My picks are in for the first 3 fights on the board. I am finding that my model has about a 70% accuracy, with no particular bias based on the odds I’m finding. Therefore, my bets will be purely based on the output of the model. I plan to follow up in late January when I have a bunch more data in the model with which to predict future fights.
In Henderson vs Diaz, the model predicts the champ will retain. At the just over 1.6 to win which correlates with a 63% winning percentage to break even, there may not be very much value in Henderson. Regardless, as stated above, I will be purely betting on the output of the model. Therefore, I put 1 unit on Henderson at 1.6 to 1.
For Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs Alexander Gustafsson, I have the Brazilian, Rua pulling out the victory. With juicy odds of 2.75 to 1, he is definitely worth a bet in this case. Keep in mind, the odds are determined by where the bookies expect the money to go. From a non-model perspective, I feel that Gustafsson is overhyped. Sure, he is 6-1 in the UFC and is definitely a good fighter, but he has yet to defeat any really notable opponents. This fight will really determine whether he is ready to move into the upper echelon of light heavyweights and at 2.75 to 1, I like Shogun. Based purely on the model though, I place a 1 unit bet on Rua at 2.75 to 1.
B.J. Penn vs Rory MacDonald is an intriguing fight based on all the trash talk between the two. The whole issue of VADA testing has been a big one; Penn invited MacDonald, MacDonald now getting annoyed, etc. My model has Penn as the favourite and while many of the stats are from Penn’s prime and the question of him being somewhat “washed up” has to be asked, but I will rely on the model at least until I see evidence that it isn’t working (ignoring UFC 154 as a minor blip). Therefore, I place a 1 unit bet on B.J at 3.4 to 1.
Henderson – 1 unit @ 1.6
Shogun – 1 unit @ 2.75
Penn – 1 unit @ 3.4