The popularity of UFC has soared across New Jersey in recent years as the state has emerged as a hotbed for MMA talent. Chief among the local stars is Frankie Edgar, an extremely successful former lightweight world champion who has secured famous wins against the likes of Sean Sherk, Hermes Franca and BJ Penn. Edgar was born and raised in Toms River, and he set up a gym in his hometown that has become famous across the globe. Brazilian superstars Edson Barboza and Marlon Moraes have relocated to the Jersey Shore to benefit from the gym’s no-frills training approach, and Edgar’s Iron Army now has several fighters ranked in the top 10 of various divisions.
Another reason for UFC’s popularity in the Garden State is the sheer number of big fights that have taken place at Atlantic City. UFC Fight Night 128 was held at Boardwalk Hall in April 2018, the ninth time the promotion had staged a showpiece event in the city. Now that sports betting has been legalized in New Jersey, Atlantic City’s fortunes should fly even higher, and that is likely to pull in an even greater amount of important bouts. And betting on UFC among New Jersey residents is also set to rise astronomically, so we decided to devote a page of our site detailing the different options available to you:
A moneyline wager is a straightforward bet on which fighter will prevail in an MMA bout and it remains the most popular betting category for UFC fans. The sportsbooks will assess the relative talent of both fighters and offer odds on each of them. Sometimes it is really close: many books had Song Yadong and Felipe Arantes both priced at identical odds of -109 in their recent fight. You might also see -109 listed as 0.9/1 (fractional) or 1.92 (decimal). Odds of -109 tell you that you need to stake $109 in order to make a $100 profit. In this case, a $20 bet on either fighter would have landed you a profit of $18.35. You also get your stake back on a winning bet, so you would have been returned $38.35 if your selection had been correct.
But at other times there is a big favorite and a clear underdog. At UFC 128 in Atlantic City, the most eagerly anticipated fight saw Merab Dvalishvili take on Ricky Simon. Simon was the -235 (0.42/1 or 1.43) favorite, while Dvalishvili was the +185 (1.85/1 or 2.85) underdog. When you see a plus symbol in the odds, it tells you how much you will win if you stake $100. So a $100 bet at odds of +185 would land you a profit of $185. A $100 bet on Simon at odds of -235 would only have netted you $42.55, showing that Simon was the clear favorite. When one fighter has plus odds and the other has minus odds, the one with minus odds is the favorite and given a greater chance of success by the sportsbooks.
However, in the build-up to UFC 128, many fans were attracted by those long odds on Dvalishvili and they backed him heavily. When that happens, the sportsbooks will shift their odds in order to encourage more people to bet on the other fighter, thus covering themselves against potential losses. By the time the fight started, the odds on Dvalishvili had dropped all the way to +100 (1/1 or 2.0), while the odds on Simon had greatly improvement, reaching -120 (0.83/1 or 1.83). Anyone that took advantage of those improved odds on Simon would have made a strong profit, as he recorded a dramatic late knockout victory.
Selecting how your chosen fighter will win the bout earns you longer odds. You can chose from three options: knockout (including KO or TKO), submission or a decision (split or unanimous). This is a useful option when one fighter is the clear favorite, as it allows you to gain greater value on him.
This is another option that does not necessarily influence the result of the fight. The sportsbooks will allow you to bet on whether there will be over or under 2.5 rounds, and this is essentially a bet on whether or not the fight will go the distance. The odds on each outcome will once again depend on how well matched the two fighters are, their history of securing knockouts and so on. You might also see a line set at 1.5 rounds, and you have to guess whether or not it will end before the 2min 30sec mark in the second round.
This option allows you to choose when the fight will end, and it is helpful if you are unsure about who will win, but you think it will either end quickly or drag on. Sportsbooks will assign different odds to each of the three rounds depending on how well matched the two fighters are, their history of securing knockouts and any head-to-head data. To get even more value, you can specify a particular fighter to win in a particular round. Backing Simon to win in round three would have secured you very attractive odds in his fight against Dvalishvili
For even more value, some sportsbooks will allow you to back a particular fighter to win in a particular round and select how they will gain the victory. For example, Simon to win via a knockout in round three would have provided strong odds.
Sportsbooks will often present special betting options ahead of a big fight night. For example, before UFC 221 you could bet on which bout would be named Fight of the Night (Dvalishvili v Simon took this honor), who would be awarded Knockout of the Night and who would be awarded the Submission of the Night honor. The odds on these outcomes can be intriguing. In Europe, you can even request your own bets with traders on a variety of different specific outcomes within the fight, and that might be the next evolutionary step for sportsbooks in New Jersey as legalized betting rolls out and the market matures.
With sports betting now a feature of New Jersey, you can now place bets on all your favorite UFC fighters at the tip of your fingers with online sports betting operators offering the above markets on UFC fights. Be sure to stay tuned for the latest sportsbook promotions and sign up offers.