Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
It wasn't long ago that UFC betting lines would start to surface just a week out from an event. Now we're seeing lines released for major fights as they're signed -- and sometimes before even that. Hell, almost every major book is still offering lines on a Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre superfight that may never come to fruition.
So, it should come as no surprise that oddsmakers had a line already in place for the future heavyweight title fight between champion Cain Velasquez and challenger Junior dos Santos minutes after the latter's one-sided victory over Shane Carwin.
What might surprise you is dos Santos opening as the -125 favorite, with Velasquez the underdog at -105.
(This graphic will update with the current best-available line for each fighter.)
As of the time of writing, four books have a line up (read as Cain/JDS): Bookmaker -120/-110, 5Dimes and SportBet -145/+115, and Bodog -160/+130.
As you can see, you have a nice little arbitrage opportunity at Bookmaker and Bodog. Of course, the problem with betting so far out from the fight -- Dana White predicts Cain fights within the next 5 months, but that might be optimistic -- is that you tie up your money and risk missing out on value in the interim.
As for the fight itself, the only scenario, in my mind, that dictates dos Santos as a favorite is if Velasquez's shoulder is significantly less than 100% and adversely effects his performance.
I'm bearish on JDS in this fight for two reasons: One, his power isn't as impressive as it might look at first glance. Gonzaga, Yvel, and Struve are not an impressive lists of chins, Mirko Cro Cop was damage accumulation, and the image of Fabricio Werdum's jiggling midsection still gives me nightmares.
Two, Velasquez's wrestling is much more effective and much more threatening than Shane Carwin's. That's going to play a huge role in dos Santos' ability to strike.