How To Invest in Altcoins (smaller Crypto Currencies)

Last week I wrote my first blog about entering the world of Crypto Currency trading, suggesting investing 5U in Ethereum. I freaked out a bit when Bitcoin and Ethereum crashed a few days later but Ethereum is back to pre-crash levels now and the financial analysis of how Ethereum reacted to that adjustment was really positive (basically it showed it’s in a strong position).

Anyway, I wanted to write a blog about how to invest in the smaller, growing currencies. It’s all well and good hoping on at $350 and hoping to x3 your money over a few months but obviously what you really want is to jump on a really good project on the ground floor (or at least not floor 350) and hope for a x10 or x100.

Whereas investing in Ethereum is really easy (you just join coinbase and buy some), unless someone actually explains how to buy the smaller ones, it’s a bit of a head scratcher. So here we go; a quick how to (and why you should bother).

What are the Altcoins?

Well, there are hundreds of altcoins (basically a name for smaller crypto currencies). A lot of them are just bitcoin rip-offs which are nothing more than a currency but a lot of them are platforms for interesting (and potentially world changing) projects.

To recap a little bit – the concept of the “blockchain”, which cryptos are based on, is essentially combining the resources of all the computers that power that blockchain. Whether that is literally using their CPU processing power or using the hard disk space of the computer, it provides many opportunities for a different way of doing things. Vastly reduced costs of cloud storage, giant super computers similar to e.g. the concept of the Square Kilometre Array Telescope, if you know what that is… I feel like this is a once in a lifetime occurance. That’s why I’ve gone all in on this for the last couple of weeks.

Why Bother Investing In Altcoins?

Well if Bitcoin was phase 1 of the blockchain concept, Ethereum is phase two and all these smaller ones now are phase 3. Without 1 there couldn’t be 2 and without 2 there couldn’t be 3.
A lot of the phase 3 are built on top of Ethereum. Some of them are alternatives to Ethereum. I really doubt they’ll get up to that sort of price, but we really don’t need them to because we’re looking at basically the equivalent of penny stock.

I used the following, well written article as a basis for what alt coins to invest in. It explains very well what they all do, so check it out; Best Altcoins and cryptocurrencies to invest in 2017

Basically I’ve taken 80% of my money out of Ethereum and put it into these coins. In my opinion the two really interesting ones are Siacoin and Golem, so I’ve gone heavier on those two but I’ve spread it pretty evenly. Those buy prices are between 16th and 18th June and current price was on 19th June.

If you want to check out the day to day / month by month progress of any of these cryptos, you can do so here: Ethereum, Stratis, Ripple, Siacoin, Golem, Ardor. *N.B. by the time I finished writing this blog, several of them are up significantly from the values posted above.

Here are some graphs so you can see general progress (that I made for myself as of yesterday). I didn’t make one for Stratis… Not for any reason – you can go have a look yourself on the link above.

1 month progress:

 

3 month progress

 

So that’s WHY you wanna invest in the smaller Cryptos… no words required. Obviously it’s just picking the right ones at the right time. I trusted that article and it’s doing very nicely so far in two days 🙂 So here’s the how:

How to buy altcoins

It looks like you can buy direct on World Coin Index but I’ve not tried personally because you can only buy in USD and I’m in the UK. So for most of us, you have to:

1. sign up to Coinbase and buy Ethereum, then convert that later into different currencies.

Use that link above and they’ll give you $10 free bitcoin. Coinbase is basically the equivalent of Paypal; going from real world currency to crypto currency.
Coinbase is the bottleneck here… It’s a bit shit franky and a bit buggy. Very easy to sign up, but both me and my wife got stuck in a loop of asking us to submit the same ID photo that we’d already had accepted, or telling us we weren’t allowed to enter a bank card because we’d tried to many times already, for about 12 hours…

Anyway, submit your photo ID and that will get accepted in a few minutes. If you get stuck in the loop of ID/bank cards, just leave it till the next day and it will have sorted itself out.

Once you’re past that phase, you’re good to go. Buy however much Ethereum you want to invest. They have pretty steep fees at 4% but that’s the deal I’m afraid!

2. Sign up to Bittrex.

Bittrex is your trading exchange, where you can buy and sell all the currencies. It’s a pretty plain looking place but it does the job.

Once in Bittrex, click on “Wallets” top right, then search for Ethereum. Then click the + symbol to the left of that column.

That popup window will give you a hex address. Now, back on Coinbase go to send/request. Click your ETH balance (important because the default is BTC), paste your HEX address, enter an amount you want to send and send it. Send a small amount first ($10 or so), to check it’s all working properly.

After you’ve pressed send, it will take 5 mins or so to transfer over. Intially it will appear in PENDING DEPOSITS, then move over to AVAILABLE BALANCE.

Now you’re in business.

3. Buying altcoin currencies.

Everything on Bittrex is done in relation to Bitcoin. So any gains / losses in a currency’s stats are in relation to Bitcoin. Any buys and sells have to be done in Bitcoin… So, first we convert our Ethereum into Bitcoin. Back on the wallet page, click the “ETH” text in the SYMBOL column.

(N.B. The reason we’ve bought Ethereum and are now converting to Bitcoin rater than just buying Bitcoin in the first place is because there are lower fees for transferring Ethereum from one location to another).

That takes you to the trading page for Ethereum. Scroll down to the sell section. Click the drop down for “Ask” and click “Last” – that’s the last price at which a sale was completed. Click “Max” to sell all your current Ethereum (if that’s what you want to do), then submit.

You may get an instant sale or your offer may appear in the section below, in the right hand “Ask” section. Your price will have a star next to it. The best price is at the top of the section, so if your star starts to fall down the table, that means someone else is offering a better price than you. You might have to cancel the offer and start again with a different price. You can also select the best price from the top of the left “Bids” section and just buy straight from there without having to set your own sale price.

Search for the currency you want to buy, in the same way you searched for Ethereum. In this case we’ll buy some Siacoin. Click SC and instead of sell, fill out the section for buy.

In the same way your offer to sell would appear on the right, now it will appear on the left. If you get a buyer, you’ll get a blue popup in the top right.

Any currency you’ve bought will now appear in your wallet. That’s it! You can keep track however you like. Personally I log the USD price at which I bought the coins in a spreadsheet. I don’t really care how they do compared to Bitcoin so the Bittrex stats are largely useless IMO. I get that USD info from the worldcoinindex in linked to above.

If you don’t know what to buy, you can’t go far wrong just copying the ones I’ve invested in. Today has been a good day (up about 20% on the portfolio overall) so there might be a dip tomorrow, but ultimately it’s a nice little portfolio that I’m happy with.

For a list of all Crypto Currencies check out Coin Market Cap.

Quick Links
Coinbase
Bittrex
World Coin Index

Placing a 5U bet on…. Ethereum.

NOTE:I’ve updated this blog on 14th June… The more I read up on it, the more complicated it gets. I don’t think Ethereum is a bad investment at all but I wanna explain a few more things, so check out the bottom of the article for more info, if you have read this blog previously.

I’m sure you’ll have heard of Bitcoin. You probably know that Bitcoin is worth a stupid amount of money and you probably wish you knew enough about it to actually have bought some and made a load of money on it. I was going to buy Bitcoin when it was at $900 and didn’t, because I didn’t know how… Well now it’s at $2831.17. That’s annoying.

You’ve probably heard of Ethereum by now too… If not, it’s basically the main rival crypto currency to Bitcoin. I was going to buy Ethereum at $140 (a couple of weeks ago). It’s now around $340-400. That is also annoying. However, it’s slightly less annoying, because I’ve taken the time to learn a bit more about it and actually bought some. By the time I actually got around to it, the price was $310ish. That was 2 days ago.

If you’re on this site, like me, you’re a bettor and a risk taker. You probably spend your weeknight evenings watching fights you don’t really want to watch, looking for small amounts of value over the bookmaker’s odds or contemplating the % chance of a knockout, to see whether a prop bet is worthwile. Generally if all goes well over a few bets, we’re pretty delighted with 30% ROI, for a LOT of work.

