Though we’ve debated the topic nearly to death over the last few days, there’s still no online betting establishment giving odds on whether UFC 91 will really sell 1.2 million pay-per-views, as Dana White claims. What a shame. Knowing absolutely nothing about oddsmaking and even less about basic math, I’d put the line at +900. For all you ‘tards out there, that means I don’t think it will happen. The line on us seeing both Mandy Moore and Laura Prepon during the broadcast? -230. The line on the two of them fighting it out over the last Cosmo at the after-party? +15000. That’s not because they wouldn’t do it, but because the Cosmos never run dry when you hang with Dana White. Never.
As for the odds on actual fights that will actually happen, BestFightOdds.com has done all the leg work for us, and here are the best lines for UFC 91:
Brock Lesnar (-121) vs. Randy Couture (+111)
Kenny Florian (-174) vs. Joe Stevenson (+164)
Demian Maia (-200) vs. Nate Quarry (+195)
Dustin Hazelett (-150) vs. Tamdan McCrory (+175)
Gabriel Gonzaga (-370) vs. Josh Hendricks (+371)
Mark Bocek (-105) vs. Alvin Robinson (+110)
Jeremy Stephens (-115) vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (+117)
Jorge Gurgel (-115) vs. Aaron Riley (+126)
Matt Brown (-185) vs. Ryan Thomas (+190)
Pick ‘em: Some oddsmakers have Couture even, some have him at -105, but the truth is that no one can call this fight with any certainty. It’s just too unpredictable for too many different reasons, so forget the odds and approach this one as a pick ‘em. Or say screw it and just bet against the guy with the phallic tattoo on his chest. You know he’s made at least one bad decision in his life.
The Lone Blowout: Your only chance to win big without risking big at UFC 91 is the Gonzaga-Hendricks bout. What you should know about Hendricks is 1) this is his UFC debut, which means Octagon jitters could always be a factor, and 2) he’s been spending his time as a Randy Couture sparring partner lately. So either he’s gotten some good training along with good advice from Couture, or he’s been helping someone else at the expense of his own preparation. Seems like a kid with potential, but this is a tough first test in the UFC.
Favorite Underdogs: Aside from the lines that are too close for anyone to be considered a real underdog, my two favorites to beat the betting favorites are Tamdan McCrory and Ryan Thomas. McCrory because I love a nerdy-looking kid who keeps surprising people, and Thomas because I’m just not convinced Matt Brown is that good. He knocked out Jeremy May, which I consider a public service, but he didn’t get to be 7-7 by being as hardcore as the TUF producers made him seem. Just like Tila Tequila isn’t actually interesting, Brown isn’t actually the world’s toughest man. The lies reality TV tells us, huh?