Amanda Nunes started out a decent favorite against Raquel Pennington. Then the odds in her favorite went ballistic.
At MGM Resorts’ Race & Sports Book locations in Las Vegas, Nunes (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC) was a -550 favorite in the UFC 224 main event, in which she puts her women’s bantamweight title on the line against challenger Raquel Pennington (9-5 MMA, 6-2 UFC). The comeback on Pennington was +375.
But earlier today, the odds for Nunes had skyrocketed to -1400 with Pennington a huge +800 underdog. Most online sports books have Nunes a favorite of -900 to -1000.
UFC 224 takes place Saturday at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following preliminary-card bouts on FX and UFC Fight Pass.
So why the big swing? Noted MMA oddsmaker Joey Oddessa told MMAjunkie it looks big – but it’s really not as big as it seems.
“When the opening line goes up at a sports book, the betting public that are clientelle of that sports book usually wager on the side of the number – and the line often moves aggressively,” Oddessa told MMAjunkie. “When other books start to open, the market starts to adjust itself to a number that will create two-way action – sometimes opposite the early public money.
“In this case, the market sat at around -600 (on Nunes) for a month and then suddenly adjusted itself almost overnight again around the second week of May to around -1000. That is only about a 5 percent adjustment to the number. Sure, it looks like a big move because it crossed over to double digits, and I could talk for hours about why a line moves. But this wasn’t anything special. An overnight line move from -200 to -300, about 8 percent, is mathematically a bigger move than this and probably more eye opening to anyone behind the counter.”
Oddessa often sets opening lines via his “Oddessa Line,” including a recent one making Fedor Emelianenko a -200 favorite over Chael Sonnen (+150) in the Bellator heavyweight tournament.
For Nunes-Pennington, Oddessa said there’s nothing too crazy about the big jump.
“People are more motivated by fear than greed, so I look at this as a handful of wagers by people not afraid to lay a big favorite with a high probability – 85 percent chance of winning – at a few prominent manipulating market shops, causing the favorite to spike to a theoretical 90 percent probability of winning. It could be many things, but nothing unusual. We’re dealing with MMA bettors and fans here.”
| Title: Why did the odds for Amanda Nunes at UFC 224 make such a big climb this week?
| Author: Matt Erickson and George Garcia / MMAjunkie
| Date: May 11 2018