MMA online betting strategies

The new kid in town, MMA is a fighting sport the likes of which the world has never seen before — combining every single combat sport into a cage fighting sensation. Online betting strategies on MMA can be very similar to those of boxing. However, MMA has a unique set of outcomes that change not only the types of bets but also how to approach the sport betting-wise.

Such a new sport always comes with its fair share of misinformation and inexperienced bettors. This provides an excellent opportunity for you to rise above the pack. You are taking advantage of the new possibilities here to make a nice profit. However, the chances are only there when you accurately know what you are doing.

MMA sets itself apart with its new approach to sports betting. You can compare some of the bets with the classic games, but how you need to interpret them is wildly different. It requires a systematic approach to make your predictions successful. Here at Betting Guide NJ, we have put together an Online Betting Guide for MMA to help you out with these strategies. 

This guide features the following items:

  • Why you should bet on MMA
  • When to bet on MMA
  • Good Bets – Bad Bets
  • Research, research, research
  • Online MMA Betting FAQ

Why you should bet on MMA in New Jersey

You might be thinking, why should I start betting on MMA over other conventional sports? We can understand your hesitance for venturing into such a relatively new sport. Here are our top 3 reasons why you definitely should start betting on MMA.

Bad lines

Precisely because of the newness of betting on this thrilling sport compared to other sports, bookmakers haven’t perfected betting odds and lines as much as with other, older sports. You are bound to find a better deal betting on MMA than with others.

Most sportsbooks base their lines on statistical data combined with the sports’ specialists information. In MMA, there is not that much data available, and MMA specialists with knowledge about betting lines are hard to come by. This means it is much more likely that bookmakers set terrible lines. They are hard to find, but these unique opportunities are out there.

The Ignorant Public

MMA is an emotional sport, and so are most of the bettors who place wagers on it. Online sportsbooks thrive on these kinds of people. The majority of the betting public tends to be not so great at long-term betting. Odds are continuously changing during the lead up to a match, which we will explain in greater detail further in the article. With most punters betting on the favorite, the odds change, and it becomes more appealing to choose for the other fighter. Following this, the general public will shift their attention to that other fighter, and the odds change once again. This cycle keeps on repeating until the fight starts.

MMA lines move a lot nowadays. There are press conferences and news snippets everywhere, shifting the popularity of one fighter to the other continuously. Keep an eye out how the public image for that fighter looks and check how that affects the odds. With enough time and knowledge, you can certainly take advantage of this. 

Information everywhere

In other sports, it’s almost impossible to access the players when they are in training. You barely get to see what the players do in their practices, let alone at home in their run-up to a match/game. MMA has changed the rules here, showing itself way more to the public.

Many fighters still have to keep ordinary jobs on the side, train in regular gyms, and sometimes practice with many other people. Meaning they are a lot more accessible than other athletes.

As a result, more information becomes available for you to base your prediction on. Social media and specific forums added even more details to that, with the MMA athletes openly using these media.

When to bet on MMA

Like we said, lines in online betting with MMA change rapidly due to the changes in the number of bets a single fighter might get. One of the critical things to betting on MMA is understanding how the betting odds work. When you have trouble with this, it becomes hard to find value bets. To know what we mean by this, read on.

  • Why do the odds change?

Fights are announced months, sometimes over 6, in advance. Once a battle is scheduled, online bets are almost instantly available. Sportsbooks will set the odds for this bet at a rate, with a specific thought in mind. This thought is, of course, making a profit. Each sportsbook needs to even up the amount of money placed on each side so that they can make a profit, regardless of which fighter wins. To cover costs, online bookmakers will take a small percentage of every bet, called juice, to make ends meet. 

  • How do the odds change?

Most matches are not evenly matched. Either one of the fighters is better or perhaps even more popular. Sportsbooks will take these public images and use them to encourage betting on the other side, the underdog. They will release lines with which they assume that people will bet evenly on. Once this changes, they will adjust accordingly based on how the bets come in. For example, let’s look at the lines for the fight between Conor Mcgregor and Donald Cerrone, where Mcgregor is the clear favorite for the win. 

Conor Mcgregor money line: – 160
Donald Cerrone money line: + 130

These were the odds right after the fight got announced. Mcgregor is considered the favorite, and this resonates in the line of -160. You need to wager $160 to win $100 in this case. Cerrone is the underdog here, +130 means you have to wager $100 to win $130. 

