When MMA Oddsmaker Nick Kalikas releases his opening lines at 5Dimes Sportsbook we’re often left with the question, should we place a bet now or later? After the public gets in on the action, line movement is undoubtedly going to happen. This is especially true with upcoming UFC main event participants where the lines are released well in advance. In regular article featured on MMAOddsBreaker.com I give my take on some of the current lines and whether you should buy (play it now) or sell (take a pass)? As always these lines are based off 5Dimes Sportsbook. Gilbert Melendez (-175) vs. Eddie Alvarez (+155) – UFC 188 Play: Fight Goes to Decision prop (-190) BUY Melendez currently is available at -175 (bet $175 win $100) while Alvarez opens as the underdog at +155. Both fighters are coming off losses with the former Strikefore champion losing to Anthony Pettis at UFC 181 in December, while Alvarez lost a decision to Donald Cerrone at UFC 178 in September. This should be a close encounter and while Alvarez is tempting at the plus money, his lack of cage time (competing twice since 2013) is worrisome. However the Fight Goes to a Decision prop is at a nice -190 and should play out more often then not. Melendez was submitted in his loss to Pettis but that was just the first time he had been finished in his 26-fight career. Alvarez meanwhile has only been finished three times in 29 career fights. If you have trouble picking a side, take the safe route and go with the decision prop instead.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (-650) vs. Jessica Penne (+475) – UFC Fight Night 69 (June 20th) Play: Jedrzejczyk wins inside the distance (-130) BUY If you’re like most and see the UFC strawweight champion coming out on top on June 20th, playing the -650 may seem a bit steep. Instead I’d recommend going with the Jedrzejczyk wins inside the distance prop which is only -130. Sure Penne has only been finished once in her 14-fight career – a 2013 submission loss to Michelle Waterson at Invicta FC 5 – but she hasn’t faced a high level striker like Jedrzejczyk before. While the 27-year old champion only has four of her nine career wins by finish, this championship bout is five rounds, so I see a finish happening before it hits the judges scorecards. Take advantage of this prop before the line goes up. Lyoto Machida (-165) vs. Yoel Romero (+145) – UFC Fight Night 70 (June 27th) Play: Yoel Romero (+145) BUY Looking towards the end of the month, we have an intriguing matchup in the middleweight division between Machida and Romero at UFC Fight Night 70. While the former UFC light heavyweight champion is the favourite, I see value on the underdog Romero at the current line of +145. Machida looked completely outclassed in his second round submission loss to Luke Rockhold back in April and it’s possible “The Dragon” has seen his best days behind him. The other issue here is the turnaround, Machida took some punishment against the former Strikeforce champion in his last bout and you wonder if he’s jumping back in the cage too quickly. There are concerns with Romero as well, he just turned 38 in April and hasn’t competed since September due to injuries. However Romero does have exceptional wrestling and knockout power as we saw in his last victory over Tim Kennedy. With the potential for this line going down closer to fight time, I’d recommend taking advantage on the Romero line now.