We’re in the midst of the longest MMA drought of the year, Potato Nation. With only one UFC and one Strikeforce event scheduled in the next month, the gambling addicts within the CP staff are damn near starving to death. Seriously, we’ve been forced to start taking bets on things like: how long Karma can grow his fingernails before he scratches someone’s eyes out, the IQ of BG’s child (currently), and which cockroach in Danga’s apartment will finally die of lead poisoning.
Perhaps it’s a sign of how far the sport has come in the past few years that we expect a card every couple weeks; pehaps it is just a sign of our greed. In either case, Bellator has stepped up to fill the void left behind by all the major organizations, and thankfully so. With three events planned in the next two weeks, it presents a perfect opportunity to get some bad picks and ridiculous parlays out of your system before it really costs you.
Despite the main event being cancelled at the last second, tonight’s Bellator 61 card still presents some intriguing match-ups and more than a couple ways to come out with a more padded wallet to spend on tomorrows festivities, ie. green colored beer and an end of the night stomach pumping. But let’s get one thing straight, this is not your mamma’s Gambling Addiction Enabler, this is a sort of similar yet entirely different monster. CagePotato can not be held accountable for the following betting advice, so read at your own risk.
First, let’s take a look at the card…
Brent Taylor vs. Josh Quayhagen
Trey Houston vs. Jeremiah Riggs
Derrick Krantz vs. Eric Scallan
Jeremy Myers vs. Jason Sampson
The preliminary card currently has no betting lines available, so we’ll focus on just the middleweight quarterfinals for the time being.
Let’s start with Falcao vs. Paraisy. Despite suffering a heart attack back in November, Falcao is currently listed at -330 over at BestFightOdds.com, a line that is a little inflated to say the least. Falcao is a walking paradox, a man who likes to end his fights early yet can’t seem to stop punching once he has started, regardless of what the ref or timekeeper says. He is so used to the first round, in fact, that in his only appearance in the UFC (against Gerald Harris at UFC 123), it appeared as if he forgot how to fight once he reached the third round. Paraisy, on the other hand, is likely getting such a bad billing because his last Bellator performance (Bellator 3-4 in 2009) resulted in a third round submission loss to Dave Menne. Since then, however, he’s reeled off five wins and a draw, including wins over Paulo Filho and Jack Mason. He’s also never been knocked out. Though that means nothing against a guy like Falcao in the early going, Paraisy’s superior cardio and strong wrestling base could prove to pay dividends in the latter rounds. Our advice, put Falcao in your parlay, and place a small side bet of maybe twenty or thirty dollars on Paraisy, depending on what your cash situation is.
The Rogers/Vianna and Santos/Santana fights aren’t worth betting on alone, but as far as adding to your parlay’s goes, the smart money is on Vianna (-125) and Santana (-115). Rogers has some power in his hands, but the same goes for Vianna, who also adds a ridiculous list of grappling credentials to his credit including 2 world BJJ Championships, 6 Brazilian national champions, and an ADCC NO GI trials runner up spot. He will dictate where this fight takes place, and should be good pick over Rogers. That being said, four once gloves can put anyone to sleep, so a small bet on Rogers wouldn’t hurt.
As we all know, Giva Santana is one of the greatest one trick ponies the sport has ever seen, collecting 13 arm bar wins in just 18 fights. Santos, however, has only finished two opponents in twelve fights, and despite being undefeated, should be listed as more of a dog here. He’s a grinder with severely limited striking skills who lacks the kind of speed of aggression that could put Giva in any sort of trouble. He’ll be looking to hold “The Arm Collector” down, a notion that will prove deadly when faced with Santana’s explosive guard. Santana is a lock, so don’t hesitate to throw him in your parlay as well.
That takes us to our last main card fight, Vitor O’Donnell (+235) vs. Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (-255). O’Donnell is primarily a grappler, scoring nine of his 11 wins by way of submission. He is also coming off a knockout loss to Brian Rogers at Bellator 50. Yes, many said the fight was stopped short, which I’m not really going to comment on; a KO loss is a KO loss. Rogers, though a beast in his own right, is nowhere near as well rounded Vasilevsky is. A two time world Sambo champion, former judo champion, and 2010 M-1 Global Light Heavyweight champion, Vasilevsky has been waiting sixteen fights for his coming out party, compiling a 15-1 record in that time, and should steamroll O’Donnell, barring any last second jitters. He is well versed in submissions and too good on the feet, so look for a quick and violent finish to this one.
So to sum up, place 50 to 75 dollars on a Falcao-Vianna-Santana-Vasilevsky parlay, which will net you $391.32 on the high end. That is a steal considering you are betting on all favorites. And if you’re feeling up to it, place a small side bet of 20 to 30 dollars on Paraisy-Rogers parlay, which could still double your total investment if your parlay goes to shit.