Please note: These closing numbers are provided by sportsbooks we supply lines to, and we will keep their identity private. These numbers are intended to show you what is going on behind the scenes in the sports gambling industry regarding MMA betting. This week, I bring you the charts from an American facing sportsbook. Last Saturday night, the UFC had one of its biggest cards of the year, featuring an all-heavyweight main card at UFC 146. The main competition for the attention of sports bettors was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Celtics beat the 76ers 85-75, but the UFC came out ahead of the NBA with more betting action overall in terms of total wagers and total amount wagered. The final chart for the NBA playoff game (winner in bold): Philadelphia 76ers +5.5 ($36,500 on 451 bets) vs. Boston Celtics -5.5 ( $166,913 on 1,960 bets) Here are the numbers for the full card of UFC 146: Daniel Pineda EVEN ($8,700 on 83 bets) vs. Mike Brown -120 ($6,800 on 32 bets) Kyle Kingsbury +200 ($500 on 22 bets) vs. Glover Teixeira -250 ($3,200 on 94 bets) Paul Sass +165 ($2,700 on 40 bets) vs. Jacob Volkmann -200 ($8,700 on 101 bets) Duane Ludwig EVEN ($ 11,200 on 75 bets) vs. Dan Hardy -130 ($4,100 on 79 bets) C.B. Dollaway +150 ($15,900 on 100 bets) vs Jason Miller -180 ($8,900 on 352 bets) Jamie Varner +425 ($1,249 on 63 bets) vs. Edson Barboza -575 ($17,509 on 162 bets) Darren Elkins +230 ($7,900 on 55 bets) vs. Diego Brandao -290 ($7,900 on 228 bets) Shane del Rosario +140 ($5,700 on 173 bets) vs. Stipe Miocic -170 ($25,800 on 309 bets) Lavar Johnson +115 ($22,300 on 220 bets) vs. Stefan Struve -140 ($10,878 on 347 bets) Dave Herman +140 ($16,700 on 240 bets) vs. Roy Nelson -170 ($20,200 on 368 bets) Antonio Silva +325 ($5,200 on 226 bets) vs. Cain Velasquez -425 ($46,900 on 473 bets) Frank Mir +450 ($25,400 on 379 bets) vs. Junior dos Santos -600 ($65,300 on 570 bets) I can’t tell you what the TV ratings turned out to be, but it’s clear that the UFC outperformed the NBA in terms of gambling. Total UFC bets were over 4,700 while total bets on the NBA were just over 2,400. Total money wagered on Game 7 was just over $200k and around $350k for the UFC. Certainly in the sports betting world, MMA is catching up to the big leagues like the NBA. Keep in mind, numbers don’t include totals or any proposition bets for either the NBA or the UFC, which were also offered. Other interesting things worth noting in the UFC charts:
- The same amount of money was wagered on each fighter in the Brandao-Elkins matchup, but four times the amount of bets came in on the favorite.
- Velasquez and dos Santos each had more individual bets placed on them than the 76ers had.
- There was double the amount of money wagered on Dollaway but triple the number of bets on Miller.
- The average wager on the NBA was approximately $85 compared to $75 on the UFC.
Favorites at UFC 146 went 8-4, but the four underdogs who did win included Varner at +425, Elkins at +230, Sass at +165 and Dollaway at +150. If you somehow managed to parlay these four dogs together based on these MMA odds, a $25 wager would have brought you back $2,845. If there is anything you are interested in knowing about MMA from a bookmaker’s perspective, just drop me an e-mail at Anthony@mmaoddsbreaker.com, and I will do my best to get the info to you or discuss in a future article.