UFC Vegas 61 and Bellator 286 Gambling Preview: Finding value in live underdogs in the MMA doubleheader this weekend

UFC 275: Allen v Malkoun

After a week without a UFC event, the MMA gods have smiled upon us, delivering a bevy of quality fighting content for our enjoyment this weekend. On Saturday, both the UFC and Bellator are hosting events, with UFC Vegas 61 and Bellator 286 overlapping each other. In an interesting twist of fate, it’s Bellator who arguably has the better card. So with all that action in mind, let’s jump to the suggested plays of the weekend.

As always, all odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.

UFC 275: Allen v Malkoun

Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

Straight Bets

Adam Borics, +120

I’m going to either be an idiot or a genius with this bet. There’s nothing in-between. Adam Borics, a solid contender, has faltered once he really stepped up to competition and is now taking on A.J. McKee, the most feared champion Bellator history. McKee. But here’s the thing about that rematch, I think it may be the beginning of the end of Patricio Pitbull.

Pitbull is in his 19th year of fighting. That’s a long time – for anybody! Pitbull put everything he had into that rematch, and now here he is, defending his title in hostile territory against another up-and-comer, one with substantially less hype. It feels as if Pitbull is about to give up. Borics, on the flip side, feels like he is ready to rise and claim his place as one the most respected featherweights worldwide.

Brendan Allen, +100

Krzysztof Jotko is the Mendoza Line of elite middleweights: if you beat him, you’re destined for a top-10 spot in the division. You can lose but still be a good fighter. Thus far in his career, Allen has failed these types of tests, but I think “All In” is finally ready to make the jump to top-tier 185er. Allen’s pace is faster than Jotko’s and he’s much more energetic. We’ll be seeing that Saturday.

UFC 273 Ceremonial Weigh-in

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Prop Bets

Mackenzie Dern by Submission, -110

I really like Dern’s chances to win this fight. Yan Xiaonan has never impressed me. However, Dern still has an A+ skill which, while Yan is more impressive than her, is something I have not believed in. Dern is not a great wrestler, but she finds ways to force entanglements and get to the world where she wants it, and given how helpless Yan looked when Carla Esparza got her down, I feel confident that Dern will rinse her on the mat. There are only a few women in the world who can grapple with Dern for 25 minutes without falling into some sort of submission, and I don’t think Yan is one of them.

Raoni Barcelos by Decision, +120

Barcelos is my favorite. Barcelos is a great fighter and a lot of fun. Trevin Jones can be a great fighter but I believe he is worse than most in all areas of the sport. Jones has only been stopped once in his entire career. Barcelos, on the other hand, is on a 4-fight decision streak. Barcelos is not a straight bet, so I won’t put him in any parlay. Instead, I will just take the chance that he gets to the last scorecards for the fifth consecutive time.

A.J. McKee by Decision, +500

Don’t get me wrong, I fully anticipate McKee to dominate Spike Carlyle on Saturday. But here’s the thing about “The Alpha Ginger”: He’s tough as nails. Carlyle has never been stopped, not even as an amateur, and he’s fought some decent guys. Carlyle is naturally larger than most men, he plays well, and always shows up in great shape. McKee is expected to win but will have to put in the effort. However, at these odds it’s still worth it.

UFC 274: Oliveira vs Gaethje at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona

Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Parlay of the Week

Randy Brown, -320

*It is possible that Francisco Trinaldo may be on the Yoel Romoro side of the ageless athletes spectrum. However, it doesn’t seem likely that he will get very far. Brown is an excellent fighter with major physical advantages, on top of being 12 years Massaranduba’s junior. Trinaldo should be impressed by his length and volume.

Randy Costa, -285

No disrespect to Guido Cannetti, but this is a showcase fight for Costa. Cannetti, like Trinaldo is long-in-the tooth but, unlike Trinaldo he’s no alien athlete. Cannetti can be considered a veteran but, to quote Danny Glover: “He’s not too old for this s ***.” Combine the Randy’s with confidence.”

Parlay these two bets together for -130 odds.

Bellator 238 Media Day

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Long Shot of the Week

Adam Borics To Win By KO/TKO/DQ In Round 2, +1800

*The exactas treated us very well during Long Shots of Week. Here’s another opportunity to turn the wheel. Borics is a strong contender to beat Pitbull. This may partly be because Pitbull might slow down, but without Pitbull’s constant threats of takingdowns, Borics will let the whole thing fly on his own. Borics is a Bellator second round flying-knee knockout fighter, so I think he will let Pitbull’s one go on Saturday. If there was a book out there that would give me odds on “flying knee KO,” I’d take a shot. This will suffice.

Wrap Up

There was a week off in between, but the last time out the money train kept right on rolling as we cashed every one of our tickets besides the parlay, including the +2500 Long Shot of the Week! This is two Long Shots that we have cashed in this year. Right now, we’re flourishing and full of momentum. We must keep this momentum going for the weekend.

Until next week, enjoy the fights, good luck, and gamble responsibly!

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