You can forget the economy. Fedor Emelianenko is the best investment you can make. Photo courtesy of Strikeforce
You know what's more fun than watching Fedor Emelianenko fight? Watching him fight when you have some monetary interest in it. So, rub those eyes open, work on that hangover, and let's throw some money around.
Fedor Emelianenko -250 vs. Dan Henderson
I'm baffled that this line still exists. This time last year, no one gave Fabricio Werdum a chance in hell of toppling Fedor Emelianenko, and people started to wonder whether Dan Henderson's time as an elite fighter had passed after a meek decision loss to Jake Shields. Had this fight taken place then, the Russian might have pushed a four-digit betting line. Yet, here we are, with the oddsmakers handing you a break-even rate just under 71.5% on Emelianenko. I'm all over this like M-1 Global on an opportunity to renegotiate.
Fedor/Hendo does not complete 2 rounds +160 (Bodog) and Over 2.5 rounds +135/Goes to a decision +140 (5Dimes)
We're going to use these props as a refresher on Expected Value (EV).
The sample size isn't huge, but, for our purposes, heavyweight fights break down with 65% finished before the the start of round 3, 26% going to decision, and the remaining 9% ending during the last round. Now, those numbers probably aren't reflective of the probabilities for this fight in particular, but it's fair to say they're in the ballpark.
For simplicity's sake, let's put a $100 bet on the fight not completing two rounds and the fight going to a decision. If the fight ends in round one or two, we make $60. If it goes to a decision, we win $40. If it ends in the third round, we lose $200. Now, intuitively, that looks like a bad bet. But we also have to factor in that the probabilities are weighted. Here's the math:
EV = ($60 * .65) + ($40 * .26) + (-$200 * .09)
Finish the equation, and you have an expected value of $31.40, and that's makes it a good bet for us. We continue to see positive EV if we lower a finish within two rounds to 53% and hand the balance over to a third-round finish (21%, an absurdly high number).
I picked Coenen to win the fight, and I do think she's the rightful favorite (though most books have it as a virtual pick 'em). However, if you like Tate (or if you like money), I really like this prop over at 5Dimes. You can find the same prop at Bodog or Bookmaker, but they're hanging +190 and +165, respectively. That's a break-even difference of over 10%.
Daley has one decision victory in the last five years. Woodley is taking a huge leap in competition, but his biggest strength (wrestling) plays well into his opponent's biggest weakness (takedown defense). If I were taking just one of these bets, I would grab the Daley line, but I like them both as a sort of prop-arb. The biggest threat to blow it up is Woodley subbing Daley, but I have enough confidence in Daley's submission avoidance to take both here.