UFC Fight Night 39: Nelson vs Big Nog is just a few days away now and we’re back with our full predictions and bets for the event which features a couple interesting match-ups to go over. Our early predictions and bets were already posted so we’ll be covering primarily preliminary card bouts in this post. In terms of our track record, after going 0-1 for -2.00 units at Bellator 115, we’re still up over 38 units overall for an ROI of 23.90%. To be honest, we’re not particularly enthusiastic about this card for betting so we’ve kept our bets a bit lighter than some other recent UFC cards. If you haven’t picked up your copy of Fightnomics by Reed Kuhn, it’s a must read for any UFC fan, especially if you’re thinking about laying down some money on the fights.
We mentioned in our early picks and bets that we think that Ryan LaFlare is a deserving favourite to defeat John Howard. We also said that we think the line on LaFlare was starting to get a bit crazy. Since then, the line on Howard has climbed even higher, and we’ve decided it’s time to put down a small bet on the dog. We placed a 1 unit bet on Howard at 4.00.
Main eventing the prelims will be Jared Rosholt and Daniel Omielanczuk. Rosholt is actually a guy we bet against in his UFC debut against Walt Harris and the bet was almost good as Harris was able to rock Rosholt early, but was unable to finish and was basically pinned down for the remaining 2.5 rounds. There is a possibility Rosholt does the same against Omielanczuk, but we think the odds of that happening are well under 64% (the break even point of a bet on the under 1.5 rounds). Firstly, there’s the possibility of Rosholt winning via a ground and pound stoppage or submission. 66% of his wins have come inside the distance and 100% of his losses (just 1 observation though). Secondly, there’s the possibility of an Omielanczuk stoppage which 69% of his wins have come by. Based on this, we placed a 2 unit bet on the under 1.5 rounds at 2.75 which we Tweeted out last week.
Thales Leites to defeat Trevor Smith will be the first leg of our lone parlay bet on the card. Smith went 2-1 in Strikeforce and has so far gone 1-2 in the UFC while Leites has gone 2-0 since returning to the UFC after being cut in 2009, more because of his boring style than his skill set. Realistically, Leites should be in little danger in this fight. He has fought and had success against opponents who are all around better than Smith so there should be no issues. We expect him to use his “boring” smothering style to control Smith and he could potentially earn a first or second round submission. For this reason, even at 1.25, we think there’s value in adding Leites to a parlay.
Partnered with Leites in the parlay will be Rani Yahya to defeat Johnny Bedford. Firstly, Yahya is favoured by our math model which is always a big part of our picks. Secondly, his career record is relatively unimpressive at 19-8, but it is important to note that he only really loses to high level competitors. It remains to be seen whether his last opponent (and loss), Tom Niinimaki ends up being an elite competitor, but it was a pretty close split decision and we would contend that Niinimaki is better than Bedford. Bedford is still looking for a big name to put in the win column after going 2-1 in the UFC so far with his wins coming over middle of the road bantamweights. Also of note is the fact that Bedford hasn’t fought in almost a year with his last fight being a submission loss to Bryan Caraway so there could be some ring rust. For these reasons, and the fact that Yahya is above 1.50, we decided to add Yahya to the parlay with Leites. We placed a 3 unit parlay bet on Leites and Yahya at 1.99.
In our final model pick of the night, we have Andrew Craig to defeat Chris Camozzi. Camozzi is a long time UFC vet, going 6-4 for the promotion with one win for Shark Fights after he was cut in 2011 and then rehired. Craig is 3-2 in his UFC career, but should be the much fresher fighter with just 11 career fights to Camozzi’s 26. We expect Craig to follow a similar game plan to his fight against Chris Leben where he landed 2 takedowns and spent a bunch of time in top position including passing Leben’s guard 4 times. The biggest reason we see value in Craig is the fact that Camozzi has never landed a UFC takedown in 14 attempts (thanks Reed). He may have a slight advantage on the feet, but knowing that he has never been able to change a fight by landing a takedown is important from not only a betting perspective, but a gameplanning perspective. Craig should be free to execute his game plan on the feet and attempt takedowns as he pleases without worry of being taken down. Knowing this, we placed a 3 unit bet on Craig at 2.25.
Nogueira over Nelson. 3 units at 2.55
Howard over LaFlare. 1 unit at 4.00
Under 1.5 Rounds Omielanczuk/Rosholt. 2 units at 2.75
Leites/Yahya Parlay. 3 units at 1.99
Craig over Camozzi. 3 units at 2.25