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UFC 231 Betting: Holloway vs. Ortega


UFC 231 is fast approaching and while the penultimate fight card for 2018 isn’t loaded with stars like Conor McGregor or Brock Lesnar, MMA fans in Toronto will be in for a treat with several fights that offer substantial promise.


UFC Featherweight champion Max Holloway will headline this event in a title fight versus Brian Ortega. Meanwhile, Joanna Jedrzejczyk returns to the Octagon for an intriguing showdown with Valentina Shevchenko. Here’s a closer look at the main card, the matchups and suggestions for UFC 231 prop bets.



Betting On The UFC

UFC 231 Odds: Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega


Holloway is one of the most dominant champions in all of MMA. While his name value might not be the same as McGregor or Lesnar, there is no doubt that his technical ability is worth the price of admission. Holloway and Ortega have been on a collision course since July when Holloway couldn’t fight Ortega at UFC 226 because of a concussion. Now the two unstoppable forces are set to clash in a contest that will likely end with one standing over the other following a knockout punch.


Holloway is the slight betting favourite at –135 according to the UFC 231 fight odds, but Ortega is expected to give him all that he can handle at +105. If you’re interested in prop bets for this fight, you might want to avoid betting on a judge’s decision. Holloway’s last three fights have ended via knockout and only three of his last 12 bouts have gone the distance. As for Ortega, none of his last six fights have required the judge’s scorecards.



UFC 231 Odds: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Valentina Shevchenko


The co-main event will serve as a reboot for the women’s flyweight division with Jedrzejczyk meeting Shevchenko in the middle for a highly anticipated showdown. Jedrzejczyk has been a longtime contender at 135 pounds, while Shevchenko has fought at 115, so it will be interesting to see how they fare at different weights.


Both fighters have been mostly pristine save for one opponent. For Jedrzejczyk, she’s 15-2 with the two losses coming from Rose Namajunas. As for Shevchenko, she’s 14-3 with two losses coming from Amanda Nunes.


The Jedrzejczyk vs. Schevchenko odds have Shevchenko as the clear-cut favorite at –300. Jedrzejczyk (+230) is being forced to cut a substantial amount of weight for this fight.



UFC 231 Odds: Claudia Gadelha vs. Nina Ansaroff


The rising star Claudia Gadelha is looking to take another step forward against a proven veteran in Nina Ansaroff at the strawweight level. Gadelha is coming off an impressive win over Carla Esparza that really boosted her stock. She’s now 16-3, and two of her losses are to Jedrzejczyk, which is understandable. Now she gets another chance to really prove herself against a capable opponent in Ansaroff.


Gadelha is a substantial favourite at —270 on the UFC 231 betting odds. Meanwhile, Ansaroff, who is just 9-5 in her career, comes in at +210.



UFC 231 Odds: Devin Clark vs. Aleksandar Rakic


Rakic is another rising star who will put his talents on display versus Clark when he looks to extend his win streak to 11 in a row. After back-to-back unanimous decision victories to open his UFC career, he will get another chance to climb the ladder in the light heavyweight division against Clark, who is coming off a win of his own over Mike Rodriguez. It wouldn’t be a surprise if these two went the distance.


Clark is a tough fighter but he is just 3-2 in his UFC career so far. Rakic appears to be the more promising fighter entering UFC 231.



Other UFC 231 Betting Odds


In addition to the main card, there are several other intriguing bouts on the preliminary card worth looking out for at UFC 231. Thiago Santos is a substantial favourite over Jimi Manuwa at —185. Meanwhile, the hometown boy Elias Theodorou isn’t an elite talent, but he’s 7-2 in the Octagon and he will be motivated to take down rising star Eryk Anders in a highlight anticipated middleweight bout. Theodorou has gone the distance in each of his last six fights, so there is decent value betting on that trend to continue when he clashes with Anders. UFC 231 odds for the Theodorou-Anders bout will be released closer to the event.






How to Bet on UFC


The world of combat sports changed forever on November 12, 1993, when the Ultimate Fighting Championship held their first event in front of 7,800 fight fans in Denver. Now they’re the biggest promotion in mixed martial arts, regularly packing large arenas, and even stadiums, thanks to the millions of people around the world who are betting on the UFC. If you’d like a piece of the action, this UFC Betting 101 guide will show you how to bet on MMA fights, plus some tips and tricks to maximize your betting value.



