For most of my life, I haven’t really been into UFC but in the past 18 months, I have been following every card (big or small) that Dana White assembles. The UFC deserves a ton of credit for putting together something for what will have been eight weeks now when we haven’t had much of anything sports-wise to enjoy or bet on.
My three co-hosts on my Against All Odds with Cousin Sal podcast (Cousin Sal, The Parlay Kid and Brother Bri) are way more astute than I am when it comes to this sport, but I have developed some theories about how to wager and win on the UFC. I’ll use this week’s Las Vegas card to expand on some of the reasons why I might like a certain matchup.
Angle on Underdogs
Many times you will find a betting line that is just straight-up wrong and if you do, you can truly capitalize. Stats can also be useful in the selection process. For instance, Brendan Allen takes on undefeated fighter Kyle Daukaus (9-0) this Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Allen is a -330 favorite, but I’d make a case for the solid +225 underdog in Daukaus. He has not lost in nine fights and has won eight of those bouts by way of submission. With those stats, I’ll be taking a shot with a guy who is younger and still has not lost.
Pick: Kyle Daukaus +225
Height and Reach
It is such an advantage if you have inches on an opponent in terms of height, but it’s a bonus if you can score inches with his or her reach as well. If a fighter is down two or more inches, I factor that in greatly when it comes to betting against someone.
On Saturday night, undefeated Sean Woodson (7-0) was supposed to be fighting Kyle Nelson, but Nelson was a late scratch and Julian Erosa is in as the short-notice replacement. Woodson is two inches taller and has a four-inch reach advantage on Erosa, who turns 31 next month and is three years older than Woodson.
Erosa also has lost three of his last four fights, with the first of those losses coming to Devonte Smith in 46 seconds. This is almost as good as it gets and laying the -240 is something I don’t usually recommend, but I’m all over this based on those advantageous numbers.
Pick: Sean Woodson -240
Honorable Mention Selections
Luis Pena -250
Won 3 of 4 matches and is 4 inches taller than Khama Worthy.
Maurice Green -200
Greene has 4 inches on Gian Villante, 17-11, in height and reach.
Both Angles - Underdog and Height/Reach
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes you get a shot with a match that fits in both scenarios. This weekend, it’s Mike Perry vs Mickey Gall. Perry’s lifetime record is only 13-6 and he has lost three of his last four fights, including a first-round loss to Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who can’t beat anyone these days. Gall (+200) happens to have a four-inch height advantage and a three-inch reach advantage over Perry. This seems like the “perfect storm” for a large underdog in the UFC.
Pick: Mickey Gall +200
Recent History and History of Fighting Quality Opponents
We are going to dissect Saturday night’s main event between Dustin Poirier (25-6) and Dan Hooker (21-8). When it comes to opponents who are solid performers, Poirier has beaten Max Holloway twice and took care of possibly the most talked-about fighter in the UFC in Justin Gaethje.
Recent history would also make you sway to the side of Poirier since he’s 9-2-1 in his last 12 bouts. Plus maybe the most important reason to take Poirier with consideration for the recent history category is that he was a guest on our podcast a couple of months ago when the UFC was making strides to be the first sport back. (Oh and maybe, just maybe, we should take Poirier because he’s very very very good?)
Pick: Dustin Poirier -200
Hopefully, my hints will be helpful for Saturday night’s card in Sin City. Everyone have a great weekend of sports and stay safe. Happy betting!!