Desert Dog back with my tips and “Smart Bets” for UFC 100: this Saturday, July 11 at the Mandaly Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. It's an unbelievable card as the UFC hits the century mark, with two world titles and a card filled with intriuging and tough match ups.

At first glance you might think most of these fights are set to be blow outs, but remeber the odds are set according to public setiment and betting favorites like Lesnar and St Pierre are driven by rabid fans. There are several prime opportunities on this card for solid chalk bets as well as some nicely set up dog bets.

Bet on UFC 100Main card picks:

Brock Lesnar -240 (Bet $240 to win $100) BetUS
Georges St Pierre -270 (Bet $270 to win $100) Sportsbook
Jon Fitch -500 (No Bet) BetUS
Michael Bisping +175 (Bet $100 to win $175) BetUS
Alan Belcher +220 (Bet $100 to win $220) BetUS

Undercard Picks:
Stephan Bonner -325 (Bet $325 to win $100) Sportsbook
Mac Danzig +160 (Bet $100 to win $160) BetUS
Jon Jones -400 No Bet
Shannon Gugerty - 140 (bet $140 to win $100) Bodog
Dong Hyun Kim -265 No Bet

Brock Lesnar (-240 Sportsbook) vs. Frank Mir (+190 BetUS)

The second time around the lines for this fight opened up about the same as they were a year and a half ago.

Frank Mir, former Heavyweight Champ, has slowly worked his way back into top form since his accident in 2004. After a difficult loss to Brandon Vera at UFC 65, he has turned things around defeating Antonio Hardonk, Brock Lesnar, and most recently Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. All of his recent wins have been impressive finishes and he seems to only be gaining momentum. So why after only a year and a half is he still considered an underdog to someone he's already beaten.

MMA handicappers and the betting public believe that Brock Lesnar has developed real skills since their last meeting and that his freakish size and athleticism will now create a greater advantage. It's obvious from their last meeting that Mir can take some abuse and has the skill to submit opponents of any size. He's also shown some nice improvements in his striking and will hopefully put to test the chin of Lesnar. But we've also seen the massive damage Lesnar's hands can do.

Honestly, I hope Mir comes in with a solid game plan and sends Brock packing, but the reality is that Brock holds a 30 pound advantage, is a superior athelete, and has about 4 inches of reach on Mir. The odds look to be pretty true in this match up.

Pick: Lesnar TKO
Bet: 2.4 units to win 1


Georges St Pierre (-270 Sportsbook) vs Thiago Alves (+260 Bodog)

Georges has continued to focus mostly on training at Greg Jackson’s camp. His last two wins over Fitch and Penn were ideal demonstrations of his style and athleticism. These fights showed how he counters his opponents styles and as Jackson puts it, "finds their comfort zone and destroys it". When Fitch tried to wrestle, St. Pierre defended and attacked with brutal standup; when BJ tried to push the standup Georges took the fight to the ground and controlled the fight there. Countering an opponents attacks and imposing your own varied attack is the key to being a successful against any opponent. George is arguably the best wrestler in his division and that ability will be put to test in getting Alves out of his comfort zone. George’s power and speed is not in question but he knows that trading with a striker as powerful and skilled as Alves is a sure way to take a nap.

Thiago, who trains with American Top Team, has rattled off 7 UFC wins since his 2006 loss to Jon Fitch. Since that loss Alves has faced some of the most athletic wrestlers in the division including Parisiayn, Koscheck and Hughes…Turns out a great way to counter a wrestler is knees and fists. It also doesn’t hurt to be absolutely huge for your weight class. Alves has proven that he now defends well against wrestlers and has the ability to put anyone to sleep.

George and Thiago both agree this is the toughest opponent and the best striker St. Pierre has faced and as George learned the hard way, anyone with heavy hands is dangerous. So how can GSP win… control, striking, or submission, on the other hand Thiago is not going to outwork, control, or submit GSP he’s got one good chance and that’s a TKO.

The most likely scenario in this fight is a fast brutal opening from Thiago, with GSP surviving and then finding his range with kicks and finally turning things around in the second round with takedowns and a mixed attack from the top. As the fight wares on into the 4th round Georges conditioning and pace will provide many opportunities to end the fight via submission or TKO. It will take many swords to fall this bull, but he will fall late in the fight.

The odds have narrowed in the last few weeks and are pretty representative of the real probabilities in this fight with GSP winning 3 of every 4 meetings. Yes, if Thiago lands a solid combo he can put Georges away, but there’s no current value in chasing that bet. I'm Sticking with a standard 1 unit bet on St. Pierre. There is a chance that the betting public will push the uber-popular GSP's odds up and if Alves moves above +300 it would be worth a bet.

