Weekend gambling preview for UFC Vegas 57, Bellator 282, and PFL 5, including +1600 ‘Long Shot of the Week’


There’s an MMA triple-header this weekend with UFC Vegas 57, Bellator 282 and PFL 5 all taking place, and that means plenty of action to go around. The main event of UFC Vegas 57 features two of the best prospects in all of MMA, Arman Tsarukyan and Mateusz Gamrot, while Bellator has a middleweight title fight between Gegard Mousasi and Johnny Eblen. The PFL also continues its heavyweight and lightweight seasons. We’ve got bets down on all of it, so let’s get to it.

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


UFC Fight Night: Allen v Curtis

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Straight Bets

Chris Curtis, -130

Chris Curtis vs. Rodolfo Vieira is a classic striker vs. grappler matchup, but unlike in recent weeks, in this one I’m taking the striker. Yes, Vieira is a multiple-time world champion in BJJ, but he’s not a great wrestler, and his cardio is a known liability. Curtis, meanwhile, was able to fend off takedowns from Phil Hawes, a JUCO national champion, while lighting him up on the feet. I think Curtis can do the same here, and while I would normally look to a “Curtis by KO” prop, the line is similar enough that you might as well just take the straight bet.

Sergey Morozov, -140

Sergey Morozov vs. Raulian Paiva is another striker vs. grappler battle, but in this one I’m taking the grappler. Paiva is somewhat of an enigma, having lost to most of the good people he’s faced but somehow upset Kyler Phillips, whom I think highly of. He’s also young, but, Phillips aside, he’s been very unimpressive, and Morozov’s highs are substantially higher. He has looked tremendous in victory, and his recent losses have come to super-prospects Umar Nurmagomedov and Movsar Evloev, plus a bit of a flukey loss to Douglas Silva de Andrade in a bout he was dominating. Paiva is certainly not on par with those gentlemen, and so I believe this should be another great performance from Morozov.

Anthony Pettis, -200

Over in the PFL, former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis looks to punch his ticket to the lightweight playoffs when he faces Stevie Ray in the co-main event, and this fight is easy to call. Pettis may not be what he once was, but he’s still very good and very dangerous, and Ray really isn’t. At range, Pettis will light Ray up, and even if Ray tries to make the fight ugly, he’s simply not threatening enough to win the fight that way. Pettis probably gets a finish, either by KO or by Submission, but whichever way it comes, he almost certainly gets the win.

Sheymon Moraes, +135

Also in the PFL, Sheymon Moraes takes on two-time PFL tournament winner Lance Palmer, and for this one, I’m fading Palmer. This may be a sucker’s bet, but Palmer is 35 years old, has lost three in a row, and frankly, hasn’t looked very good lately. Moraes, meanwhile, has excelled since coming to the PFL, winning his previous three fights and looking like he’s coming into his own. Maybe Palmer grinds out a win here, but this fight feels 50-50, so I like a value play on Moraes.


UFC Fight Night: Magny v Griffin

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Prop Bets

Neil Magny by Decision, +500

I’ll be honest, this pick is almost entirely from the gut, because on paper, Shavkat Rakhmonov should win this bout. Rakhmonov is undefeated in his career and has looked untouchable in his UFC run, earning comparisons to Khamzat Chimaev for his level of dominance. Still, I have concerns. For one, Magny is a big step up in competition and a tough out for anybody, and for another, Rakhmonov doesn’t quite pass my eye test for some reason. He’s obviously very good and likely to be a top-10 welterweight for some time, but something about his performances are off to me, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. So given that, I’m going to fade the prospect hype train as it runs into a man who already has 8 career wins as an underdog. Oh, and for the sake of saying it, Magny has not stopped an opponent since Craig White (who?) in 2018, so we’re taking the extra value that the By Decision prop offers. But if you want to simply take Magny straight at +320, I can’t fault you for that.


Bellator 275

Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Parlay of the Week

Gegard Mousasi, -230

In the Bellator main event, Mousasi puts his middleweight title on the line against Johnny Eblen, and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why this line is so low. I like Eblen as a prospect more than most, and I’ve been more down on Mousasi than most, as well. But this fight is exactly the same fight Mousasi has excelled in his past two times out. Both John Salter and Austin Vanderford wanted to take Mousasi down, and both men met similar, violent fates.

Eblen is a better wrestler than either Salter or Vanderford, but he’s not world-class, so I see no reason for this line to be this close. Mousasi is probably going to get a KO early in the fight. But if not, he’s still going to win.

Arman Tsarukyan, -280

While both Tsarukyan and Gamrot are elite prospects in the lightweight division, simply put, Tsarukyan is better. The Armenian-Russian fighter is only 25 years old and has all the makings of a future champion. In his UFC debut, he went hammer and tongs with possibly the best lightweight in the world, Islam Makhachev, and since then Tsarukyan has only improved. Tsarukyan has looked absolutely dominant in his last three fights, running over solid competitors in Matt Frevola, Christos Giagos, and Joel Alvarez, and while Gamrot is the more accomplished fighter at this point, he’s going to have a hard time matching the pace and pressure Tsarukyan puts on. This is the best fight of the entire weekend, but I think Tsarukyan is massively advantaged.

Parlay these two bets together for -106 odds.


UFC Fight Night: Gravely v Maness

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Long Shot of the Week

Nate Maness by KO/TKO/DQ, +1600

As always, this is a long shot for a reason, but Umar Nurmagomedov is juiced beyond belief in this fight. The highly touted prospect has been untouchable throughout his career thus far, but -1050 is the type of number that should be reserved for dominant champions. Maness is a good defensive wrestler and has fast hands. He also is coming off another fight against someone who is looking to take him down, and he fared well against Tony Gravely, stuffing the shots and knocking out Gravely in the second round.

Again, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Nurmagomedov chain-wrestles Maness to the floor and then taps him. But at this price, I’m willing to take a flier.


Wrap Up

Yet again, our brilliant bets on Joe Lauzon to pull off the upset were derailed by a last-minute fight cancellation. That’s very frustrating, but at least we had a winning week last week, and it would have been even better had Gloria de Paula not been robbed. Alas, wins are wins, so let’s keep stacking.

As always, make sure to check out No Bets Barred for more gambling content if you haven’t already. Good luck y’all, and gamble responsibly!


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