UFC Fight Night 61 saw an unprecedented string of unlikely results that saw the Bovada sportsbook lose almost a million dollars in a single night. There were eleven fights on the night and heading into the main event, nine underdogs from ten had won.
In the main event, underdog Frank Mir took on Antonio Silva, with Mir desperately in need of a victory after four consecutive defeats, his career on the line. To the disbelief of Bovada, Mir sent Silva tumbling to the canvas early and after throwing a few more punches, the bout was over – within just a minute and a half.
Parlays did the Damage
This was very bad news for the Bovada sportsbook as they had many Parlays riding on the outcome, the majority of these seeing Parlays being places on a series of underdogs. Although all underdog Parlays rarely come off, when they do the results lead to some very large payouts. One bettor placed a $4 all underdog Parlay and collected to the tune of $85,000. Another bettor placed four $1 Parlays and picked up $25,000 on each. All in all Bovada paid out at least a dozen five figure sums and the total losses added up to almost a million dollars.
Unfortunately for Bovada, this loss is unlikely to be recouped, as the majority of pay outs were to bettors who played very small stakes looking for that big win. "We take in so much more money on the NFL or the NBA that when you have these types of parlay winners, it's hard to hurt (our business). With UFC, this will be hard to come back from" said Kevin Bradly, the manager of Bovada.lv.
In terms of sports betting, the UFC will not enjoy anywhere as near as much business as rival sports such as the NFL or the NBA. Because of this, Bovada will almost certainly make an overall loss in betting on the UFC in 2015.
Bovada were not the only sportsbook to take a hit. Sportbet.com.au tweeted that they had some very happy punters on the UFC, paying out $109,000 for a $15 bet, $55,000 for a $2 bet and a whopping $139,000 for a $5 bet. Oddsmaker.ag saw a bettor place a $5 9 underdog Parlay that hit the maximum payout of $150,000 (the true payout would have been over half a million without the ceiling).
It’s not all bad news for online sportsbooks however when it comes to boxing/mixed martial arts. It appears that rapper 50 Cent has stated that he is willing to bet a very specific $1.6 million (which is his name multiplied by 3.2 Million) on Floyd Mayweather to beat Manny Pacquiao on May 2nd. "I got the champ," he said. "The champ gonna smoke him. It's gonna look like [the fight] was pumped up for no reason." I’m sure Bovada will be keeping a close eye on exactly where 50 Cent will want to place this bet.
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