This weekend features another stellar UFC card and another chance for all of you degenerate gamblers to lose the rent money. Here are the betting lines from BetUs.com with my half-assed analysis after the jump.
Rich Franklin -140 vs. Vitor Belfort +110
Junior Dos Santos -135 vs. Mirko Cro Cop +105
Josh Koscheck -400 vs. Frank Trigg +300
Martin Kampmann -450 vs. Paul Daley +350
Tyson Griffin -280 vs. Hermes Franca +210
Efrain Escudero -160 vs. Cole Miler +130
Tomasz Drwal -115 vs. Drew McFedries -115
Here are three tips to keep in mind when you come home later tonight with a belly full of whiskey and a working credit card.
(1) The underdogs to put money on are Paul Daley and Cole Miller.
Daley is the rightful underdog against Kampmann, but not at +350. He has the advantage in the stand-up due to his one-strike KO power and near flawless technique, although Kampmann is no slouch as he has a legitimate thai kickboxing background. Kampmann has a big edge in the jiu-jitsu department but Daley’s takedown defense gets better in every fight. No matter how you look at it, this line is a lot closer than the oddsmakers will have you believe making Daley a solid investment at +350.
Miller, on the other hand, should realistically be the favorite against Escudero. The TUF8 winner’s record is filled with guys who have limited experience or losing records, or in some cases both. Miller, on the other hand, has beaten solid fighters like Jorge Gurgel and Leonard Garcia. His stand-up is also better than Escudero’s and, with 10 submission victories to his credit, his ground game is at least comparable. At +130, Miller is also a solid investment.
As a side note, I give Trigg a better chance against Koscheck than +300. I personally won’t put money on the guy simply because I don’t think he’s going to win, but I’d put him at about +225 if I was making the line. At +300, he’s a good bet if you think he has a decent probability of scoring the upset.
(2) Do not bet on either featured fight.
However you view the stylistic match-up between Belfort and Franklin it can legitimately go either way, as is the case with the majority of UFC main events. Toss-up fights are generally not good investments.
The same goes for Dos Santos and Cro Cop. Sure, Dos Santos knocked out Fabricio Werdum but Werdum’s striking isn’t near the level of Cro Cop’s. With only two UFC fights to his credit that ended pretty qucikly, we still don’t know much about the Brazilian. As for Cro Cop, his recent fights haven’t really done anything to show whether or not he patched up the holes in his game that he showed against Gonzaga and Kongo. I doubt it, but a guy with the KO power of Cro Cop can never be counted out. The point I’m trying to make is that Cro Cop legitimately has a better chance than a lot of people are giving him making this one a toss-up as well.
(3) The safest investment on the card is Tyson Griffin.
Franca is tough as hell and will turn this one into a war, but Griffin’s simply the better fighter. His stand-up improves every time out and he has shown he has the wrestling ability to dominate top jiu-jitsu guys. Franca’s stand-up relies heavily on wide, looping shots and it’s doubtful he’ll land one of those against Griffin, who also happens to have a pretty tough chin. This won will be exciting as hell but Griffin will likely walk out with the decision victory.