Smart Bets

This is a new series that I’m currently experimenting with. Here I’ll list the betting odds (Based on mmaplayground) and I’ll guide you all through some smart bets and picks based on my own personal insight and analysis so that you can enhance and maximize your odds of success. However, keep in mind, this sport is extremely unpredictable and I’m giving my own opinion, so please don’t use this as a scapegoat for any possible failure resulting from these picks. Now let’s get on to it!

Note: I do not condone the actions of illegal gambling. MMAPlayground is a fantasy-betting site, so these bets and picks are for fantasy uses only.

The Odds

Vitor Belfort +370
Jon Jones -410

Demetrious Johnson +310
Joseph Benavidez -330

Brian Stann +140
Michael Bisping -150

Roger Hollett +580
Matt Hamill -620

Cub Swanson +110
Charles Oliveira -120

Igor Pokrajac -105
Vinicius Magalhaes -125

TJ Grant +390
Evan Dunham -440

Marcus Brimage +400
Jim Hettes -600

Seth Baczynski -100
Simeon Thoresen -130

Lance Benoist +105
Sean Pierson -115

Mitch Gagnon -100
Walel Watson -130

Kyle Noke +325
Charlie Brenneman -345

Now after taking a look at the odds, let’s take a look at some of the upset picks:

Vitor Belfort (+370) – I think Belfort is a somewhat decent pick. He definitely has a chance in this fight. Whenever I make my picks based on odds, I always weigh the fights in my head stylistically, and then realistically. Now, when you think about the odds of Vitor Belfort winning, realistically it’s not very good. Belfort is coming in as a replacement, he’ll be vastly out-sized, and just does NOT seem to be a smart pick at all. However, stylistically, he is a solid pick. He has a lot of power in his hands and has the potential for pulling the upset. I would definitely be against putting a large bet on Belfort, however I could see the argument for putting something small. A $5 bet on Belfort could turn into $18, not bad.

Demetrious Johnson (+310) – I actually am surprised Johnson is as big of an underdog as he is. I originally had Benavidez via UD, however I’ve recently changed my mind, and my picks after watching a few other peoples’ analysis. I think Johnson is a very smart pick, and I’d be willing to put something like a $15 bet on him, which could get you $46. However, I can honestly see this fight either way. Maybe if you want to play it really safe, you may want to stay away from this one.

Brian Stann (+140) – This isn’t a good pick to put any money down on by itself, however I could see Stann being used in a parlay. Stann has the punching power and the style to beat Bisping. If you look at some of Bisping’s opponents whom he has lost to, they are all fighters who have lots of power; Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Rashad Evans, Chael Sonnen (Maybe not striking power, but definitely aggressiveness and powerful wrestling). Then you look at some of Bisping’s wins, and they are against fighters who Bisping doesn’t have to worry about getting KO’d; Jason Miller, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Dan Miller. So I think Stann is a good pick to put in a parlay. However, the odds aren’t good enough to put even a small sum on him. Also, don’t let your hatred for Michael Bisping fuel any want to put a large sum down him, because you won’t get that much out of it. Brian Stann is a good parlay pick, but don’t put all your ducks in a row with him. FYI: $5 will get you $7, not worth it.

Roger Hollet (+580) – A massive underdog here! Although nobody really knows much about Roger Hollet, he’s facing a guy who is coming off of a huge lay off (even though Hollett’s last fight was in 2011). Hollett has a good boxing background, so if you put any money down on Hollett, than your probably banking on the fact that Hollett can stuff the takedowns and either finish Hamill, or out-strike him for a decision. I think a very small sum on Hollett would be fine, maybe a small $5 bet on him, which would be $29. However, Hollett is massively out-matched here, the odds of him winning are not very high.

Cub Swanson (+110) – Hardly enough of an underdog to get anything. Definitely stay away from this one. The only thing I could see this pick being used for is maybe a parlay, however there are better options on this card than Cub Swanson.

TJ Grant (+390) – I’d definitely stay away from this pick. I really don’t see how Grant can win this one unless it’s one of those things that seem to happen for no reason. Realistically and virtually, I have Dunham winning this fight. The only advantage TJ Grant has over Dunham is that he has fought the most recent (Grant’s last fight being in May), while Dunham’s last fight was at the beginning of the year in January. I guess you could also factor in the home (dis)advantage that TJ Grant has, but ultimately I’d stay away from this. Maybe if you’re feeling gutsy you could put $5 down on him, which would get you $19.