Prediction: Georges St Pierre via TKO
Bet: 2.4 units to win 1

Dan Henderson (-230 BetUS) vs Micheal Bisping (+175 Bodog)

The opinions on this fight are all over the board, but most people are leaning very heavy toward Henderson due to his experience, heavy hands, and tremendous grappling game. You hear cliches like "Henderson just knows how to win".

Recently Hendo stated that with a win over Bisping he thinks he's ready for another title shot. This brings up where he is in his career and how much more he has left. At 38 and having won and lost to belts in two weight classes Dan seems very focused on his one last hurrah. If I can just get the belt back and finish on top, I'm sure that's what's in his mind. The question is can his body continue to hold up to the demands and is he looking past "The Count" in this fight. He's a proven, level headed fighter and extremely difficult to put away, but that doesn't mean he's focused on Bisping instead of his legacy.

Micheal Bisping has gone through a very interesting progression, culminating in him moving down in weight just as Dan did. His last three fights at 185 have produced very impressive wins and shown how he has developed his Muy-Thia attack as well as his defense on the ground and feet.

Micheal's does an excellent job of avoiding real damage and dishing out his own. A new found favorite weapon - knees from the clinch - could be dangerous or deadly against Henderson. As long as they are fast and powerful enough to keep Dan off balance he's fine, but they could also become takedown opportunities. Another plus on Bisping's side is training with Rampage who is not only a very strong wrestler, but also a past opponent of Dan's and a great source for information.

The advantages for Henderson are his punching power and grappling and for Bisping it's speed, technical Muy-Thai and elusiveness. Being a three round fight could also be an advantage for Bisping, since he will have less time in front of Henderson's dangerous hands. Hendo's most probable way to finish this fight is via TKO, but he tends to start slow on the feet, preferring to take the fight down and wear his opponents early.

If Bisping can remain elusive and stay off his back early, he can bait Henderson into a standup battle. Now, It's not very like that Micheal can get past Dan's chin, but his speed, accuracy and technical skills on the feet will provide the points needed for a win. Henderson's grinding style depends on him getting an opponent down at will and then having that threat there the rest of the fight to keep people guessing and off their game plan.

I think this is one of the better dog bets on the card. I would prefer a betting line over +200, (which have been coming and going). There's a chance that Bisping's fan could even the odds out a bit more so if you like this one take it sooner than later.

Prediction: Bisping via Out-hustle
Bet: 1 unit to win 1.75

Jon Fitch (-500 BetUS) vs Paulo Thiago (+400 Bodog)
This is an exciting match up and the odds suggest this could be a very lopsided fight, but with Thiago coming fresh off his TKO of Josh Koscheck it's still very early to know how real the unbeaten Paulo is.

On paper Fitch holds the advantage in standup, wrestling, athletacism, and strength. Paulo's only real probability to win is his BJJ, I say that even with his first real TKO over Koscheck looking so convincing. His record however shows he's a submission fighter at heart. Fitch has solid enough BJJ and superior strength which should allow him to avoid the tap.

Unfortunately the odds are just too steep for a bet on Mr. Fitch.

Prediction: Jon Fitch via decision
Bet: None

Alan Belcher (+220 BetUS) vs Yoshihiro Akiyama (-265 Bodog)

This has the potential to be one of the best fights of the night. Akiyama is a heavy handed striker with deadly Judo and submission skills. He's currently running on 13 straight wins, other than getting knocked out with an illegal soccer kick 18 months ago. That aside he's a very aggressive fighter who's never gone to decision. Belcher has shown a growing arsenal and a never say die attitude. His most recent win over Denis Kang impressed many and showed that even for the most vetran fighters the first fight in the Octagon is often a poor showing.

Both fighters are very dynamic but I believe Belchers stature will be a significant advantage in this fight. Alan stands at 6'2" and holds a 5 inch reach advantage, he also has excellent kicks, and if he doesn't overuse them, a well timed head kick could be an easy mark. Akiyama changes levels very well in his standup but he tends to drop a little too often on his straight rights.

I'm nitpicking a bit but it's only because this will be a very close and exciting fight. The betting line on Belcher is a tremendous bargain and a bet I have to make. Akiyama is facing his UFC debut, and a taller longer fighter with the skill and strength to finish him.

Prediction: Alan Belcher via TKO
Bet 2 units to win 4.4

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!

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