I’m happy enough to bet 6U on Pedro Munhoz to beat Damian Stasiak, to win 1U. Absolute best case scenario if we’re talking £100 units, I win £100. Worst case scenario I lose £600. Why the hell not take a 6U bet on Ethereum?

The Ethereum I bought 2 days ago is up 10-20%+ already. It might crash and I might lose all that money but what’s the ceiling and what’s the floor? I’m approaching it like this is a bet, not an investment and my bet is that it won’t. My bet actually is that Ethereum will overtake Bitcoin in terms of market share. In terms of an actual price for Ethereum we shall see but if I’m putting units on it, you can assume I think that it will continue to go up in value. Like with any bet, that prediction is based on research and a significant amount of thinking time.

SO, what is Ethereum? Why is is better than Bitcoin? Why will it go up in value? Is it a “bubble”?

Well the short answer is “does it really matter?” Look at what happened to Bitcoin… basically something similar is happening to Ether. You’re a gambler. Stick a few units on it and forget about it. You lose a few units all the time, so what difference does it make? Here’s the link to buy some, go buy some.

The long answer, is complicated but here goes… From a noob, so forgive me if any of this is a bit off, but I’ll try.

Intro to Crypo Currencies

First of all, crypto currencies aren’t reeeeeally currencies. They’re kind of platforms for doing stuff. Ways for one program to talk to another securely, ways to encode data when it’s uploaded to the cloud, ways to pass currency more quickly between banks etc. That’s why there are so many of them. My mate in the pub, when belittling the concept (yet still being interested in buying), said “I’m gunna invent biddlybong coin then… I don’t get it, it’s just made up”. Well, yeah, they’re all made up but they all do something. Basically look at them like they are their own programming language. You don’t need to understand how the programming works, just have a vague understanding of what each of them are programmed to do.

Here’s an analogy… You know what the cloud is. You upload your documents etc to the internet and it’s stored somewhere “safely”. Well, if it’s all stored in one place it can be hacked. If instead of one cloud it was tiny little droplets of water scattered one droplet in each cloud, that’s a lot safer.

Take one example of sending a payment from your bank to another bank in another country. You use a SWIFT and BIC code to send that transaction. There is a cryptocurrency called Ripple which is being developed to supersede that SWIFT/BIC process, which is slow and convoluted.

Ethereum, according to their website, is “a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.”. Basically it encodes data really well and lets you write secure programs that are virtually impossible to hack, making data safer.

There you go… If you wanna know any more about it, read up on it.

Ethereum over Bitcoin

I’ve read enough about Ethereum to know that it’s ahead of Bitcoin in terms of what it can do and also scaleability, so is more futureproof. Bitcoin has scaleability problems and will have to address those problems at some point this year. There is a lot of nasty infighting in the Bitcoin world in terms of how to deal with that scaleability. It will most likely see Bitcoin split into two – Bitcoin and Bitcoin Classic (something that’s already happened to Ethereum), so as I say, Ethereum is ahead of the curve. When that happens it will probably be a bit chaotic in Bitcoin land, presumably with most people jumping over to the new Bitcoin. Let’s assume that means a dip in the value of Bitcoin. Whether that means a loss of faith in the whole Crypto Currency market or a switch in support from Bitcoin to Ethereum (and other Cryptos), is the question.

I’m sure some people think that means the whole thing crashes. Well that would assume the concept of Crypto doesn’t work and it flat out does. I mentioned Ripple earlier. I read an article today talking about how hundreds of banks are looking into using it instead of SWIFT. That’s faith in the system and faith in the concept. It’s a better way of doing things. Think of it like an upgraded operating system or going from paper filing to digital filing.

Specifically on Ethereum, there are interesting articles popping up like Vladimir Putin meeting with the founder of Ethereum (who is also Russian). With state backing, that’s the sort of thing that pushes Ethereum into a long term market leader for me, keeping it ahead of other upcoming Cryptos.

Mining

So last night I told my aforementioned friend to basically shut up and just buy £500 in Ethereum on Coinbase. He said he was going to but messaged me later saying “I’ve read about mining? What’s mining?” I told him to ring me and I’d explain but he was too busy watching Poldark with his missus. Since then, Ethereum has gone up 17%.

Now, if you read about mining, depending on how well the article is written you might get half way through the first couple of paragraphs and think “fuck this, this sounds dodgy”. When I first read about it, it kinda sounded like “miners” were people trying to hack other people’s existing Ethereum accounts and steal their money…. Basically it was a badly written article.

From what I understand it now, the concept of this sort of cloud programmed security system, relies on loads and loads of processing power. The whole point is that the processing / encryption is decentralised, so you need thousands of computers around the world, whirring away, doing the hard work. That’s what the mining computers are… Your tech geek sets up a super-computer in his bedroom to take part in the encoding and as a reward for that, every now and again they get a bit of currency. That’s the “mining” part; the little reward. I kind of looked at it like quantitative easing as a reward for keeping the whole system working. Mining is a dodgy sounding name for what is essentially the computers that run the system.

What’s The Likely Price of Ethereum?

Fuck knows. Sorry, I know that’s the entire point of the article really but I can’t answer that question and I don’t think anyone can really. I think everyone just constantly adjusts their forecast upwards. When it was $140 the guy who tipped me off said “it’s worth at least $220”. Now people are saying “it’s worth at least $600”.

Perhaps it depends what the actual value of Bitcoin should be. Is Bitcoin over-inflated because it’s so hard to buy? Is that pushing everything else up and when Bitcoin becomes more scaleable and accessible will the price come back down and adjust the whole market? Maybe. But as I say, what’s the worst that could happen? You lose 5 units? You wouldn’t even do that because if the market starts to dip you can sell if you want.

For me though, it’s more than that. It’s kinda like if you could have bought shares in the internet. It’s a new way of doing things. I’m sure it will be superseded by something else one day, maybe when there are quantum-computers, but for now, this is a development in digital jiggerypokery and I think 5U in this is better value than 5U on Tim Johnson to beat Daniel Omielanczuk, whichwas a bet I happily placed.

Where to Buy?

Coinbase at the moment is the only simple place I’ve been able to find. There are lots of day-trading exchanges like eToro but I don’t know enough about that. If you want to just buy some and sit on it, use Coinbase. If you click this link, you’ll get $10 free Bitcoin.

Tools I’m Using

Daily price chart
Current price (displays the price in the browser tab so you can just have the tab open).

P.s.

It’s important to note that the fluctuations on a daily basis are absolutely crazy. You might wanna try and watch the minute by minute fluctuations and buy in a dip or you might want to just take a long term view. Some people are predicting a correction before another upswing. That’s all part of the gamble.

I’m totally getting more than 5U and I’m also researching some of the smaller Cryptos and will be investing in those too. You don’t need me to remind you that this is all at your own risk – this is a betting site and you know that already. Good luck all! 🙂

 

Update 14th June

OK, so obviously with anything like this, it’s more complicated than you can possibly imagine.

The thing that’s caught me out in terms of the scale and sheer clusterfuckery of it, is the concept of the ICO (Initial Coin Offering). ICOs are share offerings in startup companies, whereby the shares are coins and the company is a crypto currency. The concept is fine but the baffling thing about it, is the sheer volume we’re talking about. There are so many ICOs and the amount of money involved is stupidly high, that it does feel like a farce to me.

The biggest ever ICO happened last week where the new offering (Bancor), generated $140,000,000, basically in crowdfunding. All that is paid for in Ethereum.  The people behind Bancor have to put most of that Ethereum back on the market, to actually fund their project. They’ve said they’re going to hold 20% in Ethereum but 80% will be moved on and that’s a massive amount of money, which I’d imagine will stall the market. I would imagine they’re going to be dripping that back into the market pretty slowly to try not to crash the price.

