On Saturday, the UFC will return to its Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC on ESPN 11: Blaydes vs Volkov. As we approach fight night, the main card has come into focus as it should provide fans with plenty of octagon action.
Additionally, this UFC event will also provide sports bettors with plenty of MMA betting action. In addition to my complete betting preview for this show, here are five last minute wagers that offer value and could potentially make you some money.
Lauren Murphy Wins via Decision (+150)
Lauren Murphy (12-4) is the slight underdog against Roxanne Modafferi (24-16), but is a real threat to win this fight as many pundits are picking her to pull off the small upset.
She’s currently ranked 7th in the division, while Modafferi is ranked 6th. Furthermore, they both have similar fighting styles, which means executing fundamentals like proper positioning will determine the winner of this contest.
I believe this bout will go the distance because these two women have seen the scorecards in 35 of their combined 56 career fights. Additionally, they’ve combined to go to a decision in eight of their last nine bouts.
Modafferi has 27 decision outcomes in 40 pro fights including four in a row. Murphy has eight decision outcomes in her 16 pro fights including four of her last five bouts. In fact, six of her eight UFC bouts have gone the distance.
Online betting sites heavily favor this bout going over 2.5 rounds (-295) in a scheduled three round fight. Furthermore, this bout is also heavily favored to go the distance with odds of -265.
Now that we’ve established that this fight should go the full three rounds, we can choose which fighter will win via decision: Modaferri (+145) or Murphy (+150).
Either option offers betting value, but I am going with Murphy to win this contest. I think she’s looked better in recent fights and should edge out Modafferi in the positional battle and close quarters striking.
Oskar Piechota Wins Inside the Distance (+160)
Oskar Piechota takes on Marc-Andre Barriault in a middleweight fight that’s close on paper and with the UFC betting sites. There’s an additional layer of intensity for this fight as both men are on three fight losing streaks and could get their walking papers with a loss on Saturday.
Piechota is the slight favorite as he’s listed in a range of -110 to -125 while Barriault is listed with odds ranging from -103 to -115.
There’s good evidence that this fight won’t go the full three rounds. The Over/Under is set at 2.5 rounds with the Under favored at -130 odds. Additionally, the fight finishing inside the distance is a sizable favorite with -170 odds.
Although Barriault has a good number of fights go the distance (seven of 15), Piechota has only gone the distance in two of 14 fights. So, that’s a combined nine bouts going to decision in 29 total fights.
As for the winner, I like Piechota for a few reasons. Barriault has a suspect takedown defense and inferior grappling skills. He can strike with anyone, but not grapple. Piechota has the firepower in the striking department along with a respectable ground game.
I expect Piechota to get Barriault down to the mat where he will eventually force Barriault to tap out. Five of his 11 wins have come via submission. There’s also a chance that Piechota could score a ground and pound TKO if he gets Barriault down in a favorable position with top control.
Either way, I like Piechota to win this fight and I believe he will do it inside the distance.
Brianna Van Buren Wins via Decision (-160)
Brianna Van Buren’s odds have actually increased from -190 to as high as -230. Most sites have her at -225. Tecia Torres is a +185 underdog with most online sportsbooks.
With that said, Van Buren is favored by most pundits and fans as well. She has solid striking skills and does a good job mixing that up with her takedowns.
Despite being a large underdog, Torres is a durable fighter who can take a punch. She’s never been stopped in her career and I don’t see that happening on Saturday. And, neither do the sports betting websites.
The Over/Under is set at 2.5 rounds with the Over a massive favorite at -460 odds. The odds are almost as big for the fight to go the distance as it’s listed at -425.
For Torres, 14 of her 15 pro fights have gone the distance. Van Buren has seen six of her 11 pro fights go the full three rounds including her UFC debut which came 11 months ago.
With Van Buren such a large betting favorite, and this fight destined to go the distance, wagering on “The Bull” to win this fight via decision sounds like a smart play to me.
Belal Muhammad Wins via Decision (+130)
Belal Muhammad is taking on Lyman Good in a welterweight clash that should be highly entertaining. Muhammad is the favorite with odds ranging from -120 to -140. Good is the underdog with odds ranging from -105 to +110.
The Over/Under is set at 2.5 rounds with the Over being the favorite at -175 odds. Additionally, the fight going the distance is also favored at -160.
For Lyman Good, 11 of his 26 pro fights have gone the distance. For Muhammad, 13 of his 19 pro fights have gone to a decision including six of his last seven contests. Seven of his 10 UFC fights have also gone to a decision.
In addition to those numbers, another reason why I like this fight to go the distance is that Muhammad is going to have to get this fight to the mat and control Good from there. I think that Good has the advantage in the standup department, which is evident by his 11 TKO/KO wins.
Muhammad should be able to takedown Good and dictate this fight. I expect him to grind out the clock in each round and take the decision win.
Raquel Pennington Wins via Decision (-105)
Raquel Pennington is the betting favorite for this Top 10 women’s bantamweight bout as she’s listed with odds ranging from -160 to -190. Marion Reneau is listed with odds ranging from +125 to +160.
Pennington is the 6th ranked bantamweight and is looking to get back into the win column after losing her last fight to Holly Holm in January. The 10th ranked Reneau is looking to stop a two fight losing skid. So, both have extra motivation for to win this bout.
The Over/Under is set at 2.5 rounds with the Over a large favorite at -320 odds. The fight going to a decision is also a big favorite at -285 odds.
12 of Pennington’s 18 pro fights have gone to a decision. Seven of Reneau’s 15 pro fights have gone to a decision as well. And, Reneau has never been stopped before.
I don’t see Reneau stopping Pennington in this fight because Raquel is the better striker between the two. Additionally, she’s 11 years younger than Reneau who is the oldest female fighter in the UFC.
I see Pennington pushing a high pace for all three rounds, outworking Reneau, and comfortably winning via unanimous decision.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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