Instant MMA Betting Analysis: Bellator 178 Odds

Late Wednesday, MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for the main card of Bellator 178 at Several Bookmakers. The event is scheduled for this Friday (April 21, 2017) and headlined by a fourth meeting between featherweight champion Daniel Straus and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. The opening odds are shown below. betting analyst Brad Taschuk also provides his preliminary thoughts on the matchups in search of some early value.

Daniel Straus (-150) vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (+110)

Each of the previous three meetings between these two has been competitive, with Straus finally getting his hand raised last time out. That fight was 17 months ago, however, and Straus has not competed since. Pitbull has been more active, and despite suffering an injury in his last bout, he looked good early against a bigger opponent in Benson Henderson. The biggest thing that allowed Pitbull to have success in that matchup was Henderson’s inactivity, which is something Straus doesn’t normally suffer with. But given the extended layoff, we could be in store for a slow start from Straus. In a very close matchup where Pitbull’s biggest advantage is his explosive finishing ability, not having to exert himself as much over the early portion of the bout (and still potentially picking up a round or two) could make the difference, and it’s enough to sway me slightly in Pitbull’s direction. I would wait on this one though, as given the odds and result of their last fight (Straus closed -170), the public is more likely to come in that way again.

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (-350) vs. Jessica Middleton (+250)

It’s not unreasonable to consider Macfarlane a Top 15 flyweight at this point, and even though she only has five fights, she seems to have proven herself as a reliable performer. Still, I’m not looking to bet her in this spot, as I don’t have a particularly good read on Middleton, and she could be better than we’ve seen to this point. That’s not a spot I’m going to lay in excess of -300 when there is also a UFC card and an LFA card taking place this weekend, which offer better spots (Barberena -320, for example).

AJ McKee Jr. (-475) vs. Dominic Mazzotta (+325)

Mazzotta is unknown to most fans, but he’s a solid fighter who should at the very least force AJ McKee Jr to get some rounds in. I think McKee’s wrestling will allow him to control where this bout takes place and that will likely result in a win. However, I think it’s going to resemble his last two fights more than his early career run where he absolutely decimated opponents. Given his propensity to stop opponents during that early run, there could be a discounted price on this fight to go OVER which could be a solid play.

Saad Awad (-305) vs. Ryan Quinn (+225)

Awad’s constant changing of weight classes hasn’t given him the same sort of returns that many other fighters who have moved up lately have experienced. His losses have all come to higher-quality competition than Quinn, but I’m also of a mind that Awad just might not have his heart in MMA anymore at 33 years old and nearly a 30-fight pro career. Skill-wise, he can box Quinn up on the feet and has the more dangerous submission game, but he’s also prone to spend too much time on his back, and not be active enough when on the feet. That could combine for a more competitive fight than the odds would indicate, but I’m just not sure there’s enough to bet Quinn.

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Several Bookmakers

Written by Brad Taschuk

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