Marcus Brimage (+400) – Another hefty underdog here. This is one of those picks that I’m edgy about. Jim Hettes has a LOT of hype going for him and could very well win this fight easily. However, the big thing Brimage has going for him is power. Upsets happen all the time in the featherweight division, and Brimage has the power to pull one off. Another small bet here could do well; $5 gets you $20. Someone might be interesting in this bet, but he’s a massive underdog for a reason, Jim Hettes is a very good grappler.

Kyle Noke (+325) – Here’s another trick pick that I’d stay away from. Noke’s only chance this fight is to either (T)KO Brenneman on the feet before he gets taken down, or somehow sub him off of his back which is unlikely given that Brenneman is a seasoned wrestler. They’re solid odds, but the likelihood of it is not all there. I hate to put down another small bet but that seems like the way to go here. $5 gets you $16.

Alright, there’s all of the underdogs. Not very many good picks there, a lot of them are really risky and not really worth it. Most of those I’d just put down a small bet on. But let’s move to some smart picks that aren’t necessarily underdogs:

Jon Jones (-410) – I actually heard of someone who’s putting $250 down on Jon Jones, which will add $60 and make it $310. Not bad if you ask me. If Jon Jones gets upset, it’s almost worth losing your bet! Don’t be afraid to put something large on Jon Jones.

Michael Bisping (-150) – Solid pick right here. This could just be one of those situations where we want the favorite to lose so bad that it clouds our ability to predict the winner. I think Bisping can win this fight very easily. He’s a smart fighter, he’s had lots of time to prepare, and he really wants it. Bisping’s a solid pick, I’d put something like $40 on him to make it $66, although a smaller bet could do you better. $15 can turn into $25.

Evan Dunham (-440) – Odds aren’t great at all, however I don’t see any possible way on paper for TJ Grant to win. Now, don’t me influence your judgement if you have previously thought highly of TJ Grant; I never have. If you are going to put something on him, it’d have to be bigger than $100 to really turn into anything. $200 gets you $45 more.

Walel Watson (-130) – This is in my opinion one of the better picks of the card. I really like Walel Watson. He has a very solid ground game, so Mitch Gagnon probably won’t be able to hurt him there. Plus he has the better stand up. I little shocked he’s not more of an underdog but that will play out in our favor! $50 gets you $38 more. Not bad at all. If you want to go any higher I may start re-evaluating the odds of upsets in the pre-lims. These fighters aren’t really well known enough to be able to establish their odds in fights, but from a statistical breakdown, Watson is a solid pick; especially for a parlay.

Speaking of parlays let’s cover some good parlays to make. Here are my top 3:


Demetrious Johnson (+330)
Charles Oliviera (-120)
Walel Watson (-130)

This one could make you some big bucks. The carrier here is definitely Demetrious Johnson. Like I said, I had a recent change of heart about that match up and I have switched my pick to him. A $25 bet on this parlay could get you $307. Very solid parlay if you ask me.

If you don’t feel comfortable about Johnson, I could see replacing Johnson with Sean Pierson (-115), to take a safer rode. $25 gets you $126.


Jon Jones (-410)
Michael Bisping (-150)
Charles Oliviera (-120)

This is a pretty safe parlay. All of these guys are the favorites, however this is a very realistic bet. When you take a look at their rankings and what is most realistically likely to happen, this a very sure parlay. I could see going a little bigger on this with a $50 bet which would make $140. Jon Jones is a sure win and so is Charles Oliviera. I’m surprised Oliviera isn’t more of a favorite, but Cub Swanson is coming off of an impressive 2-0 streak over top competition. I just don’t see him having an answer for Oliviera’s ground game. Also, Bisping is a safe pick in my opinion. We all want Stann to knock his head off but, c’mon, Bisping’s a little good for that.


Brian Stann (+130)
Vinny Magalhaes (-125)
Lance Benoist (+105)

This is a high-roller parlay right here. Just a $15 bet gets you $117. Stann is a risky pick, but other than that, the rest look very reasonable. Magalhaes is a solid favorite to bet on, however he is facing Igor who has been on a roll lately. I just don’t see Igor being able to win this fight on the feet without being taken down. Lance Benoist is a very slight under dog. He is facing Sean Pierson who I put a possible bet on. Sean is an okay fighter, I can just see Benoist getting the submission as he seems more willing to finish the fight than Pierson is. If you put anything higher than $15, like $50, then look for a very good possibility of getting $392 out of it.

That’s all I have folks! Hopefully you have gained some more insight from this post. Again, this is for fantasy and LEGAL betting purposes only. Also, this is just a good way to gain more insight on picks that you have regardless if you have money on them on or not. Thanks for reading, you can discuss this article here