One of the biggest drawbacks to the new Bellator business plan is that the cards which don’t qualify as their “tentpole” events tend to fly under the radar. That is most certainly the case with Bellator 148. As someone who writes about MMA events, and watches about as much MMA as I can get my hands on, even I forgot this event was happening. Of course, that was aided in part by Bellator 148 being headlined by Paul Daley and Andy Uhrich, with a co-main event being a rematch between Chris Honeycutt and Paul Bradley that nobody was really asking for. Still, the move from weekly Bellator cards to the new format has me forgetting about the promotion almost entirely until a day or two before the events, and I’m sure I’m not alone there. In addition to Daley/Uhrich and Honeycutt/Bradley 2, the event also features former pro boxer Raphael Butler taking on Tony Johnson Jr., and the opening match of the card may be the best, as Patricky Freire squares off with Ryan Couture. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for Bellator 148 today at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9pm ET)
——————– As far as the top of Bellator 148 goes, it seems like a card where you could bet the favorites in a parlay and probably profit, but there’s enough with each underdog that I’ll just stay away. Andy Uhrich is a better wrestler than Alexander Yakovlev, who was the last man to beat Daley, and Bellator has fed one of their British stars a steady diet of favorable matchups since then. If Uhrich was able to avoid Daley’s power and score a couple of takedowns to steal rounds, I wouldn’t be altogether shocked, but you still have to favor Daley to keep things on the feet and do what he usually does. The bet I would really like here is the over, but Uhrich hasn’t always proven the most durable fighter around, so even that’s a pass for me. Chris Honeycutt appeared to be on his way to a decision over Paul Bradley before their fight was called off due to an accidental clash of heads. However, Honeycutt found very limited success with his wrestling in that bout, and looked to be tiring in the second round. In that sort of bout, I wouldn’t be confident at all in the judges scores had the fight been stopped in the third and gone to the cards, and Honeycutt was a -355 favorite based on the closing line. I expect this fight to be a little bit clearer for Honeycutt, since he should still be improving whereas we know what Bradley is at this point. But still, having to lay nearly the same price as last time isn’t something I’m interested in. Raphael Butler is the living embodiment of how bad heavyweight MMA is. He was a middling heavyweight boxer, and then came over to MMA and started mowing down opponents with ease. He’s struggled of late against some more experienced competition, but still has physical advantages over most heavyweights. Unfortunately for Butler, he’ll need to land a big punch before Tony Johnson can get his hands on him in this one. Johnson is a far better wrestler, and Butler offers no threat on the ground. Normally, I love betting heavyweight overs, and Tony Johnson is the type of fighter who can deliver them with regularity, but I can’t trust Butler being in a bad spot to last 7.5 minutes in this one. Still, that +150 is awfully tempting. If Johnson somehow drops under 3-to-1, he’s worth being used as a parlay piece… but these are heavyweights. You’ve been warned. This could be a nice spot for Patricky ‘Pitbull’. Many people thought he won his fight against Derek Anderson last time out, but the decision didn’t go his way. That could result in a discount on his price against Ryan Couture. Stylistically, there isn’t much way for Freire to lose. He’s miles ahead of Couture on the feet, the BJJ is pretty much even, and he is the better wrestler to boot. Couture has a superior gas tank, but that shouldn’t matter if there’s nowhere for him to take advantage of it. Maybe he can steal an activity-based decision like he did against KJ Noons, but generally I like ‘Pitbull’ pretty big here, and if he’s around that 2-to-1 mark, I can definitely see him sliding into a parlay for the weekend.