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When it comes to sports betting in Canada, there is no hardline yes or no in the law books, but gambling is popular and common throughout the country. As such, sports betting has been afforded leeway and individuals are allowed to bet freely. The allowance of sports betting means that betting on Mixed-Martial Arts is currently legal, so the ability to make money on a sport that is still relatively new, and therefore promotes better odds than more established sports.
Because MMA is still evolving, betting sites often given favorable odds for fights. This is especially true for cards that hold fighters making debuts from other countries, or older legends who continue to participate past their prime. What it all equates to is a stronger opportunity for Canadian betters to have a slight edge on linesmakers. While the gap is closing on the advantage, it still exists for those that want to do the research and bet online.
MMA gambling is legal in Canada thanks to the legality of sports betting in general. While there is technically a law that prevents single bets on a sporting event, online gambling is placed in a slight gray area. Parlay betting and futures betting is specifically legal in Canada. That means that multiple bets that are linked on a card or set of cards can be made without concern. Outside of rare occasions, futures are not open for MMA. Unlike team sports, there are no reasons to place Over/Unders on numbers of wins.
MMA uses the 100s system more than the fractal lines system. This means instead of seeing odds like 7/1, that you might see in Hockey Futures or Horse Betting, MMA uses +/- numbers to indicate favorites and underdogs. A +200 means that for every $1 bet, the gambler receives $2 winnings (plus the $1 risked). At -200, for every $1 bet, $0.50 is won (plus the $1 risked). The numbers can range anywhere from +/- 105 to 1500. It all depends on how likely the outcome is to occur.
MMA allows for a long list of betting types that a gambler can delve into. It is important to check with a website to see which props are available. While some sites only allow for Winner-Picks and Over/Under on rounds, some allow everything from finish type to whether or not a particular round even starts. The most commonly found wager types are straight-up winner picks, Over/Under on rounds, and a finish type.
The straight-up winner pick is just as it sounds. Outside of very rare occasions, one person will win and one person will lose. The difficulty arises in finding value in this bet, as linesmakers will often do their homework. If you are sure a fighter will win, there is a strong chance that the linesmakers also assume that individual will win. Thus, finding fights that are closer to even (or a match where you see something the linesmakers do not) is the key to straight-up betting.
The Over/Under bet is based upon the time the two combatants fight. The linesmakers will decide upon the time range for the Over/Under. Quite often it is 2.5 rounds for a three-round fight and 3.5 rounds for championship fights (which are five rounds). A 2.5 round marker means that the line is set at 2:30 on the clock in round two, since rounds are five minutes long. Linesmakkers will sometimes make the Over/Under 1.5 and 4.5 respectively. There is also an Over/Under offshoot, which is a bet on Decision or No Decision.
Finally, there is the “finishing type”, which allows a better to predict how the fight will end. This style of bet often is tied to a winner. For instance “Joe wins by submission” or “Kyle wins by decision”. These bets will often give stronger odds, but also are much harder to land. Unless a fighter is well-known for a finishing type. A better can also place “Not Joe by submission”, which means if the fight ends any way other than a submission for Joe, the punter wins money. It is rare to find good odds for these bets though. However, they can pad parlay bets well.
Other props in MMA are for more advanced and learned betters. Picking rounds that will or won’t start can be a great way to make money if one knows the competitors well. An experienced gambler can bet “Round 3 will start” and “Round 4 will not start” if he thinks the fight will end in round three.
As far as the gambling gray area that exists in this country, we can take solace in the fact that to date there have been no legal actions taken against individuals for online gambling in Canada. Not a single individual has ever been criminally charged for playing at an online casino either. This stands true even there is a law that states such sites ought not operate in a given area.
Laws are still too vague and the problem of changing them is still too new for lawmakers to attempt to convict. There is often an indication that shows a “Trusted Sports Books: Audited & Approved”. Players should ask the company if they do not see such a signal of legality. The best option for Canadian gamblers and sports betters alike is to find websites that state clearly that Canadian players are welcome to play. This helps avoid any unnecessary headaches when trying to collect MMA-bet winnings.
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