However, the concept of ICOs is what bothers me. They’re too frequent and I think they’re running the risk of making a mockery of the whole crypto currency market. People who don’t really know what they’re doing have made money out of Bitcoin and Ethereum and are just throwing it at these new ICOs trying to make even more money. Loads of them will fail, I’m sure. Also, if the funding is done in Ethereum, that pushes up the price of Ethereum.

Overall, it just feels like a bit of a mess and assessing a rightful value for anything amongst that mess is very difficult. The term bubble gets banded about a lot. It’s a bit of a catch all term for if a market is over-inflated… I don’t think the overall market is over-inflated at all but the spread of value between all the currencies is anyone’s guess really.

I’m still totally happy to have some money in Ethereum. I’m actually going to be looking at the daily fluctuations to see if I can tell what time of day these ICOs are putting their Ether back on the market. If feels like it’s dropping in value in the morning GMT then climbing back up over the course of the day… I’ve started taking screenshots of the daily graphs and will see if that’s the case.

My plan going forward is probably to wait for Ethereum to double up, then take out a % so if it all goes tits up I’ve not really lost out. Then I’ll just keep an eye on the market on a more casual basis. Even if the whole market for cryptos is a bit of a mess, I think Ethereum will continue to go up in price overall but it’s definitely going to be a bit of a judgement call when to sell, because if it gets to $1000 or so, I’m not convinced it will stay there forever.

How I Watch Fights (UFC Betting Interview)

It’s always interesting to here what other bettors prioritise when breaking down fights. YouTube blogger and member of Bet MMA, The 30-26 Breakdown has created a series of videos where he interviews MMA Handicappers about this topic, myself included.

Link to the series as a whole

My two interview videos:
Mike Tycoon
Units Profit: 213.81, ROI: 48%

I have the opportunity to elaborate on some of the points in the videos here and also to add some more stuff.

In my video I mentioned that what I do best is “leaving bets the hell alone“. Great example this week… I spent about 6 hours scouting the Cezar Ferreira vs Elias Theodorou fight. Cezar is pretty much better at everything technically and Elias is super sloppy. I wanted so bad to pick Cezar and I even did a pick writeup for it but if I am not 100% certain on a pick, I leave the writeup and play games for an hour then read the writeup and see if I definitely want to submit. Sometimes I will do a writeup just to arrange the thoughts I have in my head and see if it all makes sense. If I can’t convince myself with a writeup, I’ll ditch it. Even though I’d spent ages and ages on that fight, I just couldn’t back Cezar because of his worse cardio, worse chin and poor fight IQ… All the important intangibles. Though my record doesn’t get any actual credit in the form of a nice big green W; not betting that fight was just as important, if not moreso, because if you are tipping fights then people remember those big fat red Ls more than the green Ws. I’m certainly just as pleased with myself for not tipping that fight as I am for actually tipping a McMann win or a Kongo win from this weekend.
I get 35-50 buys per week on my picks at the moment. I can imagine a few people who bought the picks were like “what the hell? I am paying this dude money to tell me to bet 6 units on McMann and 5 units on Kongo, two big favourites? I would have bet them anyway.” Well, actually, what you’re paying me five whole dollars for is more to watch nearly a full day’s tape on Cezar Ferreira then not get suckered into tipping it just because of all the time I spent on it.

To elaborate on what I meant by picking winners sometimes being an ego thing. Basically, sometimes I feel like people get fixated with trying to pick a winner. They’ll spend hours and hours watching tape for a super close matchup because they wanna prove to themself that they can break down the fight well or they wanna get the right pick in a pickem contest or maybe they wanna look clever to other people… They end up getting obsessed with tiny details like “x puts his foot here when he throws his right hand and I think that gives him a slight edge in the striking” or whatever… It’s OK to say you have no idea who’s going to win, even after watching loads of tape, but sometimes people feel like they HAVE to make a pick because they’ve put so much time into it. It’s much easier to say “this is a super competitive fight. I dunno who’s going to win but neither guy is really a finisher, so I’d say the over hits 80% of the time.” If that 80% represents value (and it usually will), then it’s a much, much better bet.

I had a look through the top few cappers again. Of the guys that bet props:
I’m 45-5 (90%) on overs, 3-1 (75%) on unders.
HedgeFund is 14-10 58% on over and 1-2 (33%) on unders.
Mark Habshade is 50-12 (81%) on overs and 1-2 (33%) on unders.
Iso Soprano is 62-19 (77%) on overs and 0-1 on unders.
Hades Nexus is 15-3 on overs (83%) and 2-2 (50%) on unders.

Obviously a lot of those bets are at short odds so you have to analyse the value further but you can see that at the very least, the people who make the most profit do like betting overs a lot more than unders and have a lot higher hit rate with them too.

Clinch Importance. I asked him to tag this on the end of the second video because I think a LOT of fights are won and lost in the clinch. If you are losing the striking, being better in the clinch is a great out. If you are the better striker, if you can also dominate the clinch then it’s going to put them in a really bad place where they have to land a takedown from range.

Because the clinch is so based on fundamentals (it’s pretty much just always a battle for underhooks and clinch control / positional advantage), I think you can rate people pretty well on their clinch ability if you have enough common opponents or a frame or reference. I don’t think you can rate any other aspect of the game in terms of an MMA Math “A beat B and B beat C so C will beat A”…. but in clinch, I think there’s a very strong chance that will be the case.

Corrections:
Just to correct a few things that weren’t what I meant or were a bit off.
– In vid 2 he mentioned flyweights coming off a loss. He said it’s debuting fighters but it’s not, that’s all fighters at the weight.
– Clinch hierarcy for the women’s bantamweight. He put Eye at the top but I have her right near the bottom 🙂 Unlucky Jessica 🙂 I do this for all weights, not just one weight class.
– Saparbek Safarov. I never mentioned that going to a decision. I actually bet that Villante would win inside the distance. The point was correct though. If someone has an inflated finishing rate due to poor opposition, I’ll often consider the over or a bet on them winning by decision. Even if you have two guys with high finishing rates coming in and fighting each other, I often look at the over. When you face a dangerous guy you are more cautious, even if you are a dangerous guy yourself, so sometimes they cancel each other out. Also, if you’re getting finishes yourself and not being finished, you probably have a better chin than the people who are getting finished… So two finishers against each other is often two good chins against each other.
– Listening to commentators in general and commentators being harsh or vice versa: They were being hard on Paige Van Zant in the Rose fight, rather than the other way around. To elaborate, I can understand the concept of watching with the sound off to “avoid bais”, but I don’t really think that’s backing yourself very much as a capper, if you don’t think you can tell when a commentor is talking bullshit… For me, you certainly gain more insight from having the commentary on, than problems you might cause yourself from potentially being swayed. Whether the fighter listens to their corner, whether they listen to ref instructions, whether they’re breathing heavily or not or sounding frustrated…. Not to mention mitigating circumstances for past poor performances that you will hear in the commentary.

And finally…
One thing I think is really important that was missed off. I DO listen to plenty of other people’s opinions. Again, this is kinda like the commentary thing. Why not take in extra information? If you don’t listen to other people, you’re basically a narcissist imo. Or if you don’t listen to other people because you don’t trust yourself not to be swayed… man…. back your own intelligence! If you can’t disagree with someone, you’re probably not going to be very good at analysing in general because analysing stuff is all about weighing up information, whether that is previous fight performance or other people’s take on a fight.
What I would say though – if you don’t have a really good memory, take notes on other cappers and their opinions if it helps! Treat them like they’re a fighter that needs analysing and rating.

I’ll give you one example. The MMA Vivisection guys… I listen to their podcast (one of 3-4 I listen to) and they are good at breaking down the main card. However, they talk with equal certainty about fights they clearly have not researched at all, so you have to be super careful when it comes to their undercard analysis.

