UFC Picks: Finding Betting Value in Overeem vs. Arlovski

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, April 30, 2016 11:35 AM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016 11:35 AM UTC

The UFC comes to the Netherlands featuring a heavyweight tilt between two battle tested veterans in Alistair Overeem and Andrei Arlovski. Let’s review the UFC odds and fatten our bankroll on Sunday.

Alistair Overeem (40-14, 17 KO’s, 19 Subs)
Alistair Overeem has battled in mixed martial arts since 1999 and has 55 fights to prove it (including one no contest) which is mind boggling considering he has traded blows with the best in the world in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. At age 35 he is again ascending the heavyweight ladder and is now ranked third in the world with an eye towards a title shot if he disposes of Andrei Arlovski on May 8th. Overeem has had some head scratching losses coupled with magnificent victories. Legends of the sport like Vitor Belfort (twice), Fabricio Werdum, Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir and most recently Junior dos Santos have all fallen victim to the Demolition Man.

The UFC odds makers installed Overeem as a +175 underdog against dos Santos and many believed the former champion would make short work of the big Dutchman in order to secure a third fight with Cain Velazquez or a shot at Fabricio Werdum for the heavyweight crown. In order for Overeem to pull the upset and cash a ticket for all those who included him in their UFC picks, he would have to have patience. And sure enough, Overeem’s trainers made certain that the big man did not make any foolish mistakes, ala his TKO loss to Ben Rothwell, or gas himself out as he did in his defeat to Travis Browne. Overeem used his long, ferocious leg strikes to maintain distance from JDS’s heavy hands and ultimately landed a big one that felled dos Santos and allowed Overeem to swarm and finish. It was an enormous victory and a win over Arlovski could have him battling for the title in his next fight.


Andrei Arlovski (25-11, 17 KO’s, 3 Subs)
Andrei Arlovski had reeled off six consecutive victories before he succumbed to Stipe Miocic in his last match via a short right followed by a devastating hook that sent the Pit Bull crashing to the canvas. Miocic swarmed and with only 54 seconds gone in the opening round, Arlovski was vanquished and Miocic was declared the victor. Only Brett Rogers had finished Arlovski faster and that took a mere 22 seconds back in June of ’09. Just another day in the heavyweight division.

At age 37 the end may be nigh for the once ferocious Arlovski. His fight preceding his quick loss to Miocic was a disappointing and lackluster victory over the fading Frank Mir. It was three rounds of watching two middle aged men doing their best to stay at arm’s length of each other and avoid suffering any heavy damage. The KO loss to Miocic then came as no surprise to those who had witnessed his previous three rounds of indifference.


Betting Analysis
I am quite sure this will be Arlovski’s swan song, at least in the UFC and for good if he’s smart. He will leave a legacy of fighting some of the most dangerous men on the planet and for a time he was one of them. But now he is not and the only way he defeats Overeem is if he can stay away and get the Demo Man to tire. Overeem has not always been the most disciplined fighter but if his bout against Junior dos Santos is any indication, either he has gained an advanced degree in cage acumen or his trainers have finally gotten through.

Either way, this fight belongs to Overeem if he wants it. He is a tower of power and has 36 finishes in 40 victories. If the fight stands up, Overeem’s relentless leg strikes can melt Arlovski. If the fight hits the mat, Overeem clearly knows what to do as evidenced by his 19 submissions. This one may not get to the second round with Overeem declared the winner and onto a potential title tilt in his next bout.

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Free UFC Pick:  Overeem -205 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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