UFC 71 Betting Odds and Fight Picks

By Paul Thursday, May 24, 2007
Back again with my picks and bets for UFC 71. I’ve researched these fights for the last month or so but as a working man (yes, it really is work) I’ve been very busy, so my writeup is a bit thinner than in the past. The main card is packed with fights that could go either way and in terms of odds provides some great betting values. I’ve listed 5 bets for the night, but I definitely have a couple of favorites. I’ve also dropped the point system from my picks (ie. 1 point to win 1.45) and went with lines based on $100 bets; this fits the odds system better and gets rid of those pesky decimals.

Picks and Bets for UFC 71:
Quinton Jackson +165: 100 win 165 (BetUS)
Josh Burkman +260: 100 to win 260 (Bookmaker)
Terry Martin +130: 100 to win 130 (Bookmaker)
Keith Jardine -500: No action
Kalib Starnes +210: 100 to win 210 (Bookmaker)

Preliminary Card Picks:
Din Thomas -325: No action
Thiago Silva -225: No action
Sean Salmon -120: 100 to win 83.33 (Bodog)
Wilson Gouveia -255: No Action

As always, if you are going to bet, only play with what you are willing to lose. The best value on this card is Terry Martin followed closely by Quinton Jackson. Burkman and Starnes at +200 or better are decent bets. Salmon at -120 is my least favorite bet, but worth it in the end. The odds shown below represent the best offered from any of the 4 books listed here.

Chuck Liddell (-170) vs Quinton Jackson (+165)
Plain and simple, this is Chuck’s toughest competition since he faced Couture. Chuck will do what he always does stay mobile, counter, and flurry when he sees an opening. I have to believe that Rampage is over his “cage jitters” and will put on his typical aggressive show. If Quinton keeps a fast pace, engages inside Chuck’s strike zone, and gets control – physically and mentally – he will take this fight. I hope this doesn’t go to a decision but if it does, it could be a split decision with round to round swings in control.

With endless training videos, interviews, and commentaries the betting have really tightened up. If you were looking to follow Randy Couture's advice and bet on Jackson the best odds are behind you now but still worth it. But, if you think the Ice Man is taking this one home you should be able to get a piece of him for as low as -170, but I wouldn’t go above -200. Myself, I already dropped my dienero when Jackson was +200. Jackson by 3rd round stoppage.

Karo Parisyan (-295) vs Josh Burkman (+260)
The betting public is still in love with Karo and money continues to come in behind him. In my opinion the line on this fight should be much closer (-115/+135). These two solid fighters have taken all but a few of their fights to decision. It's not because they are boring fighters, it's because they're tough to finish. Neither has great KO power they just beat their opponents down with relentless aggression. The deciding factor in this fight could be a slight difference in attacking style, with Karo tending counter more and Burkman attacking a bit more consistently. Burkman could easily pull off the upset in this fight especially if it goes to decision...and odds are it will.

It would be sweet if this turns into another Sanchez vs Parisyan.....We're due for a real war. My prediction for the fight is a decision for Burkman and a hell of a fight. With the current moneyline, the only value I see is a bet on Josh Burkman at +190 on up.

Ivan Salaverry (-145) vs. Terry Martin (+130)
This is a very unique match up. Salaverry is very reminiscent of Matt Lindland, an unassuming looking fighter who knows how to win. Ivan has been very inactive though with only one fight in 2006 and his last octagon appearance was a loss to Nate Marquart in 2005. Terry Martin on the other hand has been very active with 4 fights in 2006 and one so far this year. Terry has only 2 losses on his record and 7 straight up KO's...that's serious shit...,he also just dropped down to 185 this year and showed no loss in power during his brief fight with Rivera. Terry's punching power will likely make its mark in this fight as well. I can’t believe Terry is the dog in this fight; this is definitely the best value bet on the card. Terry Martin by KO.

