Vegas Odds (UFC) Explained

image how vegas odds in ufc works

If there’s a sport that’s getting more popular as time goes by, it’s mixed martial arts (MMA). The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is, by far, the most popular promotion in MMA, both among sports fans and among bettors. If you belong to the latter category, you might be interested in learning more about Vegas odds in UFC.

That’s exactly what we’re going to deal with in this article.

So, what are ‘Vegas’ odds? In a nutshell, those are the odds you will see in Nevada’s land-based sportsbooks, which often differ from those available online.

For Example

Let’s say you go to one of Las Vegas sportsbooks such as Golden Nugget, Wynn, or Caesars, that’s where you’re going to see odds displayed like this:

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov (-150)
  • Conor McGregor (-110)
  • Stipe Miocic (+130)
  • Shevchenko vs Maia Over 2.5 Rounds (-110)

You might have come across these sorts of odds, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you know what they mean. The truth is that a large number of bettors have no idea what Vegas odds are, let alone how to use them to calculate their potential winnings. Luckily, we’re here to help you learn everything about Vegas odds in UFC.

How Do UFC Odds Work?

If you see that odds on one fighter are presented as a negative number (e.g., Nurmagomedov -150), it means that they are the favorite. Likewise, if a fighter’s odds come with a positive number (e.g., Miocic +130), it means that the fighter in question is the underdog in that bout. The higher the number, the bigger favorite/underdog the fighter is.

If both fighters are given the same odds (usually -110), it means that they have equal chances of winning. The same applies to all the other markets, like the total number of rounds, method of victory, and so on.

How to Calculate Vegas Odds in UFC?

Now that you know what Vegas odds in UFC mean, the next obvious question is how can you use them to calculate your potential winnings. There are two formulas to use, depending on whether the Vegas odds are displayed as a positive or negative number.

If it’s a positive number, you should go with the following formula:

Vegas Odds/100 x Your Stake

The figure you get from this equation represents your net winning, but you should know that you will get your stake back as well.

If the fighter’s odds are displayed in negative, you should go with this formula:

Your Stake/Vegas Odds x 100

How Vegas Odds Help You Pick the Fight Winner?

Keep in mind that Vegas odds do not equal true probability. The fact that a fighter is a favorite to win does not necessarily mean he/she is actually better than the opponent. At least, not in every case. Sometimes, Vegas odds are reflective of bettors’ behavior. If they’re wagering a lot of money on one player, the odds are going to change in his favor.

Still, in most cases, Vegas odds are as close as possible to true probability. The thing is that the oddsmakers employed by big-name Las Vegas sportsbooks are really good at their job. The result is that the fighters labeled as favorites by Vegas oddsmakers win the fights most of the time.

Using Vegas Odds to Calculate Fighters’ Chances

You can use Vegas odds to calculate the favorite’s chance of winning the fight. It’s done through this formula:

Percentage = (Vegas Odds / (100 + Vegas Odds)) x 100

Note that in this formula you need to use a positive number, even though the odds on favorites are displayed as negative numbers. This may seem confusing, which is why we’re going to explain it through an example.

Let’s say you wish to see what are the chances of Jon Jones winning his next fight, you need to find the odds Vegas sportsbooks are giving on his win. If the odds are -120, for example, you need to divide 120 by 220 (100+120). The result you get, which in this case is 0.54, you need to multiply by 100 in order to get Jones’ chance represented as a percentage. In this case, his chance of winning would be 54%.

When it comes to calculating the probability that the underdog is going to win the fight, here’s the formula you should use:

Percentage = (100 / (100 + Price)) x 100

In this case, too, you will get the fighter’s chance displayed as a percentage. Apart from using these formulas to calculate chances of fighters winning, you can also use it for other wager types as well. This goes beyond UFC – you can use these formulas to calculate probability in literally any sport.


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