Today, we have 16 MLB games, 1 NBA playoff game and UFC Fight Night: Gane vs Volkov. For extensive Saturday betting analysis, be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 10 a.m.-noon ET on The Lombardi Line. We'll be dissecting all the big matchups and updating the top lines moves and sharp action across all the major sports.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for four UFC bouts today.
Before we do, I'd like to share a rudimentary model that has served me well betting on UFC. I had bet on UFC recreationally for years, but really started to fall in love with the sweat during the pandemic when UFC was the only game in town in the early days of quarantine. I focused more closely on the sport and developed a model: Look for a fighter who is younger, taller, has a longer reach and has a line move in their favor. If they can check off at least three of the boxes, or ideally all four, that is a fighter worth taking a look at.
Here are a handful of fights checking off several boxes:
Michel Dos Prazeres vs Shavkat Rakhmonov
This welterweight matchup is located on the Preliminary Card. Rakhmonov (13-0) enters the bout with a perfect undefeated record and also holds several glaring physical advantages over Prazeres (26-3). Rakhmonov is 13 years younger (26 vs. 39), taller (6-1 vs 5-5) and also has a much longer reach (77 inches vs 67.5). Historically, backing younger fighters of five years or more and fading fighters over 35 have been smart strategies. This line opened with Rakhmonov listed as a -250 favorite and Prazeres a + 210 underdog. Sharps aren't outsmarting themselves on this one. They've gotten down hard on Rakhmonov, steaming the undefeated fighter up to -315. The total in this fight is 2.5 rounds with the under juiced to -125.
Jeremiah Wells vs Warlley Alves
This welterweight showdown is also on the Preliminary Card. Alves (15-4) holds a pair of distinct advantages over Wells (8-2-1). First off, Alves is four years younger (30 vs. 34). Alves is also one inch taller (5-9 vs 5-8). However, the other key here is the fact that Wells took this fight on short notice. Historically, fighters who are late additions have been a profitable fade play due to the time crunch of late preparation. Wells is also making his debut in the UFC while Alves is a grizzled veteran. This line opened with Alves listed as a -200 favorite and Wells a + 170 dog. Pros have steamed Alves up to -230. The total in this fight is 1.5 rounds with the over juiced to -140.
Kennedy Nzechukwu vs Danilo Marques
This light heavyweight clash is the final fight on the Preliminary Card. Nzechukwu (8-1) has seen one of the biggest line moves in his favor of any fighter on today's slate. This line opened with Marques (11-2) listed as -130 favorite and Nzechukwu a + 100 dog. Wiseguy money has hammered Nzechukwu, driving him from + 100 to -130. Essentially we are looking at a sharp "dog to favorite" line move. Nzechukwu is six years younger (29 vs. 35) and also has a distinct reach advantage (83 inches versus 77). They often say that styles make fights. Nzechuku is a powerful striker and will want to keep this fight upright. Meanwhile, Marques' strength is grappling and will want to keep this fight on the mat. There seems to be some over money hitting this total. It opened at 1.5 rounds and the over has risen from -165 to -180.
Tanner Boser vs Ovince St. Preux
This heavyweight grudge match is the Co-Main Event on the Main Card. Boser (19-8-1) has significant motivation to get back in the ring and defeat St. Preux (25-15). Boser is looking to avenge a disappointing loss to Ilir Latifi earlier in June. He should be the hungrier fighter. Boser holds a massive youth advantage (29 vs. 38). St. Preux is long in the tooth and is just 3-5 over his last eight bouts. St. Preux is also going up a weight class, which is typically a big disadvantage (Boser weighs 255 pounds and St. Preux weighs 205). Boser opened as a -150 favorite and St. Preux a + 120 dog. Big money has landed on Boser, pushing him up to -175. The total is 2.5 rounds with some liability to the over (-150).
Remember to check the VSiN Betting Splits every day for money and ticket counts so you can tell who the public is betting on.