Hey there BE'ers,
I have been on a pretty hot streak betting on MMA lately(In Vegas where it's legal of course...). In fact I'm 5-1 over the last 6 events with only the awesome knockout of Brian Stann marring my record in events this year(And yes I do feel as though I paid $250 to have Brian Stann get knocked out. Totally worth it). So I figured since I'm on a streak I might as well brag about it (duh, why else does anyone write about gambling) and share some picks with other people who may also be going to Vegas if only digitally ;)
First let me outline my rules for Betting On MMA. I am nothing if not a believer in rules...
1. You're betting on what the most PROBABLY outcome is of the fight. Not what you want to happen or what you have a feeling will happen. What is the most likely outcome? That's the only question that matters. I don't want to have to bust out a Bayesian equation but suffice it to say there is some math going on in my picks... But don't worry I'll spare you the details.
2. Don't overbet events! Most cards only have 1-2 good value bets. The rest is a mix of expensive favorites, stay aways and bad bets. I usually only bet 1-3 fights per card.
3. Don't be afraid of favorites! In other forms of betting favorites are usually a BAD idea, because of the juice and the inevitable upset in Wednesday night NBA games. In MMA favorites are your friends because there are so many dominant champions and guys on really long winning streaks, bad match-ups etc... Don't be afraid to ride the favorites. I got Pat Curran -150 against Shamalabuev and made $$$$$$$$$$. Also if you can afford it betting big cheese on squash matches like Jon Jones VS Chael Sonnen or Cain Velasquez's second legal attempt at murdering Bigfoot Silva. It takes balls to place the 2-3K you need to make money on those fights but they are as close to a sure thing as you're gonna get.
4. Bet with your Wallet not your heart. I love the DIaz bros, and don't care much for the point "fighting" style of GSP. That did not stop me from putting a lot of money on GSP, knowing that GSP gon GSP. You can't get stuck putting money on your favorite guys. In fact one of my favorite betting tactics is to bet against my guy as when I took Jose Aldo over Frankie Edgar and dried my tears over Frankie losing again with a nice little windfall of cash. It's cool to have favorite fighters, it's not cool to lose money because of them.
5. Avoid guys who are fighting on short notice or for the 2nd time with 3 months. This is one of the best MMA stats out there. Guys who fight 2 times within 3 months have a .435 winning percentage before Urijah Faber just beat Scott Jorgenson. I don't have the exact numbers on short notice because there's a variety of different timelines guys can step up on for short notice but suffice to say, it's a bad idea to bet on guys coming in on short notice.
Ok let's get into my picks and I'll share more as we go through, I'm using odds from Sportsbook.aug in case you're wondering...
1. Benson Henderson -290 OVER Gilbert Melendez. Benson is on a 6 fight win streak, he's bigger than Melendez, a better wrestler, more diversity on the feet, better cardio and has fought and dominated better competition. Whereas Melendez struggled with Josh Thompson and hasn't fought in over a year or in the UFC before. This is easy money. Even if you have to lay 3-1. By far the safest bet of the show.
2. Daniel Cormier -500 OVER Frank Mir. This is an example of a favorite I probably wouldn't pay for. I think Cormier is going to absolutely smash Mir, but -500 is a lot to pay when it's not Jon Jones, GSP or Silva. It's also Cormier debut and Mir has been training with a better team etc... It's still probably a winner but I'd stay away.
3. STAY AWAY from Nate Diaz Vs Josh Thompson. Josh Thompson is REALLY good, in fact I'd go so far as to say he is the MOST underrated fighter in MMA. He fights at a team that historically has had some success against team Caesar Gracie, and has the wrestling to give Nate fits. Nate Diaz only stops 46% of takedowns attempted against him... I think this is a clear early candidate for FOTN if not FOTY. Not only do I not need action to make this fight interesting, I have no idea which way to pick. Nate is -220 and Josh is +170. If I had to bet with a gun to my head I'd take Thompson, just because at least you get odds.
4. Matt Brown +280 Over Jordan Mein. Mein looked great in finishing the always tough Dan Miller. But he's fighting on short notice for the 2nd time in just over a month(he just fought March 16th). Plus haven't we already seen Matt Brown take down and rough up a great young striker in Stephen Wonderboy Thompson? Not to mention that Mein got outwrestled by Tyronn Woodley and beat by Mike Ricci (a 155er) and Jason High (who? exactly.) This is a hype train about to get derailed and you can make 280 for every 100 you put up.
5. Upset of the show. Darren Elkin + 425 over Chad Mendes. Call me crazy but I think that Elkns is a very live dog here. Mendes has looked great against everyone but Aldo and his striking has really improved since Duane Ludwig headed up north to Team Alpha Male. But Elkins has really impressed me lately, I think he could grind his way to a decision against Mendes and he's much less of an underdog than the 5-1 line implies.
Let me know how my picks work out for ya!