Friend of our site

MMA Headlines


Bleacher Report

MMA Fighting

MMA Torch

MMA Weekly

Sherdog (News)

Sherdog (Articles)

Liver Kick

MMA Junkie

MMA Mania

MMA Ratings

Rating Fights

Yahoo MMA Blog

MMA Betting

Search this site

Latest Articles

News Corner

MMA Rising

Audio Corner


Sherdog Radio

Video Corner

Fight Hub

Special thanks to...

Link Rolodex

Site Index

To access our list of posting topics and archives, click here.

Friend of our site

Buy and sell MMA photos at MMA Prints

Site feedback

Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

« | Home | »

A look at the latest UFC sportsbook favorites & underdogs

By Zach Arnold | July 8, 2011

Print Friendly and PDF

We often rely on the sage wisdom of Nick Kalikas of BetonFighting to help us traverse through the various lines set for major MMA fights. It’s no different this time and we’ll take a look at some of the major lines for upcoming fights and discuss whether the favorites are too strong or just right.

Fedor (-220) vs. Dan Henderson (+180)

The line has gone down on Fedor as seemingly more money has been coming in on Henderson. I always believed in Henderson having a legitimate shot of winning this fight (as opposed to bettors who believe in ‘betting on value’ which is an oxymoron).

At -220, Fedor is an 11-to-5 favorite (69%) to win. Yes, Henderson plans on fighting near the 210 pound range, but what have we seen lately from Fedor to indicate that he should be this strong of a favorite heading into the fight?

Marloes Coenen (-120) vs. Miesha Tate (+110)

Since it’s a championship fight and that means 5 rounds, I would expect Coenen to be a higher favorite despite her last fight with Liz Carmouche. A 6-to-5 favorite is not exactly a ringing endorsement of her winning by the ‘books.

Rashad Evans (-140) vs. Phil Davis (+115)

The lines on Evans are wildly fluctuating. He was -120 earlier in the week and now has inched up to -140. A 7-to-5 favorite, that still puts Rashad as only a 58% favorite against Phil Davis at 42%. Yes, Rashad has switched up his training camp and is coming off of a knee injury… and has not been active recently… but Greg Jackson is right, what Phil Davis does best Rashad does better. Phil Davis has a high learning curve still on the offensive end of his game and I definitely see this fight going to a decision.

Vitor Belfort (-280) vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (+240)

Despite the brutal KO loss to Anderson Silva, Vitor opens up as nearly a 3-to-1 favorite here to win. He should win, but this line is too high for me (if I was a bettor).

If Akiyama loses, is his career in the UFC done?

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (-160) vs. Rich Franklin (+140)

The line for this fight has been tilting towards Rogerio. Rogerio was at -140 earlier in the week and is now at -160, meaning he’s a solid 8-to-5 favorite (62%) to Rich Franklin (38%). I still am not sure why Franklin is such an underdog here. The conventional wisdom here is that Rogerio will win a decision.

Chad Mendes (-600) vs. Rani Yahya (+400)

Chad goes into this fight as a 6-to-1 favorite (85%). He took this fight because he didn’t want to wait for Jose Aldo while Aldo was recovering from injury after his bout at UFC 129 with Mark Hominick.

Any possibility of this being a trap fight for Mendes or is it (more or less) another decision victory?

Chris Lytle (-120) vs. Dan Hardy (even)

This line surprised me. Hardy’s fighting for his career here against a guy who should, flat out, beat him. The only way Lytle loses is if he does the same thing that he did against Marcus Davis and get into a sloppy C-level kickboxing match. Lytle as a 6-to-5 favorite?

Jim Miller (-150) vs. Ben Henderson (+125)

Jim Miller has been, seemingly forever, a dream for bettors in both single bets and parlays. He just wins. He has been the favorite since day, despite the protests of the estimable Luca Fury who is completely sold on Henderson winning.

Miller as a 3-to-2 favorite sounds about right.

Anderson Silva (-450) vs. Yushin Okami (+350)

Anderson is a 9-to-2 favorite here (82%) pretty much makes this a ‘parlay only’ bet.

Mauricio Shogun (-220) vs. Forrest Griffin (+180)

This line has stayed steady throughout the week, but it certainly got more interesting given recent reports of Forrest needing to lose a lot of weight in order to get ready to make the weight cut here. Both guys are flawed deeply, it’s just a matter of whether or not Shogun is healthy (or as healthy as can be).

Brendan Schaub (-220) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (+180)

Schaub’s line has risen steadily as we get closer to the fight. As an 11-to-5 favorite (69%), the line on him sounds about right. Nogueira is talking about how Dana White isn’t God and can’t retire him. He’s wrong. After Schaub likely beats him on his home turf, this could very well be the end.

