MMA betting is a fast-growing segment of sports wagering and has become one of the most lucrative betting markets at online sportsbooks. Unlike baseball, basketball or football, betting on MMA is a very risky proposition, but it can also provide an exciting opportunity for the smart sports bettor.
How to Bet on MMA
The first step is to read the published MMA betting rules at your chosen sportsbook. These terms and conditions will spell out exactly how a sportsbook handles all the different situations that can arise during a fight, from when betting markets close to what happens if a fighter misses the weight cut or is disqualified.
In MMA, there are many betting odds to choose from, including moneyline and over/under bets. These are the most popular choices and are based on an implied probability of winning for each fighter. In addition, bettors can place futures bets on how a particular fighter will win or lose a match in the near future.
How to Pick a Winner
In every MMA fight, there is a favorite and an underdog. Choosing the underdog is usually a good idea, since an inferior opponent can make a better favorite look bad in a single round. In most cases, a weaker fighter can sneak a favorite into a submission in seconds.
How to Handle Variance
Unlike team sports like baseball or basketball, MMA has a high degree of variance in its scoring system. It is hard to predict how a fight will end because a poor performance can be overcome by one lucky punch, making the difference between a favorite and an underdog largely irrelevant.
How to Handle Weigh-Ins
A key factor in MMA betting is weight, as fighters struggle to gain or lose weight before a fight. Some can even dehydrate themselves to avoid tripping the scales. This is especially true for fighters who are a few pounds above their designated weight class.
How to Deal with Late Changes
In a lot of MMA fights, the fighters don’t meet their scheduled weigh-in deadlines. This is a big problem for the sportsbooks because it can lead to underdogs accumulating more points than they should. It can also cause a fighter to miss the cut, which can lead to them having less time to prepare for their next fight.
How to Handle Reach
The length of a fighter’s arm is another important statistic to keep in mind when handicapping MMA betting odds. A longer reach allows a fighter to connect with more strikes than a shorter fighter without having to put their arms too close to their opponent’s face.
How to Handle Age
A fighter’s age is also an important factor in MMA betting odds, as older fighters tend to have more experience and can be more confident. However, younger fighters can still be dangerous.
How to Handle Late Weight Cuts
A fighter’s last weigh-in is the day before the fight and fighters who are close to missing the cut are often forced to take drastic measures to get back to their normal weight before a fight. These can include starving themselves, overtraining or dehydrating themselves in order to avoid tipping the scales and losing weight.