UFC on ESPN 1 Betting Tips, Picks and Predictions

Lando Vannata and Montana De La Rosa picked up easy wins last weekend to help us bank a solid 2.7 units of profit on prefight betting. Unfortunately, we lost the majority of these profits in Live Betting by taking a 1 unit gamble on Austin Arnett and then another 1 unit gamble on Anderson Silva at the end of round 2. If you tailed all my bets last weekend, you should have ended up with a small profit or possibly a small loss depending on the method of compounding you are currently using to grow your money.

Last week in the Chat Room I mentioned a few times that I feared UFC 234 may not be that good for Live Betting and my fears turned out to be true.

UFC 234 turned out to be a night of one-sided fights where 10 out of the 11 favorites won. Most of the favorites established dominance early, so there weren’t that many opportunities to live bet.

UFC 234’s lack of Live Betting opportunities was frustrating because I made a really big profit earlier in the night Live Betting on Bellator Newcastle. Throughout the Bellator fights, the bookies were offering up a tremendous amount of value in the Live Betting odds, and this probably would have continued into the Live oddsmaking for UFC 234. It’s a real shame that we didn’t get the right kind of matchups to capitalize on the crazy odds the bookies were offering, but hopefully, we can hit them hard this weekend.

Before we jump into our bets for this upcoming weekend, I’d like to take some time to review our two losing live bets from last weekend.

Austin Arnett started strong, pumping the jab in Shane Young’s face and inflicting a good amount of damage. By the end of the 1st round, Young was busted up quite badly while Arnett was still looking fresh. Unfortunately, Young did something that I have never seen him do before; Towards the end of the 1st round, he threw caution to the wind and got really aggressive. He landed a few big shots on Arnett and did a great job of finishing the round strong. From there it was always going to be difficult for Arnett to win because judges love scoring rounds in favor of the fighter who finishes a round the strongest. Young also had home advantage on his side.

When I recommended a 1 unit Livebet on Austin Arnett at odds of around 3.75 | +275 | 11/4, midway through the 1st round, it was based on Arnett’s scrappiness in his fight against Brandon Davis and also on Young’s inability to go up a gear in the past. I felt that Arnett could turn this into a close fight with the way he was able to land on Young repeatedly and therefore I felt a bet on a fighter at odds of 3.75 | +275 | 11/4 in a fight I felt would probably be close was a good value bet.

Young has also been dealing with a lot of issues outside of the Octagon, so I felt there was a good chance that he might fade as the fight progressed, while we know from past fights that Arnett has excellent cardio.

In hindsight, I should have waited until the end of the 1st round before deciding on this bet. I got greedy and let the generous odds on Arnett influence my decision. I should have waited to see how the 1st round ended, even if it meant we would have had to have locked in a bet on Arnett at worse odds.

Our second losing bet of the night was a 1 unit gamble on Anderson Silva at the end of round 2. This was a bet that I do not regret at all…

I scored the 1st round for Israel Adesanya and the 2nd round for Anderson Silva. Most people agreed with me because the majority of MMA media scored the fight 29-28 Adesanya. This means that they gave Silva round 2, which means that the 3rd round was the deciding round:

Based on the way the judges were influenced by the crowd in the scoring of the Kai Kara-France vs Raulian Paiva fight, I felt that they would give round 2 to Anderson Silva. At one time during the 2nd round, the crowd were chanting his name and every time he came forward they went crazy. Adesanya was backing up for a good percentage of the round and Silva appeared to have him hurt on a couple of occasions.

We bet 1 unit on Anderson Silva at the end of the 2nd round at odds of around 3.50 | +250 | 5/2. If Adesanya would have won round 1 and Silva would have won round 2, the fight would have been decided by who won the 3rd round. At the end of the 2nd round, I felt that momentum was swinging in Silva’s favor and I also felt that Adesanya was losing confidence.

When we locked in our bet on Silva, I felt we were taking a solid 1 unit gamble at odds of 3.50 | +250 | 5/2, which carried an Implied Probability of just 29%. I felt that given the circumstances and the likelihood that both fighters had one round each in the bag, the odds should have been closer to 2.00 | +100 | 1/1 for an implied probability of 50%. In hindsight, I feel this was an excellent bet, and I don’t regret it at all.

This weekend sees the first ever Bellator event broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK which means that a good number of betting sites should offer Live Betting on Saturday night’s Bellator card with a decent level of liquidity.

To celebrate this massive step forward, I will be offering Live Betting Tips to all my Elite Members for this card.

Because this is the first ever event broadcast on Sky Sports, we don’t yet know what liquidity will be like in Live Betting, and we also do not know how many websites will be offering Live Betting on Bellator. For these reasons, I do not feel it is ethical for me to include our profit or loss from Live Betting Bellator this weekend on my betting record. This is because not everyone will have access to the betting sites that will offer Live Betting on Bellator and we also do not yet know if liquidity will be high enough for everyone to tail my live bets.

