Boxing and MMA Odds Explained: Everything You Need to Know


Boxing and MMA Odds Explained. Everything You Need to Know.

While watching boxing matches or UFC fights and talking about betting odds, you can often hear something like “Fighter X is a -300 favorite.” or “Fighter X is a +500 underdog.” It’s hard to distinguish what exactly these numbers mean, especially as a negative (-) number is associated with the favorite, while the positive (+) number is associated with the underdog. So, we’ll explain how to understand these odds as simply as possible.

Odds of -300 mean that you have to put $300 to win $100 (“-” sign signals the favorite). Odds of +500 mean that if you put $100, you would win $500 (“+” sign signals the underdog).

To clear all doubts, let’s explain this concept a little bit more in detail.

Fighting (American) Odds Explained in Detail

Betting odds that are given in format like +200, +350, -150 are called American odds. They are commonly used when betting on boxing matches or MMA fights. The favorite’s odds are accompanied with a negative (-) sign. They represent the amount of money you need to wager to win $100. For example, if the odds on a favorite fighter are -200, that means that you have to put $200 to win $100 ($100 profit on an initial stake of $200, meaning total payout is $300).

On the other hand, the underdog’s odds are accompanied by a positive (+) sign. These odds represent the amount of money you win when you wager $100 on that fighter. For example, if odds on an underdog fighter are +350, that means that you win $350 if you wager $100 ($350 profit on an initial stake of $100, which means that total payout is $450).

Now that we have clearly and as simply as possible explained how to understand the odds when watching fights, let’s explain them a more precisely with few examples. Also, there are different types of odds when it comes to betting on fighting events, so it is useful to be familiar with all of them. First, let’s see the most common types of different odds.

Different Types of Betting Odds – How Are They Calculated?

American Odds

As we have already explained above, the most popular fighting betting odds are the American odds. They are also called Money Line odds or Money Line Bet. American odds are most commonly used for sports that are most popular in America, like basketball, hockey, football, boxing, MMA.

The example given above stated that a positive amount (e.g., +500) means that you win $500 for every $100 wagered; and that negative amount (e.g., -300) means that you have to wager $300 to have a profit of $100. Pretty simple.

What about when you want to wager a different amount than $100 or when winning $100 isn’t your goal? Let’s see the next example.

John has found odds for the upcoming fight. They are listed as -250 for fighter A (who is the favorite) to win a fight, and +300 for fighter B (who is the underdog) to win a fight. John wants to put money on fighter A and wants to win $50. How much money does he have to wager on fighter A? As -250 odd is indicating that you have to put $250 to win $100, then John has to put $125 to win $50 (total payout is $175, and profit is $50).

On the other hand, what if John wants to win $200 betting on the same fighter? Simply, he would have to wager twice the money, meaning, on $500, he would win $200 (total payout is $700, profit is $200).

Let’s see another example where John is betting on the underdog. Odds are listed as -130 for fighter A (who is the favorite), and +160 for fighter B (who is the underdog). This time, John wants to win $400. If he wagers $100, he will win $160. So, to win $400, John would have to wager $250 ($650 would be the total payout, and the profit would be $400).

On the other hand, if John wants to win, let’s say, only $40, he would have to wager $25 on fighter B (total payout would be $65, $40 of which represent the profit).

Decimal Odds

Other types of betting odds are the so-called Decimal odds, also called European odds, continental odds, or digital odds. They are often used in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zeland. The name for these odds is self-explanatory as they come in decimal number form.

Simply said, the decimal odds number represents the total amount of money (total payout) you get for every $1 wagered (the money you wagered is included in the amount).

For example, let’s take there is a fight going on, and odds for fighter A winning the fight are 1.4, and on the fighter B odds are 2.5. When it comes to decimal odds, the smaller number represents the favorite, and a bigger number represents the underdog. In this particular case, fighter A is the favorite, and fighter B is the underdog.

