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The Betting Man’s Guide to UFC 83

(GSP is not impressed with your decision to bet against him, but he respects you anyway)

So, that tax refund is just burning a hole in your bank account. You can’t wait to send your “Economic Stimulus Package” money to some off-shore betting establishment. Before you go thwarting our magical economy band-aid with your irresponsible spending, American consumer, maybe you should see if you can’t learn something first.

The first thing to know about betting on MMA is that it does not qualify as a long-term financial strategy. The second thing to know is that telling girls in bars how much you have riding on this next fight won’t impress them the way you’re hoping it will. For some reason, their mothers didn’t teach them that the guys who gamble heavily on pro sports are the real keepers. Go figure.

But if you’re looking to drop some coin on UFC 83 this Saturday, it’s not a bad idea to do some analysis first. Here’s a look at the lines from Bodog, and where the money might be made.

Georges St. Pierre (-500) vs. Matt Serra (+325)

Serra’s still the underdog, and rightly so, though the odds aren’t as lopsided as the first meeting. Renzo Gracie – who has trained both men – claims to have pocketed close to ten grand betting on Serra last time, though even he has to be wondering if it’s the smart play this time around.

The question is, did GSP have a bad night, or does Serra truly represent a style problem for “Rush”, as he claims? While I tend to think it’s more the former than the latter, there’s another issue to consider.

In the past twelve months, Serra has done nothing but train, have surgery, and get booed by UFC fans when he shows up at live shows. The last time he stayed out of action that long he lost his first fight back, a decision against Karo Parisyan.

Contrast that with GSP, who’s beaten Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck, both convincingly, in that same time period. Ask yourself, who’s likely to be sharper and more confident on Saturday night?

The line here justifies small action on Serra, if you’re the type who favors cockeyed optimism over grim realism. But whatever you put down against GSP, you should consider it already gone.

Rich Franklin (-350) vs. Travis Lutter (+250)

If this fight had happened before Anderson Silva’s two dominating victories over Franklin, you’d have to expect “Ace” to be a lock. The fact that he looked so bad in those losses might have some people itching to bet on his downfall, but that’s not wise.

Lutter has a good ground game, though he’s never used it to beat anyone who really matters. Franklin, on the other hand, has never been submitted in his pro career. Lutter’s chances of beating him on the feet – or even of taking him down and maintaining top position – seem slim at best.

Franklin’s the smart choice here, though with this line you won’t see a big payday. Then again, that’s how gambling establishments like it. Cruel, no?

Nate Quarry (-295) vs. Kalib Starnes (+235)

If Starnes were more of an underdog here, it might be worth the risk. As it is, you have a guy who’s decent at everything but with questionable heart and desire against a guy who never stopped believing in himself even after Rich Franklin moved his nose to the side of his face.

A bet for Starnes would essentially be a bet against Quarry’s full recovery from back surgery. If you know something through your secret relationship with his chiropractor, then by all means, act on it. Otherwise, tread softly.

Small action on Starnes might be justified. If you just have to bet on an underdog on this card, he’s probably the best one. Otherwise, leave it alone.

Mac Danzig (-550) vs. Mark Bocek (+350)

At first glance, many of you may be wondering why Mac Danzig, a TUF winner, comes in so heavily favored. Is it just because people have seen him on TV and think he’s better than he is, thus skewing the line with their reckless bets?

The answer is maybe, but probably not. Danzig is for real, people. If you don’t know, you better ask somebody. The UFC is giving him Bocek because a) he’s Canadian, and b) he’s beatable. They wouldn’t risk their investment in a TUF winner so soon.

This is all Danzig, and the line is going to keep you from cashing in on it.

Michael Bisping (-330) vs. Charles McCarthy (+260)

The question here is how Bisping will handle the drop in weight. If he gets on the scales looking emaciated, expect the line to change, and don’t be afraid to jump on it fast. If he doesn’t, it won’t.

Whatever you think of him, Bisping is a gifted fighter. At middleweight, he has the potential to be a powerhouse.

McCarthy is strong on the ground, but Bisping is well-rounded enough that you aren’t going to beat him there if you can’t hold him down and grind away at him for a little while first.

Sorry fight fans, but it doesn’t look like anyone’s getting fat off this one.


Cagepotato Comments

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Anonymous- April 16, 2008 at 4:08 pm
if u bet 500 on gsp u will be down 2500
Anonymous- April 16, 2008 at 4:06 pm
u risk 330 to win 100 if bisping wins
Ruger- April 15, 2008 at 1:39 pm
So say I bet $500 on GSP and he loses. I'm just out the $500 right?
BooBooPooPants- April 15, 2008 at 4:49 am
gsp is a french cock
lolwut- April 15, 2008 at 1:52 am
hmm thanx for the explanation too bad i dont have any money to throw around lol
GSP- April 15, 2008 at 1:39 am
$5k on serra
cw- April 14, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Makes sense - thanks for explaining.
Aryan- April 14, 2008 at 7:38 pm
$100 on Serra
Noah- April 14, 2008 at 6:35 pm
@ micah: good explanation on the betting lines, it's simple and to the point. About a year ago, I was confused by that stuff and read an article about it. If only someone gave me your explanation I could have saved ten minutes!

@Potato: you are damn right! Nobody is going to make good money on this card, unless some crazy bastard bet on all the underdogs and it somehow worked. These lines are tough, while I agree with who the underdog and who the favorite is, I can't justify voting either way. I have to bet $500 on GSP just to win $100?! I don't feel confident enough to throw around $500 like that.

I would like to see GSP win, but I still can't say he is definitely going to win. Then again, I was also nervous about GSP vs Hughes II, and III as well as GSP vs Kos and we know how those went.
micah- April 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm
its confusing at first, but incredibly simple once its explained. - is favored to win. + is favored to lose. think of the numbers as pennies. if a fighter is -330, then for every $3.30 you bet, you win a dollar (assuming your guy wins). or if you guy is +260, for every dollar you bet, you win $2.60.
cw- April 14, 2008 at 5:56 pm
Excuse the ignorance, how does the +/- thing work? If Bisping is minus 330 then you have to wager more than $330 to see any return on your money if he wins?