UFC 177: Dillashaw vs Barao II is less than a week away and we’re here with our early betting tips for an incredibly weak UFC pay-per-view. We get that the UFC is putting on more cards and therefore any individual card will be mildly diluted, but EVERY pay-per-view card has to have at least 3 somewhat meaningful fights. Meaningful can mean anything the fans can get behind. For example, Sonnen vs Wanderlei wouldn’t have been very meaningful in the title picutre, but it is meaningful to the casual fan since both Sonnen and Silva are big names among casual fans. The only fight that means anything at UFC 177, besides the main event is Correia vs Baszler and even in that, both fighters would need at least 2 big wins before getting a title shot. Regardless, there are some betting opportunities we like. Make a point to take a look through the book, Trading Bases: How a Wall Street Trader Made a Fortune Betting on Baseball which is a great read for any sports bettor; you may even pick up some tips for your own betting.
The main event of this card features the rematch between Renan Barao and TJ Dillashaw for the UFC bantamweight title. In the initial match-up Dillashaw controlled the action landing far more damage and eventually got the TKO finish in the fifth round. If you had bet on Dillashaw on fight day, you would have gotten odds of 8.65 (+765). Generally, when there is an upset, some high profile people will predict that upset to happen. In the case of Barao vs Dillashaw I, there was basically noone going out on the limb and picking Dillashaw. The current odds on the second match-up see Dillashaw as a 1.72 (-138) favourite while Barao sits at 2.33 (+133) as the underdog. We see Dillashaw winning and retaining the title. In terms of the stats from the initial match-up, Dillashaw landed an astounding 140 strikes to Barao’s 64 strikes. We don’t buy the fact that Barao’s bad cut had a significant impact on his performance. Even if Barao comes into this second match-up slightly stronger, we still think Dillashaw will be able to do enough to in once again. We placed a 3 unit bet on Dillashaw at 1.72 (-138) at BetOnline. If we were to pick a side in the over/under 4.5 rounds, we’d likely bet the over, but the current line is around 1.67 (-150) which is not high enough to justify a bet.
Our second bet of the night will be on the lone women’s bout of the card as Bethe Correia looks to knock off the second of the “four horsewomen,” Shayna Baszler. Baszler’s last fight came in The Ultimate Fighter house where she lost to Julianna Pena by first round arm bar. At 34 years old, Baszler is one of the pioneers of women’s MMA, but to be honest it seems as though the “pioneers” can’t keep up with the young guns and we expect to see something similar on Saturday. Overall, Baszler sports a 15-8 record, but besides the Ultimate Fighter house fight she hasn’t fought in almost 2 years since losing to Alexis Davis in January, 2013. Correia is 2-0 so far in UFC competition with wins over another MMA pioneer, Julie Kedzie and “four horsewomen” member, Jessamyn Duke. In her fight against Duke, Correia was able to show she belongs in the UFC by winning pretty much everywhere the fight went. Correia should be able to get the job done and we think there’s some decent value in the current line. We placed a 3 unit bet on Correia at 1.75 (-133) at Pinnacle.
In our final early pick, we have the favourite, Joe Soto to defeat Anthony Birchak. The bout is scheduled to be the opener of the prelims which would generally be a spot we would avoid, but we think the current line on Soto packs some value. We placed a 3 unit bet on Soto at 1.88 (-114) at Pinnacle.
That’s it for our UFC 177: Dillashaw vs Barao II early predictions and bets. Stay tuned as we’ll be releasing our full betting tips later in the week. You can follow our Twitter and Facebook to get all our latest updates!