How to Bet on MMA – UFC and MMA Betting Sites and Strategies

MMA betting tutorial and best betting sites. Learn how to bet on MMA fights. This tutorial discusses easy and exotic bets. Top UFC matchups will also have plenty of prop bets. We’ll explain the most common below. Peruse the best MMA betting sites. They’re also the best sportsbooks for football, basketball and hockey betting. Destroy the bookies when your fighter wins in the octagon!

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  1. Easy Bets
  2. Exotic Bets

How MMA Betting Works

There are several ways to bet on MMA. This article explains the most common.

Part one contains easy MMA bets. These wagers work the same as boxing bets. They’re not hard to learn if you already understand moneylines and totals.

The second section contains exotic MMA bets. Most are prop bets sportsbooks offer for each fight. Bet UFC props after you’ve thoroughly handicapped each fighter. These best are best for serious fans and sharp sports bettors. Finally, use a parlay to profit big when you combine bets on undercard fights with the main event.

How to Bet on MMA - UFC and MMA Betting Sites
How to Bet on MMA – UFC and MMA Betting Sites

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Easy MMA Bets

1. MMA Moneyline Betting

Bet is made on outright winner. A positive number indicates the underdog. A negative number indicates the favorite. Two -110 numbers indicate no specific favorite.

Negative numbers indicate how much you risk to win $100.
Positive numbers indicate how much you win for risking $100.

Sportsbooks will display moneyline odds next to each each fighter’s name. The juice is included in each line.

UFC Moneyline Example

Alexander Gustafsson +220
Jon Jones -285

  1. Jon Jones is the favorite. Alexander Gustafsson is the underdog.
  2. Jones bettors lay $285 to win $100. Gustafsson bettors win $220 for risking $100.

Note: Your bet will be refunded in the rare event a MMA fight ends in a draw.

More Info

Our Moneyline Betting video explains this bet in detail. Use the reference section to convert between moneyline, fractional and decimal odds. Keep the break-even percentages in mind when betting on UFC fights throughout the year.
Intertops Sportsbook
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2. MMA Total Rounds Betting

Sportsbook estimates the fight’s length in rounds. Players bet whether final result will be over or under this number.

Sportsbooks grade MMA totals using the fight’s duration in rounds plus elapsed time. Boxing matches can end with a knockout, TKO, submission, disqualification, forfeit or no contest. The exact round, minute and second any of these occur will determine whether your bet wins or loses. Sportsbooks use the last scheduled round when a fight goes to judges’ decision. MMA fights last a maximum of 5 rounds.

Total Moneylines

Negative numbers indicate how much you risk to win $100.
Positive numbers indicate how much you win for risking $100.

MMA odds will abbreviate over as “o” and under as “u”. For example, o2.5 -118 means anyone betting over 2.5 rounds will lay $118 to win $100.

Assume -110 when no number is given. That means the moneyline for both the over and under is -110. Bettors taking either side will lay $110 to win $100.

Total Line Indicates Completed Rounds

Lines with a ½ increment refer to completed rounds plus a half round. Half a MMA round is 2:30.

A 4.5 round total means 4 completed rounds plus 2:30 of round 5. A 2.5 round total means 2 completed rounds plus 2:30 of round 3.

Caution: A 2.5 round line does not mean halfway through round 2! It really means 2 completed rounds plus halfway through round 3.

UFC Total Bet Example

Note: Total lines always refer to the bout’s estimated length. They do not apply to a specific competitor even though sportsbooks present a number next to a fighter’s name.

Michael Chiesa o2.5 -118
Carlos Condit u2.5 -103

  1. The total line is 2.5. Over bettors have a -118 moneyline. Under bettors have a -103 moneyline.
  2. Over bettors believe the fight will last more than 2 rounds plus 2:30 of round 3. They risk $118 to win $100.
  3. Under bettors believe the fight will last less than 2 rounds plus 2:29 of round 3. They risk $103 to win $100.

Whole Number MMA Totals

Whole number total lines are rare. Consider a 4 round total line.

  1. Over bettors win if the fight lasts 4 complete rounds plus any time after the starting bell of round 5.
  2. Under betters win if the fight lasts 3 rounds plus any time before the finishing bell of round 4.

All bets on whole number lines lose if a fight ends exactly on the total line. This could happen in our 4 round example if a fighter quit or was disqualified between the end of round 4 and beginning of round 5. This result would tie the sportsbook’s 4 round line. This isn’t common.

More Info

Review our total betting video and article. Remember, MMA totals work differently than football or basketball totals. Always refer to this page for specific MMA total betting guidance.
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Exotic MMA Bets

1. MMA Prop Betting

Sportsbook offers odds on various MMA fight events and outcomes. Bettor decides whether an event will occur, in what quantity or both. Prop bets are considered side bets. About half of all MMA props depend on the fight’s final result. Others will not.

MMA Prop Betting Directions

  1. Sportsbooks will start releasing about 2-3 days before a MMA fight begins.
  2. Visit the UFC/MMA odds page. Click the “more” or “+” or “other” button near your fight’s odds.
  3. Numerous bets and alternative lines will appear.
  4. Moneyline odds will be provided for each outcome.
  5. Choose one or more prop bets. Some bets allow selecting multiple outcomes.

Note: MMA props cannot be added to parlays.

Example MMA Props

Example Match
Alexander Gustafsson +220 o4.5 -116
Jon Jones -285 u4.5 -104

1. Fight outcome

Result Gustafsson Jones
KO, TKO, or DQ +950 +250
Decision +325 +220
Submission +1525 +335
Draw +7000 +7000

2. Who will win and when? (5 rounds)

Gustafsson Wins Jones Wins
1 +1800 +475
2 +2400 +575
3 +3000 +775
4 +3500 +1005
5 +4000 +1525
Decisions +325 +220
Draw +7000 +7000

3. Fight distance in rounds (5 total)

  • 1 +425
  • 2 +525
  • 3 +685
  • 4 +875
  • 5 +1250
  • Decision -115

4. How will the fight end?

  • KO, TKO, DQ +165
  • Decisions -115
  • Submission +245
  • Draw +7000

5. Will the fight go the distance?

  • Yes -115
  • No -115

More Info

It’s easy to bet props once you know how moneylines work. Next, review our detailed prop betting article. It has multiple examples, advice and strategies.

These bets are popular with knowledgeable MMA handicappers if the numbers are right. Consider each fighter’s most common method of victory. Look for props with +EV (positive expected value).

Choose a fighter to win by submission if most of their victories come from submission. Alternatively, choose the same fighter to win by knockout if their opponent rarely loses by submission. Weigh all the possibilities carefully!

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2. MMA Parlay Betting

Combine 2 or more moneyline or total selections. Parlay wins if all selections win. Parlay loses if any selection loses.

MMA Parlay Directions

  1. Select 2-15 moneylines, totals or combinations of both.
  2. Matchups from other sports like football, hockey or basketball can be included.
  3. All selections must be correct to win.
  4. Each tie reduces parlay size by 1 selection. Review your sportsbook’s parlay rules carefully.

More Info

Review our parlay infographic. It explains how to place a parlay bet in a visual format.

The complete parlay tutorial provides examples and recommended bets. Learn what happens if one or more parlay selections tie. We summarize the most common tie rules in the article.

Finally, learn why parlays benefit the winning bettor more than separate straight bets.
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