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MMA Betting Preview: WEC Bowles vs. Cruz–The Undercard – SportsUntapped.com
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Added March 6th, 2010 by David Glisan

MMA Betting Preview:  WEC Bowles vs. Cruz–The Undercard
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As if there weren’t already enough sports betting action on Saturday we’ve got a big MMA card as well.  The WEC’s latest event will feature a bantamweight title defense by Brian Bowles against Dominick Cruz.  The WEC is, of course, owned by UFC parent company Zuffa LLC and focuses on the smaller weight classes.  They may put on the most consistantly excellent fight cards of any promotion in the world, so the event is worth watching on its own.  And there’s no better way to make an already exciting fight card even more exciting than some betting action.

If you’re not familiar with betting on MMA make sure to check out a couple of articles that I wrote awhile back:

How to Bet on MMA

MMA Handicapping Basics

The lighter weight classes in general and the WEC in particular is a great betting opportunity for a couple of reasons.  First, there’s no shortage of attractive underdogs where capable fighters offer solid value simply because they don’t have as ‘big of a name’ as their opponent.  Additionally–and as something of a corollary to the previous point–there’s a lot of parity in the weight classes represented in the WEC.  It’s a perfect fit for the way I approach MMA handicapping–I don’t so much handicap the fights as I handicap the prices.  The reality is that once you get below the very top of the MMA food chain–guys like Fedor, Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn–there are few truly dominant fighters that are worth laying favorite prices to back.  When you’re thinking about laying a price of, say, -250 on a fighter stop and ask yourself ‘is this fighter so dominant that he’d win more than 72 of a hypothetical 100 fights against his opponent?’  At -250, theoretical break even is 71.4% so if you don’t really think a favored fighter could beat the other guy 72 out of 100 times he’s a bad value.

The ‘theoretical break even’ is why betting a lot of underdogs is such a good strategy in MMA.  If you lay -250 with favorites you have to be fight nearly 75% of the time to turn a profit.  If you’re betting on +200 dogs you only need to be right around 35% of the time to make money and the bigger the dog the lower the breakeven percentage.

The lines used in this writeup are from DSI but as always shop around for the best prices.

THE UNDERCARD:

The non-televised fights of an event such as this one are often good places to look for ‘live’ underdogs.  This is where you’ll find up and coming fighters matched up against each other and one will usually be favored more on name recognition than anything else.  You could do a lot worse than just blindly betting every undercard underdog on WEC events, but let’s look at the undercard fight by fight.

BENDY CASIMIR VS. RICARDO LAMAS

Casmir makes his WEC debut here and, for that matter, will be fighting in the US for the first time after a career that’s taken him all over the world.  This is Lamas’ fourth WEC fight, and he really made a name for himself defeating wrestling phenom Bart Palaszewski just over a year ago.  Lamas is now 7-1 having since lost to Danny Castillo (who is also fighting on this card), while Casimir is 19-5-2 meaning he’s the vastly more experienced fighter.  Aside from being the more recognizable name not sure why Lamas is a -275 favorite over an experienced veteran.

PLAY BENDY CASIMIR +215 OVER RICARDO LAMAS

COURTNEY BUCK VS. FREDSON PAIXAO

Paixao is a Brazilan Jiu Jitsu monster who’ll be facing a late replacement in Courtney Buck.  Paixao has a career record of 8-3-1 while Buck is 6-2.  Buck lost his WEC debut by TKO to Brandon Visher, while Paixao is 0-1-1 in his WEC tenure.  Paixao has the better technical background, but Buck is very tall for the weight class at 5’10”.  So why is Paixao a -300 favorite when neither fighter has a win in the WEC?  We’ll take the value on Buck.

PLAY COURTNEY BUCK +245 OVER FREDSON PAIXAO

LEONARD GARCIA VS. GEORGE ROOP

Roop is a late replacement for Diego Nunes.  The WEC is big on Garcia and wants to get him a win and for that reason this is one fight where betting the underdog scares me.  Based on their records and level of competition it probably shouldn’t, but it does.  No way Garcia is worth laying -460 so we’ll pass on this one.

PASS

DANNY CASTILLO VS. ANTHONY PETTIS

Here’s a case where the favorite is the better value.  Castillo is a beast who trains with Urijah Faber.  His two losses are to tough Shane Roller and even tougher Donald Cerrone.  Pettis is off a loss to Bart Palaszewski and is a good enough fighter, but has nowhere near the training regimen or level of competition as Castillo.

PLAY DANNY CASTILLO -160 OVER ANTHONY PETTIS

CHAD MENDES VS. ERIK KOCH

Koch is 9-0 while Mendes is 5-0 making his WEC debut here.  Mendes is sort of a trendy favorite of MMA fanboys and also trains with Urijah Faber and Team Alpha Male.  Still, hard to justify laying a price of -275 with him against another undefeated fighter who has a WEC win under his belt.

PLAY ERIK KOCH +215 OVER CHAD MENDES

SCOTT JORGENSEN VS. CHAD GEORGE

Jorgensen made a name for himself with a unanimous decision victory over Takeya Mizugaki in his last WEC appearance.  That was his 5th WEC fight and he’s gone 3-2 in his tenure with the promotion.  Overall he’s got a record of 11-3 against an 11-4 record for George.  George is coming in with a six fight winning streak.  Jorgensen’s win over Mizugaki was impressive, but is that enough to justify a -525 price here?

PLAY CHAD GEORGE +375 OVER SCOTT JORGENSEN

In our next post we’ll break down the fights on the televised main card.

 
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