbooks establish the betting odds on every UFC bout. These are people who are experts in the fields of both betting on sports and the UFC itself. 

    They will analyze trends, explore statistics and utilize high tech algorithms to come to their decisions before setting the odds for the public. 

    How To Understand UFC Betting Odds

    Above, we’ve already explained how the odds on a UFC work in terms of payouts and how those odds are established. 

    There are several essential options for betting on the UFC. It can be a simple straight bet on the outcome of the bout. More complicated bets and ones perhaps offering a higher return on investment may be provided by props such as total rounds in the bout, method of victory, and round betting. In-play wagering will also be delivered on events during the fight, such as the next takedown and next knockdown.

    What -165 Means in UFC Betting 

    Suppose you are looking at a UFC betting line in an upcoming women’s strawweight fight between Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili. In this bout, at the BetRivers online sportsbook app, Namajunas listed at odds of -165. What does that betting line mean?

    In moneyline wagering, all bets are based to reflect what the odds would be around a wagering factor of $100. Favorites are generally going to be represented by a negative number, while underdogs are almost always associated with positive digits.

    In this instance, Namajunas is being sent off as the favorite in this bout with Weili., hence the negative number next to her name. It is designed to represent how much a stake a UFC bettor would need to wager on Namajunas in order for them to realize a return on investment of $100.

    By betting $165 on Namajunus, should she win the fight, all successful wagers placed on her would garner a payout of $265, or a profit of $100.

    Moneylines are not the only wagers that feature these negative odds. Were a UFC bettor try some action on round betting, a play on Namajunas to win the first round might also be accompanied by a betting line of -165 at BetMGM Sports

    Likewise, a total rounds bet might be offering similar negative odds. Suppose the total established for this women’s bout was set at 2.5 rounds. It’s possible in this scenario that the betting line on this betting market would work out to odds of -165.

    How Are UFC Betting Odds Calculated?

    A popular misconception is that the odds on a UFC bout are established to indicate which fighter will be the winner. That’s not the case at all. Oddsmakers are looking to make money for their betting site. The goal of setting the odds is to establish a betting line that should encourage as close to equal amounts being bet on both fighters as is possible.

    To do so, oddsmakers move the odds when there’s too much action on one side of the equation. They’re seeking to balance the books so that no matter which fighter ends up winning, the real winner will be the coffers of the sportsbook. 

    Sports Betting 101: How To Bet On UFC Fights for Beginners

    How to Bet On UFC Online Guide

    Here is a list of the most popular bet types (with explanations) you can place on UFC at the top UFC betting sites.

    Moneylines

    Moneylines are a straight win bet on the outcome of the bout. A moneyline is always calculated based on a hypothetical $100 wager. Suppose Israel Adesanya is fighting Jared Cannonier for the UFC middleweight title. Champion Adesanya is listed at a moneyline of -235. Meanwhile, challenger Cannonier is given a moneyline of +155.

    In this instance, Cannonier is the underdog. A $100 bet on him would bring a profit of $155 should be win the bout. As the favorite, Adesanya’s negative number of -235 accounts what you need to bet on him to earn a $100 profit on a successful wager.

    What Does +135 Mean In A UFC Betting Line?

    In a UFC betting line, the moneyline is a straight bet wager on the outcome of a bout. It might look something like this:

    Fighter Moneyline

    Alex Perez +135

    Alexandre Pantoja -148

    In this case, Pantoja at -148 is the betting favorite. Oddsmakers are anticipating that he will win the fight. Perez is the underdog. He’s given positive odds because he is not expected to emerge victorious from the bout.

    That +135 next his name is meaning that Perez would deliver a positive return on investment should he indeed pull off the upset and win the fight. 

    The moneyline wager in terms of an underdog is a reflection of what a winning $100 wager on that fighter would payout to those who place UFC bets online who were opting to back him prior to the bout.

    Bet $100 on Perez and if he wins the fight over Pantoja, you will turn a profit of $135 on that $100 play. In total, the return to you will be $235 – your original $100 stake, as well as your winnings on that wager of $135.

    Those positive odds can also be found in other UFC wagers. In a bet on total rounds, the positive number in the odds is a reflection of which outcome between the over and under that oddsmakers believe is less likely to occur. 

