Handicapping the Odds for Every Main Card Fight at UFC 162
This Saturday, UFC 162 goes live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. A main event between middleweight champion Anderson Silva and top contender Chris Weidman headlines the pay-per-view card.
For those looking to get a bit more involved in the action, the betting lines for the main card fights are in, and we've got all the odds right here.
Are you confident Silva, the perennial favorite, will finally see his legendary title reign come to an abrupt halt against Weidman? Are you more willing to take flyers on slight underdogs such as Dennis Siver and Roger Gracie?
Find out where the value lies for this card as we handicap all five main card fights from UFC 162.
In advance, best of luck to everyone.
*All odds courtesy of Bovada.
Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver
Odds: Cub Swanson (-230) vs. Dennis Siver (+180)
This featherweight matchup features a WEC veteran who has parlayed a few wins into a top-five spot on the UFC official rankings in Swanson.
Siver, meanwhile, has just two fights at the 145-pound mark and may be in over his head on this one.
Swanson has won four straight fights, including a unanimous decision win over former top prospect Dustin Poirier earlier this year. And when Chan Sung Jung got the call up to fight Jose Aldo to replace Anthony Pettis at UFC 163, the WEC vet was noticeably upset.
He thinks he deserves a title shot, but after the UFC overlooked him as a potential replacement, he ought to know he's not quite there yet. This fight could put him right in the pack with the likes of Ricardo Lamas, Pettis and other top contenders.
Meanwhile, Siver goes from fighting Nam Phan and Diego Nunes to fighting a legitimate top-five guy. That likely has a lot to do with Siver's lengthy tenure in the UFC—he's fought in the UFC 15 times.
But Siver hasn't been overwhelmingly successful at featherweight, if only because he hasn't fought a top (or even mid-tier) guy. He's got the striking to stay dangerous for an entire fight, but Swanson has been too good lately to think he drops this one.
At a more than 2-to-1 favorite, Swanson doesn't bring a ton of value into this fight, but you could do worse than mixing him in on a parlay. He's got too much to lose here, and he owns the momentum. Stay away from Siver.
Betting Line Assessment:
Swanson should win this fight, but I'm not sold on his more than 2-to-1 position. Siver is a good striker, and he hasn't lost at featherweight. Do I think Swanson wins? Sure. But a Siver victory would hardly be the stunner upset of this year, regardless of what the line suggests.
Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch
Odds: Mark Munoz (-130) vs. Tim Boetsch (+100)
This line is close, and it likely has a lot to do with Munoz's layoff.
The No. 7 middleweight contender hasn't fought since July 2012. He was brutally put away by Weidman in that contest.
But before that loss, Munoz won four straight, including wins against Demian Maia and Chris Leben. He has a strong wrestling base, along with striking power. He's definitely the more attractive play here just because of what he's capable of.
Boetsch, on the other hand, is not a flashy play. More often than not, he can be found grinding out decision wins. Sure, he knocked out Yushin Okami in one of the greatest comeback wins in recent memory, but that improbable victory was his only stoppage win in his past seven fights.
He is also coming off a loss to Costa Philippou at UFC 155.
But at +100, he could be good for an even payout. Of course, he could get knocked out the same way he did against Philippou.
Munoz's layoff is at least something of a red flag, while Boetsch—had he not pulled that comeback off against Okami—could very well be sitting at 3-2 in the middleweight division. If his split-decision win against Hector Lombard went the other way, that record could be even worse.
If there's a play to be made here, it's Munoz. But I'm staying away.
Betting Line Assessment:
This line gives the gambler basically a pick 'em situation. I don't have an issue with that, especially considering there are question marks surrounding Munoz after the layoff and Boetsch after the loss to Philippou. The odds reflect that, and rightly so.
Tim Kennedy vs. Roger Gracie
Odds: Tim Kennedy (-155) vs. Roger Gracie (+125)
Two Strikeforce imports enter the cage Saturday night, and the line proves we don't know just yet which one (if either) can make a run in the UFC.
Kennedy, a two-time top contender in the now-defunct promotion, has never been able to get the job done in big fights, but Gracie hasn't either. And this fight is the biggest of each man's career.
The line seems to suggest Kennedy's wrestling could be enough for him to dictate the fight, meaning he can keep it standing. The Brazilian will likely have to struggle (at least to some extent) to earn a takedown, and I'm not sure he can hang on the feet.
That said, Kennedy is average or good in most areas, while Gracie is a downright expert in the submission game. A bet in either direction basically rests on whether or not you think Gracie can score a tap.
