UFC 187 Prelims Betting Tips & Predictions

John Dodson vs Zach Makovsky
I’m a bit surprised the odds have gone so high on this one. I think very highly of Dodson, but Makovsky can make this fight competitive. Makovsky has trouble when he’s the smaller guy and can be bullied. We saw this Leone and Dantas, both fights in where the grappling cost him. Here, Dodson will obviously be looking to stand. Makovsky has shown a lot of improvements in his standup, most noticeably with his movement and kicking game. Call me crazy, but I think he can keep this fairly competitive standing if using kicks from the outside and saying outside of Dodson’s range. If he also mixes in single leg attempts, it will keep Dodson guessing. Unfortunately for us, it will likely be a boring fight if Makovsky does keep this competitive. For me, this is a fight where it’s either dog or pass, but some props may be interesting. I’d keep an eye open for the +3.5 as I think Makovsky is fairly likely to snag a round here at worst if it goes to decision.

Dong Hyun Kim vs. Josh Burkman
This is one of those fights that is incredibly hard to try to bet. A lot depends on how DHK will come out. Will he come out wild or will we see the grinding style? If he comes out wild, Burkman has a fairly good chance. If DHK fights smart, I have Burkman in for a long rough night. Furthermore, it’s hard to predict if this ends or not as it depends on the style employed. I’m going to go ahead and call this one a pass, but with a gun to my head, I’d play the Inside the Distance line. Burkman’s best chances are inside the distance and DHK could also get it done inside the distance.

Rafael Natal vs. Uriah Hall
Is Hall a flake? Yes, that can be argued. Regardless, I think Hall can still win this fight if he fights like a flake. Natal just doesn’t have the speed to really be competitive here. Natal likes to stay on the outside at times and then grapple when he feels uncomfortable standing. The problem is that he’s going to have trouble fighting Uriah on the outside and he’s too slow to close the distance without getting hurt. I feel this is an awful matchup for Natal, and Hall is a safe play here.

Nina Ansaroff vs. Rose Namajunas
I’ve said this before with a lot of women fights, but I don’t think there are many female fighters who deserve to be heavy favorites right now. This fight is no exception. With Rose’s wild style, who knows how she’ll look if she can’t impose her will and end the fight. Ansaroff also isn’t a scrub, so I’m not really sure why Rose is so favored. Ansaroff is competent on the ground and competent standing. I personally cap Rose in the -200s at best, so Ansaroff at +245 is worth a small play.

Colby Covington vs. Mike Pyle
Dog or pass here. Pyle has showed some pretty bad regression in terms of his chin and defense. Even in victories, he’s been wobbled and has had scary moments. Despite that, he’s going up against mainly a grappler here. In a way, this fight reminds me of Pyle going up against Hathaway. Many thought Hathaway would run right through Pyle, but Pyle’s experience and grappling can present problems. I’m not crazy about a play on Pyle due to the chin and defense issues that I mentioned, but I’d play him before laying juice on Covington.

Islam Makhachev vs. Leo Kuntz
There isn’t much for me to say on this one. Makhachev is touted to be a legit prospect, but it’s always hard to tell until they step in the octagon. With all of the hype that I’ve heard and what I’ve seen, I did like his line below -300. I’m guessing he’s been added to parlays by many, and the odds are now out of the question. I look for a victory from Makhachev here, but too many unknowns to recommend a play.

Josh Sampo vs. Justin Scoggins
It’s hard to see clear advantages for Sampo here. One could say wrestling, but I’m not so sure. Scoggins is much better striking, has the better overall ground game, and he’s so much faster. Scoggins looks to have very legit skills, but he’s made some major blunders in fights. Honestly, until those blunders, he’s looked great. This may sound crazy, but I don’t think his steep line is out of whack. Sampo doesn’t have any advantages here and he’s not known for finishing.