MMA Betting Odds Settle as UFC Fight 174 Nears

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, June 12, 2014 5:44 PM GMT

Saturday night in Vancouver the UFC will present a bantamweight title match along with several other bouts, but where have the UFC odds moved and can we take advantage of them? Let's review the MMA odds and fight picks for this bout.

Demetrious Johnson vs. Ali Bagautinov
This bantamweight showdown will feature the champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson defending his title for the fourth time and if the previous defenses are any indication of what to expect then this fight will be a dandy.  Johnson outpointed John Dodson in his first title defense and the pair earned Fight of the Night honors at UFC on Fox in January of 2013.  Next up on the dance card was John Moraga whom Johnson stopped via armbar in the fifth round which earned him Submission of the Night.  In his last championship match, Johnson stunned top contender Joseph Benavidez with a wicked right cross to the jaw in the opening round and copped the Knockout of the Night.

This fight opened at Johnson -407 in UFC odds and has shot up to -700 in some shops.  Currently WillaimHill.com is dealing the most favorable UFC odds if you’re a chalk eater at Johnson -500.  I’m never one that advocates laying north of -200 but if you’re convinced that Johnson has the goods to get past Bagautinov then consider him in a parlay but not straight action.


Favorites Falling
Young gun Rory McDonald will lock horns with Tyron Woodley and the talented Canadian opened as a -140 favorite in UFC odds but as fight night approaches we have seen the tables turn drastically as Tyron Woodley is now the bettor’s choice at -120 in most shops.

Ryan Bader, who has only four losses on his slate and all of them against MMA superstars such as Jon Jones, Tito Ortiz, Lyoto Machida and Glover Teixiera will battle Rafael Cavalcante in the light heavyweight division.  Cavalcante is a Strikeforce refugee and former Light Heavyweight Champion of that now defunct organization.  He will no doubt prove to be a stern test for Bader and the action has swung towards the underdog.  Bader opened at -160 and has dipped to -145 as of this writing. 

The legendary Andrei Arlovski is coming back to his UFC roots at the age of 35 and opened as a -135 favorite but the betting public has backed the books up big time and the initial underdog Brendan Schaub is now a relatively significant favorite in UFC odds at -155.  If you want to follow the crowd and bet the power punching Schaub then WilliamHill.com will let you in at -136 as of this writing.

In a preliminary bout of lightweights, Jason Saggo (9-1) will square off with Josh Shockley (11-2) and the UFC odds here are falling on the previously favored Saggo who opened at -150 but is plummeting where he now stands as a short -115 favorite and may actually be the dog when the bell sounds to start the fight.

In what should be an absolutely dynamite fight in the bantamweight division, the 5’6” hulk Mike Easton will battle the Haitian Sensation (okay, at 19-9 maybe the word sensation might be overstating it a bit but it rhymes dammit so indulge me) Yves Jabouin.  Both these fighters are talented but Jabouin has 11 KO’s to his credit and will be looking to extend Easton’s three fight skid.

Easton soared to -210 in some offshore shops but has now leveled out at -180 which shows that the public, the sharps or a combination of both is not convinced that Jabouin will be easy pickin’s for the jacked and pumped Mike Easton.


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