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Sharps vs. Squares: A closer look at UFC 141 at betting odds reveals where the real money is going

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

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Betting on mixed martial arts is getting more sophisticated with each card. Gone are the days where sports books could fall victim to savvy bettors who had better knowledge of the undercards than the supposed experts did. The bookmakers have gotten wiser, but they're also battling the best minds from all over the sports betting world.

The players who traditionally pounded the major sports like NFL, college football and NBA, are taking their time to find middles, value scenarios and less than sturdy numbers in the world of MMA betting.

A closer look at the line movements for UFC 141 reveals some interesting cases for this Friday's fight card (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. ET).

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The important number to look at is the percentage of bets taken and where the original odds have moved. The numbers listed are the opener, current and then percentage of bets place on each side with Bovada (former Bodogsports):

UFC 141 betting odds:

Diego Nunes (-325 to -380) 43.44%
Manny Gamburyan (+250 to +290) 56.56%

Jacob Volkmann (-265 to -200) 87.45%
Efrain Escudero (+205 to +160) 12.55%

Danny Castillo (-200 to -200) 48.18%
Anthony Njokuani (+160 to +160) 51.82%

Ross Pearson (-260 to -225) 93.64%
Junior Assuncao (+200 to +175) 6.36%

Nam Phan (-230 to -225) 82.84%
Jim Hettes (+180 to +175) 17.16%

Jon Fitch (-230 to -200) 94.42%
Johny Hendricks (+180 to +160) 5.58%

Donald Cerrone (-280 to -325) 59.31%
Nate Diaz (+220 to +250) 40.69%

Alistair Overeem (-145 to -115) 65.24%
Brock Lesnar (+115 to -115) 34.76

The translation here is that anytime the higher percentage of bets are placed on one side, the line should be moving in that direction, but that's not the case in several fights.

In the Fitch-Hendricks fight, the majority of the bets (94%) are on the favorite yet the number has dropped. That suggests that the bigger money amount is on the side of Hendricks. It's your classic public versus the big bettor scenario. The same goes for Overeem vs. Lesnar, Phan vs. Hettes, Pearson vs. Assuncao and Volkmann vs. Escudero.

Maybe the "sharps" know something in these fights. Maybe not. Either way, it's interesting to see where the big money is going.

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