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.
Before focusing too closely on our ratings vs. odds, please remember, that we take an overall average of the odds presented by roughly a dozen major sites. Like most other financial decisions in life, you can make a best effort to find improved MMA betting odds to suit your individual needs.
With that said, there are some caveats to using the rating vs. odds comparison straight-up — the “Gotcha” list:
- System inability to project the exact effects of a recent divisional change.
- System inability to project the exact effects of recent inactivity.
- Poor matchmaking / limited careers / “changing of the guard”.
- Notable home advantage.
- System inability to project style differences.
- 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 (UFC on Fuel 7)
|Fight||Odds Favorite||Rating Favorite||I’d bet on||“Gotchas”|
|Gomez vs. Harris||Gomez (-243 / Moderate)||Gomez (1.02x / Pick ‘Em)||Harris||#4|
|Lee vs. Tezuka||Lee (-199 / Moderate)||Tezuka (1.61x / Moderate)||Tezuka||#4|
|Nedkov vs. Watson||Watson (-128 / Very Small)||Nedkov (1.45x / Small)||PASS||#1, #4|
|Grispi vs. Ogle||Grispi (-129 / Very Small)||Grispi (1.04x / Pick ‘Em)||PASS||#4|
|Sass vs. Castillo||Sass (-113 / Pick ‘Em)||Sass (1.06x / Pick ‘Em)||PASS||#4|
|Etim vs. Forte||Etim (-315 / Large)||Etim (1.84x / Moderate)||PASS||#4|
|Riddle vs. Mills||Mills (-228 / Moderate)||Mills (1.04x / Pick ‘Em)||Riddle||#4|
|Te Huna vs. Jimmo||Te Huna (-205 / Moderate)||Jimmo (1.67x / Moderate)||Jimmo||#3|
|Nelson vs. Santiago||Nelson (-243 / Moderate)||Santiago (2.21x / Large)||PASS||#1, #3|
|Manuwa vs. Diabate||Manuwa (-226 / Moderate)||Diabate (1.11x / Pick ‘Em)||PASS||#3, #4|
|Swanson vs. Poirier||Swanson (-133 / Very Small)||Swanson (1.53x / Moderate)||Swanson|
|Barao vs. McDonald||Barao (-318 / Large)||Barao (1.84x / 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. This particular card has a ton of question marks, mainly focused around the venue.
Favorites to consider: Swanson is the only favorite worth a bet and a small one at that. He has been on quite a roll lately and I would go with him here.
Underdogs to consider:
- Riddle over Mills – The ratings suggest that this is almost an even fight. With the home advantage, Mills is a very slight favorite, but I think Riddle is worth a very small bet.
- Harris over Gomez – See above, but I think the home advantage makes this almost exactly a 50/50, so it’s a marginally better bet than above.
- Tezuka over Lee – Even with the nationality adjustments we do, I’m always leery of recommending the Japanese fighter on foreign soil. Though, I cannot ignore that Tezuka projects as a relatively solid favorite.
- Jimmo over Te Huna – This seems to be the big bet to run with on this card. Jimmo projects to win. If you’re going to bet large, I’d say, go with Jimmo.