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You ever meet someone that bets on fights but does not claim to care what the odds are? Let’s refer to them as the #JustPickWinners crowd and many of them walk among us. “CLV or ‘value’ does not matter if you don’t win.” They usually say something like that and cannot fathom the idea of betting on a fighter that you think loses but wins more often than the betting line indicates.

Not only is the number important in gambling on fights and sports in general, but it is the most important aspect of it. Next time you hear someone talk like that, here is the best way to quickly shut down their entire argument. Let’s say they have a bet on Daniel Zellhuber to win at (-250). You ask them if they would bet Francisco Prado if his odds were (+10000) – if they say “no” then they are even dumber than you thought so do not bother arguing. But if they say yes, then you already disproved their argument that the number does not matter.

That was an extreme example but it clearly shows that when the payoff increases, the value of your bet increases if you think Prado has a better than 100/1 chance of winning. This is even more exaggerated in DFS contests as we often find situations where the payoff could be even higher. When ownership gets drastically concentrated on one side of a fight, you’re ‘pot odds’ or payoff, gets increased by going against the majority and playing the other side. There are multiple spots on this week’s card that fall in that same boat and provide leverage opportunities versus the field.

Edgar Chairez vs Daniel Lacerda

I currently have Chairez projected to be 36% owned which is a top five ownership of the week. He certainly has a great chance to finish and will score well any time that he does. But Lacerda is going to be overlooked by the majority of the field which I think is incorrect. We are all aware of Lacerda’s weaknesses, mainly the fact that he cannot fight after 3-4 minutes. But he has spurts of success and near finishes in multiple fights. He is a dangerous fighter who can finish the fight on the feet or on the mat if you give him an opportunity to within the first few minutes. More than likely he loses but the times where he does pull off that big upset, you are getting paid off in a big way this week which has me interested in getting overweight to him.

Muhammad Naimov vs Erik Silva

Much like we talked about with Lacerda, Silva is in the same conversation. Silva likely will be one of the lowest owned fighters on the slate and presents an easy leverage opportunity this week. I also think he is more live to compete in this fight than the field is giving him credit. He is a slick submission grappler and an explosive fighter with many first-round finishes. If he can pull off another one here at around 10% ownership, it is going to break the entire slate.

Mateus Mendonca vs Jesus Aguilar

The market is very low on Mendonca and I almost always want to be on the opposite side of the market if I think the fighter is capable of finishing. I expect Aguilar to be the more owned fighter in this matchup despite being way undersized. Despite how bad he has looked recently and the clear cardio issues, I still respect Mendonca’s finishing ability along with his physical advantages in this fight. He should be somewhat overlooked in the mid-range as he is sandwiched between two other popular fighters as well.

These are just a few of the situations where our potential payoff gets increased due to the concentration of ownership on the other side of the fight. The number always matters and you need to understand that as the numbers change, so does our potential payoff.

The reality is that we are trying to win first place and you cannot do that if you #JustPickWinners. You are going to need to take some risks that the majority of people are not willing to take, especially if it presents a strong leverage opportunity.

Best of luck and I’ll see you in the streets.

-Jon