The public believed that Mcgregor is the favorite and will win the fight, so they placed the majority of the best on him. Forcing the sportsbooks to act or they lose a lot of money when Mcgregor does win. They adjusted the odds quickly to make Cerrone more appealing to bet on. The following change in odds happened in just over a month:

Conor Mcgregor money line: -230
Donald Cerrone money line: +190

As you can tell, this is a significant shift in odds in comparison to the first announcement. Severely limiting the winnings, you get if you bet on Mcgregor and enhancing them if you predict Cerrone to win. 

This strategy is key to knowing the best time to place a bet on MMA. If you are betting on the underdog / least favorite, it may be best to wait until the odds have been re-evaluated. We recommend doing your research to find out what the most profitable time to bet is.

Good bets – Bad bets

As it is custom in sports betting, there are multiple types of bets for MMA. All of them have their use and can perhaps net you that big prize. Here at Betting Guide NJ, we want to distinguish the proper bets, where you can easily find value from the bad bets, which are mostly luck-based.

We will fight our way through most of the bets currently available and give a short explanation of them.

The Good

  • Money line 

Fairly straightforward, you bet on the winner of the match, no strings attached. Value is easily found here as favorites win an overwhelming amount of the time.

  • Over/Under round bet 

Here you predict if a fight will go longer or shorter than a particular round. Depending on the fighters’ styles, you can indeed find value here. When they both have a defensive manner, a long fight is almost guaranteed, the same goes for a short fight with two aggressive combatants. When there are one defensive style fighter and an aggressive one as his opponent, the predicting gets more tricky. 

  • Method of victory bet

In MMA, there are three ways of winning a fight:

  • Submission
  • (T)KO
  • Decision 

Again, looking up the style of fighters is essential here to predict correctly. You don’t have to predict who will win the fight; you have to determine how the battle will end.

The Bad

  • Exact round betting

Instead of the over/under round betting, here you predict the exact round in which the fight finishes. If an MMA fight goes the distance, it consists of 3 rounds, 5 minutes each. It sounds tempting to place a bet here, seeing as the odds given are often high. Unfortunately, this bet is more unpredictable than you might think. Only when the data points to fighters nearly always finishing in the same round should you consider this bet.

  • Parlay bets

The card (all the fights during an event) of the evening features the main event and some lesser events, often between 4 to 8. Besides betting on them individually, you can bet on them cumulatively. Predict 2, 3, or 4 outcomes all at once, and the lines become astronomical. The only downside here is that you have to predict the outcome of all fights correctly. Get only one wrong, and you lose the entire bet. 

  • Prop betting

Last but not least, we have the prop bets. Prop bets are exotic wagers that focus on the details of the fight, two of the most popular UFC prop bets have already been mentioned (method of victory and round bet), others include:

  • Fight to go the distance
  • Points Handicap
  • Fighter Of The Night (FOTN) awards

Prop bets can be highly lucrative. Most of the time, they are extremely risky and require more luck than skill to get right.

We are not discouraging you from placing your money on any of our bad bets. Do make sure you understand that it is a lot harder to find value in them than in our good bets.

Research is the way to go

Knowledge is power, and with so much information available, it would be a shame if you don’t read up on the fighters. The more studying you do, the more chance you have in succeeding and turning a profit. There are some things where you should pay particular attention to:

  • Know their styles of fighting

MMA boasts athletes from all manners of fighting backgrounds. From Brazilian jiu-jitsu to boxing and from taekwondo to wrestling. Each style has its tactics and strategy, and fighters can educate themselves in more than one. You should find out what the fighters’ style is and how that works against other methods. 

  • Be aware of injuries

Injuries are a big thing in MMA. They happen all the time and can cause all kinds of misery. Before a fight, the fighters like to keep any information about injuries quiet, as it might give their opponents hope and more confidence. Staying up-to-date on what injury might be bothering a fighter can help you out. Maybe you see something peculiar in their training footage, or they slip out something during an interview. 

  • The coaching staff and training partners

A fighter only gets better with a proper coaching staff and high-class training partners. Employing a coach with a specific style to learn more about the opponents’ style is a tell-tale sign of a smart fighter. One who’s prepared for anything his opponent might throw at him. 

Other fighters might ignore everything besides their technique. They are honing it until they are perfect at that style. While also a decent tactic, once they are in the octagon, they might be unpleasantly surprised by their opponents’ style.

MMA Strategy FAQ

  • What happens if the fighter doesn't make weight?

    Most sportsbooks will void all wagers for the bet if a fighter on the ticket is not allowed to participate.
  • What MMA markets are there to bet on?

    With the UFC as the dominating force in the industry, it almost seems like the MMA bettor doesn't have any other choices. While it is hard to find, there are some other markets available for you, even in New Jersey.
  • Can I bet during the match?

    Yes, live betting is possible. Odds update during the match, and there are even some specific prop bets for live betting.