The Best MMA Betting Strategies 2020 | BettingOnline
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MMA Betting Strategies

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New Kid on the Block

MMA betting strategies can be very similar to those of boxing betting strategies. However, betting on MMA has its own set of strategies and tips if you want to succeed.

Betting on MMA has never been so popular, and the popularity is exploding all over the world. Compared to many other mainstream sports, it is relatively new. As such, it presents lots of new opportunities to make some very nice profits. However, the opportunities are only there if you know exactly what you’re doing.

MMA is different from many other sports because to succeed, you need a systematic approach when it comes to making predictions. It can be tricky, as there are so many different organisations with so many fighters. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with everything enough to make smart bets. It is because of this that we have put together a betting on MMA betting guide to help you with tips and strategies. Couple these with your homework and knowledge and you could be in for some serious winning sports bets.

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Why Bet on MMA?

So, why would you choose MMA to bet on over and above the other sports that are available to place your money on?

Bad Lines

Because of the newness of the sport in betting compared to other sports, bookmakers haven’t perfected betting odds and lines as much as with other, older sports.  This means you are more likely to find a better deal on MMA betting than others.

Most of the oddsmakers that set lines will unlikely be MMA specialists, and have transitioned from other sports; either that or they are new. This means it is much more likely that bad lines might be set. This isn’t very common, but it is more common in MMA than in other sports.


The Unwise Public

The reason that sportsbooks and casinos thrive, is because the betting public tends not to be so great at knowing what to do. However, while you bet against the house, it’s possible to take advantage of the mistakes of the betting public. To even things up, sportsbooks try to have the same amount of money bet on either outcome of the fight. To attain this, if a huge number of people bet on one fighter, they will make the odds more appealing on the other fighter to attract more punters. This goes on until the fight begins.

Many bettors tend to bet with their hearts, not heads. They tend to bet on fighters they like – or against fighters they really don’t. This really isn’t the best way to make a profit for the serious sports bettor. Therefore, if there’s a fighter that lots of people like, many people will bet on that fighter, which means you could get great odds betting on the other fighter. Because of this emotional betting, the public tends to move the MMA lines a lot – not always in the smartest direction. If you keep an eye out, you can take advantage of the movements and cash in on the best odds.


Freedom of Information

In most sports, it’s almost impossible, and practically impossible to access the players when they are in training. You never get to see what the players do in training and at home in the run-up to the match/game… unless it’s strictly controlled by the press in a special, one-off. However, MMA is different.

There is a much thinner line between the public and the fighters. Many fighters still have other, normal jobs – and even train in gyms with members of the general public. This means that they are a lot more accessible than other sports men/women.

As a result, you can get a lot more information to help you make a better and more accurate prediction. Also, it means you can probably access as much, if not more information than the bookmakers. Therefore, you can make more educated predictions.


Make Sure You Understand the Odds

The most important thing when betting on MMA is to make sure you understand how the betting odds work If you don’t you’ll be unable to find value bets. At times, the fighter you think is going to win won’t offer a profitable return. To understand this fully, read on…

Firstly, you need to fully understand what the sportsbook is doing with each bet. They need to even up the amount of money placed on each side so that they can make a profit, no matter which fighter wins. These sportsbooks will take a small percentage of every bet (the juice/rake) in order to cover costs and make a profit. The ‘house’ needs to ensure it makes money, whatever happens.

On practically all of the even bets – where the chances of winning are 50/50, the sportsbooks odds will be around 91/100. This means that for every £100 you bet, you’ll get around £91 if you win. Therefore, if they got equal money bet on both fighters, they would make a profit, no matter what fighter was victorious.

