Category Archives: Betting Odds

Fun With Betting Odds: UFC 79

It’s a big weekend in MMA, which is only fitting considering the year we’ve had.  I’m in Connecticut for the final round of the IFL Grand Prix, while across the country the UFC has one of their best offerings of 2007.  That’s enough great MMA in one night to last you several months, but if you really want more there’s always the Fedor-Choi New Year’s Eve show in a couple of days.  In case you haven’t heard, that fight will supposedly feature special rules outlawing knee strikes (aka: Choi’s best weapon), thus upgrading it from a farce to a mockery.

Anyway, now it’s time for one of my favorite little games: breaking down the betting odds.  Bodog has odds on the UFC, IFL, and Yarrenoka! (Fedor’s going off at -1500, in case you were curious), but I’m going to stick to just the UFC so as to avoid any conflict of interest.

Once again, bet on MMA at your own risk.  It probably isn’t a good idea.  But I’m guessing people have told you that before, but you just won’t listen.

Matt Hughes (+190) vs. Georges St. Pierre (-240)

Even after Hughes’ last performance against St. Pierre and his face-heel turn in the last year and a half, I’m still a little saddened to see the line this lopsided.  Let’s not forget that Hughes dominated the welterweight division for years.  Those years seem to be all in the past, but after St. Pierre’s loss to Serra who knows what’s going on in his mind?  St. Pierre needs this win for his psyche and for his confidence.  If he starts out tentative Hughes could shock him, but don’t bet on it.  St. Pierre is still the favorite here for good reason.

Chuck Liddell (+110) vs. Wanderlei Silva (-140)

I’d be interested to know exactly what this line is based on.  Both guys are coming off two straight losses, both are on the downside of once-dominant careers, and both need this win to stay in the game.  Stylistically, Silva seems tailor made for Liddell, but so did Keith Jardine.  I still like Liddell in this one, and though the line isn’t great it might be good enough for small action.

Rameau Sokoudjou (-115) vs. Lyoto Machida (-115)

I’ve seen varying lines on this fight, with most pegging Sokoudjou the slight underdog.  That’s understandable, considering Machida’s ability to slow a fight down and control it.  Sokoudjou is explosive, but still untested.  I like him to win this, but it could easily go either way and the line isn’t much help at all.

Melvin Guillard (-225) vs. Rich Clementi (+185)

Guillard is the more athletically dangerous fighter here, but Clementi is a better tactician and technician.  If Guillard gets reckless Clementi could easily take him.  The line is good enough to justify some risk here.

Dean Lister (-325) vs. Jordan Radev (+250)

Radev had a wrestling background, so this isn’t as lopsided as some previous bouts the UFC has given to Lister.  Still, anyone with anything other than a stellar ground game is probably in trouble against “The Boogeyman”.  This should be interesting to see how Lister rebounds from a previous injury and how his striking game is coming.  If you’re one of the people who believe he’s dumb enough to stand and trade for very long before taking it to the mat, go ahead and put money down on Radev.  I am not one of those people.


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Filed under Betting Odds, Chuck Liddell, Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes, MMA, Sports, UFC, UFC 79, Uncategorized, Wanderlei Silva

Betting Odds and Breakdowns: TUF Finale

The finale of The Ultimate Fighter offers a good chance to take advantage of the general lack of knowledge surrounding the reality show fighters.  Few people have seen enough of most of these guys to have a really good fix on what they’re capable of, and the variance in the betting lines from one online sportsbook to another bears that out.

It’s with this in mind that we now examine the odds for Saturday night’s TUF Finale, using the lines taken from  As with any analysis that you get for free, you should realize that I stand behind my picks, but am not responsible for/generally don’t care about the state of your finances should you choose to put money down on these fights.  Betting on professional fighting ranks just below scanning the beach with a metal detector as far as financial strategies go, so be warned.

That being said, let’s have some fun.

Roger Huerta (-115) vs. Clay Guida (-115)

Interesting choice here by Bodog.  By giving the same odds on each fighter, and yet making those odds slightly worse than even, they’re basically asking you not to bet on this fight unless you really, really want to.  This is a reflection of how unpredictable this fight is.  We haven’t seen Huerta tested in the UFC, and while Guida has faced some tough guys he hasn’t always done well against them.  Huerta is still my pick, but Guida keeps saying he’ll be surprised when the cage door closes.  I could see this going either way, and that’s why I’m staying away from it.

