Desert Dog’s Smart Bets for UFC 78:

Main Card Bouts:

Rashad Evans -280 No Action
Karo Parisyan -170 Over/Under (Bet $100 win $58.82) BetUS
Spencer Fisher +110 (Bet $100 win $110) Bookmaker
H. Alexander -165 (Bet $100 win $60.60) Sportsbook
-Or 160 Over/Under option (Bet $100 win $62.50) BetUS
Ed Herman -170 No Action

Preliminary Bouts:

Thiago Alves -170 (Bet $100 win $58.82) Sportsbook

Tamdan McCrory +220 (Bet $100 win $220) BetUS
Marcus Aurelio -500 No Action
Joe Lauzon -400 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 Spencer Fisher at even money. A straight bet on Houston at -165 and the over/under for Parisyan to go past 1.5 rounds are both good. The dog bet to consider on this card is Tamdan at +205.

Main Card Bouts:

Rashad Evans (-320) vs. Michael Bisping (+240)
In my opinion this fight between Bisping and Evans is a more exciting match up that the original Evans – Ortiz one. The styles of these two fighters should provide for a very active fight. Honestly anything would be better than what we saw from these two in their last bouts.

In betting terms the bookmakers seem to be putting much more weight on Bisping's last showing than Rashad's. Both were tentative and slow to initiate their game plans and not up to their expectations. Unfortunately for Bisping his win was probably due to poor judging and left a bad taste in many mouths.

My initial take on this fight is that Rashad has the advantage in size, wrestling, and aggression. Skill wise it’s close in the standup, but if Bisping is on his bike in fear of the takedown it will be a painful one to watch. On the ground both prefer to GnP, but Bisping has a more dangerous guard. In this particular fight the Bisping will not want to be on his back, slick submission attempts will just get him some big hammers to the face. Rashad has the overall advantage and should win this fight, but the odds are not worth it. I would say that the probability should be about 67/43. In other words Evans isn't a good buy unless he's around -200. Prediction: Evans via decision.

Karo Parisyan (-350) vs. Ryo Chonan (+250)
Karo Parisyan is best know for making every fight a war and this match up sets the stage for another fast paced, technical battle. Karo's 17-5 record doesn't tell his story on it's own, but a closer look defines his fighting style. First, he's only lost to three people Sean Sherk (3 times, 2000-1), Georges St Pierre (2004), and most recently to Diego Sanchez (2006)...his showing at both of his UFC losses were very respectable. Second, Karo wins almost all of his fights via decision, this is due to his relentless and technical style.

Unfortunately, it also shows he's not known for his stand up power or his ability to finish. He has the core strength you here about with all top level grapplers and a pitbull mentality, that's what wins fights for him and that's what makes him fun to watch.

Ryo Chonan is forever known as the guy who took out Anderson Silva with a flying scissor heel hook....just remember he was getting his ass kicked for most of that fight. He has lost to several other big names in the 185 lb division like Fihlo, Henderson, and Baroni.

Now for his move to the UFC he's dropped down to the Welterweight division in hopes that he won't have to deal with being overpowered. He's also been training with Team Quest and his new hero Dan Henderson. He believes this has really improved his striking style and wrestling skills. A short comings against some of his opponents has been his standup and very short reach we'll see what some TQ time has done for him. Once things hit the ground he is dangerous from all positions. His submissions are slick and unorthodox, much like Karo's style. Now he just has to get use to the UFC crowds, the cage, and elbows in a match up with Karo sounds like fun huh.

Look for Karo to actually work his standup in the first part of this fight. By round two Chonan will be closing the distance and Karo will shift to his favorite standby, the judo throws. Round two will probably decide this fight if Karo can control and GnP he will continue this through the third round and win via decision. If Ryo is going to win, it will be due to greater strength and ground control or maybe catching Karo with an unusual submission.

Overall Karo's pace and ever improving skill set should be enough to out slick the "Piranha". The odds have Karo as a heavy favorite (-350), not the numbers I wanted to see for a bet on Karo. There's value on a Parisyan bet if the odds get below -300 and on Ryo if the Odds get to +300. With the odds where they are a better bet would be the over/under for this one to go past 1.5 rounds (-160). Prediction: Karo via decision.

Spencer Fisher (+100) vs. Frankie Edgar(-130)
Here’s a good candidate for fight of the night. These two epitomize what makes the Lightweight division so exciting.

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 second UFC win against Mark Boceck. His game is very well rounded and athletic, but he hasn’t shown a consistent ability to finish his opponents. He’s definitely got the edge in wrestling. His striking style very sound boxing but he’s lacking a bit in his kicking and ability outside striking due to his reach.

Fisher continues to find himself in wars in the Octagon. His Muay Thai striking and knees are his best weapons and although he claims to have a weakness in wrestling, he’s proven to be very dangerous on the ground in all positions. Edgar will be able to get the takedown, but I don’t think he will be able to maintain control on the ground.

Look for a great stand up war with Fisher holding the edge in terms of striking power and overall technique. Edgar’s takedowns will result in some quick transitions and scrambles, but nothing more. Fishers striking power will overwhelm Edgar in later rounds. Anything that puts Fisher in as the underdog or even money is a great bet. Prediction: Fisher via TKO
Houston Alexander (-160) vs. Thiago Silva (+130)
Houston Alexander (8-1) has quickly become a ticket seller after his quick and impressive TKO's of Keith Jardine and Allesio Sakara. At 35 Houston has suddenly found himself exactly where he wants to be, in the UFC aiming for the top of his division.

