Bellator 196 takes place Friday, April 6 at Budapest Sports Arena in Budapest, Hungary. After several injuries the card has been shaken up somewhat, but still features a main event featuring two former UFC fighters, and that should draw some betting interest to the card. The offshore sportsbooks released the opening odds and they look like this:
Bellator 196 Opening Odds
Benson Henderson -1050
Roger Huerta +550
Ed Ruth -530
Ion Pascu +350
Adam Borics -350
Teodor Nikolov +250
Brian Moore -600
Giorgio Belsanti +400
And my initial reactions to the Bellator 196 opening odds…
– Even though Henderson has struggled since joining Bellator, he’s still a massive favorite here and it’s hard to argue it. While Henderson has been losing to top-notch quality fighters like Michael Chandler and Andrey Koreshkov, Huerta has lost to guys like Ariel Saxton and Koji Ando over in ONE Championship. Credit to Huerta for winning his last two fights, but those victories were via split decision and by DQ, so it’s not like he’s really been performing that well. For as poor as Henderson has performed in Bellator relative to the expectations, he still has that quality win over Patricio Pitbull on his resume and his last two losses to Chandler and Patricky Pitbull both came via competitive split decisions. I think the line is a little overinflated, but I wouldn’t pick Huerta against many fighters these days. Henderson should be the better wrestler and striker in this bout and he’s shown throughout his career that the judges like his style. I’ll take Henderson here to win a one-sided decision over Huerta, and would look to see if the prop on that holds some value.
– Ruth is one of Bellator’s top prospects and with a 4-0 record with four knockouts since signing with Bellator after his collegiate wrestling career, he’s clearly lived up to the hype so far. Bellator likely sees him as a future middleweight champion and has been matchmaking in his favor. This fight is no different, as Pascu is nothing more than a journeyman. Credit to the guy for winning his last two fights in BAMMA, and he does hold a quality win over current UFC fighter Jack Marshman from earlier in his career, but I just can’t see him keeping up with Ruth’s athleticism in this fight. I think Ruth takes Pascu down and likely finishes him via TKO in this fight. Again, it’s a lopsided line and I would be looking to see what the Ruth via TKO prop looks like.
– The line in Moore vs. Belsani looks to be too long. Moore has not really been all that impressive in Bellator as he’s just 1-2 with two tapout losses, including a submission defeat to AJ McKee Jr. in his last fight. While Belsanti had a rough start to his MMA career when he went 1-4-1 and probably thought about quitting the sport, he’s really bounced back nicely as of late and is coming off of two-straight wins. I just think these odds look a bit too steep considering Belsani is the younger fighter. By no means am I confident in him pulling off this upset, but I think if someone wanted to take a flier on a big dog he would be the guy on this card.