A Guide to MMA Betting
by Nick Parsons
UFCís meteoric rise has led to an obvious increase in MMA betting. However with short odds and random one punch knockouts, many view it as one of the most frustrating sports to handicap.
Here are a couple things to consider when making your next MMA wager.
Watch Previous Fights
In terms of research, MMA has two major advantages over other sports, the first being the amount of time spent on capping. Even if you zip through commercials, it will still take about two hours to observe a football game. Most MMA fights are under 10 minutes, while the longest are the 5-round championship bouts, which are only 25 minutes.
The second advantage is availability. Thanks to fanboys, almost every fight is somewhere on the internet. It is difficult to find a Big Sky basketball game from 2003, but one can easily find the ďFFP Untamed 20Ē card on Youtube
Those who watched all of Jon Bones Jonesís fights before his UFC debut in 2008, saw a talented fighter with huge potential. He came in as a +190 underdog and easily beat his opponent Andre Gusmao.
Remember the UFC doesnít really have a Mel Kiper Jr or rivals.com to breakdown incoming prospects, but the handicapper does have the internet, and most of the fights are out there for free.
Boring is Good
Exciting fighters like GSP and Anderson Silva win, but they donít provide good value. MMA fans love guys who stand up and deliver knockouts, but you will have to pay a hefty price if you want to wager on them. Once the world caught on to Jon Jones, his popularity and odds sky rocketed. He was listed at a ridiculously high -750 in his last fight.
But take a look at someone like UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar who doesnít throw the odd spinning elbow like Jones does. The New Jersey native is a smart blue collar fighter who wins most of his fights by decision. In fact heís only had two knockouts in his career. He is very tactical in his approach utilizing a quick jab and solid take down techniques. Edgar doesnít win over fans, but he wins fights.
In his first title defense against the highly popular B.J. Penn he was unjustly listed as a +250 underdog, even though he dominated Penn in their first encounter. Edgar ended up beating Penn for a second time, by decision. There were few people at the bar who were excited by the result; Iím assuming that they had money on Edgar.
Find Value in Prop Betting
An important thing in MMA is to know a fighterís tendencies and also project what sort of game-plan he will have. This information will help you find solid prop plays. In UFC 117, Chael Sonnen had no intentions of turning his bout with Anderson Silva into a stand up fight. His most effective way to pull off the upset was to utilize his wrestling ability.
So with the knowledge of knowing that most of the fight would be on the ground, betting on Anderson Silva to win by submission at +350 presented more value than wagering on him to win straight up at -425. Sure Silva could have won by KO or decision, but long term -425 is just a bad bet in any sport.
Another recent example was the UFC 118 bout between Nate Diaz and Marcus Davis. Diaz, a highly skilled Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt is well known for his submissions. Diaz to win by submission at +220, was a huge bargain compared to Diaz to win straight up at -220. Oddly enough that fight turned into a great standup contest, but late in the 3rd round Diaz pulled off a guillotine choke, one of his favorite moves.
Donít get too carried away with props though. Picking which round a fight will end is almost like playing slots, but do realize that if the moneyline price is too high, do your research and you will be able to find a solid prop bet.
These are just a few tips to consider when betting on MMA. Itís the fastest growing sport and every card brings excitement, just remember when betting on it, to always look for value and be good with your money management!
Remember: Nick Parsons is 100% PERFECT with his UFC picks this year and is coming off an incredible and easy *10* +2675 victory with Frankie Edgar!
DO NOT miss out on Nick's *10* UFC 119 "PLAY OF THE YEAR"!
Myles Valentin writes for Nick Parsons
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