UFC 158 Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 3/15/2013
If you don’t like welterweights, then you aren’t going to be much of a fan of UFC 158, which is being held at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The top three fights on the card all feature the 170-pound fighters. Obviously, the Montreal fans aren’t going to mind — their hero, Georges St. Pierre, will be defending his title in his second fight back from the knee injury that cost him a year and a half. Here’s how the main card breaks down (all UFC 158 odds are from Bovada):
Welterweight championship - Georges St. Pierre (-500) vs. Nick Diaz (+350)
It’s not hard to figure out where the crowd will be in this one. St. Pierre practically owns the city of Montreal. He’ll handle the attention with class, as always. On the other hand, class isn’t a word often used to describe Nick Diaz. He’s got swagger, but he’s kind of ridiculous. He last fought at UFC 143 — a loss to Carlos Condit. After that fight he tested positive for marijuana and was suspended for a year. A guy coming off a loss and a suspension getting a title shot against perhaps the best fighter on the planet — who says Dana White doesn’t have a soft side?
St. Pierre also last fought against Condit — in his comeback at UFC 154. The difference is that St. Pierre was totally dominant — at least outside of one head kick in the third that briefly stunned him. He didn’t look even slightly bothered by his knee, and after four more months of training it’s even stronger.
I could spend more time breaking this one down, but I don’t want to waste your time. Diaz will do some posturing and try a trick or two. In the end, though, he just doesn’t have the talent to overcome the champ — especially not in front of a crowd like this. The challenger has acted particularly bizarre in the week leading up to this fight, and it’s hard to believe that his head is fully in this one. This will be a one-sided fight.
Pick: Georges St. Pierre.
Welterweight - Johny Hendricks (-145) vs. Carlos Condit (+115)
If there was justice in the UFC, then it would be Hendricks and not Diaz fighting for the title. Diaz sells more tickets, though, so Hendricks is instead fighting the former No. 1 contender to likely become the new No. 1 if he wins. I like and respect both fighters. They are both very good, and they could both win this one. That’s the problem — it’s an absolute coin flip. There’s no money in flipping a coin. I’d take Condit if I had to, but I’ll pass.
Welterweight - Jake Ellenberger (-170) vs. Nate Marquardt (+140)
This is not the intended fight. Originally Hendricks was supposed to face Ellenberger, but Rory MacDonald was hurt, so Hendricks stepped up to replace him against Condit. Marquardt was last seen in a brief reign as Strikeforce champion, but he lost that title in spectacular fashion on the last card of that promotion. That’s a real concern. Ellenberger is better prepared, and should have his way in this one.
Pick: Jake Ellenberger.
Middleweight - Nick Ring (-130) vs. Chris Camozzi (even)
These guys have a history because they both were in the cast of “The Ultimate Fighter 11”. Camozzi has won three in a row, but hasn’t beaten anyone too eye-opening. Ring’s record is somewhat more impressive. The two guys match up well when they are on their feet, but Ring has a distinct edge on the ground, and that will be the difference. Ring lives and trains in my hometown of Calgary, so I would probably pick him no matter what. Luckily, he provides nice value here.
Pick: Nick Ring.
Lightweight - Mike Ricci (-300) vs. Colin Fletcher (+230)
Both of these guys lost their UFC debuts last time out, and neither looked particularly strong in the effort. The UFC is showing less and less patience with fighters, so there is a good chance that the loser will be out of a job. No pressure. Ricci is more athletic and more dynamic. He’s also a native Montrealer who still fights out of the city, so he’ll have a big boost for the fiercely loyal crowd.
Pick: Mike Ricci.
For each UFC pay-per-view card I make a $500 bet — typically a parlay. This time around the pick is straightforward:
$500 parlay - Take St. Pierre, Ellenberger, Ring and Ricci. Potential profit of $1747.96.
Doc’s Sports is offering $60 worth of member’s picks absolutely free – no obligation, no sales people – you don’t even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please for any handicapper and any sport on Doc’s Sports Advisory Board list of expert sports handicappers. Click here for more details and take advantage of this free $60 picks credit today.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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