With the UFC
slowly out-growing its infancy, sportsbooks have been forced to sharpen up
against previously exploitable betting angles. Follow along as we dissect the
key elements in successfully handicapping MMA’s modern day landscape.
UFC Betting Guide
last two years the sport of Mixed Martial Arts has become increasingly
difficult to handicap. Once thought of as merely a niche sport, the alarming
growth of the UFC has forced sportsbooks to tighten up on their opening lines.
No longer are the days of picking off 3 or 4 openers and having them all close
30-50 cents your way. With the talent gap shrinking the way it has been, it’s
now more important than ever to focus on timing the market and shopping around
for the best available price.
three books in particular you want to focus on when searching for the earliest
line release. Bookmaker, Pinnacle, and 5dimes.com all are known for releasing
the earliest prices. More times then not, Bookmaker.com is first out of the
Always be on
the lookout for main event match-ups a day after they’re announced, and for
preliminary fights, 3-4 days before the event is usually the norm. This has
become the typical routine for releasing opening lines in MMA.
importance of timing the opening lines should not be overlooked. The majority
of your betting value can quickly evaporate if you are too slow to act before
the line moves. A recent example of capitalizing on an erroneous opener was in
the Stefan Struve vs. Sean Mccorkle fight. 5dimes.com opened Struve at -260 only to quickly drop the line down
to -130. Bettors appeared merciless
on the opener and the influx of money forced the sportsbook to admit to an
obvious miscalculation of their opening price.
Weigh-ins &Cutting Weight
usually occur a day before the fight and can often times lead to a significant
amount of money bet against a particular fighter. For every 10 guys that have weight-cutting
down to a science, there’s usually one or two who are in a constant struggle to
shed that last pound. Fighters who have wrestled in college are the most
precise at making weight. This is largely due to the familiarization with cutting
that they developed throughout their college wrestling career.
Most of today’s
weight issues are prevalent in the lower weight divisions. Often times we will
see a small welterweight fighter attempt a jump down to 155 or an undersized
middleweight fighter attempt a jump down to welterweight.
The reason for so many in-between fighters is
due in large part to the limited weight classes. Unlike boxing, MMA has yet to
establish more than 5 weight classes. As the UFC continues to outgrow its
infancy, we should soon expect to see a junior middleweight and possibly even a
examining two fighters at a weigh-in, there are 2 things to focus on. First,
you want to be weary of any fighter that looks too emaciated. This is a result
of cutting too much weight and often times leads to a fragile and depleted
opponent in the cage.
the issue of fighters who decide they’d rather forfeit a % of their purse
rather than make the weight. This is usually a dead giveaway of a fighter who
has over-exhausted his body. Cardio and strength issues promptly become a
Media Outlets and Fight Film
networking age, Twitter and Facebook have become relevant tools in handicapping
MMA. Following a fighter’s twitter account can provide insight into his
training habits and also help understand his mental state leading up to the
fight. It’s always important to take notice of the fighter who is tweeting
about two-a-day workouts and the fighters tweeting about their exciting
nightlife. I’m sure you can guess which one usually shows up to perform.
and fighter-breakdown will always be a key factor to a MMA handicapper’s
success. It’s vastly important to be as meticulous as possible when breaking
down a fighter’s wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and striking credentials. The best avenues
to access fight film are either through ordering a yearly subscription to
UFC.com or simply using YouTube and other free video services alike.
underestimate the power of video search engines. More times than not, the
bookmaker may be limited to the exact same YouTube footage you are. Preliminary
fighters are especially tough for a linemaker to accurately price for that