I doubt he's able to do it, but I'm not completely sold on Kennedy. He likely won't threaten Gracie too badly, meaning a win for Kennedy is almost certainly going to take the full 15 minutes.
If I'm forced to choose, Kennedy is the pick here. He has one borderline quality win over Robbie Lawler. Gracie's biggest win came against Keith Jardine. Kennedy also was competitive against Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza back in Strikeforce, and Souza now finds himself as a legitimate middleweight in the UFC.
Betting Line Assessment:
The line is just about right for this one. Kennedy is more well-rounded, while Gracie could always threaten with his jiu-jitsu. Could be more of a pick 'em if I had my way, but it's a tough line to set.
Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira
Odds: Frankie Edgar (-550) vs. Charles Oliveira (+375)
Welcome to the world of Frankie Edgar.
Against contenders, he's always going to be a heavy favorite until one defeats him. Against champions, he's going to be an underdog and apparently always going to come up short on the scorecards.
Against unranked featherweight Oliveira, "The Answer" is a very heavy favorite, sitting at more than 5-to-1.
This is the most lopsided fight on the main card (by far) in terms of the line. And the safe pick is Edgar here, no doubt.
But just how safe is it?
Oliveira is coming off a stoppage loss to Swanson in his third fight at 145 pounds, but he won the first two fights since joining the division. Also, not one of his UFC fights has gone the distance.
Edgar, on the other hand, finds himself facing the judges after nearly every fight.
Again, Edgar is the safe pick here, but Oliveira's tendency to go for the kill gives him at least mild value.
The Brazilian is possibly the best unranked featherweight, while Edgar has one win since New Year's Day 2011.
For some reason, I don't find it totally implausible that Oliveira could catch Edgar. Maybe the potential 4-to-1 payout is clouding my reason.
But the line gives Edgar basically no value. Even as a play in a parlay, there doesn't seem to be much point in going with the heavy favorite.
I'm not betting against him—he should outpoint Oliveira—but I'd sit this one out.
Betting Line Assessment:
Edgar was always going to be a heavy favorite in this fight, but Oliveira has a tendency to be dangerous. The line seems a bit too extreme, considering Edgar just doesn't win that often. And isn't it possible his point style of fighting isn't going to be enough, especially at featherweight, where his speed advantage doesn't really exist anymore?
On the other side of the coin, Oliveira is just 23 years of age. He's definitely talented. He just needs to connect all the dots. I wouldn't be totally surprised if he made the leap in this one, and that makes the betting line a bit too heavy in favor of Edgar. A somewhat more conservative line for Edgar seems more appropriate here.
Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman
Odds: Anderson Silva (-240) vs. Chris Weidman (+190)
If you were waiting on some betting value from Anderson Silva, the past two lines gave it to you.
At UFC 148 against Chael Sonnen, Silva was less than a 3-to-1 favorite, which gives pretty strong value for arguably the greatest fighter in history. Now, heading into UFC 162, Silva sits at just -240.
And the predictions—from fans, analysts and fighters alike—seem to favor Weidman. The contender appears to be the exact type of fighter to beat Silva.
That said, "The Spider" has never lost in the UFC, and he's the most dominant fighter in the promotion's history. Weidman's task is more than a tall one.
But the challenger boasts a strong wrestling base, solid submissions and intimidating power. He effortlessly walked through Munoz to earn the shot at the middleweight gold, and as a 2-to-1 underdog, the odds definitely respect his abilities.
Basically, he's a better version of Sonnen, the man who almost beat Silva at UFC 117.
However, Sonnen's rematch at UFC 148 ended in devastating fashion, as Silva battered him en route to a technical knockout victory.
Weidman is almost certainly going to have to fight through at least a few dangerous moments Saturday night if he wants to win. Trouble is, Silva usually only needs one opening to finish a fight.
At the moment, this fight is being billed as the toughest of Silva's career, and I'm not sure that's just hype. Weidman is a dangerous threat and probably the last man who can beat this version of "The Spider."
But Silva's value here is probably the best it's ever going to be until he is defeated, if he's ever defeated. I like him to win and, in the process, provide a good payout to those who stayed true to him.
Betting Line Assessment:
This line is very close for a Silva fight, and I suppose it should be. I'm not sold that Weidman deserves the +190, as he hasn't exactly defeated a top middleweight in his career. Silva should be closer to a 3-to-1 favorite, so take advantage if you believe he will win this fight.