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Nunes vs Shevchenko at UFC 213 – Winner Pick and Undercard Betting

Valentina Shevchenko(14-2) @ Amanda Nunes(14-4)

  • Where: T-Mobile Arena. Las Vegas, NV
  • When: July 2, 2017 6:30 pm EST
  • Moneyline: Nunes (-110) vs Shevchenko (-120)
  • Over / Under: Over 2 1/2 (-145) vs Under 2 1/2 (+105)

At Mobile Sports Betting we spend a lot of time weighing odds against talent. If there’s an ascertainable 50% chance a fighter will win a match, choosing whether to place a bet on him or her is a mere matter of a + or – sign in the money line column.

But not so at UFC 213, coming up this Saturday in Las Vegas. In a main event for the Women’s Bantamweight Championship, Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko are a virtual “pick ’em” with almost equal money line odds.

Shevchenko, the challenger, is even a slight favorite at Bovada Sportsbook.

Nunes, the champion, beat Shevchenko in the first and only prior meeting between the pair…but appeared to tire in late rounds. Critics are saying Nunes’ match with the Kyrgyzstani kick-boxer at UFC 193 revealed a cardio-vascular Achilles Heel that will allow Shevchenko to out-last and defeat The Lioness this time.

Others point out that the Brazilian has grown into a more dynamic fighter than ever, coming off a TKO victory over Ronda Rousey on the night before New Year’s Eve.

As usual, the UFC 213 undercard has been jockeyed, rearranged and finally stamped into stone as Saturday night’s event approaches. Let’s look at the big title match and two other bouts that offer value to the wise bettor.

Slugfest or not?

Bovada also gives (-125) odds on a prop bet that the fight will not last three rounds, which shows that bookies are expecting an intense battle between two warriors. Curious, since each fighter could be described as scientific in her own way – Nunes with her deadly grappling skills, and Shevchenko with precise counter-punching and kicking.

Many pundits are convinced that the champion will knock herself out in the early rounds, falling prey to Shevchenko’s patient wait-and-attack style.

But if Nunes drives hard for a grappling advantage early in the fight, it will not make the bout an easy win for her opponent. Rather, it will give both Bantamweights an opportunity to win. The Bullet can land shots on an approaching Nunes, but she doesn’t produce the kind of overwhelming punching power to knock out the champ, who does not have a weak chin.

Take the wide view

Wager on Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes to retain the Women’s Bantamweight belt at UFC 213 and get a 50% sign-up bonus from Bovada.

A lot of head-to-head comparisons fail to macro-analyze, a fancy term for taking a broad, general view of two opponents. For instance, two college quarterbacks might have impressive passing statistics. But if one plays in the ACC, and the other in the MAC, all things being equal the major-conference QB is likely to have more power and accuracy in his throws.

Amanda Nunes may not have the best stamina of any MMA champion. But she is a mixed martial-arts specialist and a late bloomer. Since committing to the sport in 2015, Nunes has won five out of five matches and beaten Saturday’s opponent already. Her most recent two fights ended in a 1st round submission and 1st round knockout of Meisha Tate and Ronda Rousey, respectively.

Shevchenko, in contrast, is well-respected in several sports and owns a 14-2 MMA record. But she doesn’t have nearly the primo scalps on her wall as Lioness, and she doesn’t have the advanced grappling to wear down the champ if the bout goes to the ground-and-pound.

None of that means Shevchenko can’t win. It means that that the powerful submission artist holding the belt doesn’t deserve mere pick ’em odds. The money line is a gift – take Nunes to win by carnage or by decision.

Yeol Romero (13-1) vs Robert Whittaker (18-4)

In an interesting clash for the interim Men’s Middleweight title, the aging warrior Romero takes on the skillful precision of Whittaker in a match to determine who will hold the belt for a meeting with a returning Michael Bisping. Odds are another near-pick’em.

Romero is 38 years old, and if there is a “fatigue” narrative women into the main card on Saturday this is actually the match where it is more likely to happen. We are giving Whittaker a 60% or 70% chance to wear down and beat the Soldier of God, which puts betting value on the former.

Chad Laprise (12-2) vs Brian Camozzi (7-3)

Your best shot at an underdog winner this Saturday is Brian Camozzi, a late-developing fighter who has been handed (+400) odds against favored Chad Laprise. Bookies are driven to tank the tall, talented Camozzi after his loss to lanky Randy Brown in a UFC debut. But Laprise is only 5’10”, giving his opponent the reach advantage in what could be a surprising fight.

Camozzi could easily wound Laprise with knees in the clinch, then land a winning combination in a middle round. It’s not a sure thing, but wagering on low payoffs is no fun. Take the 4/1 long shot for a potential big score and bragging rights at the bar.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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