UFC 171: Hendricks vs Lawler is coming up this weekend, and needless to say, it’s a huge card for the welterweight division, with the number 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 12 and 14 ranked UFC welterweights in competition. In addition, the main event features a bout for GSP’s title which was vacated after he defeated Johny Hendricks at UFC 167. Our predictions come to you after a disappointing weekend where we went 1-3 on our Bellator 111 bets for -4.34 units, but got some of it back with UFC Fight Night 37 as we went 2-2 for +0.15 units. This Saturday’s fights go down from the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas with the Fight Pass prelims beginning at 6pm ET, the Fox Sports 2 prelims at 8pm ET and the main card beginning at 10pm ET on Pay-per-view. By the way, just finished listening to Warren Buffet’s Management Secrets and it’s an awesome listen. A bit off topic here, but the overlap between people betting on MMA and putting money in the stock market is likely more than we think.
As we stated in our early predictions and bets article, the line on Hendricks wasn’t one we liked on its own and we would be looking to add him to a parlay. Well we found a parlay partner for him in Myles Jury. Jury sits at 1.56 to 1 to defeat grizzled vet, Diego Sanchez (he’s only 32, but a veteran of 30 fights, many of which were wars). When parlayed with Hendricks, we get almost even money at 1.94. What do we like about Jury? Firstly, our mathematical model favours him big time. Our accuracy with fighters favoured as much as Jury is in this one is over 80% so that’s a huge factor in this bet. Secondly, he’s 7 years younger and has 17 less professional fights. In addition, he has never lost which likely indicates the amount of damage he is taking in his fights is less than what Sanchez is enduring. The numbers (which only consider UFC fights agree) with Jury only absorbing 1.07 significant strikes per minute while Sanchez absorbs 2.81. Finally, we think Jury has the advantage on the feet, but should things start to turn for the worse, he has shown he has the ability to get fights to the ground. He lands an average of 3.37 takedowns per 15 minutes at 64% accuracy while Sanchez lands just 1.74 at 22% accuracy. When all is said and done in this one, we expect Jury to have his hand raised. We placed a 3 unit parlay bet on Jury and Hendricks at 1.94.
The second fight of the main card is another welterweight tilt as Jake Shields takes on Hector Lombard. Lombard looked lacklustre in 2 of his 3 UFC fights at middleweight in losing via split decisions to Tim Boetsch and Yushin Okami. The one middleweight fight he looked good in, he smashed Rousimar Palhares in 3:38. He has only had one fight since dropping to welterweight and that was a knockout win over Nate “The Former Great” Marquardt which took less than 2 minutes. Lombard now sits at number 12 on the UFC’s welterweight rankings, but he could make a big splash if he is able to defeat the number 6 welterweight, Jake Shields. Shields has been a decision machine with 8 of his last 9 fights going the distance. Not counting the later overturned victory over Ed Herman, Shields has won 4 straight since being KO’d by Jake Ellenberger. Our model has this fight being razor close, but gives a slight edge to Lombard. At the current line of 1.50, we don’t see much value in a straight bet on Lombard to win. Where we do see value however, is on the under. Four of Lombard’s last five victories have come inside the distance. As we feel Lombard is the more likely victor here, we saw huge value in the 2.70 odds that the under 1.5 rounds reached. As Tweeted out, we bet 1.5 units at 2.70 on Lombard/Shields to be under 1.5 rounds. At the current line of 2.25, the value isn’t nearly as big, but we would probably still recommend betting it as long as you’re getting a bit more than even money.
It seems Nikita Krylov’s entire UFC reputation with the betting public is based on his horrible fight with Soa Palelei. In his fight with Ovince St Preux there may be some value in Krylov at 4.14, but both guys tend to have bad striking defense, so we really like the under 1.5 rounds which currently sits at 1.95 at 5dimes. We placed a 1.5 unit bet on the under 1.5 rounds at 1.95 to 1.
Our final bet of the night will be another parlay as we have Dennis Bermudez and Jessica Andrade winning their respective fights. We expect Andrade to move forward and control the pace on the feet as we feel she is a superior striker to Pennington. We see the likelihood of that fight going to the ground as slim which is why we think there’s big value in Andrade. As for Bermudez, his opponent Jimy Hettes is well known for his world class jiu jitsu. Unfortunately, if the fight goes to the ground, we see the former division 1 wrestler, Bermudez controlling Hettes, the jiu jitsu expert. Therefore, we see Bermudez having big value as well. The lines on Bermudez and Andrade are relatively steep, but when parlayed together, we are almost getting even money which we think is a strongly positive EV bet. We placed a 3 unit bet on Bermudez/Andrade at 1.92 to 1.
Another underdog with some potential is Will Campuzano. Campuzano takes on top prospect Justin Scoggins who will be fighting for the second time in the UFC after knocking out part time professional surfer, part time fighter Richie Vaculik in his UFC debut. Campuzano was able to hang in there with another top prospect, Sergio Pettis in his previous UFC outing and will be looking to do a bit better against Scoggins on Saturday night. The line on Campuzano at 4.80 is definitely something worth considering and one we considered for a 1 unit play. Since we see it cashing less than 50% of the time, but much more than the 20% required to make money, we won’t include it as an official play, just a lean.
That’s it for our full UFC 171: Hendricks vs Lawler predictions and bets! With a total of 12 units wagered, we`re hoping for a big return to add to our 35.06 unit profit and 28.16% ROI over the last 11 events. For a full breakdown, check our detailed track record. Good luck with all your wagers this weekend!
Hendricks/Jury Parlay. 3 units at 1.94 to 1
Woodley over Condit. 3 units at 2.58 to 1
Under 1.5 Rounds Shields/Lombard. 1.5 units at 2.70 to 1
Under 1.5 Rounds St Preux/Krylov. 1.5 units at 1.95 to 1
Bermudez/Andrade Parlay. 3 units at 1.92 to 1