For example, the Asker against Smoliakov fight, they both agreed with each other (which they tend to do when they don’t know, rather than just saying they don’t know), that Smoliakov should be the favourite and the money coming in on Asker made no sense. They stated that Smoliakov was the more natural striker and the better grappler bla bla bla… Basically everything they said was completely and utterly wrong and I could tell they hadn’t watched any tape on it at all specifically for this fight (they probably just watched some fights ages ago and were trying to remember). I only knew this because I had watched about 6 hours of tape for the fight and was betting Asker. To listen to them talk though, you’d think they’d watched tape too because they talk with too much confidence.

Once you know that though, you can listen for little tells that really they haven’t really got much of an idea on a fight and just ignore what they’re saying when you think that’s what’s happening. It would be infinitely more helpful if they just said they have no idea and move on but they addressed that criticism in their latest podcast by basically saying “if we just said we don’t know all the time, there would be no point in the podcast.”… That totally misses the point because sometimes you do know and sometimes you don’t but whatever.

In general I would say the most important thing I look for in someone else’s opinion is if they acknowledge why they might be wrong. If somoene comes out saying “x is definitely going to win, no question, this other fighter sucks”, I’ll generally make a mental note to pay very little attention to that person’s opinion. Good bettors are analysing % chance in their head and juggling lots of thoughts in their head about potential outcomes, whether they know they are doing it or not. If someone is absolute and certain in their analysis, they’re not doing that.

Other videos in the series

As I mentioned at the beginning of the blog, all the other guys in the series also track their bets on Bet MMA, so here are their videos.

Dan Levi – Half The Battle / Best Fight Picks
Units Profit: 67.53, ROI: 14%
Levi is currently on a good streak. He bets small unit amounts so he’s further down the leaderboard than he should be in 16th but if you view the adjusted table, he’s currently top if you use the default adjusted bet amounts.

 

MMA Prophet
Units Profit: 79.19 ROI: 29%
As mentioned in my last blog already, this guy’s doing a really good job and is getting the second most sales on the site each event, after myself. I would like to see him add pick writeups to the site as I’m sure they’d be well thought out (I know you’ll be reading this bud) 😉

 

Sean Carey Tattoo / Thunder Dick Picks
Units Profit: 45.27, ROI: 11%
Very different from my personal philosophy and style of betting but check out his profile and see what you think and if he matches your personal style.

UFC Fighters To Watch In 2017 (Part 2)

I asked anyone on the site if they wanted to contribute their own thoughts in terms of fighters to watch this year. Response was thoroughly underwhelming but never mind! 🙂 One person who put a lot of effort into their list was MMA Prophet, so here is his full email. At the end I’ll also include one other good reply I got.

It’s no surprise that MMA Prophet is currently 2nd top in terms of sales on the site. When you put effort in like this into a writeup, people appreciate that. Follow him and buy his picks! 🙂

Note: he sent me this on 8th January.


MMA Prophet
79.19 units profit, 29% ROI

Ranked fighters who will push on to the top of the division:

Flyweight

Ray Borg: Young/Talented Grappler who made the transition to Jackson Wink MMA. The sky is the limit for him and he has all the time in the world to get there at only 23 years of age. He also just thrashed Smolka. Once he gets his striking to that next level he will be a feared top-level contender.

Featherweight

Mirsad Bektic: He’s a killer with great wrestling, KO power and the skills to submit his opponents. He is undefeated and that’s for a reason. He also trains with American Top Team and the sky is truly the limit for him. Can’t wait to see what he can do.

Welterweight

Jorge Masvidal: One of the most undervalued ranked fighters to ever grace the octagon. He doesn’t really get finished and when he loses it’s a really competitive match up and arguable the fight could go either way. The guy is super well rounded and trains with killers at American Top Team. One of his main training partners is Colby Covington as well and if that wrestling knowledge and grit rubs off in any way on Jorge it makes him an even more lethal threat. I predict he beats Cerrone pretty decisively and steals Cowboys thunder. Cerrone doesn’t respond well to pressure and I’m sure Masvidal will bring the heat. He will be top 5 at the very least.

2nd picks

Lorenz Larkin: Phenomenal striker, I hope he stays in the UFC but a match up like him vs Gunnar Nelson could be interesting to see who is more deserving to ascend. Grappler vs striker, will Gunnar be able to out power Larkin and take him to the mat? I would love to see this matchup

Gunnar Nelson: Great grappler, improving striking, if he can get opponents to the mat it’s over (Besides Maia 😉 ).

Light Heavyweight

Misha Circunov: Amazing grappler with ever improving takedowns and striking. His performances have been extremely dominant and in 2 fights I think we could see him easily ranked #3. He has a good fight IQ, is measured and finds ways to win. *Also* He picked Grab and Nunes to win their last match ups, this may be irrelevant but he understands what people bring to the table and I like that.

Heavyweight: 

Francis Ngannou: He’s not human. He’s at a level where his sheer power can overcome skills his opponent poses. He has great stand up, he has shown he can submit people and he’s just an all round finisher. Next year he should break top 5 and maybe even fight for the belt. This is the kind of guy that could become a huge draw because of his physical attributes (like an Arnold Schwarzenegger) and UFC matchmaking should give him some good match ups to get to the top.

Women’s Strawweight

Jessica Andrade: A powerful tank of a girl with lethal standup. When she hits girls they don’t know what to do, much like an Amanda Nunes. Since moving down to strawweight it seems as though the sky is the limit for her. With her power as well it makes it easy for her to outwrestle opponents and make them pay with vicious ground and pound.

Michelle Waterson: Waterson is an extremely skilled striker and grappler who trains with an amazing team at Jackson Wink MMA. I feel like Waterson can make a big run for the strawweight belt but if she’s paired up with Andrade it would be a tough matchup for her. Waterson may out skill Andrade in kicks and BJJ but when it comes to boxing and wrestling I’m giving the edge to Andrade and that could be the difference. I see them both being top 5 or top 3 in the near future.

Just outside the rankings who will push into the rankings:

Heavyweight

Curtis Blaydes: Great wrestling, improving striking, and a big powerful heavyweight. His only loss is to Francis Ngannou who’s one of my favourite ranked fighters to break into the top 5 for the HW division.

Light Heavyweight

Jarrod Cannonier: Since his move from heavyweight to light heavyweight he has looked really sharp and has defeated top a prospect in Ion Cutelaba who’s only loss was to my top prospect Misha Circunov. At Heavyweight he gave Cyril Asker his first loss by KO and that dudes head is ginormous, which is usually indicative of a grant chin. His chin is good but that shot Cannonier delivered was something else. Cannonier has crisp powerful strikes, decent wrestling and positional control and above all he doesn’t like to take damage. He’s got a big test ahead of him taking on Glover Teixeira who is ranked #3, if Cannonier finds a way to beat his relatively chinny opponent he will find himself ranked just like that. Not to mention the light heavyweight division is pretty shallow so it shouldn’t be an issue.

Welterweight

Santiago Ponzinibbio: Lethal striker with great accuracy and takedown defense. To tell you the truth I’m shocked that he isn’t ranked yet. He is on a 3 fight win streak and needs to dispatch of Nordine Taleb to prove he’s a real contender in that stacked division of killers. Nordine is a much stiffer striker, has fought worse competition and has had some close calls where Santiago has lost to great people and beat some killers as well. We will definitely see him ranked soon.

Flyweight

Ben Nguyen: Lethal striker with pinpoint accuracy, he was on a tear until Smolka derailed him with outstanding grappling and ground and pound in the scrambles. That was a mistake from a young fighter but since then he has hired a mental coach and had a dominant victory over Geane Herrera who had fought the better competition out of the teo. If he fights Smolka again I would easily pick Ben to win and he should keep the fight standing or scramble to his feet. If that fight does happen they basically swap ranks and my prophecy comes into fruition.

