Which UFC 181 Co-Main Event Holds the Most UFC Betting Value?

Swinging Johnson

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 6:59 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 6:59 PM UTC

Anthony Pettis and Johny Hendricks will put their respective titles on the line but which champion or challenger offers the most betting value and bang for your buck according to the UFC odds being dealt?

UFC Odds Summary
As of this writing two of the most hotly anticipated fights of the year will be on display at UFC 181 and the UFC odds being offered are strikingly similar with both champions enjoying favorite status at just north of 2-1.  The most favorable betting odds if you’re so inclined to back the champion(s) of your choice would reside at Pinnale.com for Johny Hendricks at -201 and WilliamHill.com for Anthony “Showtime” Pettis at -227. 

Conversely if you’re inclined to side with the challenger(s) and select them as one of your UFC picks then you will find Sportbet.com as the underdog’s choice. Sportbet.com is dealing Robbie Lawler +180 at 5Dime in his welterweight title tilt with Hendricks and Gilbert Melendez at +216 in his championship scrap with Pettis. 

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The Choices
While I realize that UFC odds are routinely chock full of prohibitive betting favorites and getting a champion at approximately 2-1 is characterized as almost reasonable, I look at other sports where the favorite is in this price range and I have to tell you that I feel much more comfortable betting the defending Stanley Cup champion LA Kings at home -210 against the 6-12 Carolina Hurricanes if I am indeed to take the plunge into the lumber laying world of chalk-eaters who never saw a big price they didn’t like.  Incidentally, that game was played on November 20th and the Kings did reward their backers by the score of 3-2.

Certainly Robbie Lawler, who came within a whisker of defeating Hendricks for the vacant UFC Welterweight strap despite getting outpointed by a controversial unanimous decision, is not someone I would bet against if I had to lay double my money to do so. Along those same lines Gilbert Melendez should no doubt be a formidable foe for Anthony Pettis who has been inactive for over a year and has yet to defend the title he claimed from Benson Henderson back in August of 2013.

Therefore, if we are seeking betting value then I cannot look beyond the two fearsome challengers who should both pose a very real threat to the champions. But now the decision is should we back both or isolate the one who will bring a hefty return on our investment?  Let’s discuss.

Don't Miss Out On Our UFC 181 Prop Betting Odds

Lawler or Melendez?
If all things were equal we would be hard pressed not to side with the champions in both title clashes.  But things are not equal because the UFC oddsmakers have a job that requires they entice the betting public to bet both sides of any event.  And once in a while the value on a fighter (or team depending upon the event in question) is so overwhelming that we must regard the perceived value as the deciding factor over who we would bet if the UFC odds were a -110 proposition on either side.   

I see the Lawler/Hendricks fight as a virtual coin flip.  I believe that Lawler’s previous performance gives him an excellent chance to capture the crown if he makes a few necessary adjustments. Of course, Hendricks and his camp will be reviewing the tape and doing what they feel is best to maximize their game plan.  That being said, Lawler has excellent value in this fight at +180 at 5Dimes while betting Hendricks at slightly north of 2-1 seems too steep. Does this guarantee that Lawler will win?  Absolutely not but I would be content getting that kind of betting value.

As far as Gilbert Melendez’s chances of dethroning Anthony Pettis, I am a bit more tepid about his chances.  Assuming Pettis doesn’t suffer from a severe case of ring rust and understanding he should have a tiger on his hand in the former Strikeforce Lightweight champion, I believe he will have his hand raised at the end of the fight.  This fight is a pass for me but if you do include Gilbert Melendez in your UFC picks, it wouldn’t be the worst bet you could make.

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