The UFC prides itself on being the most unpredictable sport in the world. The UFC employs 689 fighters under contract on their roster and currently has 3 champions that were born in Africa. Each fighter has a different background and style in their fights. All of this is to say, the UFC is one of the most exciting sports in the world. However, learning how to bet the UFC can add even more excitement to an already fascinating game.
If you are like me and love watching the crazy knockouts, crafty submissions, and the battle of master strategy; trust me it is even better when you can predict it and profit off of it. Moreover, the UFC has fully embraced sports betting in ways that few sports ever have. UFC betting odds have been around since its inception in the mid-1990s!
When fighters are announced before their fight each fighter’s odds are listed next to their name and they even announce live betting odds during the round. This is a perfect preview of what we will be discussing later in the UFC’s live section.
Parlaying Favorites In The UFC Is Rarely Profitable
When I learned how to bet the UFC I did so by attrition and making tons of mistakes. Have I won plenty of parlays when betting on the UFC? Absolutely. Is it a profitable endeavor? Absolutely not.
- If you are going to make some UFC Parlays I highly recommend parlaying method of victory props with less money invested. The payoff could be bigger and the dollar amount risked should be significantly less. If you need help creating a parlay use our parlay calculator to help out.
More often than not, UFC fighters that are big favorites are specialized in one specific area; i.e. strong submission grappling, high volume striking or grappling (decision potential), and/or knockout power.
For starters, the UFC is extremely unpredictable and underdogs win all the time. In fact, according to my calculations, betting single units blindly on UFC underdogs is a profitable strategy this year. It is important to not bet UFC favorites on their moneyline because there is rarely any value in betting every method of victory for each favorite.
My default strategy is to pick one method of victory and bet that. This is called their “most likely win condition”. In this case, you are betting their best skill carrying them to victory. In the case that a fighter is very well-rounded – can submit, knockout, or win a decision – I usually stay away.
This strategy is not foolproof and requires research. However, it is by far the smartest and most profitable way to bet on UFC favorites.
UFC Method Of Victory Betting
Betting on the UFC method of victory props could be the most profitable way to bet the UFC. In this case, the sportsbook is setting the exact outcome of the fight. Fights can end via unanimous, split, or majority decisions as well as a finish (KO/TKO or submission). Rare cases show a fight ending in a draw or no contest.
Subsection: Do some research. My UFC 259 breakdown did particularly well if you want to see it in action.
Has a fighter never been knocked out before but been submitted five times? Could be a good time to bet that fighter to get submitted again if the odds are tasty enough. This is especially important if the fighter you are betting on has an extensive grappling history.
Example: Sean Brady is one of the best jiu-jitsu players in the northeast. In his fight against Jake Matthews, Brady was a -350 favorite and undefeated. Jake Matthews had been submitted twice going into that fight and I found out with small amounts of research (and watching his last fight where he submitted his opponent with ease) that Brady is extremely skilled on the ground. Brady was +520 by submission in that fight as a -350 favorite. He went on to submit Jake Matthews.
The point here is, find out what a fighter is good at and what the opponent is not good at. It can win you big money when you are UFC betting.
UFC Live Betting
UFC betting odds fluctuate throughout a given fight. Fights are 3 or 5 rounds and the odds are adjusted on how many rounds you win. They also take into account how fatigued opponents are, who is landing cleaner shots/landing takedowns, and the volume in which they are landing. The UFC live betting odds are announced live on every telecast during each round.
Live Betting In The UFC Is Crucial To Building A Bankroll
Live betting is very important to betting on the UFC. If you make a mistake pre-fight, you can buy your way out of it with a live bet. Furthermore, the UFC is different than the NFL, NBA, and MLB. A couple of three-pointers and a bench player getting hot can change the game when betting on the NBA. There are no bench players in the UFC. When a fighter is in there, they get tired and continue to get beat up – there is no time for adjustments when you are getting punched in the face.
It is much more difficult to turn the tide of fights than it is a regular sport. PointsBet Sportsbook allows bettors to bet method of victory props in between rounds. No other sportsbook offers this. It is a very important wrinkle in the live betting game as it can increase profitability and again, limit the risk of big losses. Currently, you can bet KO/TKO and decision at this time and I suspect submission to be available at some point soon too.
I would still not recommend big money on live betting favorites because judging decisions are inconsistent. It is important to understand that this is a part of the game and the price of doing business at this time. I have seen -2500 live favorites lose decisions, keep that risk in mind before you bet big money. Lastly, understand that more often than not you should come out ahead.
The most important part about betting on the UFC is to bet smart. Taking a shot on a favorite’s most likely win condition at plus odds is far more likely to be profitable than laying bigger money at -500.