I hope that you will join me in this experiment on Saturday and I also hope that liquidity is high enough for us all to make some money. These are exciting times. We have been on this journey together for 5 years now, and the future has never looked brighter!

Fight Betting Tip Pick
Cain Velasquez vs Francis Ngannou I would bet Ngannou if his odds improve to 3.00 | +200 | 2/1 Ngannou to win
James Vick vs Paul Felder 3 units on James Vick to win at odds of 1.87 | -115 | 87/100 Vick to win
Cynthia Calvillo vs Cortney Casey No bet Calvillo to win
Alex Caceres vs Kron Gracie No bet Caceres to win
Bryan Barberena vs Vicente Luque No bet Luque to win
Andre Fili vs Myles Jury 1 unit on Andre Fili to win at odds of 2.20 | +120 | 6/5 Fili to win
Aljamain Sterling vs Jimmie Rivera No bet Rivera to win
Benito Lopez vs Manny Bermudez No bet Lopez to win
Andrea Lee vs Ashlee Evans-Smith No bet Lee to win
Scott Holtzman vs Nik Lentz Still researching Still researching
Luke Sanders vs Renan Barao No bet Barao to win
Aleksandra Albu vs Emily Whitmire No bet Whitmire to win

James Vick vs Paul Felder Betting Tip and Prediction

It took me a little longer than I’d like to find our first bet for UFC on ESPN 1, but after 3 days of research, I’ve found a solid bet that I’m delighted with.

James Vick’s odds have declined significantly in the last few days, but there’s still great value on him at his current odds of around 1.87 | -115 | 87/100, which give him an Implied Probability of just 53%. Just be sure to shop around on websites like Best Fight Odds and Odds Checker, because his odds currently range from 1.80 | -125 | 4/5 right upto 2.00 | +100 | 1/1 on some websites.

James Vick has made massive improvements over the last few years. He now does a great job of using his significant reach to counterstrike his opponents using a wide range of strikes effectively. He’s also very dangerous on the ground, and he has excellent cardio and fight IQ.

Paul Felder possesses very technical Muay Thai, but his strength is in his kicks and Vick’s footwork is going to make it very difficult for Felder to get his kicking game going. Felder’s Boxing isn’t bad, but he struggles to close the distance, and he isn’t that effective in Boxing range. Vick has a massive 6-inch reach advantage over Felder and Felder doesn’t have the kind of fighting style where he can get inside and land power shots.

Vick has been KO’d a few times over the last few years, but I don’t think that Felder’s style of striking will pose that much of a threat to him. Most of Felder’s fight-ending power strikes tend to be knees, kicks and spinning attacks. Vick’s significant size and reach advantage will make it very difficult for Felder to land these kinds of techniques with the level of impact that it would take to put Vick away. This is because Vick’s ability to fight long will give him more time to see these strikes coming and evade them. It will also be harder for Felder to land these shots with significant impact because he’ll have to cover a lot of ground before he can get into a position to land with fight-ending power. Vick uses excellent footwork to make it difficult for his opponents to get into a range where they can hurt him with power shots, and I don’t feel that Felder has the speed or technique to counteract Vick’s superb footwork and movement.

In the past, we have seen Felder lose decisions because he has struggled to let his hands go in situations where he can’t find his range against an opponent. This is precisely how I see this matchup playing out. Felder is at his most dangerous when he can get inside and work his knees and elbows, but Vick will not play this game. I don’t believe Felder will be able to get close enough to Vick to hurt him with his most dangerous strikes and for that reason, I think we’ll see Felder following Vick around the Octagon while getting picked apart.

This is a good stylistic matchup for Vick because Felder’s shots often fall short against opponents who are a similar size to him. I strongly feel like Vick’s reach advantage and his ability to fight long are going to cause Felder big problems in this fight. Aside from a flash KO or some bad judging, I think Vick is going to win this fight easily.

Reasons for betting on James Vick

  • James Vick has a 6 inch reach advantage over Paul Felder.
  • James Vick does a great job of using his length to fight long.
  • James Vick has excellent footwork and movement.
  • Paul Felder’s striking technique is all based around his kicks. Vicks footwork and movement will make it difficult for Felder to get his kicking game going.
  • A lot of Felder’s strikes fall short. He struggles to get inside on his opponents.
  • Felder’s most dangerous strikes are his elbows, knees and spinning attacks. Vick’s long fighting style will make it difficult for Felder to get into a range where he can use these techniques.
  • James Vick has excellent cardio. He can fight at a high pace for 15 minutes.
  • James Vick has great fight IQ.
  • Paul Felder often goes into a defensive shell when he cannot find his range. I believe he will struggle to find his range against James Vick.
  • Paul Felder struggles to let his hands go when his opponent will not stand in front of him and exchange.
  • James Vick appears to be making big improvements from fight to fight.
  • James Vick can land strikes on Felder from positions where Felder cannot counter unless he puts himself in extreme danger.