UFC Betting


Unlike other sports that feature a regular season and a playoff, the UFC runs events throughout the year, with the most important ones reserved for pay-per-view and the rest shown on television or UFC Fight Pass. Each card will have about a dozen fights, including preliminaries, with the main event at the top of the card; PPV main events usually have a title on the line, from one of the UFC’s 12 weight divisions (eight male, four female). Here are your options for how to bet on the UFC:


Betting On The UFC

Moneyline Betting on the UFC


Like most head-to-head sports, including boxing and tennis, UFC betting is done using moneyline odds, which are expressed at Bodog Sportsbook using the American odds format. One of the fighters will be the favourite, and the other will be the underdog – unless they have exactly the same odds, in which case, the fight will be a pick ‘em. UFC moneyline odds are fixed odds, no point spread attached; all you have to do is pick the winner. The odds you get at the time you place your bet are the odds used to calculate your payout.



What Are UFC Moneyline Odds?


To further illustrate this concept, here’s the moneyline from one of the most famous fights in UFC history, when Conor McGregor first met Nate Diaz on March 5, 2016 at UFC 196:


Diaz                 +300

McGregor       –400


McGregor went into this non-title Welterweight bout at the UFC Featherweight champion, and an incredibly popular –400 favorite, paying out $100 for every $400 wagered. With the American odds format, the favorite will always have the negative sign; the underdog usually has the positive sign, as it was in this case with Diaz at +300. In the end, Diaz won this fight via second-round submission, and paid out $300 for every $100 wagered. Smaller and larger bets are allowed, within the minimum and maximum limits at Bodog Sportsbook.



Parlay Betting on the UFC


Chances are you’ll want to bet on more than one fight at a time. If you’re looking for a big payday, you can combine all those bets into a single parlay at Bodog. UFC parlays can feature anywhere from two to 12 moneylines; if you get all your picks right, you get paid exponentially more than you would by placing those bets individually. However, if even one of those picks is wrong, the entire parlay loses. It’s the classic risk/reward scenario in action.



How Do UFC Parlay Bets Work?


To figure out how much you’ll get paid if your parlay cashes in, just multiply the UFC odds for each fight in your combo bet. This can be a little tricky with moneyline odds. You can do it by hand, or by using one of the many parlay calculators available on the internet. Bodog Sportsbook will do the math for you automatically when you’re filling out your bet slip.


For example, the co-main event at UFC 196 was the following Women’s Bantamweight title fight between champion Holly Holm and challenger Miesha Tate:


Tate                 +240

Holm                –310


Holm was the heavy favorite after taking the title in a shocking, yet convincing upset over Ronda Rousey, who had beaten Tate soundly in both their earlier fights. However, it was Tate winning the belt by submission late in the fifth round. If you had bet $50 on Diaz and another $50 on Tate, you would have earned $270 in profit, but combining the two underdogs in a $100 parlay would have paid $720 instead. The more fights you add to a parlay, the bigger the payout – as long as you get all those picks right.



Futures Betting on the UFC


Betting on UFC futures can be a bit confusing compared to other sports, but it’s actually quite simple. Every once in a while, a situation comes up where two fighters might meet in the Octagon, but nothing has been made official just yet. If it’s two big-name fighters, and enough people are buzzing about their potential matchup, UFC futures odds will be posted.



What Is a UFC Futures Bet?


A futures bet in the UFC works exactly the same as a moneyline bet, with a favourite and an underdog shown as above using the American odds format. The only difference is you can’t use futures odds in your UFC parlay.



Prop Betting on the UFC


UFC prop bets (short for proposition bets) ask you to wager on something other than the straight-up winner of a fight. Among the most common UFC props are Margin of Victory, where you bet on whether a fighter will win by TKO/KO/DQ, submission, or decision, and Total Rounds, where you bet on whether the fight will go Over or Under the posted total.


Betting on UFC props gets even busier when there’s a marquee matchup on the card. It’s kind of like the Super Bowl; if the fight’s big enough, you might see props for things like which round the fight will end in, or whether a fighter will win by unanimous decision or majority/split decision.



How to Bet on the UFC

UFC Betting Strategy and Tips


The more you know about mixed martial arts, the better you’ll do at picking a winner. But even if you’re a beginner, you can put the squeeze on your competition by going online and doing some quick research on the two fighters in question. As they say, styles make fights; a well-rounded MMA practitioner will be skilled at both striking and grappling, both on offense and defense. Look for fights where one opponent’s strengths match up well against the other opponent’s weaknesses. In general. someone with black belts in multiple disciplines (say, Brazilian jiu-jistu and Muay Thai) is more likely to prevail against someone with a lesser belt in just one martial art.


You can also find betting value on the UFC props market by paying attention to the weight divisions. Smaller fighters tend to have more stamina, and they don’t pack the same punching power as fighters from the heavier divisions. It makes a big difference; in the lightest UFC division, Women’s Strawweight (up to 115 pounds), roughly 70 percent of fights end in a decision, while the men in the Heavyweight division (206-265 pounds) only go to the judges’ score cards about 25% of the time.



*Odds as of November 8, 2018