Welcome, my fellow MMA enthusiasts and UFC die hards, to my weekly “Hunting the UFC” column for The Betting Predators website. In this article, you’ll find pertinent sports betting information pertaining to all things MMA, but more specifically, to the UFC. The enthusiasm surrounding MMA wagering is at an all-time high right now, and therefore, my goal is to provide you with valuable information that will help you gain an edge in your quest to beating the sports books and making money in the long term. The key here is “long-term,” as much of the information provided in these articles can be applied across multiple events and across multiple pro MMA organizations as well. For this week, we will focus on the basics of MMA betting strategy 101, focusing on three distinct edges we can take and capitalize on, no matter what main event or UFC Saturday card is upon us. Now, without further adieu, let’s dive into this week’s article!
Author's Note: There are so many different mixed martial arts betting angles to touch on and so much information to sift through and try to understand that I could write about them for days on end. Let me begin with breaking down why betting on MMA can be so profitable. Hint: it’s all about the edges.
Our first edge? The books. When you think about the sport leagues that most books focus on, you’d immediately think of the NFL, NCAA and NBA, among others. You don’t immediately think of MMA, do you? That’s because MMA, even today, is still a “niche” sport. MMA and the UFC have only really been around since November 12th, 1993, when "UFC 1" took place in Denver, Colorado. That's less than 30 years ago! And let’s be honest here, MMA - and really the UFC, for that matter - simply did not enter the consciousness of most Americans until the early 2000’s. It’s still a fairly “new” sport, and inside the sports books, the other sports have specialists that sharply shape their lines. When it comes to the MMA, however, those "specialists" and sharp individuals are few and far between. This is our first edge.
Our second edge? The public. As with many sports, the public helps to move the lines, but ultimately it’s the sharps that lead the way in that department. When it comes to MMA, however, the opposite is often quite true. There is not a lot of liquidity in the MMA betting market, so big bets and waves of public money can quickly move a line, unlike the NFL or the NBA. However, like the NFL or the NBA, sharps tend to fade public money. While fading the public in leagues like the NFL/NBA can provide good line value, fading the public in MMA can provide great line value. This reminds me of one of my favorite and “easiest bets” to date, which was Mayweather vs. McGregor. Yes, I know this was a boxing match, but follow my logic here: McGregor was a global superstar and one of the best MMA fighters in the world. Mayweather was the best fighter in boxing at the time and arguably the greatest boxer of all-time. McGregor had no professional boxing experience to date, yet the odds just one week out from the fight was Mayweather -400 and McGregor +300. Compare that to the opening lines at the Westgate, where Mayweather was a -2500 favorite versus McGregor as a +1100 underdog. What was the reason for the major shift in these odds? The public. Mayweather’s bravado had been known to rub the general public the wrong way, while McGregor’s bravado, at the time, was endearing to said general public. The public loved McGregor and simply fell in love with the idea of him adding a “1” to the end of Mayweather’s undefeated boxing record, hence the massive line movement. The public, as they often are, were wrong. This is our second edge.
Our third edge? Transparency. With Super Bowl LV only a few days ago, we all have it fresh in our minds the process of combing through player props and game props alike. We read the beat writer’s articles and paid attention to the injury reports. But one thing we didn't do much - or something we rarely pay attention to for that matter, were the NFL players' social media accounts - because for a majority of the time, they simply do not provide any tangible information for us to take advantage of when it comes to betting. While most major leagues suppress access and information surrounding their teams, coaches, and players on social media, the MMA is the complete opposite. There is so much to gain from following fighters on social media that can help you to make profitable bets. You’re able to see what is going on in their lives, and you’re able to see how they’re training. You’re able to see what they are eating, and you’re able to see if their weight cutting is going smoothly or if they’re having issues. You’re also able to see if they are focused on the task at hand, or if they’re distracted. All of these factors are essential to the fighter getting the win, and they are ultimately essential in helping you make the right pick and cashing your ticket(s). As an MMA bettor, you are able to closely follow fighters and understand the factors that will ultimately lead to a fighter getting their hand raised or not at the end. This information is invaluable. This is our third edge.