Courtesy of BestFightOdds, here are the juiciest lines for UFC 88, reflecting the lowest numbers for the favorites (i.e., the dollar amounts you’d have to put up to win $100), and the highest numbers for the underdogs (i.e., the dollar amounts you’d win if you put up $100). If you’re confused, go here first. Click on each line to go to the wagering site that’s offering it. And now the numbers…
Chuck Liddell (-241) vs. Rashad Evans (+230)
Rich Franklin (-221) vs. Matt Hamill (+210)
Dan Henderson (-200) vs. Rousimar Palhares (+190)
Karo Parisyan (-210) vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida (+203)
Nate Marquardt (-130) vs. Martin Kampmann (+140)
Thiago Tavares (-252) vs. Kurt Pellegrino (+250)
Tim Boetsch (-375) vs. Michael Patt (+326)
Dong Hyun Kim (-350) vs. Matt Brown (+300)
Jason MacDonald (-157) vs. Jason Lambert (+160)
Ryo Chonan (-113) vs. Roan Carneiro (+103)
— UFC 88′s “I Can’t Believe the Odds Are That Close” match is MacDonald/Lambert. When a fighter drops a weight class, it usually means he’ll have a size advantage against his opponent. In Jason Lambert’s case, he’s just cutting some topmeat. The Punisher might look a little faster in the cage, but MacDonald is still the far more talented fighter here, and you won’t regret putting some money down on the favorite.
— Aside from the virtual pick ‘em of Chonan/Carneiro, the odds on the other three undercard matches are too far apart for their own good. I’m not sure how the dude who just got his ass kicked by Matt Wiman gets to be a -252 favorite against Kurt Pellegrino (who was tooling Nate Diaz during their match at UFC Fight Night 13 before getting caught in a triangle choke, and who looked like one of the toughest mofos alive in his previous match against Alberto Crane). Tim Boetsch’s -375 is simply a product of people not knowing who Michael Patt is. Matt Brown’s spotty record comes from him being susceptible to submissions — something he shouldn’t have to worry about with Dong Hyun Kim, who’s primarily a striker like himself. Puncher’s chance, people. Small bets on these underdogs could pay off.
— As for the main card, you should be able to confidently put money on Liddell even if you won’t be getting much in return. If Hamill and Palhares’s lines were any higher, I’d say they’d be solid underdog bets, but right now they’re a little risky — though maybe we convinced you otherwise in our “who’s more likely to score an upset” discussion yesterday. Personally, I think Hendo makes a lot of sense at -200.