While laying down money well into the future isn’t always smart, sometimes you can put your finger on the MMA pulse by checking title fight odds as they appear. With a quick sportsbook review, we can see how fast the line moves upon opening, and how different promos and gossip affect the price of the bet, with an eye towards the best value on either side of that line. Below are our major MMA title bouts coming up in the near future, the current line, and my own comparison betting odds to let you know if and when those lines move into striking distance.
UFC 152: Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort
Jon Jones -900/-600
Vitor Belfort +550/+400
This fight has seen a slight see-sawing in action, due in part to the saga with Jones and UFC 151, and is a great example of personal feelings playing into the action on a fight. Rule number one of sports betting is to take your heart completely out of the equation, as your love/hate of a fighter won’t affect their efforts in the cage in the least. In reality, this is a very hard fight for Belfort, who will have to rely on his powerful straight punches and hope to land a flush counter shot on Jones, making a wager on Jones all but guaranteed at any price. The trick here will be making your money on Jones, but finding a nice Belfort KO prop, or a hedge of Inside the 1st round and Jones straight.
Strikeforce: Gilbert Melendez vs. Pat Healy
Gilbert Melendez -1100/-500
Pat Healy +700/+350
A new fight on the books that opened at a surprisingly high line, I suspect this is a bout that will see minimal movement, due in part to apathy towards the non-relevant Strikeforce titles. Healy presents an odd stylistic pairing and a potential problem due to his size, yet his lack of speed could be what seals the deal in this fight as Melendez can find his chin early. This is one Melendez backers should certainly avoid, as you’ll never see reasonable odds, while Healy fans can always make that flyer on Healy dominating a grinding ground war.
UFC 153: Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar
Jose Aldo -185/+120
Frankie Edgar +145/-150
Another new arrival on the MMA sports book, this fight has seen minor action on both sides of the line, although this is one we could see shift tremendously as sharp bettors hit the tape. This is one of the fights I’m on the opposite side of the general public on, as I feel Edgar’s fluid style should be more than enough to confuse Aldo and allow a fair amount of strikes and takedowns to pull this fight from the champs hands. The big question will be how this line moves over time, as arguments can be made for both individuals. If you’re on Edgar though, there’s no time like the present to sink a few dollars into a very promising play.
Strikeforce: Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir
Daniel Cormier -360/-200
Frank Mir +300/+160
A title fight that has been swept under the rug as of late, Daniel Cormier has looked world-class in the last several MMA outings, and will face a fan favorite and reasonably tough fight in Frank Mir. If you didn’t hit Cormier at his opening line of -325, you’re not going to see value like that anytime soon. With that said, I feel the ITD props here are solid gold, as Mir’s unproven as a five-round fighter, has a history of being hurt standing, yet could catch Cormier in a desperate gambit on the mat. Also keep in mind that Cormier has a history of hand problems, and we could find a bizarre stoppage due to just such an issue, with the ITD saving your money from disaster.
UFC 154: GSP vs. Carlos Condit
Georges St. Pierre -350/+110
Carlos Condit +290/-140
A major fight that seems to have halted MMA bettors in their tracks, GSP and Condit both have some support on their side. This is another title bout I’m reversed on, as I feel Condit brings exactly the kind of violence that GSP has proven to have issues dealing with. With the line being far outside of value for the long-time champion, the only sensible play will be hitting Condit and potentially hedging with an O/U or specific GSP props.
Look for full MMA Betting Corner articles before future UFC and Strikeforce cards.