CREDITS: Betting on UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans

Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans (James Law/HeavyMMA)

Breaking down the odds for Saturday’s card in Atlanta

ATLANTA – Last week, HeavyMMA debuted a new MMA wagering feature called CREDITS. And this week, it’s back with a look at the lines for UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans.

Writers Duane Finley and Nate Lawson and writer/editor Matt Erickson this week take a look at the big pay-per-view in Atlanta, which takes place Saturday at Philips Arena.

Last week, Erickson got off to a good start, sweeping his bets and going 12 for 12 picking fights on the UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva card in Sweden. Can he pull a repeat performance this week, or will he take a nosedive and allow Lawson to take the lead? And will Finley rebound from his rough start?

We refresh you on the rules for our prognosticators at the bottom, and we give you the lines for the fights the boys have to work with. So take a look and see where their (fictional) money is going this week. Then stay tuned for the next installment of CREDITS, which will come at you for the UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller card May 5.

Jon Jones (-450) vs. Rashad Evans (+325)
Rory MacDonald (-600) vs. Che Mills (+400)
Brendan Schaub (-300) vs. Ben Rothwell (+230)
Miguel Torres (-125) vs. Michael McDonald (-105)
Mark Hominick (-550) vs. Eddie Yagin (+375)
Mark Bocek (-370) vs. John Alessio (+280)
Travis Browne (-270) vs. Chad Griggs (+210)
Matt Brown (+215) vs. Stephen Thompson (-275)
John Makdessi (+170) vs. Anthony Njokuani (-210)
Mac Danzig (-200) vs. Efrain Escudero (+160)
Keith Wisniewski (+170) vs. Chris Clements (-210)
Marcus Brimage (+220) vs. Maximo Blanco (-280)

Matt “Riverboat Gambler” Erickson
Last event’s record: 4-0 singles, 2-0 parlays. Overall record: 4-0 singles, 2-0 parlays. Overall bank: Up $158.20.
Last event recap: A sweep. There’s not much more to say. MattE hit three mild favorites (Gustafsson, Madadi, Young) and a ‘dog (Bahadurzada) in his singles. And he hit both his parlays – a two-legger of ‘dogs (Bahadurzada and Siver), plus a six-legger of favorites. Overall, the guy went 12 for 12 in his picks for the card. Put it this way – had he done a 12-fight parlay with all his picks, $10 would have paid out $14,269. Oops.
MattE’s Breakdown
After going 12 for 12 last week, I’m ripe to fall flat on my face this time around. The wagering gods never let you get too cocky. I do think there are some underdog plays that could work out, though. It’d be asking a lot for them all to hit, but making a small play on each of them could put me in a position to come out ahead if two of them come in. I like these four, all for very different reasons: Mills, Rothwell, Wisniewski and Brimage. Mills has a puncher’s chance. Rothwell looks new and improved. Wisniewski has been around the block. Brimage faces a highly touted newcomer, and we all know how those often turn out – as surprise upsets. I have a favorites parlay that seems pretty safe. And I have a Midwest Special parlay with Rothwell, Torres and Wisniewski. There are some possibilities here, but I also could crash and burn with an oh-fer, which happens sometimes when you’re playing with last week’s house money.
MattE’s Individual Wagers
Mills (+400): $10 to win $50
Rothwell (+230): $10 to win $33
Torres (-125): $20 to win $36
Wisniewski (+170): $10 to win $27
Brimage (+220): $10 to win $32
MattE’s Parlay Wagers
Rothwell (+230), Torres (-125), Wisniewski (+170): $10 to win $160.38
Hominick (-550), Bocek (-370), Browne (-270), Thompson (-275), Danzig (-200): $30 to win $126.24
Total potential earnings: $100 to win $464.62

