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Primer: UFC 68 early odds released

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Desert Dog here, making the first of hopefully many posts here at UFCmania.com to help readers — and bettors — understand UFC odds and the overall betting process.

At first glance, the lines might seem confusing and difficult to figure out. But, I'm here to tell you that UFC betting lines look more complicated than they actually are.

Therefore, I'll outline the basic things you need to know. And, if you have any questions or something still isn't clear, just email me or leave a comment below and I'll respond as soon as possible.

The goal here is to help those UFC fans who somehow don't find the fights exciting enough to make smart wagers to spice up the night. That's because a little bet will have you on the edge of your seats, perhaps cheering for someone you never expected, and in the process making money.

In fact, one small bet can cover the entire costs of the $40 pay-per-view fee. And, the more comfortable you become with the process, the more success you will enjoy.

Without further ado, here are the latest odds for the main card courtesy of BetUs.com:

 

Favorite: Tim Sylvia -280
Underdog: Randy Couture +220

Favorite: Matt Hughes -500
Underdog: Chris Lytle +400

Favorite: Rich Franklin -500
Underdog: Jason MacDonald +400

Favorite: Renato Sobral -350
Underdog: Jason Lambert +275

Favorite: Martin Kampmann -220
Underdog: Drew McFedries +280

First, I want to give UFCmania readers a quick rundown of betting on fights, what the odds mean, and get some general questions rolling.

Desert Dog's actual picks and match-up analysis will be out tomorrow, Thursday, just in time to place some smart bets prior to UFC 68: "The Uprising" on March 3 in Columbus, Ohio.

The Basics

Odds for mixed martial arts (MMA) fights are most often listed in the American style, where the negative number (i.e. -280) is the odds for the favorite and the positive number (i.e. +220) indicates the underdog.

In terms of money bet, the odds read like this: To bet on Tim Sylvia you have to risk $280 to win $100. To bet on Couture, you win $220 on a bet of $100. In betting on either side, the winnings are on top of your original bet coming back to you. That means a bet of $100 on Couture would net $320 (this figure includes the original $100 out-of-pocket sum you wagered).

You can bet as little as a buck on any fight; however, most if not all online sportsbooks require an initial deposit of $50 to $100.

Going forward, most of Desert Dog's UFC picks will look like this:

Randy Couture +220: 1 point to win 2.20 points.

In addition, UFC odds relate to a fighters probability of winning. For example, when oddsmakers put MacDonald +400, they believe he has a 20 percent chance of winning.

The calculation isn't too hard but not very interesting reading. It's important to note that good betting starts with comparing these odds to what you believe they should be and weighing the risk/benefits.

Don't worry if that's something you're not prepared or willing to do — Desert Dog has got you covered.

Ok, enough of that, so what kind of bettor are you? Are you Chuck Liddell, waiting for one or two homerun punches? Are you Georges St. Pierre setting up the big shot with jabs and leg kicks? Or, maybe you're that guy who throws haymakers at anything that moves.

Regardless, there are several ways to bet both small and large, conservative and ballsy, for each and every fight fan. And, Desert Dog will be here to walk you through the process-step-by-step.

Feel free to ask questions or touch on something that maybe I didn't cover. As I mentioned earlier, I'll be checking in frequently to answer your UFC 68 betting questions and to ensure that UFCmania readers understand how this works.

Just remember, I'll be back tomorrow with complete analysis, predictions and recommendations for the big event this Saturday.