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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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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.

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!

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.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


That's also very against the Paypal terms of service, among other issues.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


osama bin diesel posted:

Probably should have a section in the OP about why betting props is as bad as parlays

Props can be good bets if you pick your spots, they're not across the board bad like parlays.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


Weidman's exactly the type of guy that's usually a good bet because of dumber people putting money on the not very good name fighter. I don't think a short camp overcomes the "one of the best grappling prospects in MMA against Alessio Sakara" angle.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


If you knew nothing about Alessio Sakara, the words "European" and "boxer" are probably a dead giveaway that he might have trouble with a very good wrestler.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


OG KUSH BLUNTS posted:

I was heading out to go place my bets on shogun today and noticed that Jake Shields is at +375. I immediately put money on Jake Shields.

You'd have probably gotten more fun out of that money by lighting it on fire.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


tesilential posted:

Lil Nog got robbed.

Just because you keep saying this doesn't make it remotely true.

tesilential posted:

Anyways so far Bader's striking is better than Phil's and he still got lit up.

This too.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


Except Rogerio only won the standing slightly and he really wasn't controlling the fight. I'm not even sure he wins under Diaz Rules.

If your takeaway from that fight is that Little Nog won't have a problem with a wrestler who is considerably better than Bader after Bader outpointed him with only mildly effective wrestling, you're just seeing what you want to see. And I'm sure you'll complain about this decision too when Davis blankets Nog.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


CVagts posted:

Wait, what? When did this happen?

Couple hours ago. US Attorney for the Southern District filed a bunch of indictments against most major poker sites and their owners, all hell has broken loose.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


Paul Pot posted:

should i be worried if i'm using bodog.co.uk ?

Government isn't going after Bodog (again/yet), and the non-American side should be fine regardless except for cash flow issues.

Feel kinda bad for the people who have their livelihoods tied up, a lot of people prepped for a day like this by keeping money spread between the sites and welp that didn't really work.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


Chimney Sweeps Week posted:

how predictable

Don't Bet On A Diaz

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


We have our very own Dick Morris in PSP, that's so cool.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


vainman posted:

C'mon Newton!

2/21/13 3:06pm $5.00 to win $43.75 Pending 2/21/13 11:30pm Reduced Fighting 2101 Emanuel Newton +875* vs Muhammed Lawal
2/21/13 5:06am $15.00 to win $116.25 Pending 2/21/13 11:30pm Bellator Fighting 2101 Emanuel Newton +775* vs Muhammed Lawal

You should bet more on MMA.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


jase1 posted:

It's good to be back gentlemen laugh away.


Ticket#:14918142
Jun 15 11:25 PM
INTERNET / -1 Jun 15 11:17 PM
MU
STRAIGHT BET
[24106] R. NELSON -285
(S. MIOCIC vrs R. NELSON)

143 / 50

This is really quite an amazing run here.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


jase1 posted:

But wait there is more!


Ticket#:14918359
Jun 15 11:59 PM
INTERNET / -1 Jun 15 11:55 PM
MU
STRAIGHT BET
[24102] D. HENDERSON +160
(R. EVANS vrs D. HENDERSON)

100 / 160

Noooooo I want Hendo to win poo poo.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


Because I love you all so much I added up jase1's claimed MMA bets in this thread

-100 on Sonnen vs. Silva 2
-20 on Buddy Roberts vs. Okami
-20 on Justin Lawrence vs. Max Holloway
-100 on Kaufman vs. Rousey
-100 on Bonnar vs. Silva
-5 on Tom Lawlor vs. Carmont
+11 on Waldburger vs. Catone
-10 on James Head vs. Pyle
-10 on Brookins vs. Poirier
+24 on Barry vs. del Rosario
-14 on Mitrione vs. Nelson
-5 on Thiago Tavares vs. Khabib
-5 on Rothwell vs. Gonzaga
+20 on Belfort vs. Bisping
+160 on Hunt vs. Struve
-100 on Gomi vs. Diego
+175 on Okami vs. Lombard
-300 on Diaz vs. GSP
-100 on Condit vs. Hendricks
+100 on Camozzi vs. Ring
-10 on Smith vs. McDaniel
-10 on Gonzaga vs. Browne
-20 on Tate vs. Zingano
-25 on Magelhaes vs. Phil Davis
+25 on Nelson vs. Kongo
-25 on Belcher vs. Bisping
-50 on Sonnen vs. Jones
-143 on Nelson vs. Miocic
-100 on Hendo vs. Rashad

Total loss is $727, 7 winning bets out of 29 placed (though to be fair jase does bet on a lot more big underdogs than big favorites).

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


jase1 has outlasted Anderson Silva, everyone.

jeffersonlives
Jul 22, 2007

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


Loki2099 posted:

http://deadspin.com/a-redditor-has-...wwe-r-787445495 I imagine the betting lines reflect this guy, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if this guy is in with the books.

It's almost certainly the other way around, the lines have been moving way ahead of the random Redditor.

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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."


MMA is heavily bet on enough now that if there's a profitable overall angle like "bet on underdogs" (and there isn't anyways), a syndicate would have already figured it out and bet enough to make it unprofitable for the rest of the world. This isn't the good old days where a little public money in Vegas would create goofy lines.

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