On August 27th, Rio de Janeiro will be Blowout City. Aside from two matches on the preliminary card — Loveland vs. Jabouin and Assuncao vs. Eduardo — every fight at UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami features a fighter who’s a 2-1 favorite or higher. In times like these, it’s not about picking the winners, it’s about picking the upsets. So where they at? Check out the UFC 134 gambling lines below (via BestFightOdds), and consider our advice after the jump.
Main Card (PPV, 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT)
Anderson Silva (-471) vs. Yushin Okami (+425)
Maurício Rua (-220) vs. Forrest Griffin (+225)
Brendan Schaub (-230) vs. Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira (+216)
Edson Barboza (-300) vs. Ross Pearson (+280)
Luis Cane (-200) vs. Stanislav Nedkov (+195)
Facebook Prelims (6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT)
Paulo Thiago (-389) vs. David Mitchell (+340)
Raphael Assunção (-160) vs. Johnny Eduardo (+149)
Erick Silva (-270) vs. Luis Ramos (+246)
Yuri Alcantara (-437) vs. Felipe Arantes (+379)
Ian Loveland (-195) vs. Yves Jabouin (+180)
The Main Event: If you think Okami can pull off a Sonnen-esque bullying of Anderson Silva without getting triangle-choked in the last round, feel free to throw your money down on the big payoff. But I don’t see it happening. Silva won’t let Okami get close to him. He’ll invent a new way to knock Okami out, or rout him to a decision. He ain’t losing in his home country, certainly not to a mere mortal like Yushin.
The Co-Main: Here’s where things get interesting. When Griffin and Shogun first met in 2007, Forrest was a +260 underdog. Today, he’s still a +225 underdog, despite the fact that he won their first meeting, and is currently riding a two-fight win streak. This match will depend entirely on what kind of shape Rua shows up in. If we see the Shogun that blitzed Machida last year, then Forrest is a dead man walking. Otherwise, the odds on Forrest are too juicy to pass up. We’d roll the dice on him.
The Other Good ‘Dogs: Newcomer Johnny Eduardo is facing a steep jump in competition, but his aggressive striking might allow him to overwhelm the struggling Raphael Assunção. Plus, Thiago Tavares is a bit overvalued here at -205, and the well-traveled Spencer Fisher is worth a small risk.
Absolutely Don’t Bet On: David Mitchell is cannon-fodder, drafted to re-build Paulo Thiago. Luis Ramos is a late replacement for Mike Swick, and he’ll be facing Erick Silva, who has been drawing tons of “next big thing” buzz in Brazil. Dan Miller will very likely be submitted via leglock.
Play It Straight: Big Nog is aging badly, returning from major surgeries, and has used up the last of his career comebacks. Brendan Schaub is fired up to win, and I think he takes it with his fists; -230 is not a terrible price for a straight bet. You may also want to consider money on Luis Cane, whose opponent is making his UFC debut with over a year of ring-rust.
Official CagePotato Parlay: A. Silva + Schaub + Palhares + Thiago. $20 bet returns $36.12 profit. I know, that’s barely worth the effort. Add in FoGriff and Edson Barboza and that twenty-spot becomes $189.50, but you’re playing with fire.