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jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

"Mathewson pitched against Cincinnati yesterday. Another way of putting it is that Cincinnati lost a game of baseball."


So you want to bet on MMA?

RULE 1 OF BETTING ON MMA: DON'T BET ON MMA

Betting on MMA used to be a good idea. Two things have happened in the last couple years: the linesmakers sort of know what they're doing now, and the public isn't as stupid. (By the public, I mean the people betting on MMA, and you have to assume that your heavy MMA bettors who drive the lines are probably pretty well-informed.) You will rarely find a line that is clearly erroneous anymore. Out of the last couple major shows, there wasn't a single line that I thought was more than a small degree off, and the small degree was within the sportsbook's take.

Back in the halcyon days before UFC was regularly getting high 6 figure and low 7 figure buyrates and nobody really knew what was going on, MMA lines were really soft if you knew your MMA. Names would almost always be overvalued. Things Joe Rogan said on commentary would almost always be overvalued. Stylistic matchups would almost always be undervalued. This is no longer the case; the only line that I thought was clearly way off recently was Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva due to a misperception about their respective wrestling abilities created by their fights against Demian Maia and Dan Henderson, respectively. The line turned out to be poorly set and Sonnen still lost. Again, Don't Bet On MMA. But if you want to, here's some stuff that will help.

What Do These Betting Odds Mean?

MMA odds are usually presented in a moneyline format. A sample line from the upcoming UFC 127 show:

Jon Fitch -200
BJ Penn +160

Minus means favorite and plus means underdog. In a fraction odds term, Jon Fitch is a 2/1 favorite and BJ Penn is a 1.6/1 underdog. These lines can and do change as money comes in, although they don't usually change a whole lot. Here's the five possible outcomes for betting $100 on this fight at this line:

1.) You bet $100 on Jon Fitch. Jon Fitch wins. You win $50, plus get your $100 bet back.
2.) You bet $100 on Jon Fitch. BJ Penn wins. The house keeps your $100.
3.) You bet $100 on BJ Penn. Jon Fitch wins. The house keeps your $100.
4.) You bet $100 on BJ Penn. BJ Penn wins. You win $160, plus get your $100 bet back.
5.) You bet $100 on either fighter. The fight is a draw, no contest, or one or both of the fighters is scratched before the fight for any reason. You get your $100 back; the bet is a push.

Doing some napkin math, your breakeven point on a bet on Fitch is if Fitch wins more than 67% of the time. Your breakeven point on a bet on Penn is if Penn wins more than 39% of the time.

I would personally estimate this fight as around a 60/40 proposition in favor of Fitch, give or take. This means that although the true gambling line is set at 64/36 in favor of Fitch (+/-180 is the midpoint between the two lines), a bet on Penn is still not really profitable because the difference falls into the rake, and your analysis is rarely going to be so precise as to pinpoint the exact percentage chance a fighter has to win to want to be taking such a thin edge anyway. I usually want around a 10% edge over my "thoughts" to account for blurriness, which means I wouldn't bet on Penn at much less than around +250. And you're almost never going to see a line that off.

There are also prop bets which are pretty similarly structured over how long a fight will go, how it will end, etc. Betting on these has much the same problem as betting on the fights straight.

So Why Shouldn't I Bet??

The difference in the odds is called the "rake." The sportsbook has to make money, and therefore offers slightly differing odds on each fighter. The "slightly," unfortunately, is enough to make nearly every sports bet unwinnable over the long-term.

A sportsbook will generally try to take an even amount of betting action on both sides, thus guaranteeing themselves a profit. So the lines are actually set to get equal action and not necessarily based on what the oddsmaker thinks, although 9.9 times out of 10 that's one and the same. While the MMA public may be stupid, the heavy bettors usually are not.

There are very occasional situations where you can guarantee yourself a profit. These are known as arbitrages or hedges. This would be when two different books have lines that make it possible to bet on both sides and lock in a profit, or when the same book has a line that moves so much that you can lock in a profit by betting against a bet that you already made. As an example, if these two books have these lines on the Fitch/Penn fight...