Lightweight

Will Brooks: He’s a dominant wrestler with solid striking and he trains with the killers at American Top Team. He suffered his first loss in 3 years recently to Alex Oliveira who missed weight by 10 lbs and cracked Brooks’ rib during the fight. Will was arguably winning the grappling exchanges, even with a 10 lb deficit but the pain from his rib injury proved to be too much. All that aside he was a dominant champion in balloter and I see him busting into the rankings in the UFC real soon.

Newbies who looks like prospects:

 Flyweight

Jenel Lausa: Excellent technical Muay Thai striker with a decent enough ground game to defend and even maintain top pressure. He has some serious KO power for the weight class and he’s also shown he can be measured and do what it takes to win a 3 rounder against someone who stricktly wants to take him down.

Featherweight

Shane Burgos: He trains with the likes of Jimmie Rivera and has showed he can hang with UFC fighters as well. Solid submission and smart technical stand up. Room for improvement but I see him climbing the ranks and becoming a contender.

Lightweight

Alex Volkanovski: Talented all round fighter who is a proven finisher. He was a dominant champion in another organization and his debut in the Octagon was long overdue.

Marc Diakese: He has looked great in his last two performances. What he lacks in striking he makes up for in powerful grappling capabilities. He shows everything a coach would want in a fighter to be able to mold them into an even more lethal weapon.

Drakkar Klose: His octagon debut is coming up at UFC Phoenix and it should be a dominant performance from the footage I’ve seen. He’s composed, sharp and has some serious power.

Welterweight

Abdul Razak Alhassan: KO wizard. None of his fights have made it past the 2-minute mark and he’s in it to win it. Looks like a physical specimen so with the right team and coaching the sky is the limit for young Abdul.

Middleweight

Andrew Sanchez: He’s shown he is a great grappler and does what’s necessary to control and win the fight. In his last fight he showed off a bit of his striking and beat a legit UFC vet in Trevor Smith who was on a 2 fight win streak. With the right training the sky is the limit.

Gerald Meerschaert: Another long overdue arrival into the UFC with a record of 25 and 8 (only 2 of those wins going the distance) and with past victories over the likes of Sam Alvey and Joe Gigliotti. He’s on a 6 fight win streak and has never been knocked out. He showed great grappling and submission skills against Gigliotti and should have a decent future in the UFC with some bumps along the way.

Heavyweight

Justin Ledet: He’s shown great work in the Octagon so far, utilizing his jab and even showing of some of his underrated BJJ. The guy is small for the heavy weight division but he still packs a punch and makes up for it with agility and slick boxing technique. Even if he loses or makes the drop to light heavyweight I see a cool career ahead of him. Very entertaining fighter.

People I think will fade away and we should bet against:

Michael Bisping: (If he ever fights a top 4 Middleweight again lol) he’s getting old and taken a lot of damage. He has children and other career opportunities as well. When Michael loses again he will most likely retire or only come back for super fights if the money is right.

Johnny Hendricks: Severe decline/USADA.

Anthony Pettis: Severe decline and head seems to be elsewhere.

Thiago Santos: Incredibly chinny with bad fight IQ.

Mike Pyle: Incredibly chinny and old.

Gian Villante: Terrible fight IQ and cardio, he doesn’t seem like he want this as much as his opponents.

Raphael Natal: Terrible fight IQ, old, and regressing.

Cole Miller: Head is no longer in the game.

Mid-level career resurgence:

Tim Elliot: We saw his performance against Mighty Mouse, giving him one of his most difficult tests to date. Tim Elliot may never become champ but he does have all the tools and skills to become a top contender.

Demian Maia: For obvious reasons, he’s already going through it technically.

Junior Dos Santos: They have put a really easy fight in front of him with Stephan Struve and Junior is deadly to anyone in the Heavyweight division.

Eddie Wineland: This is a maybe and it really is dependent on the match ups they give him. He has the potential to win his next 2 but I don’t see him gunning for that belt again given his poor defensive striking style. All that said I think he can win one or two more depending on the matchup.


The following is from Jonathan Murray
9.52 units profit, 22% ROI.

To Follow:
Jessica Andrade: I believe she’s going to have a breakthrough year this year. I would go as far as to say that she will be the first fighter to defeat Joanna champion should she get the opportunity.

Excellent boxing mixed with strong grappling. Having been a relatively competitive undersized 135lb’er. She’s moved on in leaps and bounds since comfortably getting to 115lbs. We know she’s durable as hell and willing to take some contact to improve her position.

I think she may be a slightly more polished version of Claudia Gadelha in the offensive grappling area. She also packs enough power and volume to potentially disrupt JJ’s rhythm.

I think she’s a great prospect at 25 and has many good years ahead of her.

To Fade:
James Gallagher
John Kavanagh’s second coming of Conor. He’s not. Not even close. I believe there’s much more hype than substance to Gallagher and personally can see him evaporating into lower level MMA shows than Bellator.

He’s a long way from the finished article and for all the bravado and talk about his ground game, he struggles to apply it against low-mid tier opposition. He’s not a great striker and has almost a one dimensional game.

He might have McGregor’s swagger and self confidence, but it’s as misplaced as claims that Cathal Pendred could be a great striker because he trained in the same gym as McGregor.

Gallagher seems to have concentrated more on marketing than the thing that will actually matter. Performance. For that reason I’m waiting on him to get some proper opposition so I can bet against him. This one is all about timing I think.

UFC Fighters to Watch in 2017

I was a little unsure whether to post this blog because it kinda pisses on itself… If I go telling people who I think are good fighters (and particularly underrated fighters), then the lines probably aren’t going to be as good. In the end I thought there are enough people doing this that this will get lost in the fog and really, I’m not that important 😛

Breaking through level 1
People already in the top 15 UFC fighter rankings, who I expect to make a push for the top of the division.

Jessica Andrade USADA is the only thing that bothers me about this pick. That aside, I think she’ll get a title shot this year and I would not be the least bit surprised if Andrade absolutely demolishes Joanna Jedrzejczyk. I think she would have smashed Moroz, so hopefully they make that matchup again.
Ranked at #5 in the official UFC rankings. MMA Junkie only have her at #11 which is fucking ridiculous considering they have Alexa Grasso at #6.
Big power, impressive wrestling, a really solid gas tank and a good chin. She doesn’t really look any different to how she looked at 135lbs and she was contending with the top of the tree there. Much, much bigger girls like Pennington, who is a very good clinch fighter and an absolute grinder, who has had her breakout year this year.
Joanna has been rocked by people with a LOT less power than Andrade. Given her good gas tank, I find it hard to envisage JJ not getting smacked around at some point and JJ does not have power to deter the Andrade attacks. So that’s basically given away what I presume will be one of my picks at some point late in the year.
I just finished listening to The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani giving out his end of year awards and predicting his end of year award winners for 2017 – Both he and his co-host predicted JJ as female fighter of 2017. I’m going with Andrade for mine (assuming she doesn’t get popped), so we shall see.
Misha Cirkunov A bit of a tricky one because it depends who he is matched up against. However, in an aging division, he’s someone I see making continued improvements and picking off a couple of the guys above him. If he gets matched up against Bader then possibly he gets wrestle-fucked but I don’t think that’s a bad matchup due to Bader’s chin. Gus looked poor in his last fight, OSP I think is a poor and massively overrated fighter, Manuwa would certainly test his chin but I’d favour Misha, Rua is pretty much done, Rumble would be an interesting fight but basically you get through the first round and a half and Rumble is there for the taking. I don’t think we’re looking at a title shot for Misha this year but a couple of competitive but impressive wins seems most likely.
This writeup could be written for Corey Anderson. The reason I haven’t gone for him is because he does look like he has a duff chin. Cirkunov looks like he has a good chin to me. His weakness is possibly his cardio, so I would want to see him perform well in a R3 before I get really confident but skills wise I think he’s legit.

Breaking through level 2
The following fighters are ranked outside the top 15 in their division but I believe will have a good year and stand a good chance of moving into that top 15.

Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman These two could be pretty interchangeable in terms of a writeup.  They would both merk a lot of guys in the top 15 and it’s a bit ridiculous that they’re not ranked already. I wouldn’t bet anyone outside of Woodley against either of them. I would definitely back them both to beat several of the top 15, though I’m not gunna say who in case those matchups get made 🙂
The knock on Covington was his standup. I actually think his standup has been pretty decent for a while (back as far as the Pyle fight) and people started to realise that a bit more in his last fight. My main problem with him is the stuff he says… he says a lot of dumb shit and that doesn’t fill me with much confidence in terms of decision making at the highest level.
Usman seems more level headed but perhaps a little less of a threat to be a finisher more long term. Again, the opportunity for prop betting the decision is there, particularly for Usman.
Justin Scoggins He lost his last fight against Munhoz but the guy is legit and that was a terrible matchup. His main problem is his lack of power but that also opens up opportunities for prop betting – Scoggins by unanimous decision.
Kevin Lee Dude is just good at stuff…. He’s good at taking you down and beating you up and he’s good enough at striking to hang with most people.
Rustam Khabilov …. by decision. Will probably wrestle-hump his way into the bottom of the top 15 where he’ll find his natural level but he’s just there to bet on by decision every time.
Santiago Ponzinibbio I’d kinda forgotten this guy existed till I had a look through the fightmatrix rankings site to see if I’d missed anyone. He’s older than I thought he was but still just about young enough to be making improvements as a semi-prospect. I would take him to beat at least 1/3 of the current top 15 at welterweight, which I think is probably the most inaccurate list in terms of actual talent at the weight.
Nordine Taleb He got a surprise KO in his last fight and if he’s added power to his game, that’s a massive bonus. A grinder in the mould of Covington but with a lower tempo… However, as very much an under the radar guy, it’s not so much I think he’s going to end up being a top 15 guy, I just think he’s going to offer value depending on the matchup.
Vicente Luque It’s possible that the impressive KOs will negate any value here. However, adding that power is something that has piqued my interest. At 25 he’s an interesting age. He’s showed poor defensive wrestling on TUF and in his loss to Michael Graves but I think that’s a hole he can fill in. I wouldn’t bet him against any dominant wrestler until we see for sure though.

Newbies
Could easily end up top 15 but more likely will just make a decent impression. Less fights and more question marks than the fighters above.

Tatiana Suarez She absolutely carved up the (decent level of) competition on TUF and in the finale. Impressive offensive grappling should be enough to pick off a lot of competition in this division. I’d have to remind myself of her standup, so that’s a possible hole.
Justin Ledet Another who could have gone in the breakthrough category. In a weak division we could easily see him zoom into the top 15 in one or two more fights. Very good striking and very good jiu jitsu but we’re yet to see his wrestling. There are a lot of big lumps at heavyweight so he could get wrestle-humped to a decision loss. He also doesn’t appear to have massive power. If he can make 205 then I’d say that was a better fit and he could be kind of like an upgraded Magnus Cedenblad. At 265lb I think the options are probably limited by his size but he’s someone I’ll be keeping an eye on.
Tyson Pedro Very little to go off but what he have seen looked impressive. A dominant grappler with power.
Matthew Lopez At this weight you kinda hit a brick wall in the top 5-8 fighters but this guy has a good all round game. He’s got nice scrambles and generally just a good, scrappy, fighter’s instinct.
Shane Burgos a Lando Vanatta-ish style perhaps in his debut (from recollection). Not the sort of fighter I like betting on because he’s a risk taker but he looked way ahead of the curve in terms of a debut fighter.

Quick Mentions & Turnarounds
Zak Cummings I think he’ll run the table on this vets season of TUF. I’m not sure he’ll do much beyond that but a season of TUF is worth a mention.
Lauren Murphy In a threadbare division, she’s been on the wrong end of some iffy decision and as such will be under-valued.
Nina Ansaroff It will be very interesting to see how she gets on this next event. Competitive fights against two good fighters in Lima and Kish but ultimately she showed tactical weakness in staying on bottom too long. She’s had a long layoff now and if she can display better takedown defense and a more urgent desire to scramble and escape, she could pick off 2 or 3 top 20 fighters.

When should you hedge bet? (MMA)

Blog by Mike Tycoon (site owner of Bet MMA). Link: MMA Handicapper Profile
Blog post also includes general discussion of use of bet value analysis tools and when you should bet props in general.

This is a bit of a cathartic post for me after failing to post what I believe was an obvious hedge bet on Michelle Wateson by submission against Paige VanZant. I stated in my writeup that whilst I was picking VanZant, I thought she would be in significant peril early;

“I’m pretty sure that at some points PVZ will end up in bad positions (maybe getting mounted, maybe ending up in armbars) and you’ll probably go “oh man, this was a bad pick” but in the end PVZ will wear Waterson down and come out with a win, hopefully by late stoppage because those odds are crazy good.
…..
[Paige] gives up bad positions to escape, so I would worry about Michelle diving on a sub: That’s the reason I give her a 30% chance of winning rather than the KO, so bear that in mind if you want to hedge. You can get Waterson by sub at 8.0 / +700.”
You can read the full writeup on my handicapper profile.

So why didn’t I actually post a hedge bet tip? I was giving that early sub a rougly 25% chance of happening and the odds suggested just a 12.5% chance of a Waterson sub. That’s a hudge edge. I can’t remember the exact odds but Waterson Sub R1 was at least 16/1,

I’ve made a new betting tool this week: A bet value calculator. It lets you input the odds offered by a bookmaker, then your own perceived odds / probability. If you input 8.0 as bookie odds, then 25% chance as your perceived chance, that pumps out an average ROI of 100%.

The point of that tool is to make you bet sensibly, based on the cold hard facts of ROI. The difficult thing is following through.

Just 4 events prior to this missed hedge opportunity, I did basically exactly the same hedge under very similar circumstances. I believed Scoggins had roughly a 75% chance of a win at 1.61 odds. That on its own is only an average ROI of 21%. That’s just about enough in itself to justify a bet but for me, Munhoz’s only real chance of a win was a sub. So to hedge out we’ve covered virtually every eventuality with just an extra 0.5 units and had a 1U profit if Munhoz won by sub or if Scoggins won by any method.

scoggins vs munhoz submission bet

So I’ve been thinking a lot about why I did this hedge officially and not the Waterson sub hedge. Virtually the same odds, virtually the same % chance given by me of them coming off.

I think the reason I went for the Munhoz hedge was because I viewed Scoggins as having a much lower chance of getting a finish and I also believed Munhoz would be dangerous for the whole fight with that guillotine.

On the other hand, I believed (and still believe) there was a very limited window where Waterson would be dangerous. Once PVZ got through 1 and a half rounds, I thought the fight was all hers and I thought she’d get a finish.

However, there’s flawed logic at work here. It shouldn’t matter if there’s a 1 minute window for a fighter to win or a 15 minute window. If you view the chance of a finish at 25% in both instances, you have to use the same logic. Hedge if there’s value in hedging!

You don’t always have to hedge to make the same profit no matter what the outcome. I frequently put on a cover bet to break even if a perceived risk occurs. In this instance I wish I had put 1 unit on Waterson to win by submission at any time. If it came off I would still have lost money on the fight as I had 8U on PVZ straight up at 1.91 and 1.4U on round props. However, it’s all about bankroll management. Best case scenario I’d make a massive profit on a R4 or 5 finish. Worst case scenario I’d make a 3.4U loss on the fight; a pretty insignificant worst case scenario for a massive potential win. As it is I lost 9.4U on the fight, which is definitely significant.

I will say that you can’t hedge on everything; it gets too complicated and you just eat away at your profit. However, again, try and use raw numerical facts where possible, not just instinct. To do that, use the Bet MMA site’s “your odds tool“. Fill in your % chance of each thing happening then compare the odds produced at the bottom of the page to the real odds offered. If you can cover 90% of the outcomes instead of 70%, for a slightly smaller profit, DO IT. DO IT EVERY TIME.

