Bellator 214 takes place Saturday, January 26 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the full odds for the card, and here they are.
Bellator 214 Opening Odds
Ryan Bader -170
Fedor Emelianenko +130
Aaron Pico -555
Henry Corrales =365
Jake Hager -400
J.W. Kiser +300
Juan Archuleta -135
Ricky Bandejas +105
And here are my initial reactions to the Bellator 214 opening odds:
– I definitely like Bader in the main event. As good as Emelianenko looked in his first two tournament fights against Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen, Bader is a whole other beast. Bader has looked incredible in Bellator, going a perfect 4-0 including wins over Matt Mitrione and Muhammad Lawal at heavyweight. As good as Bader was as a light heavyweight — he’s the promotion’s champ — he’s looked even better at heavyweight, and I almost feel like he shoul stay at this weight class. With this bout being scheduled for five rounds, I can’t see any way Emelianenko makes it to the final bell. He’s in his 40s now and he’s never been five rounds his entire 20-plus year career. With the form Bader is in right now, I think he finishes Emelianenko rather easily. The opening odds were low at -170, and Bader is now around -320, but I think that line is very fair considering the style matchup.
– Similarly, I see Pico beating Corrales. As good as Corrales has looked as of late with four straght wins, it’s hard to forget he opened his Bellator career on a three-fight losing skid. Pico lost to Zach Freeman in his Bellator debut but since then has knocked out everyone in his path and is starting to show why so many consider him to be a future champion. Pico has incredible speed and knockout power, and while Corrales has never been knocked out before I believe Pico has a very good chance to beat him. The opening line of -555 is obviously high but I think Pico takes this one and he should be a popular parlay piece on this card.
– As far as the heavyweights go, I wouldn’t touch Hager as a -400 favorite over Kiser. Hager has no MMA experience and as we saw with Greg Hardy last week in the UFC that could very well come into play. Kiser is not a good fighter, but he at least has some experience. It’s heavyweight MMA and anything can happen. If I had to bet on someone here, I would go with Kiser.
– And finally, the bantamweights will look to put on a show as Archuleta meets Bandejas in a highly-anticipated bout between two rising prospects. Archuleta has won 16 fights in a row and is a perfect 3-0 in Bellator, while Bandejas knocked out James Gallagher in his Bellator debut in a big upset and is on a six-fight win streak overall. I think Bandejas is a really good prospect, but to me Archuleta is more experienced, more well-rounded, and at this point in time the better fighter. At the -135 opening odds I believe Archuleta is the play here, though he has been steamed up some since the lined opened.
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