As Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum draws near, the betting lines have been drawn with both of the quarterfinal match-ups in the Heavyweight Grand Prix leaning towards heavy favorites.
Despite a previous loss to his opponent, Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem is currently a huge -345 favorite over opponent Fabricio Werdum.
According to MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas of BetOnFighting.com, the odds actually opened at a much closer line, but fans and betters have driven the line to the immense level they are at just 24 hours before fight time.
“On January 6th 2011, I opened this line Overeem -245,” said Kalikas. “Public action has since driven this line up. In my personal opinion I feel like the current line is too high. No question Overeem should be favored heading in to this fight. If he keeps it standing he’ll dominate and likely end up with highlight reel KO.
“How ever I tend to disagree with the general public. From a betters perspective I like the current odds (for) Werdum. If he manages to get this fight to the ground he’s more than capable of pulling off the upset.”
Much the same thing has happened with the other quarterfinal match-up between Josh Barnett who is a huge betting favorite at -325 over Brett Rogers.
“I originally opened Barnett at -280 over Rogers. Josh Barnett has the most complete skill set of any fighter left in the Heavyweight GP, and holds several advantages over Brett Rogers heading in to this fight. The betting public tends to agree, that’s why we’ve seen the odds on Barnett gradually increase as we get closer to fight day,” Kalikas stated.
“With that being said I don’t think we should be overlooking Brett Rogers. We’ve seen what he’s capable of in the past and posses some serious KO power. I think the odds are currently in a good spot and should generate two-way action at the sportsbooks.”
The other odds for the fights taking place on Saturday night have remained fairly steady and even according to Kalikas except for one very interesting bout in the lightweight division.
American Kickboxing Academy fighter Justin Wilcox is facing Gesias ‘JZ’ Cavalcante, who just a few short years ago appeared on the verge of taking over the No.1 spot in the lightweight division. Injuries sidelined Cavalcante and he’s suffered a couple of losses, and while he is still the favorite in the fight, it appears the money is coming in on the underdog Wilcox.
“This fight I opened JZ -205 over Wilcox. I think JZ has the better overall skill set and should have some extra motivation coming in off the highly controversial decision loss to Josh Thomson. Justin Wilcox has really earned everyone’s respect in his last few performances, against solid competition. Wilcox continues to improve and looks better with each fight,” Kalikas added.
“From a betting perspective it was a difficult line for me to set. The betting public immediately came in on Wilcox when the odds were released, and we’ve seen the line drop significantly across the board at the sportsbooks. I think everyone is underestimating Cavalcante skill set in this fight and might be counting him out to soon.”
BETTING ODDS FOR STRIKEFORCE: OVEREEM VS. WERDUM
ACCORDING TO NICK KALIKAS – BETONFIGHTING.COM
Alistair Overeem -345
Fabricio Werdum +275
Josh Barnett -325
Brett Rogers +265
Daniel Cormier -500
Jeff Monson +350
Chad Griggs -140
Valentijn Overeem +110
K.J. Noons -160
Jorge Masvidal +130
Justin Wilcox +110
Gesias ‘JZ’ Cavalcante -140
Conor Heun +120
Magno Almeida -150
Nah Shon Burrell +255
Joe Ray -315
Todd Moore +245
Mike Bronzoulis -305
Brian Melncon -125
Isaac Vallie-Flag -105