Handicapping the Odds for Every Main-Card Fight at UFC on Fox 6

Jeremy BotterMMA Senior WriterJanuary 24, 2013

Handicapping the Odds for Every Main-Card Fight at UFC on Fox 6

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    I like numbers. Which is a weird thing, because I was terrible at math all throughout my formative years, and I remain terrible at math now that I'm an adult.

    It's not so much the math aspect of numbers that intrigues me; it's statistics and the many ways they can be applied to sports. It all started with Moneyball—as it did for so many other part-time nerds who enjoy viewing sporting events through the prism of numbers and theories—but it's a passion that has continued to this day.

    When it comes to fighting, I enjoy the statistical side of handicapping. I find that it forces me to think logically about competitors and helps get rid of that twinge of promotion and media-created emotion that pushes you to make picks with your heart instead of your head.

    For a detailed explanation of my handicapping process, check out this slide from a piece I wrote back in November in which I broke down the early odds for UFC on Fox 6. Once you've gone through that, come on back here and we'll take one final look at the same event to try and determine if there's any value to be found in the main-card fights.

Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson

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    CURRENT ODDS

    Demetrious Johnson: -225
    John Dodson: +185

    MARKET PERCENTAGE

    Johnson:  69.23%
    Dodson: 35.09%

    MY PERCENTAGE

    Johnson: 45%
    Dodson: 55%

    DIFFERENCE

    Johnson: -24.23%
    Dodson: 19.91%

    As you can see from the above numbers, I'm a much bigger believer in Dodson's skills than the market is giving him credit for. He's just as quick on his feet as Demetrious Johnson, but Dodson has one game-changing trait that makes him a deadly opponent in the flyweight division: knockout power. 

    And not only does he have knockout power, but he has it in both hands. Johnson doesn't have that kind of power, and he also has a slightly susceptible chin. Johnson is a very talented fighter, and there's every chance he could simply keep Dodson at bay and outpoint him for all five rounds in this main event.

    But I believe Dodson will eventually catch Johnson with some kind of nasty punch and drop him to the canvas, where he'll finish the fight and become the new flyweight champion.

    IS THIS FIGHT WORTH BETTING ON?

    I tend to look for percentage differences of 25 percent or greater when it comes to recommending fights to wager on; that's the percentage where I feel the safest and where I believe I'm getting the best value. Still, a difference of 19.91 percent is nothing to sneeze at, even though it falls just outside of my safety zone.

    If anything, I recommend a small play on Dodson here, but your best value might be throwing a small play on Dodson to win inside the distance, which clocks in at +365. 

Glover Teixeira vs. Rampage Jackson

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    CURRENT ODDS

    Glover Teixeira: -305
    Rampage Jackson: +245

    MARKET PERCENTAGE

    Teixeira:  75.31%
    Jackson: 28.99%

    MY PERCENTAGE

    Teixeira: 80%
    Jackson: 20%

    DIFFERENCE

    Teixeira: 4.69%
    Jackson: -8.99%

    As you can see, I'm nearly in line with the oddsmakers in believing that Jackson has very little chance to win this fight. 

    He's so one-dimensional and insistent on trying to have boxing battles, even though the name of the sport is mixed martial arts. Not only that, but Jackson isn't exactly the picture of motivation these days; he's simply riding out his contract, and that's a dangerous thing to do against an opponent like Teixeira.

    IS THIS FIGHT WORTH BETTING ON?

    I like Teixeira to win this fight most of the time, but there's no value in it unless you go the prop bet route.

Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis

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    CURRENT ODDS

    Anthony Pettis: -125
    Donald Cerrone: -105

    MARKET PERCENTAGE

    Pettis:  55.56%
    Cerrone: 51.22%

    MY PERCENTAGE

    Pettis: 55%
    Cerrone: 45%

    DIFFERENCE

    Pettis:-0.56%%
    Cerrone: -3.78%

    As you can see from the numbers, this is a very close fight, for myself and the oddsmakers alike. 

    Both fighters are highly skilled lightweights with potential title shots riding on the line, so you can expect to see the very best of both men.

    IS THIS FIGHT WORTH BETTING ON?

    Unless you consider these guys much larger favorites than I do, I'd stay away from this one and just enjoy it. Or, if you're looking for an interesting prop bet, see if you can find an outlet that will let you throw a few bucks down on this one being fight of the night.

Erik Koch vs. Ricardo Lamas

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    CURRENT ODDS

    Erik Koch: -155
    Ricardo Lamas: +125

    MARKET PERCENTAGE

    Koch:  60.78%
    Lamas: 44.44%

    MY PERCENTAGE

    Koch: 70%
    Lamas: 30%

    DIFFERENCE

    Koch: 9.22%
    Lamas: -14.44%

    This one is another closely contested fight in both the odds and in the cage. Koch and Lamas are two highly skilled featherweights who can stake a claim to being the next challenger for champion Jose Aldo, so you know they'll be looking for a big win here.

    IS THIS FIGHT WORTH BETTING ON?

    In short, the only way I'd bet on this fight is by tossing it in with a parlay. The market odds and my own percentages are just too close for comfort, so I'd stay away and look to pair a winner in this one with Glover Teixeira for a decent two-fight parlay.