Josh Thomson (-200) vs. Maximo Blanco (+170)

Consider this line based on ‘The Japan Factor” of Blanco being another foreigner who has ripped through competition in Japan. Thomson has looked kind of shaky in his last few fights, so to see him as a 2-to-1 favorite here is a little surprising.

Jon Jones (-380) vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (+300)

Jones as nearly a 4-to-1 favorite to win (79%) is not a big surprise. It all depends on which Rampage shows up and how motivated he is. If he couldn’t beat Rashad last year, it’s hard to see how he’ll beat Jones this time around.

Diego Sanchez (-200) vs. Matt Hughes (+175)

This may be my favorite line to analyze. Sanchez as a 2-to-1 favorite is basically an indictment on where the oddsmakers think Hughes currently stands. I thought Kampmann beat Diego in their Louisville fight (despite the fact that Martin didn’t fight the smartest fight he possibly could). Hughes will be physically stronger here but certainly slower and I could see Diego outpointing him. On the ground, will he really be able to submit Matt?

Chael Sonnen (-250) vs. Brian Stann (+200)

Talk about everyone being in Sonnen’s corner here for the return bout. For a guy of his record & skill set, that’s a pretty high number (5-to-2 favorite, 72%). Stann is not going to submit Sonnen, so it likely will go the distance. Given that it’s Texas, we know the drug testing standards/protocols there so all’s fair in love & war on that front.

Georges St. Pierre (-370) vs. Nick Diaz (+300)

The line is basically in the same ball park as they always are for St. Pierre fights against the Jon Fitchs and Josh Koschecks of the world. St. Pierre as a 79% favorite.

Cain Velasquez (-150) vs. Junior dos Santos (+125)

The $64,000 question here is whether or not Velasquez will be able to fully recover from the rotator cuff surgery. It’s a major surgery and recovery time usually takes much longer than expected. JDS’s best shot here is to try to get Cain in a slug fest early and get him caught up emotionally (like Brock Lesnar initially did).

Velasquez as a 60% favorite actually sounds a little low to me here.

Michael Bisping (-200) vs. Mayhem Miller (+165)

Bisping as a 2-to-1 favorite is not exactly a vote of confidence for Miller facing a mid-card level fighter in the Middleweight division.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 9 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

9 Responses to “A look at the latest UFC sportsbook favorites & underdogs”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    For people who do not enjoy Dana White’s off the cuff talking style…. I recommend watching this weeks “Ultimate Insider” program from the ufc’s website. The entire 2nd half is devoted to an interview with Lorenzo Fertitta who talks about the issues in getting an event into NY.

    Of those odds, I see the following underdogs winning…

    Dan Henderson, Phil Davis, Dan Hardy, Forrest Griffin, Brian Stann, & Jason Miller.

  2. Nepal says:

    True, Blanco might be a good bet. He has looked like a killing machine but again, he’s not been fighting the best. If he drifts above +170, I’m taking him.

    I’m taking Hughes at +175. Honestly I think Hughes will win this one. Sanchez will not submit somebody with Hughes BJJ defensive skills. Hughes will be physically stronger. Sanchez has good knees but otherwise isn’t a terror on the feet, better than Hughes but not that great. Sanchez grappling is really good but Hughes’ wrestling and strength should shut him down. Hughes by UD.

    I expect Dos Santos to beat Cain. I’m betting on it. I’m not at all sold on Cain’s stand up.

    Davis, Franklin and Griffin could easily pull off wins…. but I haven’t committed to putting any money down yet.

  3. Kelvin Hunt says:

    Okami at +350…all over that…and Franklin’s an underdog to Lil Nog because Nog is a better striker, bigger, and better on the ground…and at +115 I’d take that bet for Phil Davis…he’s much bigger than Rashad…huge reach the layoff for Rashad equals a good shot at Davis winning a decision.

    • Kelvin Hunt says:

      Oh yea…I think Hendo has a good shot at beating Fedor “the one dimensional headhunter nowadays” Emelianenko.

  4. edub says:

    Don’t see Hendo winning at all. Fedor has made a career with the armbar. Hendo’s been submitted a few times. I don’t even think it will get to the ground for long.

    Big Nog will beat Schaub. People point to Nog being done as the reason Cain demolished him, I completely disagree. Nog will win and it will be by submission.

    Franklin could win because Nogueira’s striking has gone down hill in recent years, and Franklin hasn’t been submitted…ever.

    I think Diego-Hughes will be a replay of his Sanchez’s fight with Fitch.

    All in all some live dogs’ here.