Interestingly, if you JUST bet these hedges, and your analysis is accurate, you’ll actually generate a better ROI just from the hedges. That Munhoz sub prop generates a perceived ROI of 125%. Comparing that to the Scoggins straight up ROI of 21% and it really makes you think. If you don’t mind losing more bets than you win, it’s a very credible and actually far more sensible way of betting to just bet props… as long as your analysis is good of course! 🙂

Below is my pre-fight breakdown for the PVZ vs Waterson fight in terms of % chances of each thing happening. (Done using the your odds tool).

Paige VanZant vs Waterson Odds

N.B. This is a rough approximation of my thoughts based on what I remember entering… Looking at my writeup I was saying a 1.43 odds for PVZ straight up so I was giving Waterson a lower chance by 3% on something… Anyway you can only approximate your thoughts either after or before the fight….

The point is, I didn’t follow through properly on my own analysis, however approximated. I bet PVZ straight up which is an average ROI of around 30%. Comparatively, the Under 4.5  was available at 2.25 decimal (+125 American) and my suggested line for that was 1.37, which means an average ROI of 64.23%. So if my analysis was right, I should really have gone big on the under. My bias prevented that because I hate betting the under. I think inherently it’s a risky bet as compared to betting the over, which I bet very regularly (38% of my prop/parlay bets) and hit at a very high percentage (90%). Whilst that sounds great, it’s at much lower odds. I just don’t like losing and am a bit of a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of a guy when really, the logical numerical thing to do is trust the numbers and if that means betting the under sometimes, I’ve gotta do it.

I made the bet value calculator this week specifically because this is something I want to get better at. Hopefully you will see more props from me going forward and I would encourage you to use both of the tools I’ve linked in this blog on a regular basis to tighten up your own ROI.

Quick links for access:
My Odds Tool for MMA Fights
Bet Value Calculator

Does betting parlays in MMA make sense?

I was prompted to write the blog after I saw two good level handicappers saying that betting parlays was a bad idea and that ultimately you end up losing money when compared to just betting the sections of the parlay individually. That seemed counter to my own experience, so I wanted to analyse it properly.

From anecdotal evidence of my personal betting, I’ve found parlays to be really successful. However, it’s possible that I was remembering all the wins and discarding losses from my memory banks. I’ve got a whole database of bets to look through though, on Bet MMA, so those stats won’t lie… let’s have a look.

I ran a script that imagined every parlay bet was for 1 unit. I then split those parlays into bits and also calculated what the total winnings / losses would have been if, instead of betting 1 unit on the whole parlay, we bet 1 unit on each of the individual sections.

Now, first of all, it certainly doesn’t look to me like you net lose by betting on parlays. For everyone in the database, here are the stats.

Number of Parlays: 1263
Won: 540 (43%), Lost: 723 (57%)
Winnings: 208 (ROI: 17%)
Average Odds: 2.32

Number of Parlay Sections: 3047
Won: 2032 (67%), Lost: 1015 (33%)
Winnings: -35 (ROI: -1%)
Average Odds: 1.46

As you can see, my initial gut instinct appears to be correct. Whilst most parlays lose, it’s more profitable to bet parlays than the individual sections of the parlays. Handicappers in our directory were risking 41% of the bank balance they’d risk betting all the individual sections, whilst actually ending up with a profit compared to what would have been a loss.

What’s also very interesting, is that people appear to have bet the wrong amounts on each parlay. Whilst betting 1 unit on every parlay in our database would have returned the above profit, the actual profit was only 16.79 units from  3,574.8 units bet.

That’s very interesting and something I’ll look into more further down the article. In terms of a few more basic stats:

For the top 10 of the MMA handicapper directory.
Number of Parlays: 218
Won: 115 (53%), Lost: 103 (47%)
Winnings: 67 (ROI: 31%)
Average Odds: 2.20

Number of Parlay Sections: 512
Won: 377 (74%), Lost: 135 (26%)
Winnings: 53 (ROI: 10%)
Average Odds: 1.43

My own public tip stats
Number of Parlays: 28
Won: 15 (54%), Lost: 13 (46%)
Winnings: 48 (ROI: 170%)
Average Odds: 3.79

Number of Parlay Sections: 95
Won: 77 (81%), Lost: 18 (19%)
Winnings: 43 (ROI: 46%)
Average Odds: 1.52

Again, from both of these two sets of stats, you can see that betting parlays is more profitable. Obviously the better handicappers at the top of the leaderboard have a higher percentage of correct overall parlays and individual picks within those parlays. We would still be making money betting the individual sections but we’d be risking a lot more and not getting as good returns.

I’m going to break it down into the profit by the number of legs in the parlay and see if that makes any difference, to see if less legs = more profit or vice versa.

Parlays with 2 legs
Number of Parlays: 892
Won: 427 (48%), Lost: 465 (52%)
Winnings: 31 (ROI: 3%)
Average Odds: 2.08

Number of Parlay Sections: 1780
Won: 1191 (67%), Lost: 589 (33%)
Winnings: -42 (ROI: -2%)
Average Odds: 1.45

Parlays with 3 legs
Number of Parlays: 266
Won: 93 (35%), Lost: 173 (65%)
Winnings: 55 (ROI: 21%)
Average Odds: 2.79

Number of Parlay Sections: 792
Won: 542 (68%), Lost: 250 (32%)
Winnings: 10 (ROI: 1%)
Average Odds: 1.44

Parlays with >3 legs
Number of Parlays: 105
Won: 20 (19%), Lost: 85 (81%)
Winnings: 123 (ROI: 117%)
Average Odds: 4.87

Number of Parlay Sections: 475
Won: 299 (63%), Lost: 176 (37%)
Winnings: -3 (ROI: -1%)
Average Odds: 1.54

Another interesting breakdown is the bet amount, so let’s look at over or under 1 unit bet on a parlay.

1 unit & over parlays
Number of Parlays: 2187
Won: 996 (46%), Lost: 1191 (54%)
Winnings: -31 (ROI: -1%)
Average Odds: 2.15

Number of Parlay Sections: 3714
Won: 2316 (62%), Lost: 1398 (38%)
Winnings: -80 (ROI: -2%)
Average Odds: 1.56

Under 1 unit parlays
Number of Parlays: 306
Won: 77 (25%), Lost: 229 (75%)
Winnings: 227 (ROI: 74%)
Average Odds: 4.41

Number of Parlay Sections: 563
Won: 249 (44%), Lost: 314 (56%)
Winnings: 30 (ROI: 5%)
Average Odds: 2.31

SO now we’ve started to hit some more meaningful numbers. We can see that when it comes to the entire directory, the larger unit bet parlays are indeed losing money although very, very marginally. On the other hand, the bets you’d probably consider a bit of a punt (where people are going big odds at a much lower stake, on more legs), are paying off pretty handsomely.

There is one huge outlier bet amongst this lot, from MMA Bets UK. massive odds mma bet

That is contributing 136 units of the 227. Even without it, you’re still looking at a good profit. However, really we shouldn’t remove it because that’s kind of the point – with big parlays, you only need to hit one every so often to have a massive impact on your profitability.

That bet also goes a little way to highlighting one of the type of bets I personally think are good value; x wins by decision. I hit these up quite regularly with my personal betting and whilst there won’t be many times when you can call 5 of them correctly all on the same event, I think they’re great value.

What I personally like to do is find one bet I think is a bit of a punt but massively over-valued, then add one some “sure thing” bets, which I think have an 85%+ chance of coming off. Below are a couple of my bets along these lines; one which came off and one which didn’t.

MMA betting, Bet MMA

As you can see, I’ve gone for one underdog pick and then a load of favourites. If the dog bit comes off and one of the favourite parts doesn’t, you end up looking like a bit of a plonker. However, for me personally, as you can see from the stats above, parlaying things together is still net paying off with higher returns.