If John wagers $1 on fighter A, he will get a total payout of $1.4 ($1 is the initial stake, and $0.4 is profit). Similarly, if he wagers $1 on fighter B, he would get a total payout of $2.5 ($1 is the initial stake, and $1.5 is profit). If John was about to wager a different amount, let’s say $5, he would get $7 ($5 is the initial stake, and $2 is profit). To sum things up, here is the simple formula of returns:

Total Return = Stake x Decimal Odd Number

Profit = Total Return – Stake

Fractional Odds

Fractional Odds are most popular in the UK. They are also called British odds, UK odds, or traditional odds. Fractional odds are written as, for example, 5/1 or 5-1; they can be written with both a slash (/) and a hyphen (-). They are pronounced as “five-to-one”.

Simply put, fractional odds represent the profit you get for every $1 you wager. For example, fractional odds of 7/4 (which is 1.75) represents the profit you get if you wager $1. That means if you put $1 (with odds being 7/4), you will get the total payout of $2.75 where $1.75 (7/4) is profit.

For example, the fractional odds of 5/1 (five-to-one) means that you win $5 for every $1 you wager. Total payout is $6, with profit being $5 and the initial stake that is returned is $1.

Having the fractional odds of 9/2 (nine-to-two) means that you win $9 for every $2 you wager. For example, if you wager $10, you would win $55 (total payout). With the initial stake being $10, you would have a profit of $45.

If fractional odds are 10/11 (ten-to-eleven), that means that you get a profit of $0.91 if you wager $1 (total payout is $1.91).

Total Return = Stake x Fractional Odd + Stake

Profit = Total Return – Stake

When talking about fractional odds, another thing worth mentioning is that the side accompanied by smaller odds is the favorite, whereas the side accompanied by a bigger number is the underdog.

To better see different types of odds and their conversion from one type to another, let’s take a look at the next table:

American Odds Decimal Odds Fraction Odds
-500 1.20 1/5
900 10.00 9/1

If you want to see how different types of odds convert one into another, here is a link to an online odds converter.

Different Types of Boxing Bets:

When you bet on boxing matches, you don’t necessarily have to choose the winner of a fight. You can also wager your money on things like which round the bout will finish in, how will it finish, will it go to the distance and many others. Let’s see some of them:

  • Fight outcome. The most popular one, and already explained. You can wager your money on fighter A win, fighter B win, or draw.
  • When the fight ends. You can wager your money on when the fight will end (which round).
  • Way of victory. You can also choose how the fight will end. Will it end by knockout, technical knockout, disqualification, or will it go to the decision.
  • Stoppage or decision. You can wager your money by simply choosing YES or NO to question: “Will the fight go to the distance?”.
  • More or less rounds. For example, if you wager on over 5.5 rounds, that means that you except the fight to go for six or more rounds. If you wager on, let’s say, under 3.5 rounds, that means that you expect the fight is over in three or less rounds.
  • There are also a ton of other betting options like number of punches thrown, a significant number of strikes, number of knockdowns, even things like will fighters touch gloves or not.

Different Types of MMA Bets:

As with boxing, when it comes to MMA, you can also wager on many different things, some being:

  • Fight outcome. You can put your bet on either fighter winning, or the bout ending in a draw.
  • When the fight ends. You can wager your money on when the fight will end (which round).
  • Way of victory. You can also choose how the fight will end. Will it end by knockout, technical knockout, submission, disqualification, or will it go to the judge’s decision.
  • Stoppage or decision. You can wager your money by simply choosing YES or NO to question: “Will the fight go to the distance?”.
  • More or less rounds. For example, if you wager on over 2.5 rounds, that means that you except the fight to go for three or more rounds. If you wager on, let’s say, under 1.5 rounds, that means that you expect the fight is over in the first round.
  • There are also a ton of other betting options like number of punches thrown, a significant number of strikes, number of knockdowns, throwdowns, submission attempts, etc.

With all being said, I sincerely hope that now you have a full understanding of what odds represent (and everything else you should know about odds) when watching your favorite fighters.

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