THEGARV STUPID SPORTS BETTING
Jon Fitch -500
BJ Penn +300

TREAZN'S SHERDOGGIEST MMA GAMBLING
Jon Fitch -200
BJ Penn +160

If you bet $100 on Penn at TheGarv and $250 on Fitch at Treazn:

1.) Fitch wins. You win $125 from Treazn, but lose the $100 you bet with TheGarv on Penn. Total +$25.
2.) Penn wins. You lose your $250 you bet with Treazn, but win $300 from TheGarv. Total +$50.

So you've guaranteed yourself a win either way. This type of arbitrage used to happen a fair amount since books had to even themselves out on not a lot of money spent, but rarely happens now that more money is bet on MMA.

So Why Should I Bet On MMA?

Well, don't. Nevertheless, here's some good reasons to bet on MMA:

1.) You want to have an extra rooting interest in a fight.
2.) You enjoy gambling and don't really care about winning, and have money to lose.
3.) You have a strong opinion on a fight that varies from the gambling line, with actual good reasons supporting this opinion. "Georges St-Pierre has the best takedowns in MMA" is a good reason to support early underdog GSP against Anderson Silva. "Anderson Silva is a Brazilian pussy who will wilt from the bright lights of the biggest fight ever" is not a good reason to support early underdog GSP.
4.) You found an arbitrage opportunity or a poorly set line.
5.) You believe you have much better information than the public, such as knowing about an up-and-coming fighter through your extensive knowledge of Z-leagues. Be careful about this, because it's awful easy to overrate someone you "know."

Some bad reasons to bet on MMA:

1.) You are a compulsive gambler. If you are betting money you cannot afford to lose, or otherwise cannot stop yourself from gambling, turn your computer off and find a meeting.
2.) You think you're some kind of MMA savant that just knows more than the public. You don't, unless you're a fatherdog/dunc level of MMA nerd, and I suspect even they would only be in a position to bet profitably occasionally.
3.) You have convinced yourself that a fighter will win for stupid, sportswriter cliche, or emotional reasons.
4.) You have bought into promotional hype. It is the job of the UFC to make you think that Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort is an even, coinflip fight. Silva was about a -250 favorite in that fight, which was probably around the right line, yet a ton of money came in late on Belfort because of the commercials and hype.

Betting on sports may be illegal in your country or state, so consider that. And report your winnings on your taxes if that's a consideration in your location.

Use this thread to talk about gambling on combat sports, whether it's MMA or boxing or K-1 or whatever else.

jeffersonlives fucked around with this message at Dec 4, 2012 around 19:40

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CRISPYBABY
Dec 15, 2007

*~ayoo comin thru~*


Shogun's around +160 against Jones. I'm not sold on his standup yet, and I think over the course of a five rounder Shogun's gonna find the opportunity to light him up sometime.

At UFC 127, my favorite underdog pick is Jorge Rivera. He's a serious underdog at +275, but Bisping's perennially overrated. Rivera's standup looked really crisp in his last fight and he hits really hard.

Save Russian Jews
Jun 7, 2007

who the fuck is this guy anyway, i can't even see his face


Lipstick Apathy

PSP Coleman losses
Fawker: $20
MassRayPer: $100
Save Russian Jews: $150
osama bin diesel: $50
Roadtard: $15
Malachamavet: $15
Bubba Smith: $20
Who Gotch Ya: $100
mobn: $20
attackmole: $20
OG KUSH BLUNTS: $20
Gourd of Taste: $100
BossTweed: $10
_______________________
Total: $640

edit: I have never been prouder to lose money because a man won't wrestle

ForbiddenWonder
Feb 15, 2003



GSP is -555 on my book. I think that'll probably still move a hundred or two south by the end of april

Save Russian Jews
Jun 7, 2007

who the fuck is this guy anyway, i can't even see his face


Lipstick Apathy

ForbiddenWonder posted:

gsp is -555 on my book. I think that'll probably still move a hundred or two south by the end of april

what the hell is shields at?