Risk Factors with betting on James Vick

  • James Vick is coming back after a brutal KO loss 8 months ago against Justin Gaethje. This kind of KO could have a long term effect on his health, confidence and mentality.
  • Vick can be caught cold if you can trap him against the cage.
  • Felder is very dangerous if you allow him to get inside.
  • Felder has a big advantage in the clinch position.

My Betting Tip

James Vick to win

Recommended Stake

3 Units

[3% of your bankroll]


Decimal = 1.87
Moneyline = -115
Fractional = 87/100


Implied Probability

The bookies believe that James Vick has a 53% chance of beating Paul Felder based on their current odds.


Our Probability

I believe that James Vick has a 70% chance of beating Paul Felder based on my extensive research and analysis.

Andre Fili vs Myles Jury Betting Tip and Prediction

This is another one of those fights where I believe the odds are the wrong way around. Andre Fili is slightly better than Myles Jury everywhere, with a couple of huge advantages in some aspects of MMA. There’s no way that Jury should be the favorite in this matchup because he has no clear path to victory. For Jury to win this fight, he needs to count on Fili underperforming or gassing out.

Myles Jury is branded as a high-level grappler, but after watching his past fights this week, I believe Fili is the more skilled grappler. It’s possible that Jury’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is slightly more technical, but Fili’s wrestling is in a different league. Jury is also one of those guys with a base in BJJ who has really poor offensive wrestling, so Fili should be able to dictate where this fight takes place. Fili’s offensive wrestling is excellent, especially for a guy with such a long body type, but I guess it’s no surprise since he’s been training at Team Alpha Male for such a long time.

Jury’s takedown defense isn’t very good, and Fili does a great job of stealing rounds with an excellent reactive double-leg takedown that often seems him land right into the half guard position. This is a very dominant position that makes it difficult for his opponents to scramble back to their feet quickly. It also makes it difficult for them to reverse position or create a scramble. This is a big path to victory for Fili because I am very confident that he can take Fury down, but I do not believe that Fury will be able to take Fili down.

If this fight stays standing, I give Fili a significant advantage. Fili is just much more technical, much faster and a much more complex puzzle to solve. He’s constantly switching stances and looks comfortable fighting Southpaw or Orthodox. He also does a really good job of fighting long and using footwork to make it difficult for his opponent to close the distance and land anything significant. Jury’s style of striking is much more flat footed and traditional. Fili should be able to quite easily get the better of the striking exchanges in this matchup.

The only issue I have with Andre Fili is that he does tend to slow down as the fight progresses. He has the skills to dominate this matchup wherever it takes place, but Jury could steal the 2nd and 3rd rounds if Fili gets tired and makes some positional mistakes. Having said that, even when Fili gets tired he’s still tough to take down and Jury doesn’t pose too much of a threat to him when it comes to striking or takedowns. For this reason, I still think there’s a good chance Fili can win rounds against Jury even if he gets tired. At underdog odds, Fili is a no brainer bet for me because he’s better than Jury everywhere and I don’t see a clear path to victory for Jury.

Reasons for betting on Andre Fili

  • Andre Fili is better than Myles Jury in almost every single aspect of MMA.
  • Andre Fili is a much stronger wrestler than Myles Jury.
  • Andre Fili has excellent takedown defense.
  • Andre Fili has a powerful reactive double leg takedown that he uses to steal rounds. There’s no setup or telegraph and it’s very difficult to stuff.
  • Andre Fili is a significantly better striker than Myles Jury.
  • Andre Fili is a switch stance fighter who is comfortable fighting Southpaw or Orthodox. He also throws a diverse range of strikes from each stance.
  • Andre Fili has excellent submission defense. He’s very difficult to submit.
  • Myles Jury is quite a basic striker. He stands flat footed and he’s quite slow.
  • Andre Fili is very tough. He has a good chin. There’s no quit in him.
  • Andre Fili trains at Team Alpha Male. He grapples against much higher level grapplers than Myles Jury everyday in the gym.
  • There’s nowhere that Jury can take this fight where he will have an advantage.
  • Andre Fili has excellent fight IQ. He understands the importance of winning rounds.

Risk Factors with betting on Andre Fili

  • Andre Fili tends to slow down as the fight progresses.
  • Myles Jury has decent Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He can cause Fili problems if he can get top position or Fili’s back in a scramble.
  • Myles Jury has better cardio than Fili although he doesn’t have a very high output to test the cardio of his opponents.
  • Jury also has good fight IQ. He understands the importance of winning rounds.

My Betting Tip

Andre Fili to win

Recommended Stake

1 Unit

[1% of your bankroll]


Decimal = 2.20
Moneyline = +120
Fractional = 6/5


Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Andre Fili has a 45% chance of beating Myles Jury based on their current odds.


Our Probability

I believe that Andre Fili has a 60% chance of beating Myles Jury based on my extensive research and analysis.

I'm a Professional Gambler from the UK. I specialize in betting on MMA. I've got 1 kid, a Shih Tzu and I've been making money from gambling for around 8 years now.

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