Betting UFC 172: Jones vs Teixeira

Which numbers really matter when wagering on the biggest fights?

Updated: April 25, 2014, 9:26 PM ET
By Reed Kuhn | ESPN Insider

The UFC makes its debut in Baltimore this weekend, putting the UFC light heavyweight title on the line between two guys who don't lose. But that's the fun of MMA: no teammates to blame, no winning on penalty shots. Just two fighters each putting impressive unbeaten streaks at risk, and only one can walk away a champion. There's a lot at stake for the fighters, but bettors also have much at risk come fight night.

The oddsmakers have come out with their favorites for the top three fights of the card, and the market has generally supported those picks. In all three cases, the younger fighter is the favorite. But our statistic Total Effectiveness Plus/Minus* offers a great measure of how well each fighter in the main three bouts stacks up against the average fighter (0.0). How can Teixeira hold such an advantage in this metric and still be such a heavy underdog?

Kuhn ChartReed Kuhn

Read on and take a closer look at the fighters' performance metrics to date, as well as some of the effective prop bets that could prove profitable.