Mac Danzig (-150) vs. Tommy Speer (+120)

Danzig is the favorite, and for good reason.  He’s more experienced, more technical, and seems to have a sense of inevitability ala Hillary Clinton two months ago (note to Mac Danzig: I apologize for comparing you to Hillary Clinton just now.  I, uh, it just happened, okay?).  The downside is, as Danzig has said, the pressure is all on him.  Speer is just happy to be in the finals, as well he should be.  If he loses to Danzig people will just talk about what a great talent he’ll be someday.  If Danzig loses, it’s going to seem like this torturous experience after such a long climb up was completely wasted.  I’m picking Danzig, but so are the oddsmakers.

John Koppenhaver (-125) vs. Jared Rollins (-105)

I’m a little surprised to see J-Roc as the slight underdog.  He’s an all-around better fighter than Koppenhaver, not to mention that “War Machine’s” mental game is questionable at best.  We all saw him psych himself out on the show, and I have a feeling he’s just waiting for an excuse to lose here.  J-Roc will give him one upside his head, and the odds, while not great, are good enough.

George Sotiopoulos (-500) vs. Billy Miles (+300)

Stay faaaar away from this one.  The only way Miles is beating Sotiropoulos is if he sticks his thumb in his eye.  The odds reflect that.  It’s a longshot that could pay off big time if somehow Miles is a new man on Saturday night, but many a down-and-out gambler has been ruined by hopes like those.  Don’t do it.  I know it sounds cool in Bukowski novels and Hold Steady songs, but don’t do it.

Richie Hightower (-145) vs. Troy Mandaloniz (+115)

I like “Rude Boy’s” chances of pulling off the minor upset here.  Hightower never looked good on the show except against Blake Bowman, who is, you’ll notice, not on this card at all.  Mandaloniz has hopefully asked his friend B.J. Penn for a few jiu-jitsu tips since the show ended, and we all know he has a decent defense and some heavy hands.  I’m going with “Rude Boy”, no question.

Ben Saunders (-260) vs. Dan Barrera (+200)

I think this is going to be a lot closer than the first meeting, so I’m surprised the odds are so out of whack.  Saunders is good at using his lanky, awkward attack on the feet and the ground, but Barrera can be a buzz saw when he wants to be.  He lost that first fight due to inexperience, and I happen to know he’s been training with Tim Kennedy in the interim, which can’t possibly hurt his technical skill level.  I’m going with Barrera, but mainly because the odds are so great.  Saunders is going to be very tough.

Matt Arroyo (-330) vs. John Kolosci (+260)

Wow.  This surprises me.  Arroyo’s ground game gets touted on the internets a lot, but look at his record.  He’s 2-1 against nobody who matters.  Kolosci has had much tougher competition along the way to an 8-4 mark, and he beat jiu-jitsu fighter Erik Tavares, who I’ve trained with and can attest is an overwhelming presence on the mat.  I don’t know what people are seeing that I’m not, but I’d definitely be willing to lay a bet on Kolosci here.  He looked bad against Danzig, sure, but so will a lot of people.  Kolosci is my underdog pick of the night.

Roman Mitichyan (-500) vs. Dorian Price (+300)

I know what you’re thinking, but back away from the ledge.  Price has great striking skills and only needs one opening, but Mitichyan is another bad-ass Los Angeles Armenian who trains with Karo Parysian.  Think he knows how to spike a guy on his head and capitalize once he’s on the mat?  I do.  The odds on Kolosci (see above) are almost as good, and the chances of him actually winning are much better.  Look there if you want a heavy underdog so bad, you jerk.

Jonathan Goulet (-500) vs. Paul Georgieff (+300)

How come Georgieff is the only TUF contestant who has to fight a real, experienced opponent here?  Everyone else gets another reality show guy, he gets Goulet.  Talk about getting screwed.  If I’m Georgieff I’m wondering why they won’t feed me Blake Bowman.  Sotiropoulos gets Miles and he has to fight a veteran?  It just seems mean.  Anyway, I don’t think I have to tell you who I’m picking here.  Unless Goulet is injured or drunk for this fight (both, maybe?), he should get the win.

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Filed under Betting Odds, Clay Guida, Mac Danzig, MMA, Roger Huerta, Sports, The Ultimate Fighter, Tommy Speer, UFC

Place Your Bets: UFC 78

Ryo ChonanReaders of this blog know that one of my favorite things with any UFC event is breaking down the betting odds. Normally, I use, but not this time. 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 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.

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Filed under Betting Odds, Michael Bisping, MMA, Rashad Evans, Sports, UFC, UFC 78