STONE COLD 64
Oct 20, 2006

austin 3:16 says shut up. shut hte fuck up. where is my beer. i need hel

i bet on griffin getting injured




i won $5


CRISPYBABY
Dec 15, 2007

*~ayoo comin thru~*


How do you guys feel about betting on overdogs? I've always figured if they're over -150 or something it's just not worth the risk.

kensei
Dec 27, 2007

Bo Knows Posting



I don't bet real money on MMA, but:

kensei posted:



e: also mega-lol at a treazn name drop in the OP!

kensei fucked around with this message at Feb 10, 2011 around 01:28

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

"Mathewson pitched against Cincinnati yesterday. Another way of putting it is that Cincinnati lost a game of baseball."


attackmole posted:

How do you guys feel about betting on overdogs? I've always figured if they're over -150 or something it's just not worth the risk.

Favorites are usually the best bets on any sporting event because people like to bet on underdogs (and the over on over/unders), essentially for the reason you describe in this post.

ForbiddenWonder
Feb 15, 2003



Save Russian Jews posted:

what the hell is shields at?

+405. I can't believe Machida is such a huge favorite (-335) against Handy. The big question in that fight is weather Couture can get within clinch range before getting picked apart.

K8.0
Feb 26, 2004

Her Majesty's 56th Regiment of Foot

The biggest problem with betting on MMA is that fighters are stupid and even if someone has a clear path to victory they will often decide to do something else entirely and lose.

fatherdog
Feb 16, 2005

by Lowtax


attackmole posted:

How do you guys feel about betting on overdogs? I've always figured if they're over -150 or something it's just not worth the risk.

imo MMA is just too unpredictable to bet on overdogs, but I'm a bad gambler so don't pay me too much mind

Bubba Smith
Sep 27, 2004

Is tonight the greatest moment in Dominick Cruz's life?

No.

The greatest moment in my life was realizing that I didn't need a belt to be happy.


K8.0 posted:

The biggest problem with betting on MMA is that fighters are stupid and even if someone has a clear path to victory they will often decide to do something else entirely and lose.

the biggest problem with betting on MMA are the athletic commissions and the people they appoint to judge fights.


I would like a section devoted to how retarded parlays are. betting on mma is pretty stupid, but doing parlays on mma fights is like frank mir putting on 25 lbs of muscle over a summer then trying to cut 60 lbs in a month levels of retarded.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

"Mathewson pitched against Cincinnati yesterday. Another way of putting it is that Cincinnati lost a game of baseball."


Bubba Smith posted:

I would like a section devoted to how retarded parlays are.

Feel free to post one!

ChampRamp
Mar 29, 2010

SAVE_US.CHR


Any infamous lines from old fights? I just started looking at lines like a year ago for fun.

Gomi Pile
Jan 19, 2011

by Ozmaugh


ChampRamp posted:

Any infamous lines from old fights? I just started looking at lines like a year ago for fun.

the sokodjou fights against rogerio and arona both had him as massive underdogs. serra/gsp and werdum/fedor were also huge upsets

colonel_korn
May 16, 2003



Yeah I think Soko was something like +1200 against Lil Nog, by betting odds I'm pretty sure it's the biggest upset in MMA history.

Bundt Cake
Aug 16, 2003
;(

ForbiddenWonder posted:

+405. I can't believe Machida is such a huge favorite (-335) against Handy. The big question in that fight is weather Couture can get within clinch range before getting picked apart.

i think the big question is how can you possibly think randy, who couldn't take down and control big nogueira or vera, and got knocked down by big nogueira, is gonna be able to avoid getting KOd by machida

Fentry
Mar 7, 2003

ain't no bitch

I got 10 bucks on Sergei at -125 this weekend which I think is way lower than it should be, I think 9 times out of 10 Sergei beats Arlovski

Save Russian Jews
Jun 7, 2007

who the fuck is this guy anyway, i can't even see his face


Lipstick Apathy

Also, this is a ridiculously good, in-depth op. I'm glad I deferred.

