UFC 213: Nunes, Shevchenko, or Arbitrage?

Valentina Shevchenko

Thursday, June 29, 2017 7:07 PM GMT

Amanda Nunes is the UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion, but with UFC 213 fast approaching, most books have Valentina Shevchenko as their favorite on the MMA odds board.

They were passing the UFC Women’s Bantamweight strap around like a hot potato. Holly Holm took it from Ronda Rousey, then Miesha Tate took it from Holm, and Amanda Nunes took it from Tate. Finally, Nunes broke the chain and successfully defended her title against Rousey last December at UFC 207. The belt has found a home.

Not so fast. Nunes has another title defense coming up July 8 at UFC 213 in Las Vegas, and it’s a rematch of her 2016 fight against Valentina Shevchenko, which Nunes (a slight underdog at –108) won by unanimous decision to set up her title shot. Despite that result, the books are split for their second fight; most have Shevchenko as a slight favorite on the UFC odds board, while others have it as a pick ‘em, and still others have Nunes on top. What’s a bettor to do?

 

No Pocket Protector Required

Well, if you want to make a guaranteed “plus-EV” bet for your UFC picks, there might be a very small window for an arbitrage play as we go to press. Sports Interaction has Shevchenko priced at +100, while BetOnline has Nunes at +105. Just take both sides. It’s free money, right?

If you want to be super-precise about it, use the SBR Arbitrage Calculator to figure out how much to bet on either side. Plug in +100 and +105, and the math gods will tell you to bet $100 on Shevchenko, then $97.56 on Nunes, guaranteeing you a profit of 1.23 percent no matter who wins the fight. That’s assuming they don’t go to a draw or a no-contest, of course. What’s the likelihood of that?

 The Luck of the Draw

According to FightMatrix, there have been 84 fights in the Women’s Bantamweight division. One of them went to a no-contest, and one was a draw. That’s two out of 84, or 2.38 percent. And this main event is a very close matchup with a higher threat than most of finishing in a stalemate. Nunes won the first two rounds of their previous encounter, then Shevchenko rallied in the third and nearly won before running out of time.

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I hope people understand & appreciate this: Amanda Nunes x Valentina Shevchenko will be THE highest level WMMA match ever seen, regardless.

— Maximum Power (@TheMaximumPower) June 29, 2017
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Here’s the good news: In the event of a draw or no contest, it’s common practice for the books to void all straight bets and return all monies wagered. So let’s go ahead and take the free cash. This is a very close fight on paper; we’d rather let these women figure it out for themselves than pick a side.

Free UFC Pick: Shevchenko +100, Nunes +105
Best Line: at Sports Interaction & BetOnline