    Play a parlay on a UFC fight card and you’ll also see positive numbers reflected in the total potential payout. The more legs you add to your UFC parlay play, the larger that number will grow.

    Rounds

    Another option for UFC betting is round betting. There are several options here. Bettors can wager on the outcome of each round of the bout – which fighter will win that round and how they will the round.

    Method Of Result

    A more specific wager on the outcome of the bout is a method of result wager. This play offers seven betting option. Choose a fighter and bet on that fighters to win by either points, submission or KO/TKO/disqualification. The seventh betting option would be to wager on the fight ending in a draw.

    UFC Fight End Bets

    A simple, straightforward play is to wager on how the fight will end. This is a yes or no bet which is asking one question – will or won’t the fight go the distance?

    Futures

    Future book wagering is for bettors who don’t mind waiting to see if they won. In UFC online betting, future betting often takes on unusual aspects. Often, they are questions about potential outcomes in the sport. It might be whether Conor McGregor will contest a bout during the calendar year. It could also be a wager on whether a speculative bout will be taking place.

    Parlay

    A parlay play is much like a future book wager in that it’s possible to gain a significant return on a minimal investment. In this instance, though, not nearly as much patience will be required Parlays combine a number of outcomes into a single wager. On major UFC cards, online sports betting apps like Caesars will provide parlay plays on the card, often with boosted odds on the outcome.

    UFC Live Betting

    The newest form of online sports betting, live or in-play wagering is just what it claims to be. You’ll be wagering on outcomes within the bout while the bout is in progress. Possible live bets could include will either fighter score a knockdown during the upcoming round. 

    Now, let’s take a look at where you can bet on the UFC. 

    What Is Round Betting In UFC?

    The standard straight bet options on UFC are not as in depth as it is with other sports, so prop wagers tend to play a larger role in the wagering on the sport. One of the most popular form of prop betting on UFC offered at online betting sites such as DraftKings is called round betting.

    Round betting begins with the name itself. Bettors can wager on the outcome of each round. With this wager, they are selecting which fighter will win the round. Playing a draw bet is another available option via this betting market.

    There are five other types of round betting props that can be played on a UFC bout.

    • Total Rounds: Like most sporting events, UFC does offer a wager on the total. In their sport, though, the total play is on the number of rounds in a bout. For example, in a five-round UFC world title bout, the total for a bout might be 3.5 rounds. Bettors determine whether to play the over or the under on that wager.
    • Fight To Go The Distance: Another possible avenue in round betting is to wager a yes/no play on whether the fight will go the full distance and head to the judges’ cards in order to reach a decision. 
    • Exact Round: With this wager, bettors are selecting the round that they believe the bout will end. This wager can be played in two fashions. Bettors can simply select the round that things will finish. Or, in order to grab a little more juice from their squeeze, they can pick the round the bout will conclude and also which fighter will be the winner.
    • Exact Round With Method Of Victory: Another twist to round betting is adding the method through which the conclusion of the bout was reached to the exact round it happened. Thus, the wager could be submission in the second round. An additional option to draw better odds on the play would be to include the winning fighter, such as Alexander Volkanovski by TKO/KO in Round 3.
    • Grouped Round Betting: A bit of a more challenging and complicated play, grouped round betting is self explanatory. Bettors are selecting a group of rounds in a bout and picking a fighter to win those rounds. For example, were Kamaru Usman fighting in a UFC world title bout, players could place a group round betting play on him to win Rounds 3-4-5.

    8 Things to Help You Make Money Betting On UFC

    The excitement, passion and intensity of the UFC is evident every time two combatants set foot inside the octagon. By betting on UFC bouts, you can live that same thrill of victory and agony of defeat alongside the world’s best MMA fighters.

    No UFC fighter would step into the cage without first putting in extensive training to prepare for their bout. When betting on UFC matches, you should be doing just as much work in order to prepare for the moment. 

    If you do so, then you can also enjoy just as much success betting on the UFC as your favorite fighters enjoy competing in the UFC.

