Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC 188: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

2015 PICKS

Last event: 6-6 (50.0%)

Year to date: 129-75 (63.2%)

When the biggest favorite on the fight card is just -200 (and that guy loses by KO in the first minute), I suppose going 6-6 on picks shouldn’t come as a surprise.

UFC 188 – STATISTICAL MODEL ESTIMATES

Favorite % Underdog %
 Cain Velasquez 85.8% Fabricio Werdum 14.2%
 Gilbert Melendez 68.7% Eddie Alvarez 31.3%
 Kelvin Gastelum 71.8% Nate Marquardt 28.2%
 Yair Rodriguez 59.5% Charles Rosa 40.5%
 Tecia Torres 60.4% Angela Hill 39.6%
 Henry Cejudo 67.7% Chico Camus 32.3%
 Efrain Escudero 61.4% Drew Dober 38.6%
 Alejandro Perez 64.8% Patrick Williams 35.2%
 Johnny Case 73.7% Frank Trevino 26.3%
 Cathal Pendred 65.7% Augusto Montano 34.3%
 Clay Collard 64.0% Gabriel Benitez 36.0%

If you’re wondering, the model had Albert Tumenov with an 80.1% chance of beating Andrew Todhunter. That fight got called off as Todhunter simply couldn’t cut the weight necessary to fight on short notice.

Cathal Pendred at 65.7% probably jumps out at you. I have to admit that when I watch Pendred fight, I don’t like what I see. His hands are painfully slow and he just doesn’t appear to be as good an athlete as most guys in the UFC. Pendred’s striking statistics rate as firmly below-average, with 115 significant strikes landed, 128 absorbed, and two knockdowns absorbed. The reason he’s favored by the model is that he’s had success with takedowns (eight in three fights) and he does have a number of wins against respectable competition on his record (Che Mills, Gael Grimaud, David Bielkheden, Nico Musoke).

Augusto Montano is 15-1 and looked good against Chris Heatherly in his UFC debut, but he just hasn’t beaten the same level of opponents as Pendred. The model sees Pendred as being the higher-level fighter and having a decisive takedown advantage, which is enough to make him the favorite. I now fully expect to see Pendred get out-boxed for three rounds, only to win by unanimous decision.

The other underdogs favored by the model are Yair Rodriguez and Efrain Escudero.

DEGENERATE GAMBLER’S CORNER – SEASON TWO

Last event: +$26.25

Current bankroll: $287.36

Total investment: $589.17

Total profit: $187.36

Return on investment: 31.8%

Even though last week’s picks went just 6-6, things went very well for my degenerate gambling. My top three bets – underdogs Jose Quinonez, Ben Rothwell, and Anthony Birchak – all emerged victorious. That healed most of the damage done by the big losses the week before.

For this event I have…

Cathal Pendred +140: $11.27 to win $15.78

Yair Rodriguez +195: $10.16 to win $19.62

Efrain Escudero +135: $7.85 to win $10.60

Chico Camus +900: $5.30 to win $47.70

Cain Velasquez -480: $3.44 to win $0.72

Gilbert Melendez -165: $3.31 to win $2.01

Angela Hill +255: $3.05 to win $7.78

Nate Marquardt +400: $1.84 to win $7.36

Frank Trevino +400: $1.37 to win $5.48

Gabriel Benitez +225: $1.31 to win $2.95

Alejandro Perez -165: $1.16 to win $0.70

Bets on every fight again! Unsurprisingly, the three biggest bets are on the underdogs the model picked to win outright – Pendred, Rodriguez, and Escudero.

No, I don’t have much faith in Chico Camus’s ability to beat Henry Cejudo. I’ll even go so far as to say that the model underrates Cejudo, since it doesn’t know about his gold medal in freestyle wrestling. But the odds are just crazy here. If Camus only needs to win over 10 percent of the time to return value, then sure, I’ll take a stab.

When I bet on Chris Weidman against Vitor Belfort, I was asked why I would bet him straight and not put him in a parlay. Now I’m betting on Cain Velasquez straight. For me, it’s all about the probabilities. Using parlays doesn’t increase the expected rate of return, it just mitigates risk. With my system, risk is already mitigated with the bet sizes recommended by the Kelly criterion. You’ll notice that my bet on Velasquez is relatively small. That was true when I bet on Weidman as well.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a betting professional and I do NOT recommend you follow my bets. Any bets you place are done at your own risk.

Best of luck and enjoy the fights!