His fighting style was best described by Mike Goldberg at UFC 75 "That dude is violent!". His first two UFC fights were so short it's hard to say much else. His boxing and Muay Thai looked very good, especially against the slower paced Sakara. His ground game however is completely untested on the UFC stage. His game plan for this fight is to keep it standing and work his inside game. Hopefully we'll get to see his conditioning in this fight.

Thiago Silva (11-0) holds a black belt in Brazilian Jui Jitsu and comes out of the Chute Box team and has been training with team Link. As with most of this Brazilian teammates, his Muay Thai is very strong and he likes to keep it standing, with nine of his wins coming by way of TKO. As long as he doesn’t let his emotions take over, the first point of his game plan will be to test Alexander’s ground game.

Although Thiago is 2-0 in the UFC his bouts have slid under the radar, especially the win over Irvin who blew his knee out early in the first round. His last fight against Tomasz Drwal showed his ability to stand with a heavy puncher. What was lacking was his energy in the second round and his takedowns didn't look that sharp. His pace in all of his fights is methodical, but he puts a lot of power behind his punches and knows when to pour it on.

On paper these two match up pretty tight with no significant size or reach advantages. Silva holds an advantage in terms of training and overall skill set. Houston's only visible advantage is his "violence". His aggression will be an immediate test for Thiago and if that storm is weathered, we'll all finally get a good look at the rest of his game. My pick in this fight is Houston and he is a good value for a straight bet, but if the lack of info on him scares you this is another good candidate for an over/under bet with this fight not likely to make it much past round 1 (+130). Prediction: Houston via TKO.

Joe Doerksen (+140) vs. Ed Herman (-170)
Another fight of the night here….OK that’s a load of crap. I’ll be drinking a beer and then getting several more during this 15 minutes of fun. Doerksen is the ideal opponent for Ed, his standup is lackluster, and his wrestling, submissions and ground and pound are not as good as Herman’s. Plain and simple as long as Doerksen hasn’t found some significant new standup skills he’ll be out pointed in yet another decision. I won’t be betting on this fight due to both a lack of interest and a lack of value on either side. Prediction: Herman via decision.

Preliminary Bouts:

Thiago Alves (-170) vs. Chris Lytle (+160)
Alves is gaining great confidence and showing some fantastic aggressive abilities in all parts of his game. Still training with ATT, this young powerhouse poses a threat to opponents in all positions. His strength is in his standup and G’n’P. Although he’s matching up against someone who’s never been stopped he’s going to be the toughest competition Lytle has seen yet. (yes, tougher than Matt Hughes).

Chris has been on a real rollercoaster ride over the last three years, with losses in all of his “big” fights. Chris has some respectable standup but his forte is definitely his submission game. Unfortunately Alves’ strength and technical knowledge on the ground will nullify this possible advantage. There is always a chance that Alves will make the same mistake he made against Fisher back in 2005. I’d say the chance of that is about 1 in 5. Prediction: Alves via TKO.

Akihiro Gono (-280) vs. Tamdan McCrory (+220)
This line is a steal, Tamden (8-0) may be a self proclaimed geek but he's also a 6'4" freak in the cage. He won his first 6 fights via TKO and his last 2 by submission, including Pete Spratt for his UFC debut. Now I’m not singing him in as the next WW champion, but he is in a very winnable fight with Gono and has zero sense of fear.

Gono is very seasoned (27-12-7) but, he is 5'9", making his UFC debut, and has not fought in a year. Yes Gono has seen it all and is basically fighting a kid, but when you combine Tamdan’s reach with Gono’s incredibly upright posture in the stand up and you’ve got a recipe for a another geek attack win. He is following Ryo in stepping down from 183 lbs to 170 lbs, but he’s also said that his ideal fight weight may be 155, hmm… very interesting.

This is a huge test for Tamdan but I the current line is only giving him a little better than a 30% chance. With the physical match up and Gono making his octagon debut, Tamdan’s odds should be much closer to even money. Prediction: Tamden via TKO.

Marcus Aurelio (-500) vs. Luke Caudillo (+350)
Hmmm…A 5 to 1 favorite on a three fight losing streak. Yes his losses were to a couple of very good pride fighters and Clay Guida in his UFC debut. Normally odds this out of whack would inspire a dog bet. Not this time.

Luke Caudillo does have solid hands but his biggest weak point has been his tendency to get submitted. Not to mention that he hasn’t faced anyone of Aurelio’s caliber. No reason to put any cabbage on either side of this one. Prediction: Aurelio via Submision.

Joe Lauzon (-400) vs. Jason Reinhardt (+280)
Again not much to say on this one Jason is moving up from about 135 lbs to make his UFC debut. He is unbeaten but all of his competition was no where near Lauzon’s caliber.

Joe has been training with BJ Penn and is another large lightweight with a very strong aggressive fight style. This will likely be a quick walkthrough for Joe. No value for a bet at these odds. Prediction: Lauzon 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 78: Betting Odds and Fight Picks"

  1. I have more or less the same picks, but I think Doerk is worth a stab. Also taking Edgar over Fish.

    PS: I don't know where you're taking the UNDER 1.5 value on Houston's fight, but the line for that option @ BetUS is -160, not +130.

  2. Thanks for the correction hamster.

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