MMA Gambler’s Advice Vol. 3: Trust Your Gut
Jun 29, 2013
This is volume 3 in a series of ongoing posts by MMA handicapper Adam Martin that will give gamling advice to all the MMA bettors out there. To read volume 1, click here. To read volume 2, click here. Note that while these posts have been written with betting on fighting in mind, much of the advice holds true when betting on other sports as well.
MMA Gambler’s Advice Vol. 3: Trust Your Gut
I’m going to give everyone a simple piece of advice today, but as simple as it is, it’s going to win you money.
The advice is simple: When betting on mixed martial arts, trust your gut.
Trust your gut. There’s no better way I can put it because it really is as simple as it sounds. When you feel as though you have a good read on a fight or a fighter, chances are you’re probably right.
Sure, everyone else may be betting and picking the other side, and it will probably lead you to have self doubt and force you to go against your gut. But don’t let this self doubt fool you, because you have to trust yourself when betting on fighting and only yourself.
Yeah, it’s nice to see what other people are saying, and when everyone agrees it does make you more confident to place a wager. But just because others are disagreeing with you doesn’t mean they’re right and you’re right; after all, it’s up to the fighters in the cage to decide who wins the bet, not people on the internet.
I’ll give you an example of why you have to trust your gut.
Earlier this year at UFC 157, Robbie Lawler made his return to the Octagon after an up-and-down stint in Strikeforce to take on former UFC welterweight title challenger Josh Koshcheck. With Lawler on a losing skid coming into the match and with Koscheck coming off a very close loss to current No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks, Koscheck was heavily favored at over -450 for many of the weeks heading into the big fight, with the comeback on Lawler available at over +350 until the day of the fight.
Although I saw everyone predicting a Koscheck victory, I actually thought Lawler had a good chance of pulling off the upset and I believed that at +350 he had value. So I posed the question on Twitter to see if anyone agreed and, not surprisingly, no one did. Everyone said Kosheck was going to win the fight easily and that putting money on Lawler was a waste. So I went against my gut and listened to everyone else and picked Koscheck to win the fight instead, and passed up the +350 dog money on Lawler.
Well, it turns out my gut was right all along as Lawler knocked out Koscheck in the first round. But since I didn’t make a bet on it, I didn’t cash out, and it’s all because I wasn’t confident enough in myself to make the play because I didn’t want to go against what everyone else was saying.
But I learned from that mistake, and I promised myself to never make it again in the future. And at the TUF 17 Finale, I got a chance to rectify things.
Kelvin Gastelum was taking on Uriah Hall in the TUF 17 Finale. After destroying Adam Cella, Bubba McDaniel and Dylan Andrews in the TUF house and having UFC president Dana White call him the “without a doubt the most feared guy on TUF ever,” Hall’s betting line was over -400, as the public bought the hype on him. As for little-known Gastelum, even though his run on TUF was just as impressive as Hall’s he wasn’t given any sort of hype whatsoever and was available at over +300.
I saw everyone on Twitter saying that Hall was going to destroy Gastelum, but I didn’t agree. I saw the fight as much closer to a Pick ’em, and when one fighter is available at +300 in that situation, you make a bet on them. Only this time, I didn’t doubt myself as I did with the Lawler/Koscheck matchup and instead I made one of my biggest bets of the year on Gastelum and cashed out big time after he scored the split decision upset victory. And it’s all because I trusted my gut.
Now, obviously your gut can be wrong sometimes. No one is perfect, and you’re rarely going to pick all 12 fights on a card correct. But you’re gut is going to be right more often than wrong and that’s why listening to your gut is going to win you cash over the long haul.
So, remember to be confident in your bets because no one will ever see a fight exactly the same way you do in your head and in your gut and that’s why if you feel super confident about something — even if no one else feels that way — you should steer away from the crowd and place your wager anyways.
When betting on MMA, whatever you do, don’t doubt yourself. Think positive. Be confident. Trust your gut. And win some cold hard cash.