If you believe the odds makers, we’ll all be paying good money to watch a bunch of epic squash matches during this Saturday’s UFC 129 pay-per-view. There are a lot of long, long odds on the card this weekend and while that may not be great news for the squares watching at home, it’s enough to make any self respecting gambler’s heart go pitter-pat inside his silky, hula girl print Hawaiian shirt. When the numbers are this big you really only have two options, boys and girls: Bet heavy on the favorites in a sober attempt to turn a meager profit or throw down on the dogs in a blind smorgasbord of wanton excess. Any wonder which route we’re gonna take? That’s right, friends, we’re taking the more funner-er route. The odds themselves – from Bookmaker.com – are after the jump.
Pay Per View Card:
Georges St. Pierre (-420) vs. Jake Shields (+320)
Jose Aldo (-425) vs. Mark Hominick (+325)
Jason Brilz (Even) vs. Vladimir Matyushenko (-130)
Randy Couture (+280) vs. Lyoto Machida (-350)
Mark Bocek (Even) vs. Ben Henderson (-130)
Spike TV Card:
The case for the dogs: Now, if we were involved in some kind of lame-o straight-up picks competition, the right thing to do here would be to tab St. Pierre, Aldo and maybe Machida. But you know what? We’re not here to take all the favorites and then pass our no-balls bullshit off as some kind of “predictions” piece. In fact, we’re going the opposite direction. Any time you can get competitors like Shields, Hominick and Couture at these odds, it should at least be enough to make you think twice. OK, here comes the math …
If we throw $100 at each of the aforementioned trio (which should be easy, cuz we just got our tax returns back, right?) we really only need one of them to win in order to pretty much break even. Anything above and beyond that is all gravy. For some reason, it makes us feel better to think we’re just betting that one or more of the evening’s big fights will end in upsets, rather than selecting three individuals who the so-called experts think have little to no chance. Just one or two upsets, baby, that’s all we need. Better hope it happens, too, because we’re going have a tough time explaining to the wife where all the “new lawnmower” money went if at least one of these pikers doesn’t come through for us.
You’re all, “That’s great, Ace Rothstein, but now can you give me something a little more realistic?”: Definitely, and their names are Bocek, Brilz and MacDonald. Bocek isn’t a bad bet, considering the way Ben Henderson takes a “like-to-see-a-motherfucker-try” approach to submission defense. Meanwhile, if the Brilz-Matyushenko fight had gone down in a dank gym somewhere in Belorussia in 1997, we’d totally like Vladdy. Unfortunately, at this stage in the game it’s not out of the question that Brilz will be able to outwrestle the aged journeyman en route to some form of decision. And after watching MacDonald give Carlos Condit all he could handle for 14:30 at UFC 115, we won’t call you crazy if you like him to upset Nate Diaz.
Course, MacDonald is also coming off an injury and word is he bulked up a lot while on the mend. No telling if the weight cut or rust might effect the kid, so approach with caution. If it’s us, we probably take Brilz and call it good.
So, who to avoid at all costs?: Since Sean Pierson will be facing a better version of himself in Jake Ellenberger, we’d steer clear of that one. Also, with the odds so prohibitive, we don’t really like Machida, especially considering the way his last few fights have gone. Granted, he’ll probably knock Randy out and break our hearts – not to mention busting our parlay – but we just can’t justify laying any scratch on him at -350.
Official CagePotato Shoeless Joe’s Pre-Party Parlays: Remember, a parlay is a whole different animal from picking Shields, Hominick and Couture to win their individual fights. To win this baby, we need all these guys to bring home the W. So, two options: For the more straight-laced wagerers out there, go with something like St. Pierre-Aldo-Brilz-Ellenberger. You want to walk on the wildside with us? Let ‘er rip with Shields-Hominick-Couture. Because why the fuck not?