UFC Betting

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UFC 251 Betting: Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal

Welcome to Fight Island. This Saturday’s UFC 251 pay-per-view (10 PM ET) will take place at a special facility in Abu Dhabi, with a small handful of very rich fans in attendance, and Dana White isn’t going to disappoint them – this card is absolutely stacked with top-name talent. We’ve got all 12 scheduled fights on the MMA odds board at Bovada Sportsbook, including three title fights that should be well worth the ticket price.

UFC 251 Odds: Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal

The original plan was to have Usman (16-1 lifetime, 11-0 UFC) defend his Welterweight strap against Gilbert Burns; instead, Masvidal (35-13 lifetime, 12-6 UFC) will finally get his first title shot inside the Octagon – not including the “BMF” title, that is. Masvidal was announced at the stroke of midnight on Monday, after both Burns and his coach, Greg Jones, tested positive for the coronavirus.

Stepping in on short notice isn’t easy, and the MMA betting odds reflect that. Masvidal opened at +220 on Monday morning, then moved to +250, with Usman’s odds improving from –280 to –325. This fight appears closer than that on paper, though. Masvidal is on a three-fight win streak, most recently beating Nate Diaz for the BMF belt in November. However, Usman has yet to lose a UFC fight, and that should remain the case after Saturday’s tilt.

UFC 251 Odds: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway

The co-main event is a rematch between Volkanovski (21-1 lifetime, 8-0 UFC) and Holloway (21-5 lifetime, 17-5 UFC) for the Featherweight title, which Volkanovski took off Holloway last December at UFC 245. Holloway was the –200 favorite on the UFC betting lines for that fight; at press time, the former champ is priced at +185, after opening at +170.

There’s a reason Holloway was favored in their first fight – several reasons, actually, including his five-inch height advantage. But Volkanovski took Holloway to the woodshed, out-striking his opponent and winning handily via unanimous decision. Holloway told reporters he’s received limited coaching heading into Saturday’s rematch because of the coronavirus, which won’t help him find a winning game plan for their second go-around.

UFC 251 Odds: Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo

Henry Cejudo retired and vacated the Bantamweight title after UFC 249, so there will be a third title fight this Saturday, and Aldo (28-6 lifetime, 10-5 UFC) is obviously the big name here as the former long-time Featherweight champion – but he’s also a +195 underdog on the UFC odds board, down from +190 at the open. Yan (14-1 lifetime, 6-0 UFC) is a striking machine, undefeated inside the Octagon, while Aldo has lost four of his last six fights, including his Bantamweight debut against Marlon Moraes last December.

Other UFC 244 Odds

It’s always tricky to showcase female fighters in the UAE, but Saturday’s main card begins with a pair of high-profile matchups; Amanda Ribas (–850) will take on Paige VanZant in Flyweight action, then Jessica Andrade and Rose Namajunas (–210) will meet in a battle of former Strawweight champions. Keep checking in with Bovada Sportsbook for the latest odds on all of these fights, as well as the preliminary card on ESPN (8 PM ET) and the early prelims on UFC Fight Pass (6 PM ET).

*Odds as of July 08, 2020

Bet on the UFC

How to Bet on the UFC: UFC Betting Explained

There was a time when boxing was the biggest combat sport in the world. These days, more people are betting on mixed martial arts – especially when it’s the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) putting on the show. This promotion has skyrocketed since its first pay-per-view card in 1993, back when it was no holds barred; new rules and regulations have turned the UFC into a sweet science all its own, allowing the company to spread across the globe. This UFC Betting 101 introduction will show you how to bet on MMA at Bovada Sportsbook, from basic wagers to simple strategies you can use to knock out your competition.

Betting on the UFC

The UFC holds dozens of events every year, with somewhere around a dozen fights on every card. The major events are pay-per-views, and smaller shows are aired on cable television and UFC Fight Pass; each card will feature a main event, often a title fight for one of the promotion’s 12 weight divisions, as well as a co-main event. Here are the different ways you can get in on the UFC betting action:

UFC Moneyline Betting

This has been the standard way to bet on combat sports for well over a century. UFC moneyline odds are a form of fixed-odds betting, where you choose one of the two fighters to win straight-up, no point spread attached. In North America, these odds are typically expressed using the American odds format. To better understand exactly what are UFC moneyline odds, let’s look at the famous August 2016 Welterweight rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz at UFC 202:

Diaz              +120
McGregor       –150

Unless it’s a pick’em, every fight has a favorite and an underdog. The favorite will always have a negative sign next to their MMA odds; in this matchup, McGregor was the –150 favorite, paying out $100 for every $150 wagered (smaller and larger bets are allowed). The underdog usually has a positive sign next to their odds, although that’s not always the case with two closely matched opponents. In this fight, Diaz was the +120 underdog, paying out $120 for every $100 wagered.


