Hindsight is a fine thing, especially when it comes to betting. It’s very easy to see a sporting event play out, and then critique it against the betting lines. Often this is done unjustly as we only get to witness it once, when in fact, it could have played out very differently should the same event have occurred across a larger sample size.
We combat sports bettors are arguably the worst for taking the one fight we see, and directly attributing the result to a wager being a good or bad one, when actually due to the volatile nature of fight sports, we should take a more calculated post-fight betting analysis.
Before we get stuck into our list, it’s important to know that this isn’t simply the biggest odds cashes/props of UFC 241… because we all know it would have been sweet to have a ticket for Stipe to win in round 4 @+2500. This is the shortlist of the best and worst bets when looking at their value after the fact.
Here are the bets I’ve labelled as the best and worst from UFC 241:
#1 Best Bet: Khama Worthy to Win in Round 1 @+2000/ #1 Worst Bet: Devonte Smith @-1000
Khama Worthy stepped-up on less than a weeks-notice to take on the fierce prospect Devonte Smith in the preliminary headliner for the card. Due to Smith’s hype and Worthy’s track record of being finished via strikes, many people were reluctant to put their money anywhere near the UFC debutant, with many bettors parlaying up Devonte Smith at the teeth-grittingly high price of -1000 (moneyline).
To the shock of everyone, Worthy went toe-to-toe with Smith on the feet, arguably edging out the first round. His calm cool striking made this fight look every bit of a pick‘em, thus making the -1000 price tag on Devonte Smith the worst bet on the card. As the fight entered the final minute of the first round, Khama Worthy caught Smith with a well-timed left hook, before following up with a couple more strikes on the mat for the finish.
The Round 1 prop on Khama paid out at a handsome 20/1, which in hindsight was an outstanding bet. Late notice stand-ins often go hard for finishes early, and more often than not, it’s their main keys to victory, due to their lack of conditioning.
#2 Best Bet: Sabina Mazo @-125 / #2 Worst Bet: Shauna Dobson @+110
The preliminary opener wasn’t the most exciting thing to watch on the card, but after seeing it play out, it certainly set up as one of the most missed betting spots. Sabina Mazo dominated Shauna Dobson wherever the fight took place. She stung her early standing, and then pretty much worked her over in the clinch and on the canvas for the rest of the fight.
The Colombian Mazo ended up landing 108 significant strikes, to Dobson’s pitiful 33. It seemed that the only way Dobson would’ve been able to get the win here, was if she caught Mazo with one of her heavy overhand rights, but given that Mazo has never been finished, and Dobson has only won one of her three wins via strikes, it was a pretty unlikely outcome.
#3 Best Bet: Corey Sandhagen @-160
This line shot up on fight day to -200 and beyond, but for a long time this was comfortably sitting around the -160 mark. Assunção lined up as one of Sandhagen’s toughest opponent to date. His speed, grappling and sprawling has always been an issue for other bantamweights so there was plenty of cause for concern to bet against him. Now after seeing the fight pan out, it’s easy to see how good of a bet Sandhagen was. His height and reach advantage was a very big problem for Assunção, and one that ultimately made his moneyline price a gift.
#3 Worst Bet: Casey Kenney vs. Manny Bermudez Fight Doesn’t Go the Distance @-180
With this fight I think there were a few bets that could qualify; Manny Bermudez moneyline @-180, Bermudez via submission @+125 and the one I’ve selected FDGTD @-180. I myself had a small play on Bermudez via sub @+138, and I’m not proud of it.
This was a classic case of people believing the hype of a young undefeated prospect, taking on a tough wrestler with good durability and stamina. Neither fighter had ever been finished before the fight, and the only real way this fight was likely to finish in the fifteen minutes was from a Bermudez sub. For that reason, I think playing his sub prop is defendable, as well as his moneyline (although his closing -180 was way too juiced), but the DGTD line was defiantly the worst play in this particular bout.
So that’s our list of the best and worst bets of UFC 241. I myself got caught by the Bermudez sub prop, as well as a prop on Devonte Smith to win in round one. I’m not overly pleased to admit it, but it is important to reflect upon our good and bad bets, so we can learn and profit from them in the future.
We’ve now got a two week break from the UFC, but we’ll be back soon with betting picks for UFC on ESPN+ 15: Andrade vs. Zhang!