Keith Jardine (-500) vs. Houston Alexander (+450)
Oh man, a replacement fight on the main card, time to get another beer…not so fast. Houston has been scratching out a fight career mostly in very small shows making it hard to get much of an insight into his abilities. He recently did an interview with UFCJunkie and made claims that he has around 200 fights in the last seven years….believe that line or not he has been a very active fighter and taken several tournaments requiring 2-3 fights per night and it was at one of those shows that he got the attention of UFC fight makers. They’ve signed him to a standard 3-fight contract and have expressed belief in his ability to make a splash in the division. Alaxander has an excellent Muay Thai and kickboxing coach in Mick Doyle and his record shows that’s the style of fight he prefers. He stated in his interview he’s looking not get hit by Jardine and has been working his leg kick counters; his ground skills are unknown but, of course he claims they are solid. Bottom line he’s in great shape, hungry, and as long as he doesn’t crap his pants in the octagon he should put on a great show.

Keith’s weakness is getting picked apart by fast technical standup fighters. Of course, Jardine is coming off his most impressive victory yet, knocking out Griffin. His confidence is soaring and he sees his path to a future title shot opening up. You know in his mind he’s not going to let anyone stand in his way. He may be surprised at what a good fight Houston puts up but, he will eventually find a way to chop through and take home the win. Unfortunately the odds in this fight are too heavy for me to recommend a bet. I think your money will be better spent on Martin or Jackson. Jardine by 3rd round stoppage.

Chis Leben (-225) vs. Kalib Starnes (+210)
Leben has the name recognition and record to push the odds pretty strongly in his favor, In my opinion though this is another close fight though. Starnes has TKO’d the last man to beat Leben (2005) and has the advantage on the ground. In the stand up Starnes is more technical but unless you through precise bombs (ala Silva), Leben can take a hell of a shot and as he's said before his reaction is to instantly strike back....hard.

This fight could go either way. I'd give Starnes about a 30% chance for a sub and a 45% chance if it goes to the cards. Overall I see value in a Kalib Starnes bet at +200 or better. Odds on Leben would need to hit -150 (60%) before I see value on his side. Not the strongest bet ever, but I’m putting a half point on Starnes.

Preliminary Bouts:

Din Thomas (-325) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+300)
Din Thomas will overwhelm newcomer Stephans early in this fight and likely finish things off with a submission. The odds aren’t providing any value for a bet here.

Thiago Silva (-225) vs. James Irvin (+205)
Mmm…slugfest, that’s what everyone is hoping for. Unfortunately Irvin’s game is just won’t hold up when this goes to the ground. Thiago Silva is a great talent and should be able to put on a good show in the standup and take total control when he gets it to the ground. Thiago by TKO. Again, no real value with these odds.

Alan Belcher (-105) vs. Sean Salmon (-120)
I know I can’t forget Salmon’s ugly KO loss to Rashad. What’s important is that he’s past it. Salmon has all the tools to control this fight and battle out a decision for his first UFC win. This is not a strong bet but there is a bit of value with Salmon at -125 or better.

Wilson Gouveia (-255) vs. Carmelo Marrero (+220)
Gouveia has the advantage in all aspects of this matchup. I know Marrero beat Chiek Kongo in his last bout, but dry humping will not get it done in this fight. Wilson by submission. The odds are present no reason to bet on this one.

You wanna make a bet....
Desert Dog

I have followed the UFC for over 10 years, written as a handicapper, and spent my spare time as an online poker grinder. Unfortunately, I ran out of legal wagering options...Thank god for Daily Fantasy Sports and the much needed addition of MMA drafts. I offer my insight into MMA fight handicapping and fight analysis for the purpose of making some dough at DFS!

3 comments to ''UFC 71 Betting Odds and Fight Picks"

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  1. Patrick9:33 PM

    Like your picks... Man there sure are a lot of underdog picks that im looking forward to if the odds from zewkey stay around the same... Rampage, definitely Marquardt, definitely Okami, and Franca... Tito over Rashad and Gonzaga over Randy... Just because Randy had one good fight people are hopping on the bandwagon again... Take out Gonzaga's kick and he still handled Crocop... I might throw the house on Okami though... Tell me what you think

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  2. The Tito vs Rashad lines could see the same big swings we saw with Liddell and Jackson. Once Joe public starts dropping bets.

    The dogs are looking good again, even though I missed the boat on the last 2 big events.

    I'm not on Gonzaga's boat yet myself, the Cro-cop fight definitely showed him in a new light but Randy's style isn't the best matchup for him.

    UFC 73 will be awesome...there were more betting lines open for that event last week than for UFC 71...a lot of folks looking forward to it. Should make for some good dog bets.

    The house on Okami you say....hmmm. I'll have to think more on that one.

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