Do you want to bet on MMA events? If the answer is yes, understanding MMA odds is crucial to get good value for money. In this guide, we’ll delve into different odds formats and how to read them in the most accurate way possible, as well as other tips and tricks! 

American Odds 

The most popular way to display MMA odds is using the American format. These odds are sometimes referred to as Moneyline odds. Let’s use UFC’s Brandon Royval vs Rogerio Bontorin as an example. 

The odds for ‘To Win Fight’ bet are displayed as follows: 

Brandon Royval Rogerio Bontorin
-170 +140

American odds are based on $100 wagers. So, the plus sign (+) is the amount of money you will win with a $100 bet. The negative sign (-) is the money you need to wager to win $100. 

In this example, you would need to bet $170 on Royval to win $100. On the other hand, you would win $140 with a $100 bet on Bontorin. 

When you calculate the bet amount, the total payout of a $100 bet on Royval is $158.82 (Winnings of 58.82 + $100 bet amount). On the other hand, the total payout of a $100 bet on Bontorin is $240 ($140 winnings + $100 bet amount). 

As you can see, you would get a bigger payout from a bet on Bontorin. This indicates that Bontorin is the underdog and the likelihood of this win is lower than a Royval win. 

You can also differentiate between the favorite and the underdog with the positive and negative sign used for American odds. The plus sign is utilized for the underdog, while the negative sign indicates the favourite. 

Decimal Odds

Another common format to display MMA odds is the decimal format. This format is particularly used in Europe, but a lot of bettors around the world opt for this format since it’s the easiest to understand! 

Let’s take the same example from above: 

Brandon Royval Rogerio Bontorin
1.58 2.40

When calculating decimal odds, you just need to multiply the decimal with the bet amount to know your potential winnings. 

For instance, if you bet $100 on Brandon Royval, then 1.58 x 100 = $158 winnings. Bettors betting $100 on Bontorin can look forward to $240 in winnings (2.40 x 100). The lower the potential winnings, the more likelihood that event will occur. 

Not sure whether you should use American or decimal odds? Don’t worry, all sportsbooks will give you the option to easily switch between formats. The setting is usually found at the top right of the page, or at the bottom. Apart from American and decimal odds, you will also find an option for fractional odds. However, fractional odds are rarely used for MMA and UFC betting

Compare Sportsbook Odds 

Why is learning how to read odds crucial? Let’s have a look in practice. 

Let’s say you want to bet on UFC’s Chase Sherman vs. Jake Collier. These are the odds from some of the best MMA betting sites

  Chase Sherman Jake Collier
Bet365 2.00 1.80
Betway 2.10 1.78
Sports Interaction 1.98 1.86

 The odds are similar, but still vary from one sportsbook to the next. Although the difference does not seem great, it can go a long way when you’re making multiple MMA bets. 

For instance, if you bet $100 on Chase Sherman at Betway, the total winnings will be $210. The same bet would get you $198 at Sports Interaction. That’s a $12 difference! With the same reasoning, betting $100 on Collier at Sports Interaction would give you $186 in winnings, while the same bet at Betway would result in $8 less in your pockets! 

This is why it’s always recommended that not only you learn how to read odds, but also that you compare odds from a few sportsbooks before betting on MMA events like the UFC.