New regular feature tackles wagering for Saturday’s UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva card
Welcome to a brand new regular feature here at HeavyMMA: CREDITS. Before every big show, three of HeavyMMA's finest will put their money with their mouths are, finding the best bets on the card – literally.
Writers Duane Finley and Nate Lawson and writer/editor Matt Erickson this week tackle UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva, which takes place Saturday in Sweden. The rules are simple: Each is given an unfortunately fictional $100 to wager with on the card and must bet on a minimum of four individual fights and must bet at least one parlay of two fights or more. Minimum bets are $10; the max is $50. And by the end of the card, we'll see who's cashing the most tickets and who is ripping theirs up and looking for the penny slots.
Then they'll dust themselves off next week and get right back at it for UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans in Atlanta ... and UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller on May 5 ... and UFC on Fuel TV: Poirier vs. Korean Zombie on May 15 ... and Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix finals on May 19 ... and UFC 146 on May 26 ... and, well, you get the point. It's cumulative, and, as Erickson said, "Slow and steady wins the race."
Take a look at the fights the fellas have to choose from for Saturday's card, along with the odds. Then dive into their picks and check back Saturday to see how they do and who will take the early lead heading into next week's UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans card in Atlanta.
Alexander Gustafsson -230 vs. Thiago Silva +180
Brian Stann -400 vs. Alessio Sakara +300
Paulo Thiago -175 vs. Siyar Bahadurzada +145
Dennis Siver +135 vs. Diego Nunes -160
DaMarques Johnson EVEN vs. John Maguire -130
Brad Pickett -225 vs. Damacio Page +175
Papy Abedi -285 vs. James Head +225
Cyrille Diabate +165 vs. Tom DeBlass -205
Francis Carmont -250 vs. Magnus Cedenblad +190
Reza Madadi -200 vs. Yoislandy Izquierdo +160
Simeon Thoresen -340 vs. Besam Yousef +260
Jason Young -150 vs. Eric Wisely +120
Matt "Riverboat Gambler" Erickson
Overall bank: $100
First, mad props to my former colleague at MMA Fighting, Ben Fowlkes, who a few months ago christened me the "Riverboat Gambler," mainly when it comes to underdog parlays of a wackity-schmackity nature. But I don't think my 2-leg 'dogs parlay this week is too nutty – though Bahadurzada could get a classic case of Octagon first-timer jitters and Siver could suffer the effects of a harsher weight cut dropping to 145 for the first time. Still, paying out at nearly 5-1, it seems a very worthy low-grade risk. My 6-leg favorites parlay is asking a lot, but also seems doable. They say go big or go home, and I'm going pretty large (by our standards) on Gustafsson. He's in front of his home peeps, he's been on a stoppage tear and his opponent has been out of action for more than a year. Frankly, I'm surprised he's only -230. I like Bahadurzada on a single, too, and if the Afghan welterweight does what is expected of him, he won't be an underdog very often. Madadi seems pretty safe – he's got twice the experience of his opponent, has three straight wins over UFC vets and is in a home bout. I hesitated on Young, but ultimately I believe he'll have plenty to fight for to avoid a third straight loss and an almost certain UFC pink slip.
MattE's Individual Wagers
Gustafsson (-230): $40 to win $57.39
Bahadurzada (+145): $10 to win $24.50
Madadi (-200): $10 to win $15
Young (-150): $20 to win $33.33
MattE's Parlay Wagers
Bahadurzada (+145), Siver (+135): $10 to win $57.58
Gustafsson (-230), Stann (-400), Pickett (-225), Carmont (-250), Madadi (-200), Thoresen (-340): $10 to win $70.40
Total potential earnings: $100 to win $258.20
Duane "Buffalo Nickel" Finley
Overall bank: $100.
My approach to gambling is philosophical. I believe there is no room to dilly-dally or waiver, and if I am going to entertain the idea of getting into the action, I might as well jump with both feet. In this crew of MMA insiders, I am the one who wanders off only to reemerge two days later with a crazy story and a bench warrant to prove it. When I look at this card, I see only a few exciting combinations for a solid payout parlay. Gustaffson and Stann should walk away with victories if they fight their games, but if there is potential for an upset in one of night’s premier fights, it’s the main event. Silva is coming off a year’s suspension, but when I spoke to him this week he sounded calm and in the zone. This has made me believe he’s as focused as he’s ever been, and I’m going with a big bet on him. If you wander down the card a bit, two fighters who I believe will pull off the upset are Bahadurzada and Diabate, and with a favorite added into the parlay, the payout will be decent.
Duane's Individual Wagers
Silva (+180): $30 to win $84
Yousef (+260): $10 to win $36
Pickett (-225): $10 to win $14.44
Page (+175): $10 to win $27.50
Duane's Parlay Wagers
Diabate (+165), Bahadurzada (+145), Nunes (-160): $40 to win $422.01
Total potential earnings: $100 to win $583.95
Nate "Boiler Up" Lawson
Overall bank: $100.
I’m going against the grain in the main event by picking Silva to win. He’s been out of action for well over a year now, but I’m banking on him being healthy and landing heavy. Oh, and I picked him to win in the Face-Off, so I have plenty of other reasons in that piece. My other underdog pick off the main card is Page, who is vicious in the cage and desperately needs a win. Unfortunately, he, too, has been out of action for over a year. Two pretty large risks, but the payout is nice, considering they are both in winnable fights, at least to some extent. However, both wagers still have me a bit worried. That’s where the parlay comes in. Picking five favorites, including Stann at +400, the parlay could yield a significant payout if the card plays out the way it’s supposed to according to the odds. And Gustafsson rounding out that parlay in the main event allows me to hedge that previous Silva bet. That is, if the other four on the parlay get the job done before the headliner. There are certainly plenty of risks, but this is gambling.
Nate's Individual Wagers
Silva (+180): $20 to win $56
Thiago (-175): $20 to win $31.43
Page (+175): $10 to win $27.50
Maguire (-130): $30 to win $53.08
Nate's Parlay Wager
Gustafsson (-230), Stann (-400), Thorensen (-340), Carmont (-250), Abadi (-285): $20 to win $87.79
Total potential earnings: $100 to win $255.80
* Must wager an even $100 per event
* Must pick a minimum of four individual fights per event
* Must pick a minimum of one parlay per event, with a minimum of two fights; 10-fight maximum
* Must wager a minimum of $10 per individual fight or parlay with a $50 maximum
* Records and (fictional) money totals will accumulate throughout year
* Winning bets include original wager. For example, a $27.50 win on a $10 bet would include the original wager, plus a $17.50 profit