Let's be honest here we all have vices: drinking, binging, drugs and yes gambling. We look for a small profit and, in our case mixed martial arts is a good way to make a quick buck. I always liked the integration of statistical science and bridging it across various sports. Look here for personal experiences, tips and mixing stats with the world of sports.
Don't Bet the House!
Probably more of a disclaimer more than anything. Knowing how to impose discipline on yourself is probably the #1 golden rule to sustain in the long term. However necessities like food, housing and providing for your family is the primary need and of the highest order. I myself am a college/university student, and obviously look for a good week end out. Sports should be a source of enjoyment and at the end of the day you are betting, it isn't an exact science.You have to look at your priorities.
Stick to what works
There are no general formula. You have to adapt accordingly with the situation ahead. But as a general rule of thumb stick to a system that works and avoid diverging from your strategy. There are no perfect systems and, for everyone to each his own.
Be realistic by setting appropriate goals
I always look at people and their 7-8 team parlay and meet them with a weird look at a ridiculous payout. Not that it cannot happen, it absolutely can but how realistic is it? Set a realistic goal in your mind and abide by it. Is it a monthly goal or yearly goal? What do you want to achieve with it? A nice vacation, a week end of drinking with friends, or some new toys like a brand new iPad?
Look into research and planning ahead
Doesn't just applies itself to just MMA but other sports as well. MMA may appear easier because in a given context on one-to-one it is simpler to breakdown the fight to some key elements in their game. Whereas in the world of team sports like in the NFL or soccer there are too many variables to take account of. Also look to what you have ahead in sports. Just as an example here's what I had in June. MMA being the biggest sport which I find success in, here is the distribution of the UFCs in terms of my bankroll with four UFC events in June:
TUF 15 finale=15%, UFC onFX3=30%, UFC on FX4=35% and UFC 147=20%
More cards are enticing than others so look to bet more on them - both in terms of known commodities and number of more interesting match ups.
Going through Fight Tape
No doubt going through fight tape plays an essential role in identifying technical analysis to pick out the winner. Other forms of research could be conducted via fight chatter in blogs, injury layoffs, and other sources. You can then gauge opinions of others but ultimately it's up to you by putting your own money up.
The Unpredictive Nature in Team Sports is Ever so Present
You take in account the multitude of factors on different levels makes it hard to analyze. Soccer in particular is quite difficult. Looking at the English Premier League stands one of the most successful teams with Manchester United. Looking at their roster and stats show they should beat the 17th team in the league with Wigan. Yet they lose the game in their home ground despite having the better players and ability. The dynamics of the two sets of sports are very much different on both landscapes of combat sports versus team sports. You can only apply stats to a certain degree.
Tabulating and Setting up a Spreadsheet Could Benefit you Greatly
This mostly for historical relevance on which you can take note from. Look at other variables: which sport are you more profitable in? Have you reached your goal yet? How much should you risk ahead? All relevant questions.
It's all about Risk Management
Simply greed will bring you down. Setting up a system that works for you and managing risk ahead will thank your wallet greatly.
Now let's look at a statistical approach and analytic look into sports gambling; let's see what we have.
Sports Books: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Ask yourself this question: do the lines reflect the fight itself or is it more reflective on public sentiment? Yes usually looking at the lines, it is what they do for a living most reflect a realistic view of the fight but sometimes it isn't so much the case. UFC 114: Rampage vs Evans wasn't a card greatly remembered with a lacklustre main event leaving fight fans a bad taste in their mouths. On that same night emerged on the undercard portion TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah and Dong Hyun Kim, and was a great opportunity for gamblers. While not overwhelmingly, Kim was a decent sized underdog in this fight and why? The fight breakdown suggests a tough matchup for Amir and skills wins fights not notoriety achieved with his exposure on the Ultimate Fighter. On the other end of the spectrum looking ahead we have the next fight in the light heavyweight division with Jon Jones defending his title agains Dan Henderson. Looking at the odds, Jones is currently at -700 meaning that you have to bet $700 to win $100. Converting the money line into percentage of winning we have the following chance: 700/(700+100)= 87.5% of winning the fight. While no doubt I am picking Jones to win in decisive fashion, does to deserve to be such a steep favorite? We all know Henderson from his wars back in Pride Fighting Championship and his return back to the UFC ranks. He always has that big right hand hits having defeated legends like the great Fedor, Wanderlei SIlva and many more. That being said we know what will happen after the first 5-10 minutes. If Hendo doesn't knock him out in the first round or so, expect a long night ahead for the ex-champion. Is the play justified though? NO, it isn't.
The same process of argument can be said about boxing superstars like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao where you can have an influx of capital coming through from casual bettors. Bookies always set high odds for these elite A level fighters.
Sometimes Sh** Just Happens
As much as you can bridge the gaps of the two, there's always the irrational aspect to the game. We love the unpredictability in sports, it's what it makes it great! But take the human element into this.This for instance leads to incompetence from the judging front or the refereeing end.
From just this year alone we have witnessed incomprehensible and baffling decisions in the world of boxing. Look at the hot prospect in Brandon Rios. He was facing against Cuban boxer Richard Abril. That night on April 14th, Rios took a beating from the Cuban until the judges scorecards came. Contested across all boards the boxing world was in disbelief. Yes, the interpretation in judging is subjective but when given a set of criteria, Abril clearly WON that fight. Let's not just forget the recent debacle that was the Pacquiao-Bradley decision.
This could be drawn to parallels in the world of the financial markets. Investment bankers and banking analysts have tried to look to make a profit with the help of analytical data and modelling. With the given research data analysts could then analyse trends in the markets where it to go up or down based from empirical date. But with intangible factors there are occasions where it is not understood. The given phenomenon is Chaos Theory in mathematics. Chaos Theory is in fact a real subject and in the financial world people have tried to tie it up to construct models as there is a level of correlation across those fields. When intangible feelings come in account and, us as human beings we all have various levels of interpretation. This needs to a keen understanding in social psychology.
Stats are useful - in all sports!
Pretty obvious here but you can include physical aspects to this are included. Height, weight, reach are all quantifiable factors which may come into play. That being said though it does indeed vary from your choice of sporting event, in MMA physical traits and weigh-ins are all good indicators but styles ultimately dictate how it will go down. Look at the good people at Fight Metric for further useful information.
To finally finish here, sports gambling can bring a certain profit especially in the sport of MMA. With other sports you have to take in account many variables like the injuries to players, home/away game, even the weather can all impact the result of the game. Developing an effective system can counteract those effects. So to all, gambling can be fun but as always gamble responsibly!