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The Gambling Man’s Guide To The “Ultimate Fighter” 7 Finale

(Do you trust this man with your money?)

There’s yet another UFC event this weekend, which means another chance to throw your money into the bottomless pit of online sports wagering. As always, we’re happy to help you burn through your savings with our helpful advice, because who says your children need to go to college? If the Merchant Marines was good enough for you, it’s good enough for your little girl, too.

Betting odds are courtesy of Read this if you still haven’t figured out what the + and – stuff means.

Evan Tanner (-190) vs. Kendall Grove (+160)

Right off I’ll say it, these odds seem a little reckless. It’s just so difficult to know what to expect out of either of these two. Tanner hasn’t won a fight since 2006 and that was against the consistently mediocre Justin Levens. He took an extended hiatus from the sport in order to wander the earth like Caine from Kung Fu, and then he returned to get KO’d by Yushin Okami. Now suddenly he’s the favorite?

Grove is coming off two straight losses, but against two pretty tough guys in Cote and Rivera. It’s understandable that his stock has dropped, but we still don’t know if that was a bad run for him or if he was never as good as his TUF victory made him appear.

Bottom line, this is a difficult one to call, which is why it’s surprising that the odds aren’t closer to even. Might be worth small action on Grove, but betting on this fight is like betting on a coin flip.

C.B. Dollaway (-160) vs. Amir Sadollah (+130)

Poor Amir. Even against someone who he’s already beaten he’s still the underdog. Maybe that’s not so bad. He’s been the underdog all season, and look where it got him. Obviously oddsmakers believe that Dollaway is the better fighter and he just got caught making a dumb mistake in his fight with Sadollah. It’s hard to argue with that thinking.

Still, don’t count Sadollah out. He’s tenacious and he knows how to finish. I wouldn’t bet against him, but I’d only bet very modestly for him.

Matt Riddle (-240) vs. Dante Rivera (+190)

Talk about surprising. Riddle showed a lot of potential in his time on the show, but Rivera is more experienced and has a better submissions game. The question is, how much has Riddle improved since leaving the TUF house? A young guy like him can change a lot in the course of a few months, and with the right coaching he could really turn into something.

Even so, Rivera may be the best bet of all the underdogs on this card. Riddle is green and reckless, and all Rivera needs is one mistake to catch him in a submission.

Tim Credeur (-360) vs. Cale Yarbrough (+280)

Credeur’s getting a lot of love here for a guy with tendencies to fight down to the level of his opponent. That might be because no one has any faith at all in Yarbrough after he seemed resigned to defeat against C.B. Dollaway.

The odds are tempting, but that’s the point of odds. This is Credeur’s fight to lose. He might go out there and make it look more difficult than he needs to, but he’ll still probably end up getting his hand raised.

Jeremy Horn (-140) vs. Dean Lister (+110)

This is a mistake, even if it’s not a big one. Horn’s game plays right to Lister’s strengths on the mat. A good striker with a solid takedown defense might give Lister problems, but very few people would describe Horn that way. He’s a crafty veteran with excellent submissions. Lister is a fairly one-dimensional fighter, but that one dimension happens to be jiu-jitsu and he happens to be ridiculously good at it.

The odds are only slightly better than even, but that’s good enough here.

Other betting lines that you can figure out for yourself:

Diego Sanchez (-500) vs. Luigi Fioravanti (+350)
Josh Burkman (-200) vs. Dustin Hazelett (+160)
Spencer Fisher (-220) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+180)
Rob Kimmons (-150) vs. Rob Yundt (+120)
Matt Arroyo (-150) vs. Matt Brown (+120)
Marvin Eastman (even) vs. Drew McFedries (-130)

Cagepotato Comments

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Kevin Marshall- June 19, 2008 at 4:27 pm
I'm putting all my money on Bob Ross.
Leland Roling- June 19, 2008 at 4:13 pm
Riddle vs. Rivera is definitely a hard fight to not be on. Rivera has the submission game whereas Riddle is very green and could get caught up on the ground. Riddle does have the better training camp and will have had ample time to improve his skills.

Best bet on the card is by FAR... Hazelett over Burkman. Hazelett is a phenom on the ground, and his striking has much improved. Burkman is simply terrible in his striking game with looping punches that never connect. His time is past in the UFC.
Eric- June 19, 2008 at 3:55 pm
Hazelett over Burkman is the best bet on this card. Burkman lost his last fight which he should have overpowered Swick. Hazelett will finish Burkman.
Hardcharger- June 19, 2008 at 3:35 pm
Riddle is going to wreck Rivera. Rivera showed nothing on TUF, and is also physically smaller and weaker than Riddle. Riddle's also been training at ACS with Dollaway, Bader, Varner, etc.

Horn already beat Lister before, turning him into a bloody mess. The matchup isn't any worse for Horn this time.
Vrax- June 19, 2008 at 3:18 pm
Stephens may be the sleeper here. And Arroyo is easily worth some action at those odds, Brown stands little chance in my estimation.