For the better part of the last decade, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has been the fastest-growing sport in America. This is true on many levels from youth participation, to television viewership, and finally from a betting perspective. When MMA returned as the first sport after the pandemic shutdown, the handle on that UFC 249 card broke the record of the McGregor/Khabib match to be the highest-grossing UFC event ever at multiple sportsbooks. With this much interest coming into the sport, it makes sense to learn how to bet on it. Whether you have bet MMA before or not, here are some of the key things to know before getting started.
Bet on who will win the fight
The first and easiest way to bet on MMA is to take the money line on either fighter. Both fighters will have a listed line. The favorite is going to be the fighter with the negative number on his money line and the underdog will usually have a plus in front of his moneyline. The negative number is how much you would have to bet if you want to win $100. The positive number is how much you would win for a $100 bet. The bigger a favorite a fighter is, the more you have to lay on the moneyline to win $100. The bigger the underdog is, the more you will win per $100 if he pulls off a victory. The two numbers are correlated in that a big favorite will also produce a big underdog on the other side and vice versa.
Bet on how the fight will be won
If you want to juice up your payouts on a fight, you can also bet on the winning method. A fighter can win in multiple ways. The three most common to bet on are by points on a decision, by a submission, or by a knockout or TKO. The payouts for these different methods will vary widely from fight to fight. A bout between heavyweights may be more likely to end in a knockout, so the payouts will be smaller than in other fights between fighters with less knockout power. A submission expert may come in at a negative number to win by submission if that is his usual method of victory. Even if a method of victory is the most likely, the payouts are still going to be better than taking that fighter to straight win on the moneyline, although you have a smaller chance to win by doing so. If you take a fighter to win by decision and he wins by knockout, you would lose your method of victory bet. If you have played him straight to win on the moneyline, you would have won either way. Like most things in life, the bigger the risk you are willing to take, the bigger the potential reward.
Bet on when the fight will end
Betting on when the fight will end takes multiple forms. Some sportsbooks will list an over/under for a number of rounds. If a knockout or submission ends the fight before the number of rounds listed, you would be able to cash your under bet. If the fight goes the distance or ends after the listed round, you would cash the over. If you want something that pays better than the listed total rounds, you also have the option of betting on the exact round the fight will finish. Depending on the fighters and the projected way the fight will finish, you can get higher payouts by picking the exact round the fight will end. This almost always pays more than betting the listed total number of rounds but also is tougher to cash correctly.
Betting on multiple outcomes combined
The wagering board for MMA also allows for various bets to be combined in multiple different ways. You can bet on various combinations of who will win, when they will win and how they will win to get higher payouts than betting on any one of those three things by itself. Betting on the exact round, the exact method of victory and the correct fighter is the way to maximize the payout on any individual fight.
Betting MMA parlays
Finally, MMA is a good sport for betting parlays as well. You have a match about every 15-30 minutes and linking together a couple of winners boosts the overall payout of your bet. The matches take place one right after the other, so betting parlays also gives you a chance to hedge bets if you hit the first few and are live to one or two legs left to get your payout. Unlike most other sports, not having simultaneous matches going on allows you the ability to always know where your bet stands going into a fight and gives you time to add to or hedge against other potential outcomes.
This primer should answer most of your questions about the different types of wagering Tipico Sportsbook offers on Mixed Martial Arts events. I would not recommend learning MMA by just jumping in the ring and giving it a go. If you are new to betting MMA though, reading about the wagering options should be all you need to hop in the betting ring and getting some money down for the next fight night.
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