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UFC 74 Odds-An Early Look

UFC 74 Odds are out now for the full card of fights. I see a lot of posts on UFC forums about what the odds mean and how they are wrong, etc.. There is also the perception that if you bet on every underdog you will be raking in the cash. Do the odds makers know what they're doing? Here's a quick look at UFC odds statistics and what they might mean about who will win at UFC 74. The information is based on UFC events only and dates back to UFC 56.

MMA Betting Resources

August 9, 2007

Let's start with the fact that the odds makers know what they're doing when it comes to UFC events. The betting line favorite has won 75% of the time. Half the upsets that occurred were by fighters that were less than 2-1 underdogs, which is considered a very close matchup. Which means, statistically, when a fighter is listed at +200 or more he will lose almost 93% of the time. Wow!

Another interesting fact is that of the previous 13 UFC Championship bouts 6 have gone the underdog. A point can be made about fighters on their way up looking to cash in on their title shot. There is also the long standing sports cliche that its easier to win the title than hold onto it.

Couture vs Gonzaga: UFC Heavyweight Title so you have got to take a serious look at the underdog, who is currently Couture. If you look at the list of underdog winners, you will see that most are younger fighters. Gonzaga should Randybe the hungrier fighter and he certainly has all the physical edges in this fight. Couture was impressive in his win over Sylvia and showed us all what makes him great; a smart game plan, strong wrestling, and great conditioning. Sylvia was the perfect opponent for Randy to pull the upset against, Gonzaga will pose a completely different challenge though. Gonzaga is not going to let Randy set the pace, he's going to push the intensity early and 43 year old lungs like long sustained efforts, not short extreme bursts. Gonzaga will be quick and strong enough to control where and when the fight takes place. Couture's gameplan could be rendered completely useless if he is simply reacting to what Gonzaga does, which is very likely. Gonzaga will let it loose in an effort to win, unlike the calculating attack of Sylvia which played into Randy's current skill set. Its a bad matchup for Randy.

GSPGeorges St Pierre vs Josh Koscheck: Koscheck is more than a 2-1 underdog currently, so we rule him out right? Common sense tells me no way, Koscheck has succeeding at every stage in his career and is the best wrestler in MMA. He knows how to train and execute a winning plan.

"I will definitely say GSP has plenty more tools to beat Kos, than vice versa. However, Kos has the best shoot in MMA and he'll eventually get GSP down. Question really is, how strong GSP's wrestling is against a Division 1 NCAA champ. Hughes placed 6th and 8th in both his years, whereas Koscheck was undefeated at 42-0 and won first." -Forum

But looking back at the guys that pulled off major upsets I see that most of them were by striking. Kos is not known as much of a striker, he's improving, but GSP is too good.

"Kos definitely has the momentum right now, although GSP wasn't phased at all when he lost to Hughes. He came back and destroyed Trigg like nobody else. If GSP comes back like that, seeking vengeance, it might be a very short fight with Koscheck getting submitted via RNC." -Forum

Joe Stevenson vs Kurt Pellegrino: Stevenson is correctly tabbed as the heavy favorite. You can make an argument for Pellegrino, but realistically he's got no chance.

Kendall Grove vs Patrick Cote: Grove looks like he's on schedule to earn a title shot in the next year, he's moved into the top 10 of MW contenders and he gives everybody in the division matchup problems. Cote is a solid fighter who has struggled when facing tough competition. Grove is deserving of the favorite status and should put together another dominant performance.

Roger Huerta vs Alberto Crane: Huerta is rolling now and he got a wake up call from Doug Evans last fight. Huerta ran into a buzz saw and was nearly taken out by Evans. Huerta will be a improved fighter after that night. He is favored heavily to continue winning. Crane is an undefeated fighter moving up from smaller shows, but things don't look good for him. Not enough effective striking to give Huerta any problems standing and Roger will control the ground action. Stats say Huerta.

Babalu vs David Heath: Heath is +240, but Babalu is aging and his title hopes Babaluare non-existent. Heath needs to win this fight badly to take the next step up the ladder. Heath seems like a good value, but this is a meaningless fight and I see no reason to buck the trend. Stay with the favorite, Babalu.

"i agree babalu is a concern due to his current issues, but he's still awesome. he's still right there around the top 10 & probably could beat anyone at 205 on a good night. i'm not betting on heath. if people bet heath to get babalu down around -200, he's still my guy." -Forum

Frank Mir and Antoni Hardonk: Neither guy excites me. I see no reason to go against trend in this one.

Clay Guida vs Marcus Aurelio: Looks like an even matchup. Pride fighters have struggled in their UFC debuts and Guida has lost two straight. Don't be fooled by their records, Guida's losses were close and he fought well. Tough call.