Changing the Odds

Unfortunately for the bookie, it isn’t so simple if the fighters are not evenly matched – or if one fighter is simply much more popular. If this situation occurs, they’ll make the odds more favourable for one fighter than for the other, to encourage betting on the other side. The bookies will release the first line of odds that they believe will get even bets and will adjust accordingly based on how the bets come in. For example, if Derek Brunson takes on Israel Adesanya and they believe Adesanya may win, the odds may be:

Derek Brunson: 9/4

Israel Adesanya: 5/14

This implies that Adesanya is the big favourite. The public may well believe that Adesanya is more of a favourite and will get an easy win, so they put lots of money on him. This forces the sportsbook to act or they stand to lose a lot of money if Adesanya does win. Therefore, they adjust odds to make Brunson more appealing and Adesanya less so – e.g.

Derek Brunson: 17/4

Israel Adesanya: 2/14

This means that if you bet £40 on Brunson in the first line of odds, you’ll win £90. If you put £40 on Brunson after the odds have changed, you could win £170. Conversely, if you put £140 on Adesanya when the first odds are released, you’ll win £50. However, if you bet on him after the odds have changed, you stand to win £20. They will continually move the odds around until it gets to an equal amount of money on both sides.

This strategy is key to knowing the best time to place a bet on MMA. If you are betting on the underdog / least favourite, it may be best to wait until the odds have been re-evaluated.

Don’t Bet on Every Fight

Betting on MMA can be incredibly exciting, and as such, it can be tempting to bet on every fight that comes your way. It’s not as much fun to watch a fight if we don’t have money on the result. However, betting on every fight is not a strategy you should follow. The reason being is that it’s practically impossible to do enough research on every fight to get the best chance of a winning bet. This means you’ll start making educated guesses – which turns taking calculated risks into gambling. You should only bet on the fights that you have had time to research and that you have a strong prediction on. Go for it if you believe you have an edge on a pick.

If you like a little more action, then simply place a small wager on the fights that you haven’t had enough time to do proper research on; that will keep you entertained. The biggest downfall of many bettors is betting on far too many fights.

Check Out the Location of the Fight

All too many times, bettors forget to check out where the fight is taking place. However, just because the octagon/rings look the same, the location of it is important. You need to take into account the distance travelled by the fighters and the altitude of the ring.

Most important, it’s the altitude. As any physically active person knows, the higher the altitude, the tougher it is…. With less oxygen. This makes cardio workouts difficult. Just because an MMA fighter is in good shape when at sea level, the might still struggle at altitude. To try and help with this, the fighter might move the training camp to a higher altitude to acclimatize. This could well take at least one or two weeks.

Obviously, the distance travelled is another element to take into account. If a fighter has to fly some the distance one or two days before the fight, jet lag might be an issue. Obviously, the further the fighter travels, the worse the jetlag. Obviously, the direction of travel also affects jet lag. Travelling east leads to worse jet lag than the west. If the fighter travels quite a long time before the fight, it should make much difference; however, if it is shortly before, this could have an effect.

Read the News

The news can be a blessing or a curse. It is important to know what is actual news that affects the fighter and what is just simply media hype. Sometimes it’s quite obvious, but not always. Also, try to funnel out the news that won’t affect the fighter’s performance. Two news articles might be as follows:

  • A fighter is American. Americans tend to win fights in this arena.
  • A fighter breaks his toe in training.

Obviously, the first news piece has no real effect on the final result of the fight. However, it is something the media will hype and it will sway potential bettors. Being swayed by this isn’t a good idea. However, News piece 2 is clearly different. A broken toe could well affect the fighter’s performance.

Not all of them are as clear to distinguish, however:

  • Fighter’s wife leaves him the week before the fight.
  • A fighter breaks his toe in training.


Obviously, as before, the second piece of news is incredibly important and needs to be accounted for. However, the first news is a little confusing. Why? Because this might affect some fighters more than others. Some might be unaffected by the marriage end if it wasn’t very happy. However, another may suffer emotionally at this. If children are involved, it may well take the focus off the fight and be detrimental to the performance.

So, of course, it is important to read all the news on any fight and fighter, but try to establish what’s important and what isn’t.

