Full disclosure: All of the picks I’ve made I bet on before posting.
My method is a little different from what you might expect. I am not trying to pick winners, I am trying to find positive expectation. My experience is that positive expectation is way easier to find in underdogs than in favorites. I’m only going to comment on the fights that I believe to have positive expectation. I spend a couple of hours researching each of my picks including watching the last few fights of each fighter, so I really can’t give all of my reasons for my picks, instead, they’re distilled into broad strokes.. Odds posted are in decimal format. If you happen to see different odds posted, let me know in the comments and I’ll discuss how that changes things.
Tyron Woodley 2.72 Vs. Robbie Lawlor 1.45
Pick Tyron Woodley: Robbie Lawlor is a beast, and I feel odd about betting against him. He’s had great luck with decisions and he’s shown great heart to beat people I thought were top in the division. That said, so is Tyron Woodley. But most importantly to me, he has played a different game than most fighters. He has sat on the bench since January 2015 waiting for a title shot. This is highly unusual, but it’s really really smart, and it means he’s had a year and a half to train for just this fight. I think that makes this match closer to a coin flip that pays nearly 2-1!
*note, the most recent odds that I saw, after I placed my bet are Woodley 2.28, Lawlor 1.65, I would probably decline to bet these odds.
Rose Namajunas 1.38 Vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz 3.02
Pick: Karoline Kowalkeiwicz: I think Rose may be the future of the division, and she has already faced tougher competition that Kowalkeiwicz has. But I think Kowalkeiwicz’s Muy Thai clinch will turn this into a striking battle that goes the distance on the feet, with Kowalkeiwicz nullifying much of Namajunas’s attacks. She has used this to her advantage in her last couple of decisions, and I think the odds justify this risk.
*note, most recent odds that I saw after I place my bet are NamaJunas 1.45, Kowalkiewicz 2.72, I’d probably still bet, but I’d be less excited about it (so I’d bet less!).
Matt Brown 1.31 Vs Jake Elenberger 3.35
Both of these guys are at a make or break spot in their careers. Matt is 1-3 in his last 4 fights and Jake is 1-5 in his last 6. Matt has fought 3 of the best 7 guys in the division, so, 2 decisions and one submission by Damian Mia are very understandable losses. I think this is the biggest reason for the nice odds layed for Elenberger. But Jake’s really don’t look that bad either, his decision loss to Tarec Saffiedine was his only loss to a non top 5 guy. Getting KO’d by Wonder Boy, is just what you do nowadays.
*note, most recent odds are Brown 1.36, Elenberger 3.1 I’d probably still bet.
All the other fights on the card I declined to bet due to not having sufficient info, or not seeing a profitable bet (Ross Pearson’s odds fit into where I normally look to bet, but I don’t see 2.91 being profitable odds for his fight).