Bellator 218 takes place Friday, March 22 at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the betting odds for the main card, and here they are.
Bellator 218 Opening Odds
Emmanuel Sanchez -300
Georgi Karakhanyan +220
Valentin Moldavsky -270
Linton Vassell +190
And here are my initial thoughts on the Bellator 218 Opening Odds:
- The main event is a rematch between two of Bellator’s most underrated featherweights in Sanchez and Karakhanyan. Look for the winner of this fight to get a shot in the promotion’s upcoming 145lbs tournament this fall. Sanchez (17-4) is 9-3 overall in Bellator since joining the organization in 2014, with notable wins over the likes of Daniel Straus, Marcos Galvao and Sam Sicilia. He also holds a previous majority decision win over Karakhanyan from back in 2017. In his last fight, Sanchez lost a competitive unanimous decision to Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.Karakhanyan (28-8-1, 1 NC) is 6-6 overall in Bellator over two stints in the promotion. He’s the former WSOF featherweight champion and holds a notable submission win over PFL star Lance Palmer. In Bellator, Karakhanyan hasn’t looked his best, and he was actually cut by the promotion last year after dropping a decision to Henry Corrales. After a 1-0, 1 NC record in ACB, Bellator has brought him back to fight Sanchez and like the pair’s first bout, this one should be quite competitive. I tend to lean towards Sanchez to win a decision once again in the rematch, but the fight is probably going to be closer than the odds indicate.
- The other fight with a betting line is a heavyweight bout between Moldavsky and Vassell. Moldvasky (7-1) has won both of his Bellator bouts after losing in the RIZIN Heavyweight Grand Prix back in 2016. However, he has not stayed active, fighting just once in 2017 and once in 2018 for Bellator, and both his wins were over lesser opponents in Ernest James and Carl Seumanutafa. That’s why I’m surprised he’s such a big favorite here over a very quality opponent.Vassell (18-7, 1 NC) is 7-4 overall in Bellator and has some notable wins on his resume over the likes of Liam McGeary, Francis Carmont and Emmanuel Newton. However, he’s coming off of back-to-back knockout losses to Phil Davis and Ryan Bader and decided to move up to heavyweight and test his luck at a new weight class. It remains to be seen how the move up in weight will impact Vassell’s career, but after losing two straight fights, it can’t hurt. The line looks to be a bit too high in Moldvasky’s favor as Vassell has much more experience and has stayed more active. At these opening odds, this looks like a dog-or-pass situation.
- As for the other two main card bouts, the oddsmakers haven’t released the lines for them yet, but keep your eye out for them as they may pop out on fight day. In a middleweight bout, I like Tokov to beat Harris and continue his undefeated run in Bellator. Depending on the line, Tokov could be worth a bet. As for the other fight, both Novenyi and Lavine have a combined five pro bouts and I wouldn’t recommend putting money on either guy.