UFC 97 wasn't a plethora of value, but many fans picked up some great gains on the event as the lines weren't too out of control. Among the betting options for this weekend, Sengoku VIII has some very enticing lines that could payoff big for bettors. Let's take a look at the lines, courtesy of BestFightOdds.com:
Kazunori Yokota (-205) vs. Leonardo Santos (+165): I'm going to jump on this line immediately, and I'm a bit dumbfounded at how much of a favorite Yokota has actually become. At +165, Santos is a solid bet for the mere fact that he's awfully dangerous on the ground, and his standup isn't half bad either.
In my preview, I went ahead and picked Santos due to his background, his fight camp, and his recent tear through the competition. Yokota has an experience edge, and he likely will have the conditioning to outlast Santos. I still think Santos is a solid underdog pick here. He finishes fights, has been on a roll as of late, and has one of the best camps in the business behind him.
Makoto Takimoto (-200) vs. Michael Costa (+160): This isn't overly ridiculous of a line. Takimoto has a strong strength of record, and he's likely going to be a favorite among fight fans, but Costa is noone to sleep on. He may not warrant huge action in terms of money to place, but he might be worth a prospective bet.
Hatsu Hioki (-400) vs. Ronnie Mann (+320): I'm going with Hioki in this bout, and at -400, he's a tough call to place big money on. You'll have to place some solid dough to make anything substantial however. I'd stay away from this matchup... especially if you believe Hioki will try to stand with Mann. Otherwise, it may be worthwhile for you to place some big money on.
Michihiro Omigawa (+140) vs. Nam Phan (-170): I like Nam Phan here at -170. It's not a huge line, and there is some substantial cash to be made on Phan. He has improved his standup vastly, and he loves to work body shots in with his head blows. Omigawa is going to have a tough time grappling with him as Phan is a very well-rounded and experienced grappler, so I'll place the bet on Phan here.
Chan Sung Jung (-110) vs. Msanaru Kanehara (-120): I love Kanehara here as Jung still seems to sloppy in his standup to be a sure fire bet. He's fairly untechnical and aggressive, and I think Kanehara can capitalize on that. Betting Kanehara here.
Marlon Sandro (-165) vs. Nick Denis (+135): This is a tough one. Denis impressed me with his last performance and showed some very solid striking ability. Sandro is going to be the takedown threat here, and his submission ability is supposedly becoming stronger. It'll be a very interesting fight if Denis can keep away the takedown, but my gut tells me Sandro's relentless attack will win him this one. Betting Sandro here.
Stanislav Nedkov (+190) vs. Travis Wiuff (-240): Not a lot is known about Nedkov, but Wiuff is a huge light heavyweight. At -240, he's the safe bet here, but if you believe Nedkov can pull off the win, by all means put your money where your mouth is. I may lay a small prospective bet on Nedkov.
Akihiro Mouri (+320) vs. Maximo Blanco (-400): Blanco should win this one, but at -400, it's a tough bet to make... especially at such an early point in his career. I'll stay away from Blanco here, but keep an eye on future lines if his performance is solid.
This card has some big money value on it. Santos, Sandro, Phan, and Kanehara will all see solid action from me. I haven't checked which books are taking bets on this card, but if the parlay is in play, I will likely group all four guys along with some smaller three-man parlays on Sandro, Phan, Kanehara. Single bets might include Nedkov or Wiuff, and if you're feeling confident, Hioki and Blanco.
Either way you look at these lines, there is some money to be made by the betting elite. Happy Betting!