UFC 155 / Odds vs. Ratings

27 Dec , 2012,

This is not an attempt to suggest the rating system is more accurate than gambling odds.  Gamblers can analyze each fight individually, while the rating system uses a variety of mathematical routines to supply a primary fighter rating that is focused on ranking recent achievement, with a secondary priority of gauging future expectation.

With that said, there are some caveats to using the rating vs. odds comparison straight-up — the “Gotcha” list:

  1. System inability to project the exact effects of a recent divisional change.
  2. System inability to project the exact effects of recent inactivity.
  3. Poor matchmaking / limited careers / “changing of the guard”.
  4. Notable home advantage.
  5. System inability to project style differences.
  6. System inability to factor in bad judging decisions.

But this stuff (especially #5) is pretty much common sense.  We try to partially factor in #1-#3 when we compute the ratings, but #5 and #6 is something that the human can factor in, that the system can’t.  For the sake of these articles, we’ll attempt to factor in #4 when relevant.  Home advantage can have a slight effect, but likely not enough to sway the “I’d bet on” decision.

Experienced gamblers know that it’s not about being right the most, it’s about making the most money.  So in the usual table, I’ll add the “I’d bet on” column and analyze the rating/odds gap plus points #1-4 that I listed above. I’ll leave #5 and #6 to the fully subjective analyses (except for when Leonard Garcia is involved for #6) — of which I’m sure there will be plenty.

The gotchas aren’t necessarily comprehensive, but I have noted them as I come across them and when they are considered in the decision.

Having said all that, let’s get started:

Ratings vs. Odds

Fight Odds Favorite Rating Favorite I’d bet on “Gotchas”
Holloway vs. Garcia Holloway (-342 / Large) Holloway (1.58x / Moderate) PASS #6
Moraga vs. Cariaso Moraga (-177 / Small) Cariaso (1.47x / Moderate) Cariaso
Duffee vs. De Fries Duffee (-287 / Moderate) Duffee (1.30x / Small) De Fries
Johnson vs. Jury Johnson (-232 / Moderate) Johnson (3.16x / Very Large) PASS #3
Guillard vs. Varner Guillard (-129 / Very Small) Guillard (1.30x / Small) Guillard
Perez vs. Bloodworth Perez (-416 / Large) Perez (3.84x / Massive) Perez
Pickett vs. Wineland Wineland (-114 / Pick ‘Em) Wineland (1.09x / Pick ‘Em) PASS
Leben vs. Brunson Leben (-150 / Small) Leben (1.62x / Moderate) PASS #2
Okami vs. Belcher Okami (-116 / Pick ‘Em) Belcher (1.39x / Small) Belcher
Boetsch vs. Philippou Philippou (-115 / Pick ‘Em) Boetsch (1.83x / Large) Boetsch
Miller vs. Lauzon Miller (-219 / Moderate) EVEN Lauzon
dos Santos vs. Velasquez dos Santos (-203 / Moderate) dos Santos (1.56x / Moderate) PASS

Now, to the results — given the odds above:

The PASS suggests that the odds and ratings difference are nearly identical and/or there are too many gotchas, so neither fighter is a good bet.

There are two favorites worth backing: Guillard and Perez.  Guillard is worth a very small bet, while Perez looks like good parlay material.  He’s got a tremendous rating advantage over his opponent.


This leaves FIVE underdogs worth considering:

De Fries vs. Duffee – This one is worth a very small flier at best.  Duffee is the ratings favorite, but the rating difference suggests Duffee projects to approximately a -160 favorite, not a -300 one.

Lauzon vs. Miller – A “dead even” fight by FightMatrix standards, so it’s worth taking a chance on Lauzon who is about a 2-to-1 underdog right now.

Belcher vs. Okami – Okami is a guy that the system has always shown a relative dislike for.  Take that with a grain of salt and pass, or ride with Belcher for a moderate bet, even if he becomes a very slight favorite.

Cariaso vs. Moraga – Cariaso recently dropped from Bantam and took his points with him.  If the weight comes off easily, he makes a fairly strong underdog bet.

Boetsch vs. Philippou – Though helped just a bit by his questionable decision win over Lombard, he looks to be the most solid underdog bet of the bunch.



  1. jcs December 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm Reply

    The system was still 6 for 12 overall… one of the “wrongs” was an up-and-comer in Myles Jury.

    Underdogs are just that… underdogs.

  2. aidan December 31, 2012 at 3:24 pm Reply

    well you got perez right. yeah rough picks.

  3. jcs December 30, 2012 at 10:02 am Reply

    Welp, I guess we were due a ‘down’ event..

  4. jcs December 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm Reply

    Insignificant difference, but fixed.

  5. Joe December 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm Reply

    P.S. I don’t mean to heckle or anything. I just love the site and want to maximize it’s usefulness.

  6. Joe December 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm Reply

    Halloway is ranked 65 with a rating of 68
    Garcia is ranked 139 with a rating of 43

    Is it calculated 68/43? Cause I get 1.58. I’m only asking so I can recalculate the odds when the lines move.

  7. jcs December 28, 2012 at 11:34 am Reply

    Not updating, this has to be locked in at some point.

    Holloway’s rating is 1.62x greater than Garcia’s.

  8. Joe December 28, 2012 at 11:16 am Reply

    Also, how is the Rating Calculated.

    Holloway (1.62x / Moderate): How is Max 1.62x relative to Garcia

  9. Joe December 28, 2012 at 11:15 am Reply

    Will you be updating the odds as the lines move after the weigh-ins?

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