With MMA in full swing since this summer, you can expect to see weekly betting articles from us here at Line Movement, as I’ll be providing you with everything from fight analysis to the potential plays I like for UFC’s offering this weekend.
UFC 255 is headlined by a men’s flyweight title fight between Deiveson Figueiredo (-270) and Alex Perez (+230).
Although we’re all excited about the return of the newly-minted flyweight champion, Figueiredo, the betting line above seems to be trending back down to earth.
Don’t get me wrong: Figueiredo is definitely the deserved favorite in this spot, I just believe that Alex Perez is livelier than given credit for – particularly from a stylistic perspective.
MMA, after all, is a game of matchups and chaos; Figueiredo is certainly the better-suited man to capitalize on said chaos, but Perez might be the champion’s most deceptively tough matchup at 125 pounds. As we’ve seen before, Figueiredo’s toughest fights have come against offensive grapplers who weren’t afraid to take the initiative on him, and Perez – who carries solid striking skills – may very well be the best wrestler in the division.
It’s also easy to get lost in the proverbial love triangle that exists between Figueiredo, Jussier Formiga and Joseph Benavidez (as they defy MMA math with the wins and losses they share over each other). We’ll find out where Perez fits in that ménage à trois this Saturday, but it’s important to keep in mind that his lone UFC/TKO loss to Benavidez involves multiple illegal shots, including inadvertent headbutts that Benavidez himself admits to.
But that minutia aside, I still believe it’s fair to question the current betting spread on a fight that I ultimately see being a competitive affair for as long as it lasts.
Unfortunately for Figueiredo backers, the champion is still somewhat chalky at his current asking price of -270, as I would warn anyone banking on this battle for a parlay piece. Figueiredo “inside the distance” at -160 is also not the sexiest price for those searching for discounts in the prop department, but picking a side can be difficult when we’re talking about a guy who is just as likely to snatch up a submission as he is to knock someone stiff.
If you’re like me and are feeling Perez, then the value is on our side. Given that I officially picked Perez to win by decision, then I suppose it would be silly not to sprinkle a small amount on the American to win by decision (which is currently being listed in the neighborhood of +1000 depending where you look). But given the power and finishing ability of both flyweights, then perhaps sticking to the money line is safer in this spot.
The co-main event in Las Vegas features a women’s flyweight title fight between Valentina Shevchenko (-1300) and Jenifer Maia (+850).
Although I’m usually the one warning the general public about wide lines in MMA, I can’t say that I disagree with the betting spread above.
Despite Maia’s solid experience and credentials, I still believe that both her resume and skills pale in comparison to Shevchenko’s.
Maia offers some decent striking volume, but I fear that those numbers will only provide more opportunities for Shevchenko to hit her classic counters, as Maia’s footwork and combinations seem fairly rote and predictable. That said, I do suspect that Maia will be durable and savvy enough to possibly see the scorecards (even in the smaller cage).
For that reason, I’ll be looking at “Over 2.5 rounds” at -150, as that seems like the sweet spot where value and probability meet – at least for me.
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.
This article is for entertainment purposes only, as I stress to anyone, that gambles to do so legally and responsibly.
Live dog: Tim Means +125
As a longtime Means supporter, I can honestly say that I thought my days backing him at the betting window were done.
However, after recently being paired up with Mike Perry (-145), I find myself coming to you – hat in hand – to say that those days are over.
As discussed on this week’s edition of the Line Movement MMA betting show, Perry has been on a downtrend, in and out of the octagon, that is hard to ignore. From domestic abuse allegations to his unabashed bad behavior in public, Perry may be the furthest thing from a safe bet in MMA.
In fact, after seeing Perry eating everything from burgers to burritos on fight week (via his own Instagram), I’ve already made a public prediction that Perry will miss weight – – something that seems to be on target as I type this:
UPDATE: Mike Perry has missed weight, the fight will still go on though.
Mike Perry tweet on weight-cut troubles:
And since my prediction on a show that we recorded earlier this week, the line has trended toward Means accordingly.
Sure, Perry could miss weight, look awful, and still end up getting lucky and knocking out Means for the win. But with Means clearly being the more skilled man, it’s hard not to fade Perry (who has looked rough as of late) in this spot.
If you act quick, you can still grab the New Mexico native at plus money, as I suspect this line flips by fight night.
Parlay piece: Daniel Rodriguez -325
Considering that I initially forgot about the write-ups I did on this guy before his UFC career officially started, I don’t blame anyone for either not knowing or questioning Rodriguez and the betting line above.
Nevertheless, I still caution anyone who is siding with Nicolas Dalby (+270) for the sake of rooting for the underdog.
As an empathic person who is also a fan of Dalby and his struggles, I could certainly see bettors being swayed by a more familiar face here. However, even though upsets tend to warm my heart, there are some undeniable trends going against the native of Denmark.
Dalby, who is not only getting up there in age and fight miles, also appears to be allergic to southpaws. Whether we’re talking about Jesse Ronson, Carlo Pedersoli Jr., Peter Sobotta, Zak Cummings or Darren Till, Dalby has always had trouble with southpaw strikers.
Against Rodriguez, Dalby will be facing a deceptively slick and powerful southpaw who is hitting a late stride both in life and in fighting. Rodriguez also seems to have a solid submission and scrambling acumen, as I see him being difficult for Dalby to control.
If you’re as confident as I am or are looking for a discount, then perhaps Rodriguez “inside the distance” at +120 is worth a look; but I’ll definitely be utilizing Rodriguez for any parlays I decide to put together on fight day.
Regardless of what you’re betting, bet responsibly, my friends!