Nothing amps up the drama of watching a sporting event like knowing you have a little extra riding on the outcome. UFC 85 is tomorrow, and for me, that “little extra” is the possibility that I’ll be hard-barfing afterwards. For the rest of you, it might be throwing a few 20-spots down on your favorite fighters. If you still have some disposable mad-money left from your economic stimulus check, why not open an account at BetUS.com? And if you don’t know the first thing about what to do when you’re there, read on…
Let me first begin by saying thanks to the Bens for allowing me to take time away from eating the souls of virgin gypsy orphans to come on here and try to corrupt the minds of the Cage Taters.
For those of you who are too damn lazy to know who I am, my name is Damon Durante, and I’m the host of BetUS Sports Radio, a series of sports betting-related podcasts. To review: BetUS.com is a sportsbook, I am their radio host.
I cover pretty much every sport you can bet on, but I’ll let you know that football is pretty much the Cat’s Cotton Pajamas around here and is essentially 90% of what we do. I friggin’ love all sports, but MMA is my secret mistress.
I have made it my personal goal to bring MMA as far to the forefront of sports wagering as I can; football might pay the bills, but MMA burns deep in my loins, to which the only soothing balm is more MMA. (There have obviously been others in my industry attempting to capitalize on the popularity of MMA using different tactics, but through sheer lameness they ended up sucking donkey pouch.)
Unfortunately the newness of mixed martial arts as a whole contributes to the betting naivety of most people. I mean we’ve all seen football point spreads since we were kids, but the appearance of money lines for MMA fighters is still seemingly non-existent. Without a doubt the #1 question I get asked is “What the #%*$ does ‘minus 200′ mean?”
That’s why I’m writing this bad boy; to turn you all into degenerate gambling bastards.
So let’s start off easy. Minus = FAVORITE. Plus = UNDERDOG.
The number that comes after the minus is how much you have to RISK to win $100, and the number that comes after the plus is what you WIN if you risk $100.
Soooo…if a fighter has a -200 after their name, that means you would have to RISK (or bet) $200 to win back $100. If it’s +200, you bet $100, and win back $200.
Now if that is still too damn confusing for you, we have a UFC Bet Calculator located here that will actually add up your wager for you and take all the math out of it.
There are a few extra things that you should probably know about these odds. Now bear with me because it’s kind of detailed, but it could also make you a lot of money in the long run.
First off, you’ll never meet a bookie with a part time job — meaning that regardless of how ridiculous you think a line might be, oddsmakers are effing smart, and if they weren’t huge sports fans, they’d be designing rocket engines for NASA or some shiat. So take the line seriously, always.
Secondly, lines are set for money to come in EVEN on both sides of a fight. In a perfect world, if every fight, game or race had exactly half the people betting on either side, the risk for a sportsbook is minimized. Therefore, in high-profile bouts, public opinion is a major factor in making a line.
An example that I like to use is last season’s New England Patriots. The lines for some of their games were redonkulous, but it had more to do with the perception of how good they were and not their actual skills. The problem is, if they’re playing a winless Miami team, NOBODY would put any money on Miami unless they thought they had a remote chance to cover. And since the Patriots were all over the news and setting records and being awesome, the line would be inflated to make it easier for Miami to cover in order to keep the money even on both sides.
This is the same reason you will see a line move leading up to a fight. If a balls load of money is coming in on GSP at -300, oddsmakers will make it less profitable to make a bet on him and you will see the line creep up to -350, -400, etc., and become more profitable to bet on Matt Serra, whose line will increase (from say +350 to +500). Therefore, if you think a low-profile underdog can win a fight, wait till the drunken Vegas weekend money starts rolling in — and as the high-profile favorite gets all the dough layed on him, your little doggie will start getting sweeter. (Ask anybody who waited on Serra – St. Pierre 1 who got him at +1200 right before the fight.)
So there it is. If you want to keep up on this shit check out my show at radio.betus.com. Sometimes Ben G. even comes on to slang his verbal crack rock…
Questions? Email me at Fights@BetUS.com