As mixed martial arts gradually overtake the popularity of the world’s current most-watched combat sport in boxing, it’s essential to know which promotions dominate the market. For over twenty-five years, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has been the flagship company leading the way, but since 2008 they have received competition from Scott Coker’s Bellator.
Both organizations have heavily assisted in popularizing MMA globally. Although Bellator is relatively new to the MMA scene (compared to the UFC), the 13-year-old company is consistently fighting to remove the foreshadow between themselves and Dana White’s spearhead association.
There is no denying that Bellator is the 2nd most-watched MMA company in the world; however, the growing demand for martial arts contests has seen the likes of PFL (Premier Fight League) and ONE Championship make a push to outshine Bellator.
With that said, since the former Strikeforce owner and former martial artist Scott Coker became Bellator’s CEO in 2014, the promotion has been moving in an upward trajectory. Alongside Bellator’s rise, the sports betting market has been close by; aspiring or seasoned MMA bettors have been placing wagers on Bellator since its birth.
Finding a betting line for Bellator was difficult circa 2008, but these problems no longer exist. You will stumble on many sportsbooks that provide Bellator odds; as the Bellator fan base grows, so does the number of bets placed. Highlight figures in the company such as Michael “Venom” Page, Patricio Pitbull and Douglas Lima have remained loyal to the company and boosted its stock in the meantime.
It’s no secret that most professional martial artist wants to compete in the UFC, but this factor alone provides some incredible betting opportunities amongst Bellator fight cards. The level of competition in Bellator is undoubtedly lower, and sure, they sign a lot of unknown fighters with small records. But again, this only assists bettors in creating more desirable wagers because Bellator’s most talented fighters are often presented with “easier” matchups.
Understanding Bellator Odds
First things first, line shopping for your Bellator odds is the most crucial aspect, and we will touch on that subject below. Before we dive into shopping for your odds, we want you to understand the Bellator odds and why they may differ from other promotions.
Most handicappers and bettors will be familiar with moneyline betting; between parlays and the moneyline, no other betting markets are as popular amidst Bellator events. As mentioned, Bellator can often matchmake a high-level fighter with a lesser experienced competitor; sportsbooks are not foolish and will adapt their betting lines. For this reason, many Bellator handicappers will take their chances on a parlay, outside of reasonable odds -250 or below.
Example: If Patricio Pitbull has available odds of -450, a $450 stake would be required to return a profit of $100. His opponent AJ Mckee is showing odds of +300, meaning a $100 would produce a nice profit of $300. However, Pitbull is in a position with such a juiced betting line for good reason; at -450, his expected chance to win the contest is 81.8%. As a considerable betting underdog at +300, AJ Mckee has a 25% implied probability attached to his name, according to the odds presented.
If your MMA knowledge is vast, and you believe the bookmakers have miscalculated AJ Mckee’s chances of victory, this is a perfect position to wager on the underdog. But if you agree that Pitbull’s odds are correct, you may want to avoid wagering on the juiced line, resulting in a less than desirable return on investment percentage (ROI%). Bellator handicappers that find themselves in this position often parlay a selection of heavily juiced lines.
Elsewhere on the Bellator fight card, Dhiego Lima is priced at -200; parring these odds with Pitbull would give odds of -120. A $120 stake would return a profit of $100; these odds can be much more desirable than risking considerable amounts of your bankroll on one fight.
Shop for Your Bellator Odds
Before placing a moneyline or parlay wager on Bellator, you must inspect the available lines. This practice is especially important within Bellator markets because the -450 line on Pitbull we mentioned could be found elsewhere for more excellent value.
Our mission at OddsTrader is to deliver the best available betting lines, and our easy-to-use tabs display a list of Bellator odds from multiple sportsbooks. You must utilize these features for the greatest return in profits. It may seem like a small amount, but if you consistently wager on the first odds you see – months of betting with this careless approach will show significant profit could have potentially made.
Placing a Bellator Bet
After you’ve successfully found the best value odds and you know which fighters are worth betting on, all that’s left is to place your wager. Never underestimate the importance of bankroll management; professional handicappers avoid staking more than %4 of their entire bankroll.
Once the decision is made on how much of your bankroll will be wagered, open your trusted bookmaker or use OddsTrader to find the best available odds. Confirm your selected fighter and wager amount, and simply click the bet/place button.
Most importantly, never gamble on what you cannot afford and stick to professional handicapper ethics to ensure your bankroll is protected and continuously growing. As mentioned, Bellator MMA betting markets can sometimes provide volatile betting lines, but with the proper research and dedication – you can reap the rewards of mixed martial arts wagering.