In the final installment of our UFC/MMA Betting Guide, we will explore how to put all this knowledge to use in order to impress our friends and fatten our wallet.
For those of you who missed it:
UFC Betting Guide Pt. 1: Boxers vs. Wrestlers & why fists don't always win fights
UFC Betting Guide Pt. 2: Rising Stars vs. Fading Legends
problem betting on MMA is the dearth of lines being hung on all
but the main events and feature matches. There are books like 5Dimes that do a good job of offering odds on a
fairly decent amount of fights. For
instance, at UFC 134 5Dimes has odds on 4 of the 11 matches but it appears they
will offer a total of 7 based on what I see on their site, while Bodog (as of
this writing) has only three.
know about you but I believe the match between Dan Miller and Rousimar Palhares
will be quite competitive but neither book has odds. If you want to get a jumpstart on UFC 135,
you will find odds on only the Rampage Jackson/Jon Jones fight and the Matt
Hughes/Diego Sanchez affair. You will
also find numbers being hung by both of these books on Strikeforce and Bellator
events but again, only the feature matches.
realize MMA odds are not relegated to these two books but they are both major
offshore operators and are a good barometer for what’s offered and what
isn’t. Therefore, if you are a student
of the game (from a betting standpoint), your choices are not only narrowed but
your ability to employ your expertise on obscure matches is nullified. And of course, the bookmakers know this.
They realize that most MMA fans will have no
opinion on the lesser lights and will simply watch, hoping for a good
fight. But those that do send in limit
wagers are probably MMA sharps looking for an edge. This is may be our problem but our college football and basketball handicapping
brethren have no such issue.
We, as MMA
bettors have to deal with limited quantities of matches, inflated lines on
favorites, underdogs with diminished value due to the cavernous schism between
the dogs and the chalk, as well as limited outs. Unless you know of a boutique book who hangs
numbers on every match with decent lines and big limits, it’s a tough way to
make a buck.
However, think about the
edge we would enjoy if MMA was treated identically to college sports. While all the squares line up to bet the Ohio
State vs. Michigan game, the sharps notice that the starting quarterback for
Florida Atlantic is out and the team they are playing, Western Kentucky just
announced their injured star linebacker will be starting. It must be nice to have all those glorious
Parlays are critical in betting MMA
an essential ingredient in betting MMA. I have stated on many occasions that laying north of 2 to 1 on any
proposal is risky business and poor money management. Can you break the rule every now and
again? I guess you can but if it becomes
a habit, the only “sure thing” will be a rapid depletion of your bankroll. Though the chalk clicks quite a bit in MMA,
you must nevertheless be cautious about laying the big number.
We have had
a great deal of success in previous UFC events. At UFC 128 where Jon Bones Jones won the light heavyweight from Shogun,
we correctly picked 11 of 12 winners. Though
that may have been our best percentage rate to date, we have nonetheless been
winning on the UFC pay-per-views at better than 70%.
While that would be a stunning win percentage
if all our selections were -110, the fact of the matter is that the chalk hits
at an alarming rate in MMA and we are often laying better than -175. Therefore, the only palatable way to play the
big faves is using parlays because when a big favorite loses, it can ruin your
night. If you’re betting them straight
up and more than one big favorite loses, it can ruin your entire bankroll.
Let’s apply this to UFC 134
As in poker,
as in life, and as in MMA betting, you’ve got to play the hand that’s been
dealt. Therefore let’s take a look at
this upcoming UFC 134 and evaluate what we can do to make money and minimize
our risk. I have previously written
articles and expressed opinions on each and every fight at UFC 134.
Using the current lines at 5Dimes, we
have only 4 of 11 fights that we can bet at this writing. However, as stated
previously, it appears they will list numbers on a total of seven fights. The four preliminaries will have to be side
bets with your buddies. You can then buy
rounds with their money all night.
Based on my
previous articles and analysis, I will give you my selections on the 4 fights available
for wagering at UFC 134. Here’s who I
have winning those matches:
(-210) over Nogueira
(-280) over Pearson
boys and girls, when betting MMA you should always remember what Huey Lewis
sang about in the mid 80’s… "it’s hip to be square". If we were to take these four matches and
parlay all of them we would of course have to refer to our handy dandy parlay
calculator and plug in the following values: -460,-225,-210 and -280. Upon doing so we would then be apprised of
our reward if everything goes according to plan. For a
$100 wager we would make $252.
bad if you only had to win two events but winning all four and only getting
back 2 ½ to 1 seems like a paltry sum when a four teamer at -110 would give you
12 to 1. Hey, what do you want from me,
I just do the math I don’t make up the payoffs.
something else to consider. How much do
we really like these favorites? Personally, the time is nigh when Silva falls to defeat. He’s pushing 37 years old and fighters do not
get better in their mid to late 30’s. Silva is no exception and he’s become such an icon that many are either
unwilling or simply unable to envision him losing his title. But will it be Okami?
I doubt it because this is personal for
Silva. The last loss of his career was
to Okami and it was by a disqualification that Okami could have negated had he
agreed to continue the fight. But he
chose not to and he was declared the winner. Silva felt Okami should have continued but took the cowardly way
Normally, I don’t factor in
personal motivation because it’s supremely overrated in team sports but it can,
on occasion play a factor in individual sports. I believe it will play a factor in the Silva fight therefore I don’t see
any letdown by the champ.
Barboza/Pearson fight is far closer than the odds would suggest. Here’s what I wrote on this fight.
a definite edge on the ground but Barboza’s stinging Muay Thai and height
advantage may cause problems. Flip a coin on who will emerge the victor
but the fight itself will be a guaranteed winner. Hometown advantage to Barboza
by a decision.”
So how can we
ignore a fighter who has, in my opinion, a real shot at winning this fight and
whose odds are almost too enticing to pass up? Do we go for value? If we bet
Pearson and lose we will most assuredly recall that age old gambling axiom,
there is no value in losing.
If we are
to take that same 4 team parlay that paid us $252 for a $100 bet but we put in
Pearson at +240 instead of Barboza at -280, the parlay would pay $782. That one change gives us an extra $500! When faced with a decision like this, perhaps
it would be wise to play it both ways or hedge a flat bet on the underdog
Pearson. That choice belongs to you.
**Check out my UFC 134 Parlay Special**
UFC 135 Bonus Parlay
UFC 135 is
still over a month away but there are lines available on two fights (Sanchez
vs. Hughes and Jones vs. Jackson) at 5Dimes and Bodog. Though Bodog has a better number on Diego
Sanchez (-180 at Bodog vs. -210), 5Dimes has a better number on my pick in the
other fight, Jon Bones Jones (-450 at 5Dimes vs. -500).
You would think that 5Dimes would give you
the better bang for your parlay buck but if you factor in -450 (Jones) with
-210 (Sanchez), you would be paid off at $80 for every $100 you bet. That’s right, less than even money.
However, if we
were to travel down the virtual street to Bodog, we would be rewarded for our
efforts because even though they have Jones listed at -500, they have Sanchez
discounted at -180 which, believe it or not gives a payout of $86 for every
I suspected that because Jones was
50 cents higher and Sanchez only 30 cents lower than the 5Dimes lines (for a
net of 20 cents in 5Dimes favor) that a parlay at 5Dimes prices would reward us
with a bigger payoff. If I didn’t do the
math, I’d still be thinking the same thing.