Thursday, 7 February 2013

Key Points for profitable MMA betting part 2

Betting on the UFC: Seeing through the hype
All big combat sporting organizations know the importance of promoting a fight, they want to get the viewer invested in the story behind the fight. They want the viewer to be rooting for a fighter to be emotionally invested in the fight and to be willing to part financially to see the fight. How then do we as professional gamblers/punters/investors whatever you want call us capitalize on this. The best example I can give you is Brock Lesnar, one of the most popular mixed martial arts of our time. Brock Lesnar was a hype machine.
Coming from a pro wrestling background Lesnar knew how to get the public invested in his bouts and as the public shape the betting lines this can be used to our advantage.

Brock Lesnar's first fight inside the octagon came against Frank Mir. Lesnar came into the fight with a 1-0 record whilst Frank Mir a former UFC champion had a respectable record of 10-3. Now Frank Mir was returning from a near career ending injury and had struggled in his return to the octagon however it was still suprising that Lesnar came is as the favorite at around -160 by fight time. There is no doubting that Lesnar was/is a spectacular athlete but given the information available prior to the fight there was no way that line was correct. You may say it is easy to say that now in hindsight knowing that Frank Mir won the fight via submission. The way you should judge whether you made a good betting decision or not is not from the outcome but from what you did with the information prior to a fight. What did we know prior to the fight, Lesnar was a great athlete, a good wrestler and had made an impressive performance in his debut against a fighter who was not UFC calibre. We knew that Frank Mir had a very good submission game, was experienced and had fought on the big stage before, we had seen him strike, we had seen him fight to the distance. Looking at the information we had prior to the fight was Lesnar a justified -160 he certainly was not for me. Frank Mir at +155 was the value bet.
This is an example of a fighter hype pushing a line to a number that is can be capitalized on by a sharp bettor.

Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez was my biggest ever bet at the time, as the Brock Lesnar hype train continued despite his flaws being exposed in his prior fight to Shane Carwin. Here are the odds at fight time Brock Lesnar -185, Cain Velasquez +160. What information did we have available to us prior to the fight?
Lesnar was coming off a win against Shane Carwin after he had survived a first round beating, Carwin suffered some sort of cardiovascular meltdown in the second round and Lesnar submitted him. This fight was especially bitter for me as I had a large bet on Carwin at the time and had promised my girlfriend that I would take her away with the winnings. I sat and watched the fight with her and as Carwin was delivering a first round beatdown I was bragging about how I was the greatest the MMA bettor known to man, my girlfriend went off to search for holiday destinations. She came back into the room all smiles only to see a bloodied Lesnar strapping the belt around his waist 
"What happened!" she asked, I didn't want to answer.

After the fight Lesnar proclaimed himself the "The baddest man on the planet" and the betting public must have believed him because despite his striking flaws being made evident and a stylistic weakness against fighters who could stop his takedowns being exposed the Lesnar hype train remained strong and people continued to back him.
On the other side we had Cain Velasquez who had earned his title shot with tenacious work ethic and increadible cardio he had been brutalizing everyone that got in his way but he wad generally fairly quite about it. He was 8-0 had great wrestling credentials, just knocked out Nogueira and had shown great endurance alongside his athleticism. So why exactly was Lesnar the favorite again? because he was big, scary looking, he could talk, had a title belt and was well known. These were the factors that made him the favorite and none of these factors have anything to do with the actual outcome of the fight that you would be betting on.
On a sidenote I managed to recoup my losses on the Carwin fight and make a little extra which eventually enabled me to take my girlfriend on holiday.

This is probably the easiest and the biggest example I could have made about seeing through the hype, it is not exclusive to Brock Lesnar it is still existent in some fighters on the current UFC roster. Look for the fighters that get people talking, that have the fan base and then bet against them when they are matched up against someone who negates their skill set or at least competes against it very well.

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