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Velasquez vs Dos Santos 3: Predictions You Can Take to the Bank

Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2013

Velasquez vs Dos Santos 3: Predictions You Can Take to the Bank

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    The highly anticipated rubber match between Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez is finally upon us and is sure to excite. Behind it is an absolutely stacked card, filled with previous champions and enduring contenders.

    Time to bet on them!

    This card is somewhat interesting in that it is largely made up of known fighters with clearly-defined fighting styles. Here, we'll take a quick look at the odds for the five main card fights, and offer some advice on which fights are worth betting on, and how you should bet. 

    So let's get started.

Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos

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    Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

    Current Odds

    Cain Velasquez (-183)
    Junior dos Santos (+175)

    It's honestly surprising that the lines remain this close. While dos Santos is an amazing fighter and a great athlete, the beating Velasquez put on him at UFC 155 certainly suggests the odds should be much more heavily favoring Velasquez. 

    That said, there is one interesting prop bet I'm looking at. -190 that the fight will not go the distance.

    Dos Santos' power needs no explanation, and he obviously caught Velasquez with a single punch back in 2011. Velasquez claimed yesterday that he intentionally avoided finishing dos Santos, and wanted to "punish" him for beating him. Velasquez's UFC 155 performance, his well-established ability to finish opponents, and dos Santos' own knockout power all mean this fight is unlikely to reach the judges. 

    That -190 is a strong play in this writer's opinion.

    Prediction: Cain Velasquez
    Worth Betting on?: Yes

Diego Sanchez vs. Gilbert Melendez

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Current Odds

    Diego Sanchez (+500)
    Gilbert Melendez (-550)

    In my opinion, this is the best UFC 166 fight to bet on.

    Don't get me wrong, Gilbert Melendez is better than Diego Sanchez. Not by a little, either. Melendez is, like, totally way better at this whole fighting thing.

    The thing is, Diego Sanchez has by far the most judge-friendly fighting style in the UFC. With a steely chin, he is capable of eating hands before landing a big shot of his own. With a solid wrestling background, he is capable of scoring points with do-nothing takedowns.

    That formula is the reason his UFC record is still solid on paper, and was directly responsible for the controversial decision victories he took from Takanori Gomi and Martin Kampmann.

    Melendez has stopping power both standing and on the ground, but a finish is highly unlikely. This one is almost certainly going to the judges (but not for lack of trying) and that is where Sanchez is most dangerous. If he can scrap his way into two takedowns across two rounds, he could very easily take this fight with a 29-28 unanimous decision.

    While Sanchez deserves to be the underdog here, he is so good at taking bad decisions that these lines that reach as deep as -1111 are difficult to pass up.

    Prediction: Gilbert Melendez
    Worth Betting on?: Yes

Daniel Cormier vs. Roy Nelson

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Current Betting Odds

    Daniel Cormier (-485)
    Roy Nelson (+430)

    Stylistically, this is a horrible matchup for Roy Nelson. The odds of him losing an ugly 30-27 decision after 15 minutes of clinchwork are incredibly high.

    Nelson survived 102 punches in the face from Junior dos Santos, and you'll almost certainly hear Joe Rogan rave about a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pedigree that won't get used. This fight is almost certainly reaching the judges. The best way to handle this is with a prop bet. Cormier winning in over two rounds, is currently ranging between -200 and -300.

    If you're feeling bold, you can always put a little something on the fight not leaving the first round. Nelson may be a huge underdog but he still has those dynamite hands. He is easily the hardest-hitter Cormier has faced to this point in his career, and his chin has never really been tested.

    That said, this isn't the greatest fight for betting. Work around it if possible.

    Prediction: Daniel Cormier
    Worth Betting on?: No

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Shawn Jordan

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Current Betting Odds

    Gabriel Gonzaga (+169)
    Shawn Jordan (-183)

    Picking who is going to win this fight is tough all on its own. Gabriel Gonzaga is the ultimate gatekeeper, so this basically comes down to whether or not you think Shawn Jordan is the real deal.

    I'm leaning on Jordan to win the fight. Something that has flown under the radar is that three of Gonzaga's recent losses, to Shane Carwin, Brendan Schaub and Travis Browne, came from Greg Jackson-trained fighters. Shawn Jordan? Well, he's from the Jackson Camp, too.

    Another thing that has flown under the radar is Gonzaga's propensity for losing big. Six of his seven career losses have come via knockout, three of those in the first round. 11 of Jordan's 15 wins have come via knockout.

    So that would certainly suggest the most likely method of victory would be Jordan via KO, likely within the first two rounds. The lines are close enough that you should freely choose whoever you are feeling. Do so as quickly as possible if you're feeling Jordan, though, because the odds have been worsening for him.

    Prediction: Shawn Jordan
    Worth Betting on?: No

John Dodson vs. Darrell Montague

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Current Betting Odds

    John Dodson (-340)
    Darrell Montague (+310)

    Generally these fights, between a guy you have heard of and a guy you haven't, tend to be pretty good bets. The thing is, this is no Renato "Babalu" Sobral vs. Mikhail Zayats. John Dodson is the real deal. 

    Darrell Montague has two solid names to his credit in Ulysses Gomez and Mamoru Yamaguchi, but John Dodson is so well-rounded, and has so much knockout power, it's very difficult to pick against him. It's shocking, really, that the lines for this fight are even this close.

    Granted, this is the flyweight division. There are lots of moving parts, lots of unknowns and lots of incomplete data that hypothetically could have a Darrell Montague victory between the lines.

    If there is, though, I'm not seeing it.

    Prediction: John Dodson
    Worth Betting on?: No

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