FantasyMissionForce
Jun 21, 2009

Rocky? This is a military action! He's not suitable!


Bundt Cake posted:

i think the big question is how can you possibly think randy, who couldn't take down and control big nogueira or vera, and got knocked down by big nogueira, is gonna be able to avoid getting KOd by machida

if he doesn't get KO'ed he'll probably win any decision because he's Captain America and my hero

AXE BODY SPRAY
Aug 16, 2000



Gomi Pile posted:

the sokodjou fights against rogerio and arona both had him as massive underdogs. serra/gsp and werdum/fedor were also huge upsets

I'd say more interesting are if any lines were just way off and the underdog absolutely styled on the favorite instead of flash KOs/subs.

Also explain your napkin math you used to get the "if x fighter would win y% of the time, its a good bet"

Bundt Cake
Aug 16, 2003
;(

the lines were pretty goofy on anderson v leben and franklin, also recently the line for Carwin v Mir was real goofy and i made like 50 bucks

CVagts
Oct 19, 2009


The only big overdog I have ever bet was Couture vs. Toney. I bet a pittance and won a very slightly bigger pittance.

DumbWhiteGuy
Jul 4, 2007

You need haters. Fellas if you got 20 haters, you need 40 of them motherfuckers. If there's any haters in here that don't have nobody to hate on, feel free to hate on me


Bubba Smith posted:

I would like a section devoted to how retarded parlays are. betting on mma is pretty stupid, but doing parlays on mma fights is like frank mir putting on 25 lbs of muscle over a summer then trying to cut 60 lbs in a month levels of retarded.



I'm over the hump now that Miguel has won. If Fedor, Overeem, or Barnett loses then the comedy factor will outweigh the loss of my 3 bucks.

DumbWhiteGuy
Jul 4, 2007

You need haters. Fellas if you got 20 haters, you need 40 of them motherfuckers. If there's any haters in here that don't have nobody to hate on, feel free to hate on me


Also let me just point out how perfect the Thonglor thread tag is for this thread.

-Atom-
Sep 13, 2003

Contrarian Dick

Bad At Everything


DumbWhiteGuy posted:

Also let me just point out how perfect the Thonglor thread tag is for this thread.

I was wondering on when we could use it, and boom this thread comes up.

platero
Sep 11, 2001

spooky, but polite, a-hole



Pillbug

Bubba Smith posted:

the biggest problem with betting on MMA are the athletic commissions and the people they appoint to judge fights.


I would like a section devoted to how retarded parlays are. betting on mma is pretty stupid, but doing parlays on mma fights is like frank mir putting on 25 lbs of muscle over a summer then trying to cut 60 lbs in a month levels of retarded.

Always bet on MMA

venutolo
Jun 4, 2003



MMAjunkie.com has an eight-part guide about betting on MMA. I don't gamble (but I've always been interested in reading about MMA and football gambling/handicapping), so I can't really assess if it is quality information, but I thought it was a good read for someone who doesn't know much.

MMAjunkie used to have a writer, Eric Foster aka Performify, who would make picks before big events and whose columns I usually enjoyed. As far as I know, his last column was prior to UFC 121 where his one pick was betting 7 units on Lesnar at -140, so perhaps he died from shame. Does anyone know if he writes a similar column elsewhere, or of any other sites that currently feature similar columns?