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Nate “Boiler Up” Lawson
Last event’s record: 1-3 singles, 1-0 parlays. Overall record: 1-3 singles, 1-0 parlays. Overall bank: Up $40.87
Last event recap: Went big in two spots, and hit ’em both. Bet $30 on John Maguire (-130), who submitted DaMarques Johnson, and he nailed a five-leg parlay of favorites, a $20 bet that cashed back $87.79.
Nate’s Breakdown
Let me get one thing straight right off the bat. I don’t like the odds for this card. Not because I think they are off, but mostly due to the fact that the favorites in most bouts are definitively so. With $100 to work with, the payouts for bets placed on said favorites are essentially too little to even contemplate, as far as I’m concerned. So I flipped the script, ditched the likely winners and went with four underdogs in my individual picks. Griggs showed terrific promise during his time in Strikeforce, which included an unlikely victory over Bobby Lashley. That’s not extremely impressive by most standards, let alone the UFC’s, but I think Griggs has the grit to ride out a decision, albeit a narrow one. Further down the card, I’m taking Matt Brown over “Wonderboy” Stephen Thompson based simply off of Brown’s experience and gritty style (seems to be a theme). Makdessi is in a similar situation, as I think he could grind out a decision over Anthony Njokuani if the striking game is neutralized early. My last individual pick is more of a stretch. In fact, I’d consider it downright insane, but with those odds, I’m throwing a small bet on Yagin, if only because I don’t believe Hominick has any business sitting at 6-to-1. As far as the parlays go, the first speaks for itself: straight favorites. Consider it a contingency plan, just in case all becomes right in the world and the fighters that are supposed to win actually do. The second parlay is obviously much more of a stretch, but the payout is golden. No, I’m not fully anticipating that bet to hit, but there is some possibility and hope, even if only a sliver.
Nate’s Individual Wagers
Griggs (+210): $10 to win $31
Brown (+215): $20 to win $63
Yagin (+375): $10 to win $47.50
Makdessi (+170): $20 to win $54
Nate’s Parlay Wager
Jones (-450), MacDonald (-600), Schaub (-300), Bocek (-370), Browne (-270), Thompson (-275): $20 to win $90.26
Brimage (+220), Alessio (+280), Danzig (-200), McDonald (-105): $20 to win $712.23
Total potential earnings: $100 to win $997.99

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Duane “Buffalo Nickel” Finley
Last event’s record: 1-3 singles, 0-1 parlays. Overall record: 1-3 singles, 0-1 parlays. Overall bank: Down $85.56.
Last event recap: It really wasn’t as bad as it seems – Duane was one close fight away from hitting a 3-leg parlay that had a couple of ‘dogs on it. He would’ve cashed that $40 ticket for $422 and been sittin’ pretty in the lead. He’ll remember that bad beat for a while thanks to Diego Nunes. As it is, he hit one of his four singles – just a $10 bet on Brad Pickett to make a measly $4.44. With the other $90 he lost, he’s hurtin’ for certain and in need of a big week.
Duane’s Breakdown
I like to keep things crazy and exciting. If you take a look at the bets I’m making, this should be obvious – hopefully not painfully obvious. I think McDonald and Danzig are both primed for solid runs and their bouts at UFC 145 should be the next step. Brimage and Makdessi are tougher picks because both have legitimate chances to claim Fight of the Night honors in their respective affairs. As for the parlay, I’m sticking with my theme and letting the chips fall where they may.
Duane’s Individual Wagers
McDonald (-105): $20 to win $39.05
Brimage (+220): $20 to win $64
Makdessi (+170): $20 to win $54
Danzig (-200): $10 to win $15
Duane‘s Parlay Wagers
Evans (+325), Rothwell (+230), Yagin (+375): $30 to win $1,998.56
Total potential earnings: $100 to win $2,170.61

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The Rules
* Must wager an even $100 per event
* Must pick a minimum of four individual fights per event
* Must pick a minimum of one parlay per event, with a minimum of two fights; 10-fight maximum
* Must wager a minimum of $10 per individual fight or parlay with a $50 maximum
* Records and (fictional) money totals will accumulate throughout year
* Winning bets include original wager. For example, a $27.50 win on a $10 bet would include the original wager, plus a $17.50 profit

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Previous installments of CREDITS:
UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva (April 13)