After an unsuccessful stint in rehab, the Gambling Addiction Enabler has returned to do what it does best — make large, ill-advised wagers simply for the thrill of gambling. We’re not saying you should follow our betting advice, necessarily, but there are plenty of opportunities to beat the bookies at UFC 119, which goes down this Satuday in Indianapolis. The betting lines are below, courtesy of bestfightodds.com. If you can’t afford to waste real money, please hit up MMA FightPicker and throw down some virtual PotatoChips on the fights. And if you don’t know what these numbers mean, please read this first.
Frank Mir (-220) vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (+215)
Ryan Bader (-165) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (+155)
Chris Lytle (-125) vs. Matt Serra (+120)
Evan Dunham (-204) vs. Sean Sherk (+190)
Melvin Guillard (-150) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+140)
And away we go…
The Main Event: Even before the eye injury, we were leaning towards Frank Mir, who has more ways to win and is more reliable than Cro Cop in general. Now that Cro Cop admits he’ll be at a disadvantage if he can’t finish the fight quickly, that pretty much settles it for us. To be honest, -220 is a fairly conservative line, and a moderate straight bet on Mir seems like the way to go.
The Co-Headliner: If Lil’ Nog defeated Jason Brilz in impressive fashion, he’d probably be a favorite here. Instead, his last performance exposed some weaknesses that Bader can take advantage of. As long as Bader doesn’t engage in a straight boxing match with Nogueira, he could out-wrestle and overpower the Brazilian vet. I say put small action on the favorite.
As Long as We’re Betting on Favorites…: The new generation of fighters have simply evolved beyond Sean Sherk. Frankie Edgar already proved that, and undefeated rising star Evan Dunham will prove it again. Due to repeated injury withdrawals, Sherk hasn’t competed in 16 months. -204 on Dunham is a gift.
The Good ‘Dogs: Matt Mitrione is a great prospect, but keep in mind that he’s just 2-0, with both wins coming against guys who weren’t exactly UFC-level (Marcus Jones and Kimbo Slice). Not that Joey Beltran has any world-beaters on his resume — remember Rolles Gracie? anybody? — but he does have 13 more pro fights than Meathead does, against mostly legitimate competition. Also, I don’t know much about Pat Audinwood, other than the fact that he’s undefeated, he’s a former Abercrombie & Fitch model, and his nickname is "Awesomely Awesome." Still, when was the last time Thiago Tavares did anything that impressed you? As a seasoned vet, Tavares deserves to be a favorite over an unknown newcomer, but his 3-1 line is pushing it.
The Question Marks: I don’t even know what to make of that fact that a minor legend like Mark Hunt is making his UFC debut in a show-opening dark-match in Indianapolis, against a guy who’s never competed at heavyweight before — that’s what happens when you pick up five straight losses and your famously durable chin starts to crumble. On the other side of the coin, I have no idea what Sean McCorkle is actually capable of doing against an opponent who isn’t a morbidly obese punching-bag. I hope we get a chance to see this fight, but the outcome is too unpredictable for betting consideration. As for the Serra/Lytle rematch, I’m staying away from that one as well. Could be Fight of the Night, could be as boring as their TUF 4 Finale meeting. You never know.
Suggested Wagering Breakdown, Based on Hypothetical $50 Stake:
– $20 on Dunham
– $15 on Mir
– $7 on Bader
– $5 on Beltran
– $3 on Audinwood
– No "Official CagePotato Parlay" this time. Mir and Dunham are the only bets that feel like locks; stack on another name at your own risk.