Contributor: Nolan Howell
Tired of your wealth? Sick of being happy while swimming in your pool of coins with beautiful women by your side, Scrooge McDuck?
Welcome to Undercard Superstar’s guide to gambling, where you can get po’ in one night if you play your cards right! As your resident financial adviser in MMA gambling, it is my duty to inform you that nobody affiliated with Undercard Superstar is accountable for any losses. In fact, you probably brought it upon yourself for ready this. So, seriously, you’ve been warned.
This week, we will be touching on UFC Fight Night 28 from Brazil. A bevvy of Brazilians will be on the card as expected, but is there any value or a sure thing that you can place a pretty penny on to make enough to buy you a McChicken for lunch tomorrow? Heck, maybe you can score enough to buy a pizza from Little Caesar’s!
Poor dietary choices behind us, let’s look at the card.
All lines provided by Bovada.
Yuri Villefort: -130 vs. Sean Spencer: Even
Keith Wisniewski: +190 vs. Ivan Jorge: -240
Lucas Martins: -140 vs. Ramiro Hernandez, Jr.: +110
Joao Zeferino: Even vs. Elias Silverio: -130
Felipe Arantes: -210 vs. Edimilson Souza: +170
While the undercard here isn’t a total bargain bin, there are some good opportunities. The first person to strike me going down the list is Keith Wisniewski. His opponent, Ivan Jorge, is coming out of Jungle Fight with their lightweight belt in hand. However, Jorge is known for his submission game and has fought a shoddy mixed bag of competition in the Brazilian circuit. Wisniewski is a very adept grappler who can throw as well. His gameness and consistent tests against very solid competition should be taken into account here. Look to put a small, but worthwhile bet on Wisniewski here to earn some cash. That, or put him in a small underdog parlay, which is one of my favorite betting moves.
Another underdog worth taking a look at is Ramiro Hernandez, Jr. Lucas Martins has not looked impressive in his two outings in the UFC, being thrashed by Edson Barboza and looking sloppy against TUF veteran Jeremy Larsen en route to victory. Hernandez has seen fighters of that caliber and defeated them. Guys like Chris Tickle, Drew Dober, and Brian Davidson have credibility on the regional scene and have all been finished by Hernandez. Additionally, Hernandez has fought men like Pat Curran and Michael Johnson in his time on the circuit. His well-rounded game and elite regional level could very well get him a victory against the plodding Martins.
Another consideration is to put both Felipe Arantes and Joao Zeferino in a favorite’s parlay. Betting on them singularly won’t yield much if you are a small-money guy, but the two seem fairly likely to win and the odds don’t reflect that as much as they should.
Main Card Values:
Marcus Vinicius: +240 vs. Ali Bagautinov: -310
Rafael Natal: -270 vs. Tor Troeng: +210
Francisco Trinaldo: -315 vs. Piotr Hallmann: +245
Joseph Benavidez: -600 vs. Jussier da Silva: +400
Ronaldo Souza: -260 vs. Yushin Okami: +200
Glover Teixeira: -450 vs. Ryan Bader: +325
The main card is seemingly devoid of any terrific value, save for one sleeper and plenty of risky, but feasible outcomes. None of the favorite look attractively low enough to risk in a parlay or a singular bet.
My sleeper pick is Yushin Okami. Being a pretty heavy underdog with great takedown defense and the ability to pick “Jacare” apart with a jab, Okami is actually my pick to win the fight. If anything, he can at least stay off the ground and dictate where he wants the fight. I would consider throwing Okami in a parlay with a couple of surer things to beef up the potential earnings, but if you have the money, he might be worth something here.
The other two underdogs that aren’t out of the realm of possibility are Tor Troeng and Ryan Bader. The former has a much better chance, given Rafael Natal’s penchant for starting slow and leaving himself open on the feet. Troeng’s reach and unique frame could present some trouble and a small bet on him that you’re willing to risk couldn’t hurt.
Bader, on the other hand, has a slim margin of opportunity. However, should he find that chance, he will likely be able to take home the fight fairly easily. Bader could exploit a potential wrestling flaw in Teixeira’s game for five rounds. This is a very risky bet, but stranger things have happened.
Brazilian cards are a crapshoot. The mixture of regional Brazilian fighters against average American or other counterparts often yield some surprising results. The fights for the Brazilians can range anywhere from easy showcase to competitive for either side, with the truth landing somewhere in the middle as the UFC attempts to build UFC stars in the country with favorable, but challenging matchmaking.
My Budget: $7.50
My Bets: My bets: $4.50 on Okami, Zeferino parlay to win $22.95, $3.00 on Hernandez, Wisniewski, and Arantes to win $24.44
Remember, folks, to never bet anything you can’t afford to lose.
-Nolan can be reached @nolanhowell.