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7 responses to “UFC 188: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

  1. Howard Morton June 12, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    It’s hard betting on a guy like Pendred, but your model has been doing really well.

    • David Williams June 12, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      And I bet on Pendred earlier this year, only to see him get out-performed by Sean Spencer… and then win by decision. But then, sometimes the best values come from going against the grain.

  2. r.mattioli June 13, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    way to hit the big bets…..dodger was an apt nic for montano..unfortunately,the public caught wind of how bad he was and the line moved toward pendred…..I just didn`t have the stones to pull the trigger on cathal…..

    that said,he may be on one of the most tenuous runs in ufc history

    the good: he will have to fight a live body eventually……
    the bad:most of the gambling public is laying in wait to fade him.(lol)…

    hope this doesn`t come off wrong but I was never totally sold on velasquez…I know I`ve said I`d take cormier in a heartbeat if they ever fought…and yes there was a long layoff…..but velasquez isn`t a particularly huge heavy….he`s not outrageously quick twitch…he doesn`t have huge power in his punches…I think he`s a tad overrated…I saw him almost get ktfo vs kongo(kongo let him grab him after cain was pretty much out on his feet)….

    I didn`t wager on werdum,though…I don`t know why…so many reasons to(layoff,wedum`s hot streak,reach,wedum`s more complete game and ridiculously improved stand-up))….I played fight doesn`t go the distance in a par….but I whiffed on a big opportunity…..

    this reminded me of the dos anjos/pettis fight….matter of fact werdum`s career has taken almost the same path as dos anjos`….a solid Brazilian who couldn`t quite get over the hump and then they add some real stand-up skill and they go on a tear…pettis and velasquez perceived as near unbeatable but coming off long periods of inactivity over the last 2.5 years…

    velasquez was afraid to get on the ground with werdum and that was it in a nutshell…no ground and pound for the wrestler…they fight again,velasquez will have to go to the ground and take his chances…that`s his bread and butter..

    dos santos beats wedum(the “old” werdum,anyway),velasquez beats dos santos and werdum beats velasquez…styles make fights….

    sorry for the ramble…that was a fun night…congrats ,david…

  3. r.mattioli June 13, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    btw..who figured that alvarez would come back after a rough 1st round and a closed eye,and beat Melendez with his grappling?….actually out-cardio him……I thought it could go either way but I didn`t expect alvarez to outgrapple melendez….

    I`m thinking that fighting on the Japanese circuit and in lesser orgs that maybe we slightly overrated them both…

    tough night for the Mexican faithful…

    • Howard Morton June 15, 2015 at 10:12 pm

      “Dodger” Montano should be cut from the UFC and Pendred is the worst 4-0 fighter in the history of the UFC.

      Who they give to Pendred next is a mystery to me, but I would not mind seeing him fight the winner of Jake Ellenberger/Stephen Thompson or Colby Covington, who is a decent prospect in my opinion.

      Velasquez is a good fighter, but in my opinion the UFC pushed him as hard as they did so they can get Mexicans to buy PPV’s for 60 dollars or whatever they are charging for those things now a days.

      The people that should be taken to task are the members of the MMA media that wrote long detailed stories on Velasquez claiming he would hold the belt for years. They made the guy out to be a god. Daniel Cormier and Javier Mendez comically claimed that Velasquez would beat Werdum easily. Mendez said that Velasquez would beat Werdum every minute of the fight. The arrogance of those two is crazy. DC was talking crap to Weidman on live TV after Rockhold smashed Machida. I think AKA needed a wake up call and Fabricio Werdum provived that to them at UFC 188.

      • r.mattioli June 16, 2015 at 2:57 pm

        good stuff howard….I`ve read some speculation(not my speculation…from others on the net) that the ufc`s pending,stricter p.e.d. testing and penalties might have some guys previously thought to be near unbeatable taking steps to stay ahead of the curve(if you get my drift)……..

        we`ve seen several guys thought to be unstoppable take a step backward of late(even though the new policy isn`t expected to take effect until july 1st)….

        inreresting speculation……

  4. Howard Morton June 16, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Interesting speculation only because it is totally true. I bet there are hundreds of fighters in the UFC that are crying like girls because of the new PED testing program.

    Moving forward we will see 3 things because of the new PED testing program:

    1. More fighters moving up in weight class because they can’t use steroids to help them.

    2. Fatigue. Steroids work, so if a fighter can’t use them while they train they will fatigue faster in fights.

    3. More stoppages. Instead of having 2 steroided up bulls in the octagon fighting we will have 2 men. 2 tough men, but men nonetheless.

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