We’ve put a lot of thought into how we analyze, display, and rank our MMA Picks. This FAQ will help answer why we did things the way we did. If you’re still confused, send us a note about it on our contact us page. We’ll be happy to answer any questions, and if we get enough of the same feedback we might even change things up.
Q: What’s the Monkey Brain?
A: It’s a sports betting algorithm that gets better after every fight.
One of the reasons we started MBS Report was when I heard a professional sports bettors refer to sports fans as “Suckers”. In their world, we’re the idiots who exist just to donate our money to algorithm based professional sports bettors. Most of them don’t care about sports. To them it’s just another way to make money.
So we made our own algorithm and put the picks from it out there for free. I can’t tell you how our algorithm works because if we get copied, we’re back to getting suckered.
What I can tell you is that the more data we have, the better our algorithm is going to get. So I hope you stick with us as we grow.
Q: Do you have picks for preliminary fights?
A: We have prelim picks both from our usual experts and our algorithm, but we don’t currently display them on our website.
Prelim Picks (PP for short) will most likely be one of the many perks of a Premium Membership coming in the future. Or we might temporarily release them for free to early Newsletter subscribers (you can easily subscribe on this page’s sidebar).
Note that prelims are higher risk higher reward. The Vegas Lines are often off because of the lack of information on lesser known prelim fighters, so there’s opportunities to hit a home run. But everybody else has less information too (including us), making it higher risk.
Q: How about picks for non-PPV UFC Events?
A: We have those too, and we haven’t decided if we’ll release those for free or if they’ll be part of our Premium Membership. Or maybe it’ll be a free perk for our Newsletter subscribers.
Q: Why are the total MBS Units on the Ranking Page sometimes different from the sum totals on the Picks Page?
A: We display the top 5-7 predictors from the last month on the Picks Page, plus a guest picker. So if a picker has a bad stretch, they might not show up on the Picks Page, but we still collect their picks behind the scenes and add it to their standings. One way we’re thinking of monetizing in the future is by creating a Premium Membership where you’ll receive all the picks from all the pickers all the time, along with many other perks.
Q: How do we calculate MBS Units?
A: We give every picker 1 MBS Unit (MBSU) per main card fight. So if the main card has 5 fights, every picker gets 5 MBSUs to “bet” with. In this 5 main card fights scenario, if a picker only predicts 1 fight on the entire card, that fight would be a 5 Unit Bet for them; if a different picker predicts all 15 fights including the prelim fights, each fight would be a 0.33 Unit Bet (5 divided by 15); and if someone predicts all 5 main card fights, each fight is a 1 Unit Bet, and so on.
Q: Why did we make MBS Units so complicated?
A: Everyone has their own style of betting and picking fights. Some people only bet on the main event; others bet on every fight including the prelims; some bet $10,000; others bet $1.
We wanted to create a system that could equalize all of those factors to determine who the best bettor is. We don’t want our users to think the person who made $100 from his $10,000 bet is better than the guy who turned $1 into $15. The sports betting industry standard to avoid this issue is to use Units. No matter how much money you bet, analysts consider your bet to be worth 1 Unit per match. That way they can determine how good you are based on a percentage return instead of a dollar amount.
This system works well for major sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, and EPL because every expert picker knows each team intimately. So they’re able to give an informed take on who they think is going to win for most games. Of course smart bettors won’t put money on every single game, but at the end of the season bettors usually have a similar amount of games that they predicted.
Unfortunately for MMA, the Unit System is impossible to use because the number of picks are all over the place. Again, Some people only bet on the main event while others bet on every fight including the prelims.
So if you double your Units by winning a bet on a single fight, you could easily be beaten out by a person who returns 3 Units by betting on all 15 fights. Even though your rate of return was 100% and his was 20%, you still technically lost under the Unit System.
And that’s why we came up with MBS Units.
Q: Who qualifies for the MBS Power Ranking?
A: You need at least 1 fight prediction in 80% or more of UFC PPV events over the past 12 months to qualify for our power rankings.
You also need to be part of an established media company, or have a decent following/viewership on independent channels (like YouTube).
Even if a picker doesn’t meet these criteria, we’ll sometimes track certain people’s picks behind the scenes and put their records at the bottom of our Ranking as NR (No Rank).
We may make exceptions to enter a picker with a smaller platform if we can establish proof of a stellar prediction record. These exceptions along with any other predictors we include (or remove) in the rankings will be at our full discretion.
In the future, we plan to open up a Fan Prediction section where you can compete with other MBS Users on prediction accuracy. If you win, we’ll enter you into the Pro Picks Section, promote your social media accounts, and give you an appearance on our podcast. Check back for an update on when we launch that, or sign up for our Newsletter to be one of the first to hear about it.