Of the $4,709 in wagers listed on the pre-fight summary, I ended down $2,497 net on the night. I added a bet on Moontasri, hedged some of the Melendez bet using round betting on Barboza, and hedged some of my Knight bet on Alers. All of these last minute bets were losers. Adding on these losses I ended the night down almost $3,130 net.
What’s most disappointing is that five of the 11 fights were won by the underdog, yet I still ended down almost 60%, mostly because my bets on Pepey & Melendez were outsized and I got way too cute on round betting. I should know better to bet the %’s I did on how a fight might finish instead of outright on a fighter (outside of a hedging strategy), and there’s no excuse for me to have made these mistakes.
On the losses from the outsized bets on Melendez ($2,000) & Pepey ($1,000), I’m not overly concerned as of now because I have no good reason to think this strategy won’t work over time to maximize returns. My betting history pre-dating this blog has been much better than otherwise by making large bets when I had conviction, and the odds I’ve given fights on Kelly over time have shown to be conservative (the sample is large enough I think it’s representative), so I am not convinced I’m making a mistake by pursuing this strategy for now. That said, it does make things more volatile, and will be something I’ll continue to monitor and analyze continually. Related to this subject, if anything I made obvious mistakes on, it was not factoring enough information into my conviction bets & even making them too early before fight night. For example, Melendez not on PED’s was something I should have weighed more heavily than I did, and perhaps I would have not bet the same size if I had really thought about it more.
This is the first of four cards (five unofficially) on The Open Roll where I’ve ended down, and it won’t be the last. Learn and drive on. Next up UFC 201 in seven days.
Time of writing Prazeres is -217 vs. Cottrell at +205.
As much as I love betting on the underdog, I have a hard time justifying taking a guy in his first UFC fight on short notice a month after his last (which went three rounds) vs. a guy of Prazeres’ level. I’m a pass.
Time of writing Usman is -227 vs. Yakovlev at +212 or an implied ~32% chance of winning. I think there is likely value here on the Russian rapper.
Usman is the better wrestler, a bigger man (Yakovlev has fought at 155 pounds), could be the better striker, is a beast athlete, comes from the more reputable camp and has some real hype behind him. Yakovlev is the taller man, has much more & better experience where he’s proven he can compete at a high level (e.g. went three rounds with Demian Maia, beat Gray Maynard, etc.) and has some fairly solid takedown defense / wrestling (e.g. Maynard was 2 of 17 in their fight at 155, Maia was two of three at 170).
Giving the Russian a conservative 35% chance of winning implies a ~4% weighting. I’m currently $455 or less than 3% at +200 and will likely stay where I am, assuming current odds and information holds.
Time of writing Elkins is -181 vs. Pepey at +162 or an implied ~38% chance of winning. I think Elkins should be favoured, but not by that much.
Elkins is not a great athlete and takes damage to get inside, but once he gets in the clinch or against the cage he’s a master of grinding. It makes sense he’s favoured, likely to grind this fight out and win the decision. But Pepey has a very high level submission game, far superior to Elkins, and is an explosive striker, much better on the feet overall than Elkins is. It’s often a good rule of thumb to favour the wrestler with a proven abaility to get inside on high level competition and grind out the decision, but with Pepey a threat to anyone for the submission or KO, this feels like it should be closer to ~45% type odds on Pepey I believe.
Assuming ~45% chance of winning for Pepey, the Kelly Criterion suggests a ~11% type portfolio weighting. I’m currently ~$1,000 or ~6% on Pepey, and will likely stay here assuming current odds and information hold.
Time of writing Saenz is -157 vs. Wineland at +143 or implied 41% chance of winning. I think this fight might be closer to a coin flip, but I’m not saying that with a lot of conviction.
Looking back at both men’s fights / record, I think most come to the conclusion this one likely goes to decision and with Saenz’s hand raised. I’d agree this looks to be the most likely outcome heading in, but just slightly and with very low conviction. With Wineland fighting in front of his home crowd, having fought of the best in the division, having showed the potential to end fights early and knowing fights in this division typically play out the way they ‘should’ less than half the time, I believe the odds should really be closer to 50/50 here.
