UFC 73 Betting Odds and Smart Bets

By Paul Sunday, July 01, 2007
The big juicy card we've all been waiting for is finally just around the corner. The odds have moved around quite a bit but they appear to be settling in. The main line to keep an eye on is Franca's, it looks good now but could definitely get better.

Desert Dog’s Smart Bets for UFC 73:

Main Card Bouts:

Anderson Silva -160 (Bet $100 to win $62.50) BetUS
Antonio Nogueira -500 No Action
Rashad Evans +120 (Bet $100 win $120) SportsBook
Hermes Franca +225 (Bet $100 win $225) Bookmaker
Kenny Florian -310 No Action (Bet on Alvin if line hits +400)

Preliminary Bouts:

Chris Lytle - 400 No Action
Frankie Edgar -240 No Action
Jorge Gurgel -285 No Action
Stephan Bonnar -300 (Bet $100 win $33.33) SportsBook

As always, if you are going to bet, only play with what you are willing to lose. The best value on this card is Hermes Franca at +225. Rashad is a good bet at +115 or better and Bonnar is a solid chalk bet at -300 or better. I would seriously consider a dog bet on Alvin Robinson if his odds hit +400, he would be very undervalued at that price.
Main Card Bouts:

Anderson Silva (-160) vs. Nathan Marquardt (+145)
As matchups go, this is a pretty tight one. Both fighters have the ability to finish the other standing or on the ground.

Silva is as dangerous as they come at 185. His speed and accurate striking, knees and kicks come from all angles and land with bad intentions. Anderson’s list of victims show he can also handle people on the ground and on off of his back. His weakest point is his takedown defense, but once he’s down the BJJ black belt kicks in with those spider limbs looking for an opening.

Nate Marquardt is just as seasoned – if not more – than Silva. He may be the most powerful fighter Silva has faced as well. His speed and accuracy aren’t quite up to Silva’s but he definitely has greater power. For Marquardt to be successful in the standup he’s going to have to move inside of Silva’s long angular strikes. An even better place for Nate would be putting Anderson on his back and overpowering him. Marquardt may not be up to Silva’s level in BJJ but he’s no slouch and should be able to avoid being submitted.

This fight will likely end in a TKO stoppage and my gut says it will be Anderson Silva. Typically when a fight is this close I go with the more favorable odds, but I see the winning fire in Anderson’s eyes.

Antonio Nogueira (-500) vs. Heath Herring (+400)
The odds paint and ugly picture for Herring in this 3rd meeting. The first metting ended in a decision and the second a submission. So is there any difference in store for the third? The only difference I see is the cage, if Herring can pull a little Gonzaga magic out of his ass he might pull off a ridiculous upset….But that’s just not going to happen.

No matter how good the odds look stay away from this one. Nogueira via submission.

Tito Ortiz (-120) vs. Rashad Evans (+120)
Tito the “Moron” Ortiz – newly name by Dana – is quickly getting pegged as a one dimensional G‘nP specialist who likes to complain much more than he likes to get hit. OK maybe I’m the one pegging him. Tito in his day brought the sport to a new level, but he hasn’t changed his game in 10 years. Yes, he has great conditioning and Yes, if he gets you stacked into the fence he’s a machine.

So all the well prepared Rashad will do is use his better wrestling skills to nullify Tito’s takedowns, get on his bike and run circles around him while peppering him with punches and the occasional head kick in hopes of reliving his Salmon highlight. By the third round his confidence will be so high he will take Tito to the ground go for a G’nP finish of his own.

I don’t think Evans will finish Tito but, I do think he will easily take a decision. The odds are in our favor for a bet on black.

Sean Sherk (-220) vs. Hermes Franca (+225)
This should be the fight of the night. The lightweight division has been under serious construction for the last year and now we will have a spectacular championship fight to top it all off.

After a year away from the game, many new fans are unaware of who Sean Sherk really is. With a record of 31-2 and his only losses to Matt Hughes and George St. Pierre the answer is straight forward. He has fought in many shows and built a crisp and powerful style. His reach has kept him from being a major standup threat but when he gets it to the ground the muscle shark’s power comes through like a jack hammer. Looking at his resume you’ll see that he is not a one show pony with most of his wins coming by way of submission. The downside for Sherk is the potential ring rust after being out for a year.

