Readers of this blog know that one of my favorite things with any UFC event is breaking down the betting odds. Normally, I use betus.com, but not this time. Betus.com is currently offering lines on only a few of Saturday’s fights, and up until a day or two ago only offered lines on the main event. Could this be because a certain quick-witted sportswriter fleeced them on the Jason Black-Matt Grice undercard fight at the last UFC? Possibly.
I’m also off betus.com because they charge an absurdly high fee for getting your money out once you realize that they run a half-hearted operation. I mean, seriously. They can only pay me through couriered check? What is this, the Old West? Are they sending it Pony Express? Are they charging so much to make up for losses incurred from quicksand and road agents?
Long story short, now I’m using Bodog. At least they give lines on every fight, and not just UFC ones either. Still, there’s a reason Bodog owner Calvin Ayre is flying around in private jets with other people’s money in his pocket. Be warned.
Rashad Evans (-325) vs. Michael Bisping (+250)
For those of you who don’t know how these lines work, the above numbers mean that betting $325 on Evans would net you $100, while betting $100 on Bisping would get you $250. At first glance, it seems like Bisping is worth taking a chance on with these odds. He’s a well-rounded fighter, good athlete, and he has something to prove after his last fight.
But when I lost faith in Bisping was when I heard that he’s back in England training for this fight with his old buddies at the Wolf’s Lair. I’m not saying it’s not a good gym, but who do they have there who can push him the way Evans will? I sincerely hope they brought in a couple of world class wrestlers to help him prepare, because Evans is going to be looking for the takedown and the ensuing ground and pound, and if the fight goes more than three minutes he’s going to put Bisping on his back more than once or twice.
Bisping is a risk, and risks pay, but I’m not willing to put my money against Evans, who finds a way to win even if it’s less than exhilarating to watch.
Thiago Silva (+130) vs. Houston Alexander (-160)
This fight is a very winnable one for Alexander, but even if Silva plays it smart and comes out with a win, the line isn’t good enough to justify the risk. Moving on.
Ed Herman (-140) vs. Joe Doerksen (+110)
Ditto. This one might as well be even, which is an accurate reflection of how hard it is to predict. Doerksen won the first time they fought, but they were both different fighters back then. No significant gains to be had here, and it could easily go either way.
Ryo Chonan (+300) vs. Karo Parisyan (-450)
This is my choice for underdog of the night. I seem to be the only one picking Chonan, but I think he has a very good chance against “The Heat”. Parisyan tends to be aggressive, always moving forward and looking to throw people, so I could see Chonan suckering him into a submission. It’s still a big chance and Parisyan is the heavy favorite for a reason, but Chonan is tricky. Now let’s hope he doesn’t trick me out of some money.
Spencer Fisher (+105) vs. Frankie Edgar (-135)
Fisher is the underdog? Really? All right, but I have to think that this is a case of oddsmakers remembering only what happened last. Fisher is a monster when he wants to be, and he’s a more seasoned pro than Edgar. You’re not going to get rich on this one, though, either way.
Akihiro Gono (-260) vs. Tamdan McCrory (+200)
To my surprise, several of my colleagues say they like McCrory in this one. Sure, he’s tall and lanky and is billed as an up-and-comer, but how is he going to beat Gono? He won’t submit him, probably won’t KO him. His best bet is a sympathy decision if it goes all three rounds and the judges are absolutely amazed that this awkward looking kid is still alive. I think Gono will take it to him, but it’s your money to throw away. I guess your kids don’t really need to go to college.
Joe Lauzon (-450) vs. Jason Reinhardt (+300)
Don’t even think about it.