    Let’s look at some of the keys to successful UFC wagering:

    1. Know your UFC Bets

    Whether you want to wager straight moneyline winning outcomes, round betting, parlays, or exact method of finish, the UFC betting option you choose to play should be well researched in advance before any money is exchanging hands.

    It’s best to determine one fashion of wagering to pursue and stick with that gameplan when betting on the UFC. A jack of all trades will be a master of none. 

    2. Study Fighters

    Just as there are horses for courses in horse racing, there are matchups of fighters that will tend to work out better for one competitor than the other. By putting in time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of competing fighters, matchups that are favorable to one fighter over another will tend to become more apparent.

    3. More Is Not Better

    A typical UFC card will include up to a dozen or more bouts. You wouldn’t order everything on the menu in a restaurant. By the same token, wagering on all of the fights on a UFC card is a recipe for failure.

    Pick out two or three plays that you really feel confident about. Bet those and only those, win or lose. Part of successfully betting is accepting that you will lose bets. Throwing in extra bets to try and make up for losses will only dig that financial hole even deeper.

    4. Shop Odds

    Getting the best odds possible on your UFC bets will only serve to increase the return on investment of your stake. Just as you’d shop around for the best price on a new car, do likewise with your UFC wagers. Find the sportsbook offering the best odds on the play you’re seeking to make and go with that book. 

    You can join as many online betting sites as you desire. Sites like Caesars and BetMGM offer lucrative signup bonuses to new players, so you can actually be playing your UFC wagers with house money.

    Wagering on the UFC is incredibly popular but that’s the easy part. Successful wagering on the UFC, winning money steadily and consistently with your bets, that is what really matters in the long run. How do you get that done? What should you be looking for when establishing a betting strategy that is going to produce winning wagers on the UFC? Here’s a few tips to take under consideration:

    5. Don’t Waste Wagers On Heavy Favorites

    Some UFC bouts are anticipated to be lopsided outcomes. You’ll frequently see lines of -500 and -650 on the favorite in a UFC fight. That means oddsmakers are projecting with a high degree of certainty that the chalk isn’t going to be rubbed out in that bout. A fighter with -500 odds to win in the UFC moneyline is being given an implied probability of victory in excess of 83 percent. 

    Why would you bet that? Even if as expected the favored fighter wins and you risked $100 on him, the profit on that winning wager would be $20. Is it worth risking $100 to make $20. No, it isn’t.

    6. Pay Attention To Weigh Ins

    Weigh ins are made for TV spectacles in which the opposing fighters mug for the cameras, act tough and often trash talk each other in anticipation of trading blows the next night inside the octagon. 

    Well, they are until one of the fighters doesn’t make weight. That means they’ve got about 24 hours to cut weight and get down to the number they need in order to be allowed to fight. That fighter is going to spend the day prior to the bout utilizing every method possible to drop weight. They figure to be tired, perhaps even dehydrated. 

    Their opponent, meanwhile, is literally getting fat. Once they’ve made weight, they can do whatever they want prior to fight time. In most cases, they add weight to give them extra power and strength entering the bout.

    Which fighter would you be betting on in such a showdown? Statistics show that six out 10 fighters forced to cut weight lose their bout.

    7. Sizing Up The Cage

    There are two standard sizes for the octagons used in UFC bouts. They are either 518 or 746 square feet in diameter.

    The latter octagon provides an edge to quick, elusive fighters who prefer to play a counterattacking style of bout. In the former size, there’s significant benefit to power strikers and expert takedown artists, because their opponent has less opportunity to avoid them.

    8. Older Fighters Are Bad Bets

    Sports in general is a young man’s game and this is especially true in the brutal and often barbaric world of UFC. In the UFC, many fighters, even all-time greats like Chuck Liddell and Anderson Silva, stayed around the game into their 40s and became a shadow of themselves in their latter years.

    Liddell lost six of his last seven fights. Five of those defeats were by knockout and four within the first round. Silva was a winner just once over his last nine bouts.

    How To Make A Betting Poll For UFC Fights

    The UFC isn’t merely an exciting sport, it’s among the most popular sports in America, especially with the younger set. The demographics for UFC viewers is 75 percent male and 60 percent males between the ages of 25-44. 