Assuming ~45% type odds on Wineland implies on Kelly ~7% type portfolio weighting. I’m currently ~$585 at +140 or ~3% and will likely stay here.
Time of writing Curran is listed at -105 vs. Herrig at +100 or coin flip type odds.
These two are too early in their development for me to really have a good view on what type of fighters show up on Saturday. For that reason, and no glaring discreptencies apparent in the odds, I am a pass on any outright bet.
That said, it is worth noting Herrig has gone to decision 12 of her 16 fights (75% of the time), while Curran has gone to decision three of her six fights (50% of the time). I have no reason to believe either has a higher likelyhood of finishing here than in prior bouts. Assuming ~60% chance this 115 pound fight goes the distance and ~50% chance either wins implies ~30% ish probablity either wins by decision.
The current line on Herrig by decision at +275 implies ~26% type chance of this outcome. Based on ~30% type estimated probability, the Kelly Criterion implies a ~8% type weighting. I have $150 on it or less than 1% portfolio weighting, and I am happy to stay here assuming current odds and infromation holds.
Time of writing Ngannou is -600 vs. Mihajlovic at +520 or implied ~16% chance of winning. I think this one is probably a pass.
Mihajlovic has some scrap in him for sure, but is the much smaller man, this is his first UFC fight, he’s taken fights to decision 40% of the time (with his record built against guys with very salty records), doesn’t look too fit and is 36 years old. Ngannou is a beast, much larger & athletic and has shown he is a finisher. What’s also impressive about Ngannou is he actually utilizes his range well, and can throw combinations / set up his power shots relatively well for a man his size.
I’d sprinkle some on punchers chance type odds, which is closer to +700 in my books. We’re not there today, so will leave it be unless the line changes.
Time of writing Holm is listed at -277 vs. Chevchenko at +260 or an implied ~28% chance of winning. Holm should be the favorite, but not by this much.
While both these ladies are listed at 135 pounds, Holm really is the bigger, longer & likely stronger fighter here. Because the skill level appears to be very close and it is likely in my opinion this fight goes to decision, I think this will matter. It’s one of the most tangible items to point at heading into the fight that likely sways the odds of scrambles, takedown attempts and snoozer distance striking type rounds in Holly’s favour.
That said, I think Chevchenko is likely more dangerous on the feet & on the mat. Watch the 3rd round vs. Nunes, where she dominated the current champ striking at range & in the clinche throughout, and at one point even had Amanda almost in an Americana from dominant side control. If you’re going sprinkle some on this one ending before 25 minutes is up, I think there might be value here on Shevchenko.
This type of conviction for this type of fight, I think it makes sense to cap out at around 2% type portfolio sized bet. Currently I have $150 on Valentina to end it within 25 mins at +700, $25 at +3300 R3, $25 at +3300 R4 & $25 at +4000 R5. I have $135 or so left to get up to 2%, but will likely stay here until at least a few of the earlier fight bets play out.
Time of writing Barboza is listed at -201 vs. Melendez at +190 or implied 34% chance of winning. This line makes little sense I believe and think there is value here on Gilbert.
Barboza has the ability to finish anyone from the outercircle, and is of the most dangerous strikers in the UFC today from range. But history shows this can be dealt with. Watch how Michael Johnson beat Barboza, watch how Tony Ferguson beat Barboza, then watch how Melendez clearly won each of every minute against Pettis before getting caught in a guillotine the last two minutes of the second round. If Melendez can turn this into a scrap and keep the pressure on Barboza, which I think he can… well then, the longer this fight might go, the more I believe it favours Melendez – the more damage is taken by both men, the more I believe it favours Melendez.
I want to give Melendez somewhere around 55% chance of winning, but let’s be conservative & consider the many things we might be missing… assuming El Nino has a 45% chance, and on the Kelly Criterion this implies a +15% portfolio weighting on Melendez. I’m currently $2,000 or ~10% weighting on Gilbert at +180 and will look to top up and/or hedge if it makes sense before or during the fight.