ForbiddenWonder
Feb 15, 2003



PRO TIP
PRO TIP


Don't take other people's advice in regards to betting, especially from freaking MMA 'journalism' websites

fatherdog
Feb 16, 2005

by Lowtax


If I recall correctly seven units on Lesnar was only one in a long line of shockingly bad picks

nocturama
Dec 26, 2007



I don't bet that often but I'm up about 3 times on my initial stake. my last big win was a parley on gsp to beat kos on points and aloevera/miller to finish. i put a small amount on jorge over bisping and some on fitch to decision penn into sot to submit siver

platero
Sep 11, 2001

spooky, but polite, a-hole



Pillbug

For MMA betting that is real money (sorta) without consequences, https://www.centsports.com is pretty fun. You get 10 cents to start, and you can do moneyline bets and parlays on MMA/K-1/other supposed "real" sports. It lets you have fun and prove your MMAth skills.

You will also use 4-letter words over a nickel.

venutolo
Jun 4, 2003



My interest in the MMAjunkie/Performify columns wasn't about how correct he was in his gambling picks, but rather that he attempted to analyze the fights from a gambling perspective, rather than just simply making a pick as to who he thought would win. I know all MMA "journalism" is pretty terrible, but I'm just curious if there are any other sites that regularly analyze fights from a gambling perspective.

rare Magic card l00k
Jan 3, 2011

Me uni a la Revolucion #RXT


el sabe ...


attackmole posted:

Shogun's around +160 against Jones. I'm not sold on his standup yet, and I think over the course of a five rounder Shogun's gonna find the opportunity to light him up sometime.

Wait, I'm not an MMA junkie (yet), but I thought Shogun was really, absurdly good. Is Jones that good, or is he overhyped because of how easily he won his last fight?

manyak
Jan 26, 2006


Great White Hope posted:

Wait, I'm not an MMA junkie (yet), but I thought Shogun was really, absurdly good. Is Jones that good, or is he overhyped because of how easily he won his last fight?

jones has momentum and hype behind him, shogun is very good at striking and jiu jitsu but wrestling (specifically takedown defense) is a huge weakness of his that jones could take advantage of. shoguns also coming off an injury, which is when hes had some of his worst performances in the past. its mostly a case of styles making fights, jones shouldnt be as much of a favorite as he is though imo

fatherdog
Feb 16, 2005

by Lowtax


Great White Hope posted:

Wait, I'm not an MMA junkie (yet), but I thought Shogun was really, absurdly good.

Shogun has had some really spectacular performances and some very lovely ones. Some of the lovely ones were from holes in his game, some of them were due to injuries, some were a mixture of both. Jones is a wrestler with a good top game, which is not a particularly good matchup for him, and he's coming back after being out for a year with a knee injury.

I think having him as the underdog is a little off given the serious experience advantage he has over Jones, but there's a lot of unknowns going into this match and "really, absurdly good" is a serious overstatement regarding Shogun.

EDIT: drat you, manyak

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

"Mathewson pitched against Cincinnati yesterday. Another way of putting it is that Cincinnati lost a game of baseball."


I Internet-know Performify from him modding another board. He was very good at identifying way off lines in ye olden days when such things existed just by being intelligent, but his actual MMA analysis isn't really all that great. Now that the way off lines don't exist, he's only real good at predicting line movements. And he doesn't even discuss MMA over there anymore, I think he's just out of the game now.

His MMAJunkie/FIGHT Magazine guide was good four years ago, but except for the mechanical stuff is extremely outdated.

FWIW I think Jones as a slight favorite against Shogun is about right and wouldn't touch that line with someone else's money.

rare Magic card l00k
Jan 3, 2011

Me uni a la Revolucion #RXT


el sabe ...


HATE MONDAYS posted:


fatherdog posted:


I gotcha. Thanks for clearing that up. Now to bet on Shogun because I always ignore logic on centsports.

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FantasyMissionForce
Jun 21, 2009

Rocky? This is a military action! He's not suitable!


Great White Hope posted:

Wait, I'm not an MMA junkie (yet), but I thought Shogun was really, absurdly good. Is Jones that good, or is he overhyped because of how easily he won his last fight?

Jones is in over his head the UFC threw him in the deep end. He hasn't fought anyone with striking or jiu jitsu half as good as Shogun's he's gonna crack under the pressure, bet big on Shogun he never cracks under the pressure (especially not his knees)

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