    It’s also one of the fastest-growing betting sports in the USA. And it’s mostly that same demographic which is wagering on UFC bouts. That’s an age bracket that is digitally friendly, active on social media and like the competitors they cheer on, always up for a fight.

    Well, rather, a good, healthy debate. UFC fans are, shall we say, quite attached to their favorite fighters and ready and willing to go into verbal jousting battles with any keyboard warrior who is suggesting that their guy isn’t the guy.

    Polls are a popular method of determining public opinion and public betting is sometimes a way that people determine how they might bet on a UFC bout. If the public is betting heavily on one fighter, it can cause the odds to be tipping in that competitor’s favor. 

    Some sportsbooks are willing to share this information of how their bets and handle are moving on a specific fight or fight card. The majority of them don’t, however.

    That doesn’t preclude you from doing you own digging, though. Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook offer the ability to put together polls that then can be sent out into cyberspace to decipher where the masses are sending the action on a specific bout. It’s a simple process that takes only a few minutes. 

    Once the data has been gathered then you can decide whether to keep it to yourself or share it with your audience. The next decision will be whether you go with the public selection on the fight, or opt to be contrarian and fade the public.

    How Often Does The Favorite Win In UFC Betting?

    It was the late, great master of song Meat Loaf who once warbled that two out of three ain’t bad. When betting on UFC favorites, Mr. Loaf certainly had himself a point. Favorites don’t win every UFC bout. However, they do win more than their fair share.

    Overall, statistics on UFC betting are revealing that the favorites come out on top around 66 percent, so just around two out of every three bouts contested go the way of the fighter who was pegged to do so in the UFC betting line. Between 2013-2022, there were 4117 UFC fights contested. Favorites won 2709 fights, while the underdog emerged as the winner on 1408 occasions. In percentage data, that’s a 66-34 percent split of favor of the favorite.

    Interestingly, inside the octagon, one weight class that is defying these UFC betting trends in the flyweight division. In this grouping, almost 80 percent of bouts are captured by the betting favorite. 

    Take note of this particular trend – be wary of title bouts in which the reigning champion is not the betting favorite. That’s happened 19 times over the past 17 years. In those 19 bouts, the underdog champion went on to retain their belt a dozen times. Frankie Edgar managed to do this twice. 

    Here’s another interesting stat – in rematches, the winner of the first bout also wins two out of every three bouts. Generally, the winner of the first bout will also be favored to take the rematch. 

    6 Best UFC Live Streaming Services (Helpful for Live Betting)

    As the number of people who are choosing to cut the cord and get rid of their cable and satellite cotinues to increase, finding ways to watch live sporting events such as UFC cards is a new challenge.

    Streaming services are becoming increasingly popular, but it’s important to know which ones offer live UFC bouts before signing up to a service. 

    These are among the best live streaming sites for viewing UFC action:

    1. ESPN: The world sports leader has gone big time into UFC, making a long-term commitment to the sport. While major events figure to be broadcast on the ESPN network channels, many undercard and preliminary bouts are also being carried on the ESPN+ streaming service. 
    2.  YouTube UFC Channel: YouTube is becoming a significant player in the world of online sports broadcasting and it’s a wonderful medium for viewing live UFC bouts. Numerous complete UFC fights are broadcast on the UFC YouTube channel. As well, it’s a one-stop location for all things UFC, from previews of fights with expert analysis to highlights of past bouts and feature interviews.
    3. FOX Sports GO: The streaming channel of the FOX network, FOX Sports GO is another essential get for UFC bettors seeking to keep tabs on the progress of live bouts. Several UFC cards will be carried on this streaming service. 
    4. Amazon Prime: Many UFC bouts are pay-per-view events and now, UFC bettors can stream all of these major events via Amazon Prime. Check in at www.amazon.com/UFC to get regular updates on which UFC fights are available.
    5. Hulu: There’s a similar offer through Hulu to stream UFC pay-per-view fight cards. This can be done whether or not someone is a Hulu subscriber.
    6. DirecTV Stream: With DirecTV’s streaming service, all of the UFC cards broadcast by ESPN are available to subscribers. 
    Can I get a free bet for UFC?

    Yes, U.S. sports books offer lots of promotions and free bets for UFC fight cards. Check out these UFC betting bonuses.