UFC on FOX 6 / Odds vs. Ratings (01-26-2012)

24 Jan , 2013,

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”
Mitchell vs. Thoresen Thoresen (-235 / Moderate) Thoresen (1.08x / Pick ‘Em) PASS #2
Natal vs. Spencer Natal (-250 / Moderate) Natal (1.51x / Moderate) PASS
Krauss vs. Stumpf Krauss (-245 / Moderate) Krauss (1.60x / Moderate) PASS
Russow vs. Jordan Russow (-187 / Moderate) Russow (2.28x / Large) Russow
Bader vs. Matyushenko Bader (-523 / Very Large) Bader (3.47x / Very Large) PASS
Hioki vs. Guida Guida (-244 / Moderate) Guida (1.44x / Small) PASS #1
Grant vs. Wiman Grant (-120 / Pick ‘Em) Grant (1.17x / Very Small) PASS
Koch vs. Lamas Koch (-153 / Small) Lamas (1.87x / Large) Lamas #2
Cerrone vs. Pettis Pettis (-120 / Pick ‘Em) Cerrone (1.17x / Very Small) Cerrone
Jackson vs. Teixeira Teixeira (-320 / Large) Jackson (2.37x / Large) PASS #3
Johnson vs. Dodson Johnson (-225 / Moderate) Johnson (2.50x / Large) Johnson

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.  I really want to call Jackson and Mitchell good bets, but I just can’t justify doing so.  If you really feel ballsy, then drop a couple bucks on these guys.  They are borderline picks.


Favorites to consider: Johnson, Russow.  These fighters are the betting favorites, but the rating difference suggest that they are not large enough favorites by odds.


Underdogs to consider

  • Cerrone over Pettis.  Pettis is the betting favorite, while Cerrone is the ratings favorite.  Cerrone is worth a small bet.
  • Lamas over Koch.  The inactivity of Koch is a gotcha, but if I’m betting, it’s on Lamas.


  1. jcs January 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm Reply

    A 50/50 night..

  2. jcs January 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm Reply

    Maybe he’ll have the MMA version of the “contract year” we see in other sports. I’m not sold on Glover. Guess we’ll find out.

  3. oleg January 25, 2013 at 9:55 am Reply

    Rampage has been stinking it up – or at least phoning it in for quite some time now. No reason to expect anything different.

  4. John N. January 25, 2013 at 12:00 am Reply

    Quinton is getting put down.

  5. jcs January 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm Reply

    What’s everyone think? Is Rampage gonna stink it up, or make those odds look ridiculous?

  6. Nick January 24, 2013 at 2:44 pm Reply

    My favorite article. Thanks for posting…

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