With MMA back in full swing, you can expect to see weekly betting articles from us here at Line Movement, as I’ll be providing you with a sample of plays I like for UFC Fight Island 3.
Despite starting things off with two-straight winning sheets, the craziness of “Fight Island” finally caught up to us last weekend, leaving some of my favorite lines and recommendations shipwrecked on the shoreline. That said, with a loaded fight card of fifteen matchups in front of us, there are a lot of opportunities to bounce back this weekend depending on what type of bets you fancy.
I, for example, do not have strong feelings about any particular parlay pairing this time around, so I won’t have any official offerings in that department this week. Nevertheless, I suspect that the stacked layout of this card will generate a lot of that kind of action, as I wouldn’t blame anyone for looking at Tanner Boser (-270) when trying to piece together a parlay.
As per usual with my content, I’ll offer my honest analysis as I try to explain my angles and attempt to add to your insight when it comes to both breaking down and betting on fights.
Straight play: Francisco Trinaldo -130
Whether we’re talking about widespread lines like Alexander Gustafsson (-345) versus Fabricio Werdum (+285) or somewhat shallow spreads like Robert Whittaker (-125) versus Darren Till (+105), there are a lot of playable ‘head-scratchers’ depending on your perspective.
For me, seeing a proven product like Francisco Trinaldo continually drop from his opener at -180 opposite of promotional newcomer, Jai Herbert, definitely catches my attention.
Herbert, who formerly held the Cage Warriors lightweight title, appears to be a scrappy athlete with a lot of skill and upside. However, I warn anyone who is assuming this is your classic “old lion vs. young lion” matchup.
Although Trinaldo looks even older than his listed age of 41, the Brazilian has yet to slow in pace and is seldom seen stunned, still showing the ability to hit takedowns and other explosive actions. Add in the fact that Herbert, who is 33 himself, has admittedly only been training martial arts for the past 7 years – and it seems like that gap in experience is much bigger than the gap in age.
Furthermore, I’m not sure how well Herbert’s high-volume offense will pair with a potent countering southpaw whose power seems to scare off the majority of UFC lightweights he tangles with. Unless Herbert faced southpaw threats prior to his knockout loss to Rhys McKee, then it looks like the English fighter has yet to face any relevant southpaws to date.
On the ground, Trinaldo should carry a clear wrestling and grappling advantage. Herbert sports a Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt under his team Renegade Jiu-jitsu and seems to scramble really well, I just don’t see him being able to deter his Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt counterpart from scoring when he needs to.
For those reasons, I’ll be (once again) fading the public opinion in regards to where this line is going, as I believe that anything south of -170 is a reasonable point of entry for a play.
Prop play: Paul Craig by submission +170
This play is a fairly straight forward one.
In this matchup, I find myself agreeing with the public that pushed Paul Craig – who opened as the underdog – to a favorite in the neighborhood of -130.
Craig faces Gadzhimurad Antigulov (+110), who is the definition of a “do or die” fighter. As his record suggests, Antigulov tends to fall apart in fights when unable to get the finish.
The Russian’s master of sports in wrestling and the region/organization he fought under prior has traditionally garnered him respect from the oddsmakers, but his in-octagon performances have left a lot to be desired, seemingly only winning when having a clear wrestling and submission edge.
Against Craig, Antigulov won’t have it.
Not only has Craig improved both his wrestling and striking skills, but Scotsman always carries a slick submission game in his back pocket that has proven to be live until the very last seconds of a fight (accounting for 92 percent of his wins). Whether Antigulov finds success early or not, all paths lead to a Craig submission in my book.
Regardless of whether you take these recommendations or not, good luck this weekend, and thank you for utilizing Line Movement as one of your reference points!