If you take a look at the odds for UFC 82 (posted directly below this entry by Nick Thomas) a lot of numbers have to jump out at you. To be honest this event has seemed to generate some of the most buzz "odds-wise" of any event I can recall.
Let's take a look at some of these numbers to see exactly where your money should (or shouldn't) be put.
Chris Wilson +425 - Bet or Pass? I'd pass on Wilson here. A lot of people start to drool the second they see a plus followed by a big number but you have to actually think a fighter has a decent chance of winning to want to put your money on him. I just don't really see Wilson as the kind of guy that beats Fitch. If you get a kick out of playing big dogs...then go ahead. If you get more of a kick out of making money, I'd pass here.
Dustin Hazelett +300 - Bet or Pass? Hazelett is ALMOST in the same boat as Wilson. The big difference is that Wilson is fighting a guy who hasn't lost since '02 and knows he is in line for a title shot. Hazelett on the other hand is fighting a guy in Josh Koscheck who is coming off a loss...a bad loss...a loss in which he was pushed around and beaten down with his own best skillset. So you have to at least consider that Kos might be less than 100% mentally. I'd still pass on Hazelett here unless you're rolling with a bigger wad of cash than I am. My thinking is that Josh is too cocky of a guy to let the GSP fight get him down. Put some money on Hazelett if you have a little something extra from your tax return and you're dying to put it on a big dog. But pass on him if you're on a limited budget.
Heath Herring +145 - Bet or Pass? BET! For sure Herring is the star of the show when it comes to betting lines right now. Kongo is riding high in the betting public's eye right now. But on the strength of what? A win over a hesitant and small Mirko Cro Cop (who also had his nuts kneed to the upper rafters a few times in the fight) and a majority decision over Assuerio Silva? Kongo is still the guy with little to no ground game, sub-par takedown defense...the Carmelo Marrero fight was only a little more than a year ago and I don't think Cheick has improved to the point where he can handle Heath. Herring is decent enough standing to survive and is light years ahead of Kongo when it comes to wrestling and the ground game. I'd say to put your money on Herring if he were -145...seeing a + rather than a - makes it so much more attractive.
Yushin Okami -220 vs. Evan Tanner +170 - Bet or Pass? I'll most likely pass on this one for the simple reason of not knowing what Evan Tanner we're going to see. If someone held a gun to my head I'd probably throw some money on Okami as a fairly heavy favorite before I'd put money on the walking question mark that is Evan Tanner.
Anderson Silva -150 vs. Dan Henderson +120 - Bet or Pass? This is exactly what I love to see in a fight when it comes to "entertainment gambling." Meaning, the odds are balanced in a balanced fight. Often you're forced to not put money on the guy you're rooting for because the odds don't make sense. With Silva/Hendo you can put money on whatever fighter you think will win and have a good shot at making some scratch. Bet Silva's crazy muay thai and solid BJJ or bet Hendo's big right hand and superior wrestling. Just bet on the fight and enjoy.