WHAT DOES AN MMA ODDSMAKER ACTUALLY DO?
When a fight is officially announced, I do comprehensive research on each fighter, study fight film for both fighters and dissect the stylistic match-up to handicap the fight. Then I factor in who the public will support, which is usually the hardest part, and I modify the betting line based on all of those variables to create the opening betting lines for each bout. After I generate the betting lines, I send them to the sportsbooks and they make the odds publicly available. I also consult with the sportsbooks after the lines have been released to help them with adjusting the odds based on weigh-in results, injuries, etc.
CAN AN ODDSMAKER BET ON FIGHTS?
Enough money gets bet on each fight that the sportsbooks aren't impacted too greatly if I come in on a side. It simply doesn't make enough of a dent to factor greatly into the sportsbooks' profits so they don't mind if I bet on specific fights or even give out bets to the public on fights.
HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO RELEASE BETS ON FIGHTS YOU SET THE ODDS FOR?
I don't give out bets right after my odds have been released. I usually have the betting odds open a week or more before a UFC event takes place. Once those odds are posted, public betting action comes in and the odds are mostly out of my hands. As I mentioned above, I factor in the public support with my opening odds, so a line might differ slightly from what I actually believe will happen. If the public moves a line in a way I disagree with, that's where I find the value. I give out my bets after the weigh-ins take place about 24 hours before the fights, so by then, the lines have been exposed to the public for about a week and could be vastly different than what I opened.