  5. david m says:

    Big Nogueira will be knocked out brutally IMO. He is shot.

    Zach’s borrowed “analysis” from Greg Jackson on Davis v Rashad makes no sense. Rashad Evans is nowhere near the wrestler Phil is. It isn’t even comparable. Rashad was 48-34 in D-1 wrestling at 174 pounds. Phil Davis was 116-17 at 197 lbs, a 4x All-American and a national champion. FAIL.

    Rashad is a much better striker obviously, but is he a good enough wrestler to block Phil’s takedowns? I have no idea. I wish this were a 5 round fight.

    I think Franklin beats lil Nog via a more diversified offensive game, much more athleticism, better reflexes, and not being shot. Enough of the myth that lil Nog is a great ground fighter. Jason Brillz outgrappled him and was robbed. I think Franklin will light him up.

    I don’t ever cheer for Matt Hughes, but he is fighting Diego so I will make an exception. I hope Hughes is doing “powerlifting” so that he will be able to control Diego via wrestling and win a decision.

    I have no idea why anyone thinks Cain should be favored over J2S. He is an overaggressive striker and his chin isn’t particularly sturdy. That is a recipe for doom against J2S. Junior showed a stout chin against Carwin, and he clearly has good takedowns/takedown D. I don’t think Cain will be able to get him down consistently and I don’t think he will be able to keep him down. On the feet it is a massacre. People act like Cain is a great boxer. Why? Because he knocked out Nog? Brock? The former has been shot legitimately for 4 years and the latter is afraid to be punched. Cain did nothing to Brock that Carwin didn’t do, except that the ref for Cain-Brock didn’t enjoy watching someone beaten almost to death as much as the ref for Carwin-Brock did.

    Cheick Kongo is not a particularly good striker; he is about as fluid as a brick, but he dropped Cain twice. Cheick Kongo has 1/100th of J2S’ talent. Kongo is also nowhere near as good as J2S as the grappling/takedown defense aspect of the sport as Junior.

    If we use Kongo as a litmus test, then Cain’s vaulted striking looks even worse when you consider that Mir put him down with 1 punch. Rothwell took about 1000 shots from Cain and the fight still shouldn’t have been stopped because Ben wasn’t badly hurt. Cain doesn’t hit anywhere near as hard as Carwin, and Carwin couldn’t keep J2S at bay at all.

    Who is Cain going to train with to prepare him for Junior? Daniel Cormier and Herschel Walker are going to get him ready? There are plenty of great wrestlers J2S can bring in, but I don’t know who else in mma boxes like Junior. Is Cain going to spar with a Klitschko? Dimitrenko? He needs to find someone much taller with a good jab, a strong chin, a hard right hand, and good balance who doesn’t get flustered and isn’t afraid to be in the pocket (that eliminates 97.7% of mma fighters).

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    Want another live underdog fight?

    Hatsu Hioki vs. George Roop at UFC 137 (GSP/Diaz)…

  7. Nepal says:

    Good post. Good because it analyzes the particular fights well and also because I agree with all your comments.
    So far I have money on Hughes and Dos Santos, I will likely put some down on Franklin and very likely on Blanco.
    Although I think Davis has a good shot at beating Rashad, Rashad has so much more experience, Davis\’ striking so far hasn’t been outstanding. The odds are not attractive enough to make a bet.
    Shogun has had what? maybe 4 surgeries on his knee? I’ve had 2 from a top notch surgeon and my knee has never been the same despite years of rehab… married a physical therapist (well..divorced her too but that’s another story). Point is, his knee MUST affect negatively EVERY training session he ever has. It could affect his cardio, affect his ability to throw kicks, affect his whole game. Griffen’s standup is poor but he\’s very strong and his jitz game is good. Odds aren\t as high on Griffin because he already has a win over a cardio defitient Shogun. However, Shogun is a great fighter and Griffin was supposedly heavy. I think no bet on this one.

    My “good post” comment was directed at David M.

    To 45: Agree, Hioki could easily beat Roop. If he can get it to the ground. Only caveat is same as for Blanco, he’s looked really good in Japan…. whatever that means. If the odds on Hioki are +200, I’ll take that one.

    • david m says:

      Thanks for compliment.

      In re: Forrest v Shogun, who knows. I don’t think much of Forrest’s skills or his chin, but he is big and solid technically. Shogun used to be so good because of his combo of speed and power, but physically he may not be there any more. I have no idea. Healthy Shogun dominates Forrest, but I have no clue if he is healthy. I would assume he is in better shape now than he was against Jones, so I would assume Shogun wins. I don’t think Forrest is good at anything that Shogun isn’t better at except weight cutting.


To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-spam image