Check Out the Changing Odds

As stated previously, to even up the money on the fighters, the bookies will re-evaluate the odds. When the public back an underdog – or a fighter they want to win, rather than think will win, this is great for serious bettors. This means the odds for the fighter more likely to win will be better. Keep an eye out – and once you see odds that you think are valuable get them straight away before they change again.

However, it’s not always easy to predict of the odds are going to move in your favour – or against you. If you see a bet you like but think it might get better, then try placing a small bet on the odds as they are and make a bigger bet if the odds do move. Should it not move, you can just increase your current bet. If it moves the other way, just stick with your initial smaller bet.

To try and predict when odds might change might be tough. You need to understand what might affect the betting public. Also just remember that the betting shop only cares about the money placed on the fighters in their shop, not anywhere else. Different bookies will offer different odds…


Shop Around

This is one of the most important strategies – for MMA and any other sports betting. This is very important because it really affects the value and profitability of the bet. You need to check as many sportsbooks as you can to get the best odds. Fortunately, this is easier with the help of online comparison sites like WSB.

The good thing about online sportsbooks is that you can access odds from sportsbook all over. Therefore, if you want to bet on a UK fighter who’s taking on a US fighter, you might find better odds for your bet on a US site as the public would probably be more behind their home fighter. As such, it’s a great idea to join more than one betting site. It costs nothing to join them, and you can access a variety of odds.


Rockstar Fighters

If you’re a fan of betting on underdogs, then this can be quite a profitable strategy. However, there are fighters, such as Anderson Silva (in his prime) who literally never lost; betting against them was a suicide bet. No matter how fantastic the odds were for the underdog, it was literally still throwing your money away to bet against them. There are certain fighters that you shouldn’t bet on – or against. The odds for them winning are so low it’s not worth it – and betting against them is money down the drain. Avoid these fighters like the plague.


Know the Styles of Fighting

As with everything – knowledge is power… especially with sports betting. Every fighter has his own specialized style of fighting – and may try out others. Some styles don’t work well against other styles. Knowing this is vital to deciding whether a bet is a good one or not. A wrestling style fighter might destroy most of his opponents; however, he may not be able to use the style against a tough Muay Thai fighter. You might think they will walk through this fighter because he normally does – but the style could affect him. This could lead to an unexpected result.

You need to know about the different styles and how they stand up against the other styles. Why style works for MMA and what doesn’t.


Read Up on the Fighters

As we’ve said before – knowledge is power – which equates to money on betting. The more studying you do, the more chance of a profit. Make sure you only study correct and current, up-to-date information. Here are things you should pay particular attention to:

  • Training Partners

If they train with serious fighters and world champions, then you can expect them to be good fighters. However, if they are training with unknowns, then be warier of their abilities. Also, check to see if they have employed specialists to train with for specific opponents.

  • Check Their Records, Not Just Numbers

When people look at a fighter’s record, they just look at numbers and make decisions from there. However, every fight is different and is against a different type of fighter. You need to look at their record against similar style fighters. If they are fighting a jujitsu style fighter, look at previous jujitsu style opponents.

  • Be Aware of Injuries

Even if a fighter says they are totally fit and healthy, this may not be the case. Most fighters are fighting with some kind of injury – a niggle or something more serious. Check out previously reported injuries and then check out the full recovery times for those injuries. Unfortunately, many MMA fighters get back into training far too quickly before properly healing. This could affect the final outcome.

  • Check Out the Coaching Staff

There are some coaches that have more success than others when it comes to fighting against certain styles of opponents. Coaches tend to be in charge of every part of a fighters training schedule. Therefore, this is very important and shouldn’t be ignored.


Betting on MMA is fresh and new compared to many other sports in the betting market. Because of this, it affords so many new opportunities to make the right decisions betting on MMA. Couple this with our top tips and predictions and you’ll be ready to make your Winning MMA Sports Bets.


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