Tom Gable, Director of Race & Sports at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, provides our readers with insider tips and strategies for making the most of their sports betting ventures. This week, Tom is focusing on a sport that is growing in popularity and one of the first to return during the COVID shut down; UFC.
For this week’s blog, we will focus on a sport that we haven’t talked much about in this space: Mixed Martial Arts. The popularity of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has exploded in this country and with it, the sport’s main promotion: the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). It’s no surprise then, that as the popularity of the sport grows, so does the betting handle. The UFC was one of the first sports to return during the COVID shut down period, as they took center stage, holding cards weekly in order to get something out to sports-starved fans. It certainly paid off for sportsbooks as well, as they could offer a sport that mainstream Americans were familiar with (as opposed to the regular COVID offerings of Korean baseball and Russian table tennis) and the bettors responded very positively. At Borgata, we have always focused heavily on MMA, specifically by showing and promoting UFC pay-per-view events every month in the BetMGM Sportsbook and Bar and the Level One Lounge. We also offer a host of betting opportunities on these events, so let’s take a look at how to bet MMA.
Each MMA bout is one-on-one between two competitors in the same weight class. The fighters will compete over a number of rounds, attempting to knock out or submit their opponent. If neither competitor is successful in ending the fight during the pre-determined number of rounds, then the winner will be determined by judges’ scorecards (much like boxing) and a winner will be declared by decision of the judges. Sportsbooks will list odds on both participants to win the bout. They will be listed on the money line, as a baseball game would be. For example, for an upcoming bout in January, Conor McGregor is facing off against Dustin Poirier. McGregor is the favorite to win at the moment and at Borgata, is currently listed at -220. That means you would have to wager $2.20 to win a dollar if you are betting on McGregor to win. Conversely, Poirier, as the underdog, is listed at +180. That means for every dollar you bet on Poirier, you would win $1.80, if he wins the bout. Wagering on individual fighters to win their bouts is certainly the most popular way to bet on MMA, but you can also bet on each fight in other ways as well. At Borgata, we will set up a number of “prop” wagers such as how a fighter will win a fight (ie. by KO, TKO or submission or by decision). Each option will have a price assigned to it that you will win if the fighter actually wins in that manner. We also have prop wagers on the over/under of the number of rounds a fight will last (ie. will the fight start round 3), which round a fight will end and which fighter will win in that round (ie. McGregor to win in Round 2) and many others.
Due to the large number of fights on a card that the UFC puts on, it’s a very exciting wagering opportunity for fans. Remember to come out and watch and wager on every UFC pay per view at Borgata in the Race and Sportsbook, the BetMGM Sportsbook and Bar or online at Borgatasports.com. We will be showing the following upcoming UFC pay per views: Dec. 12- UFC 256 and Jan. 23- UFC 257 (McGregor vs Poirier).