You can also see that I was inadvertently doing what the above breakdown suggests is a good plan; betting more than you might think is a good idea on these big parlays. Had I pussed out and only put 0.5 units, that’s ~20 units I’d have missed out on.

A perfect example of which can be found in my picks from this weekend’s card. I was about 70% sure that Luis Henrique was going to get a stoppage and the odds were 3.5 (aka a 28.57% chance). That’s an enormous difference. I parlayed 2 units in there with a couple of other bits for a probable 8 unit profit (if Namajunas wins) but I’ve regretted only doing 2 units on inside the distance, not just with my tips but with my personal betting. 8U of profit off a 2U bet is nice… but if you’re confident enough that the odds are sooooooooo far off, there’s no harm in doubling that in my opinion. Especially if you have access to in-play betting, recouping a potential 4 unit loss should be no bother at all. If 4 units profit does seem like a bit of a struggle to make up… well I’d suggest following someone else’s picks from the top of our directory!

Obviously you have to hit SOME of your parlays and if you have a run of 10 misses in a row at 2 units, that’s a big problem… So, well… don’t miss that many in a row! Research a LOT, be generally cautious, but bet the big value relatively big.

In terms of poor research and the example above, I added that Over 0.5 rounds pick as a bit of a throwaway add-on, having watched plenty of Leslie Smith in the past but not having watched any tape at all for this specific matchup. I watched some tape about a week after making this bet and immediately regretted it. DO NOT rely on gut instinct!

What I’d also say is that it’s a bad idea to try and aim for a certain combined odds and bump up your parlay to those odds… e.g. “I reckon I’ll try and do a 10/1 parlay this weekend; let’s see what looks good”. Just take things as they go. Sometimes I don’t think there’s any value at all in a parlay. Sometimes I just bet a really short odds prop and be happy to take a 20% profit. However, if you’ve had an event where you’ve done a lot of research and watched several fights, parlay away, I say.

Finally, as with everything, keep a note of whether you’re actually making a profit doing it. Some people will be good at this and some won’t. There’s no shame in not being that great at parlays because it takes a lot of effort, time and research. If you don’t have that time, stick to the props!

Euro 2016 Free Bets

I know this is an MMA betting blog but everyone likes free stuff, so here are some free bet offers on Euro 2016. Use the free bets on MMA 🙂

If you are in the UK or have access to UK bookmakers, there are several good free bet offers and you don’t really need to have any football knowledge to make them worthwhile.

Sky Bet: If you bet £10 on a team to win the Euros, they will give you a £3 free bet every time they win a match.
I’ve put my tenner on France.

BetFair. Same offer but bet £25 and get £5 whenever they win a match. I put this on Spain but probably should just have put it on France again.

William Hill. Bet £10 on England to win the euros and they will give you a £5 free bet every time they win.

Given that there is an extra round this year compared to previous years, these all seem like really good value to me, if you’re any good at turning over free bets at odds of over evens.

Lots of bookies (Coral are one) also have free bet offers based on top scorer. E.g. Bet £25 on someone to be top scorer and get a £5 free bet whenever they score. It’s potentially a really good offer but I’m leaving it alone as really you do need to have good knowledge for this one.

Bet 365 are offering a free in play bet on England vs Russia up to £50. As far as I can see, there’s no minimum odds requirement. I’ve gone for something nice and obvious and will use the no risk in play bet on something a bit more risky.

The Unbettable Fighters of MMA

I wanted to address the issue of whether anyone can be truly unbettable as a fighter, when it comes to MMA.

This weekend was a stinker for me as I picked my first incorrect winner as a tipster, to break that unbeaten run and go to 33-1. Given that Warlley Alves, my new nemesis, is absolutely the better fighter and should rightly have been a heavy favourite; what made this a bad bet? What made him lose? What can I take forward and not make the same mistake again?

  1. The glaring thing that everyone knew about Warlley is that his cardio wasn’t great. Whenever I’ve written any mailers, I always try to press this home as the most important feature of any fight.
  2. In reality though, just as important is gameplanning. I said in my writeup that Barberena’s strongest area was the clinch. I also said Warlley wouldn’t be dumb enough to come out all guns blazing again, like he did vs Alan Jouban. He came out guns blazing, gassed his arms out in the first 20 seconds of the fight with a guillotine, then clinched up for pretty much the rest of the fight. It was unfathomable.

So does it make Warlley Alves an unbettable fighter? Well kind of, yeah. He’s just lost to someone he outmatched pretty much everywhere by literally doing the only thing he shouldn’t have. It doesn’t mean you should bet against him though; the guy has massive upside.

What I will be doing going forward is adding a few new attributes to the MMA fighter skills on the fighter profiles. Here are my ratings for Warlley Alves.

Warlley Alves Physical & Mental Ratings

Warlley Alves Physical & Mental Ratings

You’ll notice a very low rating now for Cornermen. That covers training and preparation too because if I can see that was the worst gameplan possible, his corner should be able to too! If you can, keep a log of which camps offer up terrible gameplans. I had a red flag on ATT for a couple of fights, whilst The MMA Lab, home of Brian Barberena, have offered up some superb corner advice in the past and really do appear to know how to gameplan too.

I’m going to add Reliability / Predictability, Will To Win, Dictates Fight and some other general skill attributes. The predictability is the most important new addition. When betting any MMA fighter, you want to feel they are predictable. That goes for both your pick and their opponent.

The issue then is that if both guys are predictable, it’s easier for the bookmakers, such as http://sports.williamhill.com/bet/en-gb/betting/c/402/UFC+++MMA.html, to set their odds. That doesn’t mean there isn’t value of course!

It’s kind of similar to the concept of betting the over vs the under. According to our combined MMA handicapper stats, way more people correctly predict the over (69%) than the under (59%), but the odds are longer on the under, as it’s more unpredictable. It depends what sort of MMA bettor you are. Betting the over is by far the most popular prop bet in our directory, making up 24% of total prop picks and as a handicapper, I believe it’s a lot easier to sell picks if you’re nearly always getting them right at fairly modest odds, rather than being totally hit and miss but with better odds.

To back that up, the top 10 handicappers are much more starkly in the favour of betting the over.

172 picks on the over, 73% success rate and average odds of 1.59.
43 picks on the under, 56% success rate and average odds of 1.84.

So it’s up to you guys to assess the value there. Overall stats from the entire directory suggest that although riskier, betting under at longer odds is better. However, looking just at the top guys, betting the over but getting it right nearly all the time is the way to go.

I sent out a mass mailer before this weekend’s UFC 198 card discussing the importance of using % chance numbers rather than gut instinct, as gut instinct tends to be overly optimistic,

From now on, if a fighter is totally unpredictable, like Jon Jones or Warlley Alves, in terms of whether they’ll under-perform or do stupid gameplans, I’ll be factoring in that predictability very heavily indeed!

The Best MMA Analysis (Video)

Many of you will already be aware of these videos but I wanted to bring people’s attention to Inside The Octagon with Dan Hardy and John Gooden. They provide excellent in depth analysis for the major fights in the UFC. They will bring up things you haven’t noticed even if you’ve studied hours of tape for a fight and whilst the two of them work really well together, Hardy especially is very elloquent and concise.

My word of caution though; they are UFC employees and are therefore obliged to put both sides of the story forward when analysing a fight. They may therefore place undue weight on one guy’s strengths to make it look like he has more of a chance than he really does, to sell the fight. Even so, if you are dead set on picking one fighter in a particular fight, their analysis will usually pick up on the other fighter’s strengths and give you pause for thought.

Here’s their analysis of Werdum vs Miocic. They also state that they’ll have a breakdown of the co-main (Jacare vs Belfort) and Anderson Silva vs Uriah Hall coming soon, so subscribe to the UFC’s channel if you haven’t already and wade through the promo stuff to find these little gems.