Unfortunately, the MMA betting community attracts a lot of frauds that make the few legitimate MMA handicappers look bad. Here I give you the top 5 signs a MMA handicapper is a fraud. Hopefully it helps…
Note: This article only applies to handicappers and touts. There is nothing wrong with betting on fights within your means for fun in order to make the fights more exciting. If you want to do that, keep doing your thing. The aim here is to help those interested in making long term profit from betting on MMA.
#1: No Third-Party Tracked Record
Without a doubt the #1 thing to look for in a handicapper before following them or listening to their opinion is a third-party tracked record. There are many popular handicappers, and even touts (Twitter is flooded with them), who don’t even track their bets. Not having a public, third-party tracked record is the biggest red flag there is. If you’re a long term winner, there is absolutely no excuse not to track your bets – and that includes the typical excuse of “it’s too time consuming”. It really isn’t.
It’s extremely important to track your bets, which is why every professional gambler does so meticulously. You need to know where you’re finding value successfully and where you need to improve, and there’s always room for improvement no matter how good you are. In any field, you’re not going to trust an expert’s opinion if they have no credentials. Why change the rule for handicappers? Especially if you’re paying them for their opinion. For handicappers, their record is the only credential that matters.
If a handicapper doesn’t have a third-party tracked record, completely disregard their opinion and don’t bother following them. Most of the time they don’t bother tracking because they’re simply not actually profiting long term. Don’t waste your time.
#2: Small Sample Size
Following on from #1, sample size on a handicappers record matters too. It’s really not hard to have a winning year betting on MMA, all it takes is a bit of luck. You only become a legitimate handicapper when you’ve tracked multiple years and still profit over the long term after rebounding from inevitable losing streaks. There’s no escaping bad variance no matter how good you are, especially when we’re betting on fights with 4oz gloves. I’ve been a part of this community for years now, and the amount of handicappers I’ve seen join Twitter, go on an amazing winning streak, get cocky then crash and burn after one losing streak is ridiculous. It happens very regularly.
Despite massive overall success, my record is full of bad months. 2019 has been an amazing year for me and is tracking to be my best yet, winning six months and only losing one at the time of writing. But that one losing month was rough. There’s no escaping bad variance in gambling. But like every long term winner, I kept my discipline through the rough patch, trusted my process and rebounded.
Be careful about handicappers with great records but small sample sizes. They’ve not been tested yet and the ability to handle losses is extremely important for a handicapper.
#3: Betting Openers
When MMA betting odds open, limits are extremely low and it doesn’t take much money at all to drastically move lines in minutes. More often than not, the opening odds are way off so get steamed instantly. Yet some handicappers have no problem putting fake bets on their record with opening odds. This is one of the sleaziest things a handicapper can do, and one of the biggest signs they’re a fraud. Sadly, tracking sites are full of fake lines and therefore totally fake records.
A recent example is the “fight doesn’t go to decision” prop in the Geoff Neal vs Niko Price fight. Due to an error, it opened around -110 on 5Dimes. This line never existed, but a fraud handicapper who now works for the UFC recommended his followers to bet it, and even told everyone he bet big on it personally – a blatant lie. The real line you could get money down on was around -350 at its peak.
If a handicapper ever puts a bet with opening odds on their record, they’re either betting very small or intentionally using fake lines to pad their fake record. Either way, disregard their opinion entirely.
#4: Betting Low Limit Prop Bets and Sticking To One Bookmaker
When you’re a long term winner, it really doesn’t take long for bookmakers to limit or ban you, so moneylines and totals quickly become the only type of bets you can get money down on. You won’t ever see a professional gambler waste their time tracking, for example, low limit props such as “x fighter wins in round 3” or big parlays due to the low limits. If a handicapper has low limit props on their record, again it means they’re either betting very small or padding their record. Unfortunately many touts do this, rendering their record meaningless.
Also, if a handicapper has only been using one bookmaker such as 5Dimes in America or any European bookmaker for a while it’s a clear sign they’re not winning long term. 5Dimes and European bookmakers in particular limit winners very fast.
#5: Risking Too Much Of Their Bankroll
Any gambler who bets big will tell you that the game changes once you’re risking real money. The sweats get worse, the split decisions get more anxiety inducing, every punch landed makes you cringe… You’re forced to be way more selective and smart with your approach. Most handicappers in the Twitter community seem to risk 20-30% of their bankroll and bet on most of the fights per week, which in reality is a one way ticket to bankruptsville. Luckily for them, they’re only betting a few bucks per card so can deposit their bankroll into their one bookmaker account again after their next payday and can forget about it.
For gamblers who are risking real money, losing 20-30 units (20-30% of their bankroll) in one week would be a disaster of epic proportion, which is why you won’t ever see legitimate handicappers EVER risk 30 units on one UFC card. Instead, they are way more selective because they’re actually trying to find select spots where the odds are mispriced, which is how you win long term – not trying to pick winners in every fight regardless of the odds. If gamblers who do in fact risk real money are risking that many units per card on their record, they either don’t understand basic gambling bankroll management and are on their way to going bust, or are padding their record.
Beating the bookies on MMA over the long term can be done, I’m proof of it. If you want good returns on your investments, treat this game like investing. Remove all emotion, bias and pointless outside noise. One of the best ways to do that is to stop following and conversing with handicappers that have the above traits. Believe me, it’s a waste of your time. Good luck!