*I am picking Catone to beat Watson and Umalatov to beat Magny.
There are plenty of debuting fighters on this card but I like their potential. Rashid Magomedov vs. Tony Martin in particular is a very good fight despite neither having any UFC experience. I also really like Kevin Lee’s potential and think Andy Enz could be a very tricky opponent for Clint Hester.
Underdog picks on this card are John Lineker and Nick Catone. With Lineker once again missing weight I have very low confidence in his winning but we’ll see what happens tomorrow night.
Last Event: 7-4 (63.6%)
Year To Date: 21-12 (63.6%)
DEGENERATE GAMBLER’S CORNER
Last Event: +$2.90
Current Bankroll: $52.30
Total Investment: $73.52
Total Return: $2.30
Return on Investment: 3.1%
UFC on Fox last week was a very good event for me. My biggest risk was on Donald Cerrone, who was facing a relatively unknown but tough opponent in Adriano Martins. I couldn’t believe an established top ten talent like Cerrone would be less than a 2-1 favorite against Martins. Fortunately Cerrone rewarded my faith in him with a head kick knockout.
Winners were Cerrone -200, Benson Henderson by decision -114, Alex Caceres +165, and Nikita Krylov +310. Losers were Darren Elkins +105 and Billy Daniels +1500 at last week’s RFA event.
For this event I have:
Nick Catone +160 ($2.00 to win $3.20)
Part of me thinks I’m making a horrible mistake by taking Nick Catone as my biggest risk on this card. The other part of me sees Catone’s offensive wrestling (3.47 takedowns per 15 minutes) and thinks he matches up extremely well with Tom Watson (taken down 5.67 times per 15 minutes). Catone is no world-beater but I think he gets the job done in this one… at +160 I can’t help myself.
Alistair Overeem by T/KO -195 ($1.95 to win $1.00)
-195 is a very expensive price to pay for a prop bet… but when I try to envision how Overeem’s fight with Frank Mir will play out, it goes the same every time. Overeem bullies Mir into the clinch, beats him up with knees and punches, and the fight is over. I think this fight ends in a knockout one way or the other, and I think Overeem’s chances of winning that way are much better than Mir’s.
Jose Aldo by T/KO -172 ($1.72 to win $1.00)
This is just a horrible fight for Ricardo Lamas. He’s facing an opponent in Aldo who A) has nearly impenetrable takedown defense, B) is the far superior striker, and C) is fantastic at winning by sudden knockout. Meanwhile, Lamas has two career losses in MMA… both by knockout. I have to think Aldo puts him away at some point.
Jamie Varner -135 ($1.35 to win $1.00)
If Varner happens to engage with Abel Trujillo in a pure kickboxing match, I believe it would be a very competitive fight. I also believe that’s almost the worst-case scenario for Varner. It would be much better if Varner used his very good takedowns to put Trujillo on his back… and I think he’s going to do exactly that. I’ve underrated Trujillo in the past but I think Varner should be able to grind him out.
Kevin Lee +210 ($0.50 to win $1.05)
I’ve barely watched any tape of Kevin Lee. What I know is that he’s undefeated, and if it wasn’t for a victory over Eric Moon (10-11) then all of his wins would be against opponents with winning records. Lee is facing a quality opponent in Al Iaquinta; I can’t pick him to win but I can place a minimum bet on him as the underdog.
Tony Martin +220 ($0.50 to win $1.10)
I’m betting on Martin for the same reason I’m betting on Lee: his record entering the UFC is excellent. I can’t pick him to beat Rashid Magomedov because Magomedov is the more established and proven fighter. But I can place a minimum bet on Martin at +220.
Seattle Seahawks +105 ($1.00 to win $1.05)
What, you thought I wasn’t going to bet on the Super Bowl? I think the Seahawks should be favored for one simple reason. Almost all of Denver’s games this season have been against opponents with average or worse defenses. Now they’re facing an opponent with the best defense in the league. I think the Broncos will find it surprisingly difficult to score in this game.
Mandatory disclaimer: I am NOT a betting professional and I do NOT recommend you follow my plays in any serious way. I’m doing this for fun and as an experiment, not a livelihood. If you make any bets, you do so at your own risk.
Best of luck and enjoy the fights!