WSOF 30 Betting Odds

WSOF 30The king is back. No, Kevin Casey hasn’t signed with WSOF, sorry to get your hopes up. Instead, MMA’s only current two-division champion is defending one of his titles. Dave Branch laces up his gloves for the first time in 2016 to put his WSOF middleweight title on the line against Clifford Starks. The bout will serve as the main event of WSOF 30. Of course, Branch is also the WSOF light heavyweight champion, having spent last year making his way through the promotion’s tournament to crown a 205lb titlist. Since leaving the UFC five years ago, Branch has gone 9-1 with his only loss coming to UFC light heavyweight contender ‘Rumble’ Johnson. The man who was cut from the UFC in part because his style was considered too boring has scored stoppages in his last four bouts. WSOF 30 also features a second title bout in the welterweight division. With champion Rousimar Palhares being stripped of the title, the division has opened up for everyone else involved. Former UFC title challenger Jon Fitch looks to build off the win over Yushin Okami in his last outing and capture the gold he never found in the Octagon. Fitch will be tasked with fellow UFC vet Joao Zeferino, who is moving back up to 170 after “advancing” to the finals of the WSOF one-night tournament (he lost in the first round of the tournament, but made it back in due to injuries). The remaining two bouts on the main card feature Vinny Magalhaes facing Jake Heun at light heavyweight, and knockout artist Abu Azaitar taking on Danny Davis Jr., who inexplicably still hasn’t adopted the nickname “Dangerous”. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting odds for the WSOF 30 main card today at Several Bookmakers. Check them out: ——————– MAIN CARD (NBC Sports Network, 11:30pm ET)

WSOF 30 Odds

——————– Brad’s Analysis: If Dave Branch was still the same fighter he was back in the UFC, Clifford Starks would present quite a difficult challenge to him. Starks has good enough wrestling to keep this standing, and would’ve had a sizeable striking advantage a few years back. Branch has improved his striking significantly since then, which also makes his wrestling more effective. That will be important here, because his biggest advantage will be once this fight actually hits the mat. The other big checkmark in Branch’s corner is his cardio and experience in five-round fights. While I expect this to be more competitive early than the line indicates, Branch should be able to distance himself from the third round on, perhaps finding another late stoppage like he did against Yushin Okami. Jon Fitch was originally supposed to face Jake Shields for the welterweight title, in a bout I definitely would have been picking Shields in. Luckily for him, there were some contract disputes, and instead he’ll be facing the undersized Joao Zeferino, whose only real chance to win this bout is with a sub (likely a leglock) from the bottom. Now, that happened to Fitch just two fights ago, but Zeferino is no Palhares. The only question I have is whether Fitch can wear Zeferino down enough to score a stoppage, or we get a typical ‘Fitch’ing. Jake Heun has four professional losses. All of them have been by submission. He’s facing Vinny Magalhaes. 11 of Vinny’s 13 wins have come by submission. There’s a clear way this fight should play out… BUT, this is Vinny Magalhaes we’re talking about. The same guy who got knocked out by Anthony Perosh. Do you really trust him enough to lay -350? Abu Azaitar moving down to 170 is interesting, as his cardio could definitely be impacted at the lower weight. In most fights that wouldn’t matter, as he normally gets opponents out of there early, but Danny Davis is difficult to stop with strikes. If the journeyman can get through the opening round, he could make this interesting, but that’s a big if given Azaitar’s power. I’m not ready to lay the juice on Azaitar though, so if anything I might take a small shot on the under here.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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