Montana De La Rosa (-260)
If you read our Battle of the Bales article, you now that I love Montana De La Rosa (and Jim Crute below) this weekend. De La Rosa has a very clear gameplan in her fights, as she works for takedowns and submissions. Her opponent, Nadia Kassem, also has a clear gameplan. She’s a power striker, who will be looking for a knockout. The only issue is that her power doesn’t necessarily translate to the UFC from the regional scene. She failed to record a knockout against Alex Chambers in her only UFC fight in her career. Statistically, women fighters finish their opponents via submission significantly more often than knockouts. If Kassem’s power fails to translate, De La Rosa should find a takedown at some point in this fight, which could lead to a fight ending submission. She owns two submission wins in the UFC, and should be able to find her third this weekend. There is also value to be had in De La Rosa wins in the first round at +500.
Bet 1 unit on De La Rosa by (T)KO, Submission, or DQ to win 1.55 units
Jim Crute (-135)
This is a simple pick for the odds. Jim Crute has multiple ways to win this fight, including via knockout, submission, or decision. The same can’t be said for Sam Alvey, who truly needs a knockout to pick up victories. While Alvey has won decisions before, Crute is too active of a fighter for Alvey’s backup and counter-strike attack to win a decision. Crute also should have a significant grappling advantage, while he solely needs to avoid Alvey’s counter-strike power. Alvey was knocked out in his last fight, while Crute submitted Paul Craig, who is known for his grappling credentials, in his UFC debut. There are certainly question marks about Crute’s gas tank, but Alvey doesn’t fight at a fast enough pace for that to come into play. Assuming Crute’s chin holds up, he should have significant advantages in this fight.
Bet 1.35 units on Crute to win 1 unit
Rani Yahya (-105)
There is quite a bit of odds value right now on MyBookie concerning Rani Yahya and his inside the distance odds. As indicated on the MMA Battle of the Bales article, if Yahya wins this fight, it will be via submission. The most likely outcome is that Yahya will submit Ricky Simon in the first round, if a submission is going to happen. Granted, he could fail a few submission attempts and end the fight in the second round, but the longer the fight goes, the more it favors Simon. Currently, on 5Dimes, Yahya is +350 to win in the first round, which indicates a pretty big discrepancy here. This is a very risky bet, and bettors should not place a large wager on it, but the odds value is great, the potential to actually hit is great, and most fight scenarios in which Yahya wins point toward this outcome. A safer bet that will yield solid results as well is Yahya by KO, TKO, DQ or Submission for +190. Do not bet Yahya -105 to win this fight. If it goes decision, he is not effective enough of a striker or wrestler to sway the judges. It might actually be worthwhile to bet Yahya inside of distance and parlay Simon with a few other big favorites to get odds going in both directions.
Bet .25 units on Yahya Wins in Round One to win 1.25 units
Parlay 1 unit on Lando Vannata, Kai Kara France, Montana De La Rosa, Shane Young, and Devonte Smith to win 3.39 units