Bellator 201 Opening Odds Reactions

Bellator 201 takes place Friday, June 29 at Pechanga Casino Resort in Temecula, California. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the odds for the card, and here they are.

Bellator 201 Opening Odds

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane -475
Alejandra Lara +325

Saad Awad -265
Ryan Couture +185

Valerie Letourneau -215
Kristina Williams +165

Juan Archuleta -245
Robert Peralta +175

And here are my initial reactions on the odds:

– In the main event, Macfarlane (7-0) defends her title against Lara (7-1). Macfarlane opened up her MMA career with a brutal KO win over a “soccer mom” and was promptly signed to Bellator, where she’s gone 6-0 since with four stoppage wins. In her last bout, the 28-year-old Hawaiian won the Bellator flyweight title by defeating Emily Ducote via submission in the fifth round. Macfarlane is a very well-rounded fighter and Bellator views her as a potential star for the promotion. Lara has won three-straight fights via stoppage including a submission win in her Bellator debut last year. The 23-year-old native of Colombia is a finisher with six wins via stoppage in her career and she should only get better considering her young age. I was expecting Macfarlane to be a big favorite and I understand why, but I don’t know if I’d want to lay that much juice on her against a bit of an unknown her in Lara. I expect Macfarlane to get the win, but something is telling me Lara could pull off the upset. I’ve seen situations like this in Invicta FC over the years where an unknown comes in and pulls off the upset, and I wouldn’t want to be laying huge juice on Macfarlane only to see her lose.

– The co-main event features Awad (22-9) taking on Couture (11-5). Awad is one of the most underrated fighters in Bellator’s lightweight division and has a 10-5 record overall in Bellator. Though he’s 35, the American has won his last three-fights and looks to be competing at a high level right now. Couture has a 3-2 record in Bellator but before his last win had been stopped in back-to-back fights. Also 35, the American Couture has just never lived up to his famous father’s last name. He also hasn’t fought in over a year which is a concern. I just feel like Awad is the superior fighter, and I think he has a good chance to finish Couture in this fight.

– I like the women’s flyweight bout between Letourneau (9-6) and Williams (2-0). Letourneau is coming off of a win over Kate Jackson in Bellator which snapped the three-fight losing streak that ended her UFC career. Though she’s 35, Letourneau is still one of the top female flyweights in the world. Opposing her is Williams, who is 2-0 in Bellator with a win over Emily Ducote and a brutal KO upset over Heather Hardy. She’s only 28 and continues to evolve with every fight. The opening odds had Williams pegged as a sizeable underdog and I would have jumped all over her at those odds. However, clearly I wasn’t alone in thinking that way as the line has already flipped, and now Letourneau is the underdog. I wasn’t expecting that. My pick is still going to be Williams because I do think her upside wins out here, but I only liked betting on her as a dog. I don’t like laying juice on her in this spot.

– A featherweight bout that is intriguing features Archuleta (18-1) taking on Peralta (19-8). Archuleta has won 14-straight fights and won his Bellator debut earlier this year. The 30-year-old American is a teammate of Cub Swanson and has a ton of finishing power and experience. Peralta will be making his Bellator debut after picking up a win in his last bout to snap a four-fight losing streak. The 32-year-old American had an up-and-down career in the UFC but is getting a second chance here in Bellator to make a run up the featherweight ladder. He has a lot of knockout power, but he also has a lot of holes in his game. I like Peralta as a fighter and think he could win a few fights in Bellator, but I lean towards Archuleta in this matchup. The guy is just a very impressive prospect and I think he can go out there and stop Peralta and make a name for himself as a new contender in Bellator’s featherweight division.

Written by Adam Martin.

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