UFC Parlay Betting

A parlay bet is a combination bet that lets you group together a number of individual moneyline wagers. If you get all your picks right, your payout increases exponentially, but if you get a single pick wrong, the parlay loses. You can put anywhere between two and 12 moneyline bets in your UFC parlays. The more lines you add, the higher the potential payout. So how do UFC parlay bets work? Let’s say you wanted to combine the McGregor-Diaz fight at UFC 202 with the co-main event, a Light Heavyweight bout between Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Glover Teixeira:

Teixeira           +175
Johnson           –225

Here, Johnson was the –225 favorite, while Teixeira was the +175 underdog. If you parlayed Johnson together with McGregor, congratulations: Both favorites won their fights. Betting $50 on each of them separately would have earned you $44.44 in profit, but since you parlayed them instead, you earned $140.74. You can calculate your potential payouts by multiplying the odds for each fight in your parlay, either by hand or with an online parlay calculator. Even better, Bovada Sportsbook will do the math for you when you’re filling out your bet slip.

UFC Futures Betting

If you’ve been stumped trying to figure out just what is a UFC futures bet, we’ve got you covered. In general, the UFC odds for each card will be made available well in advance, but every once in a while, speculative odds will be published for a fight that may or may not take place in the future. This can happen when two really big-name fighters appear to be on a collision course. If there’s enough interest in their potential fight, UFC futures odds will go up on the board. You’ll find them under “UFC Futures” when you open the UFC menu at Bovada Sportsbook.

Betting on UFC futures looks exactly the same as betting on the moneyline. There will be a favorite and an underdog, and the odds for each fighter will adjust depending on how much action they draw. Once their prospective fight is made official, those odds will be taken off the UFC futures board and put on the regular market.

UFC Prop Betting

Aside from the moneyline, UFC prop bets (short for proposition bets) are the most popular way to bet on MMA’s most popular promotion. Rather than picking a straight-up winner, UFC props ask you to wager on things like method of victory (KO/TKO/DQ, submission or decision), and whether the fight will go OVER or UNDER a certain number of rounds.

Much like the Super Bowl, betting on UFC props can be both fun and profitable. The more popular the fight, the more props you’ll have at your disposal; you might be able to bet on whether a fighter will win during a specific round, or whether they’ll win by unanimous decision. Don’t forget to look for these props anytime you’re considering a bet on the UFC.

UFC Betting Tips

Think you know your way around the Octagon better than most people? If you’ve been following the sport for some time, you’ve probably developed a solid base of knowledge that can help you beat the UFC odds. But even if you’re betting on MMA for the first time, you can gain an advantage by remembering two simple rules of thumb:


1. Styles make fights. Every UFC fighter comes from a certain MMA background. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is common, but a well-rounded practitioner will bring other martial arts to the table, be it wrestling, boxing, karate, Muay Thai, sambo, judo, or other forms. Ideally, your chosen fighter will be strong in the two basic elements of MMA: striking, and grappling. They’ll also be strong on both offense and defense. If you see a fighter who’s gifted at ground-and-pound going up against someone who isn’t skilled at defending from underneath, that’s a mismatch that you can take advantage of.

2. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. There are 12 different weight classes in the UFC: eight male, and four female. The lightest division is Women’s Strawweight (up to 115 pounds), and the heaviest is Heavyweight (male, 206-265 pounds). As a rule, the lighter divisions have more of their fights end in decision, while the heavier classes will see more knockouts. You can use this knowledge, combined with the styles and past records of each fighter, to take advantage of the UFC props. For example, a Women’s Strawweight bout will end in a decision roughly 70% of the time; put two defensive strikers in the Octagon together, and a decision becomes even more likely.

Because the UFC has become so popular, detailed biographies of most fighters are available on the internet, showing their MMA backgrounds, which belts they’ve been awarded, and the results for all their previous fights – both in MMA and other combat sports. A little research will go a long way in helping you make sharper UFC picks. In the meantime, you now have everything you need to get started betting on the UFC. For more information, check out the FAQ and Help guide at Bovada Sportsbook, and feel free to contact Customer Service if you need further assistance.

Bet now at UFC 244 at Bovada.

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