Hermes Franca has been on a tear and after his TKO finish of the extremely tough Spencer Fischer he has earned his shot at the title. Much like Sherk, Hermes pushes a relentless pace. In this fight he will have two distinct advantages, first his reach and second, his BJJ is bad-ass. On the ground this guy knows how to finish from all positions.

Oh baby this will be sweet, endless exchanges, takedowns, bleeding, submission attempts and repeat. With five rounds to go this should be a war of attrition and as the two tire I think Franca will pull away and find a way to finish. I really don’t have a call on the exact method TKO or Submission, but Hermes is my straight pick and way to good of a value to pass up at these odds

Kenny Florian (-310) vs. Alvin Robinson (+250)
Ah that Joe Silva is always looking to bring new talent and create very interesting matchups while doing it.

Alvin Robinson (8-1) is new to the UFC but made a real impression on Joe. With all of his wins coming by way of submission, who better to be tested against than the technician Kenny Florian.
The question is how will Robinson deal with Kenny’s greatly improved standup and those vicious leg kicks. From what I’ve seen (Robinson highlight video) takedowns and submissions are his greatest strength and his hands are his biggest weakness, he’s definitely an arm puncher. But with such an aggressive style it will be a solid fight and Florian will be in for a serious test.

I have to give this one to the well rounded Florian, but if the odds get over +400, I couldn’t pass up the value.

Preliminary Bouts:

Chris Lytle (-400) vs. Jason Gilliam(+335)
Well Third opponent is the charm right. Gilliam is stepping up from lightweight to take this short notice fight. Although, it’s good to see someone willing to take any fight, this is not a great choice for Jason.

Lytle is in for a good workout and an easy win. It’s unfortunate that he won’t have this chance to show his skills in a real battle, but shit happens. Unfortunately the odds are too thick to give us any value. Lytle via submission.

Frankie Edgar (-240) vs. Mark Bocek (+190)
Edgar made an impressive UFC debut against Tyson Griffin winning a hard fought decision. He’s also showed that he can handle submission specialists as well in his fights against Jason miller and Deividas. His game is very well round and athletic, but he hasn’t shown a consistent ability to finish his opponents.

Bocek is a young fighter making his first showing in the UFC. He’s won his first four fights mostly in the KOTC show and he’s got an impressive submission game.

Edgar should be able to defend the submission and take this fight his solid aggression and decent standup….even if he is only 5’6”. No value for a bet here. Edgar via decision.

Jorge Gurgel (-285) vs. Diego Saraiva (+225)
If this was BJJ match it would be interesting. Fortunately for us they get to punch each other in the face too. Gurgel has far too many tools in the shed to drop this fight. No analysis needed, Gurgel via submission.

Stephan Bonnar (-300) vs. Mike Nickels (+240)
I’m not the biggest Bonnar fan in the world but if you can get your hands on odds of -300 or better this is an easy “bridgejumper” bet. I know Mike Nickels won his last two fights convincingly, but in my opinion he is not a UFC caliber fighter and will be seriously outclassed in this bout. Bonnar via TKO.

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 73 Betting Odds and Smart Bets"

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  2. Anonymous4:38 AM

    This is easily the worst set of predictions you've churned out Desert Dog. Do you have any idea who good Marquardt is on the ground? To even hypothesize that Marquardt isn't as good as Silva on the ground, is absolutely hysterical. I take it you haven't been following Marquardt's career at all. The fight ends when Marquardt takes Silva to the ground.

    As for Franca>Sherk, another bad prediction. Sherk's fire hydrant physique isn't getting submitted. Another bet you're misleading many people on.

    Also, you're seriously underestimating Alvin Robinson.

  3. Patrick1:29 PM

    I agree with anonymous on some points but not all... I think the prediction of franca over sherk is easily one of worst i've seen you make because sherk is better in every category, hermes is just good in many different areas and has ko power. I dont care what kind of value there is, hermes is not worth a bet. I definitely disagree with the tito/rashad matchup because rashad doesn't have the experience and hasn't run into top tier fighters. Do i have to remind yall that he was getting handled by salmon until he kicked him? As far as the silva/marquardt fight, i'll go with marquardt but i could definitely see silva taking it... Too close to call so i'll stay away form that one... And desert dog, you lucked up getting bonnar so cheap