Understanding MMA Odds

UFC betting has taken off in recent years and many of these bets are coming from new bettors who may not understand the MMA odds.  Here I will explain how to read the basic MMA money line odds in both American and decimal format, as well as explain a couple of other popular MMA bets.

Money Line Odds

This betting option is the most straight forward and the one that 90% of people will be placing their money on.  The money line bet is simply betting on which fighter will win.  Here is an example of money line odds for a fight:

Chael Sonnen +235 (3.350 in decimal)
Anderson Silva -275 (1.364 in decimal)

The +235 beside Sonnen is in the American odds format and means that a $100 bet on Sonnen will win $235, for a payout of $335.  The -275 for Silva indicates that $275 must be risked to win $100 betting on Silva.  So in American odds the (-) is always the favorite, while the (+) is the underdog.  The (+) indicates how much you would win by betting $100, while the (-) indicates how much you must wager to win $100.

Many new MMA fighters find the decimal odds format easier to understand.  With the decimal odds format you simply multiply the wager amount by the decimal odds to find the payout.  So with Sonnen you could multiply $100 by 3.350 to get a payout of $335.  You could then subtract your bet ($100) to find your winnings ($235).  The decimal odds is especially easier when determining the payout for a favorite.  For example a $25 bet on Silva would payout 25×1.364 = $34.10 for a $9.10 win.

The odds for a fight can change as more bets roll in or the public opinion of each fighters chances in the fight changes.  So if you see odds you like you should jump on them because there is no guarantee how long they will be around.

Total Rounds

Another fairly common MMA bet is wagering on how many rounds the fight will go.  The sportsbook will offer an over/under for the number of rounds in the fight and you can bet on whether the fight will have more or less than that number of rounds.  For example in a 3 round fight you may find an over/under of 2.5 rounds, meaning that if the fight goes more than 2 rounds the over bet would win, while if the fight is ended in the first 2 rounds the under bet would win.

Prop Bets

There are also quite a few prop bets to choose from when betting on MMA fights.  So many that we’ve made a dedicated page.  Check out the MMA prop bets page to learn more.

Where To Bet On MMA Fights

Not every sportsbook online will offer the same number of betting options for each MMA fight.  In fact the number of fights sportsbooks provide odds for varies dramatically across bookies.  With that said here are the two online sportsbooks that I find offer the most/best MMA betting lines.  Each of these sportsbooks is respected and trusted in the industry, and they both also accept bettors from the United States.  Check out our MMA sportsbooks page for more detailed information on what kind of MMA bets each bookie offers.

1. 5Dimes.eu – 5Dimes will almost always offer MMA odds with the least juice (least bookie advantage).  This is important because if you want to be a winning bettor you have to get the best possible return on your winning bets.  5Dimes also offers the most MMA lines I have seen at a sportsbook with bets available on fights outside of the UFC as well, such as Strikeforce and Bellator.

2. Bookmaker.eu – Bookmaker is another great online sportsbook that accepts US players.  They don’t offer nearly as many betting options as 5Dimes, but they are a good alternative for MMA bettors.