How Do MMA/UFC Odds Work?

Most of us have seen sports odds before and understand why one UFC fighter is favored and the other is a dog, but let's take a look at how the odds work.

MMA betting has many popular options, particularly future bets and live betting. There are prop bets too, which allow you to wager on almost anything which can occur in a UFC bout.

Vegas usually sets the standard and determines MMA odds for sportsbooks across the United States, but there are several factors that go into setting the odds that can differ from more conventional sports betting markets. Want to know why it's so different? Well, we've go all of the answers here for you, right now!

How are MMA odds determined?

The function of MMA odds making isn’t to truly represent the probability of an outcome occurring. Vegas and sportsbooks actually put forth certain odds to make a profit and in the hopes of attracting bettors to both sides (either fighter etc). 

Ultimately oddsmakers are working in favor of the sportsbooks. They are trying to reduce the risk of sportsbooks losing large. 

That’s why books hate when a big favorite wins, because they lose big. UFC and MMA betting odds certainly aren’t determined on the gut feel of a sports predicting genius. 

Sports statisticians and mathematicians are heavily involved in the odds you see on a sportsbook’s site and app. The X’s and O’s of MMA odds involve an examination of the wider betting market, statistics and data. 

In the case of MMA future bets — like 2021 UFC middleweight champion — odds makers will look at previous fights, form, injuries, weather forecasts, even a fighter’s strengths and weaknesses to determine the odds. It isn’t that simple of course, algorithms and other nerdy stuff go into it, but this gives you an idea.

MORE: Best Betting Strategies for UFC

Why are MMA odds not real probabilities?

Like any business, sportsbooks want to make a profit. They don’t sell clothes or shoes, but they do sell odds to you; the bettor. How do they profit? Let’s look at the below.


UFC 257 Lightweight Main Event 

Conor McGregor  -250 (implied probability of 71.43%) Dustin Poirier +200 (implied probability = 33.33%)

For all you super UFC nerds out there, those percentages don’t add up. Well, they do, just not to 100% (we had to use a calculator 😬). 
The sum of the two percentages equals 104.76%. So, how can a UFC fight have an implied probability of 104%?

It can’t, obviously... the extra 4% is the profit margin the sportsbook is taking home. With such a strategy, implemented across all sports betting all across the world, this is how sportsbook inevitably make their profits over time.

Favorites lose = Sportsbooks win

When there’s a big upset during an MMA bout, bookmakers rejoice. This is because most of the money is heavily poured on the favorite, meaning the sportsbook takes all of it home. Big favorites losing is a sportsbooks’ golden goose.

Now that you know where odds come from, find the best MMA and UFC odds in America with Dimers. We have exclusive promo codes for each of the biggest and most secure sportsbooks.

MORE: How do Risk-Free Bets Work?

Why do sportsbooks have similar odds?

Sports betting is going nuts on a global scale. Surprisingly, UFC betting is far more advanced in places like Australia, United Kingdom and Asia, while it is just getting started in America, Vegas aside.

Due to the globalization of UFC betting it isn’t uncommon for sportsbooks to simply syndicate the odds of other books. This method is cost effective, quick to update, keeps the book's odds competitive and saves on all the data and betting analytics research. 

We don’t know which books copy others but we do know how you can find the best odds for all the big sports in the United States.

How to take advantage of MMA odds

Sportsbooks look to make money off your bets, and set odds in such a way to favor their interests. So, how do we fight back and win money from sports betting?

The answer is simple — take advantage of the edge.

What is the edge, you ask?

This is where the probability of an event occurring is more likely than the sportsbook’s odds. In other words, our predictive analytics model suggests an MMA fighter has a much better chance of winning than the sportsbooks think! 

Taking these bets gives you a better chance of being a successful gambler long-term. Of course, the higher the edge, the better. While you’re not guaranteed a W, taking picks with an edge gives you a greater chance of being profitable well into the future. This is super important when trying to be a successful MMA bettor.

For every major sports match including UFC, NFL, College sports, NBA and more, Dimers has the edge and exclusive promotional codes waiting for you.

MORE: How to use Dimers Bet Hub

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