UFC Vegas 9 At The Apex – Overeem vs Sakai Betting Plays and Predictions

September 3, 2020

This is the second week in a row we get a scheduled fight night card that is both short on star power and quantity of scheduled fights. Last week we avoided the pit falls of the previous week and only had one change to the fight card from the beginning of the week. This week is trending in that same direction, let’s hope our ten scheduled fights go off as planned.

Before diving into this week’s betting slate, let’s take a look at the results from last week. We had just three plays. One rock solid favorite and two value dart throws.

Before diving into this week’s betting slate, let’s take a look at the results from last week. We had just three plays. One rock solid favorite and two value dart throws.

 Win – Impa Kasanganay -135
This was our rock solid favorite that cruised to a dominant decision win over Maki Pitolo. This fight was a runaway, despite Impa not being able to win via finish. It was however a no sweat easy win.

Loss – Robbie Lawler via KO +460
We were able to tear up our betting tickets for this one in the very first round. Lawler did the absolute dumbest thing he could do in this matchup and attempted to grapple with Neil Magny. This low IQ approach lead to him being controlled for the majority of the fight, and losing a runaway decision. Really poor strategic planning for Lawler here.

Loss – Ji Yeon Kim +245
Kim was certainly larger, but Alexa Grasso passed the test of being effective at the new weight class. Kim was not helpless, but was clearly beaten via decision by Grasso in the striking affair we thought we were going to see.

The favorite win and two underdog losses lead to a small loss of a single unit on the night.

Let’s dive into this week, where we have more bets to attack than in previous weeks. We have five plays that include three flat plays and two KO value shots for sound returns.

Alistair Overeem -150 vs Augusto Sakai

Betting Play: Overeem -150

Fight is five rounds at heavyweight and is -285 to end inside the distance.

This is a main event fight that I suppose Sakai has earned with his 4-0 debut in the promotion, but one that I feel is simply not lined wide enough. Sakai has gotten by with his somewhat rounded skill set combined with nice athleticism and size, but the jump in competition in this fight will prove to be too much for him. Sakai lacks an offensive grappling skill set in which he would be able to ground and pound Overeem out, and also lacks one shot power. The above two attributes have been the consistent requirement to beat Overeem, and if Reem were to lose this fight, it could arguably be called the worst loss of his career. Reem has the tighter and more powerful striking. He is also a superior grappler, particularly in top position. I think Reem will tune up Sakai on the feet the longer this fight wears on, as Sakai pressures, but is not at a level where he will be able to avoid the pistons coming back at him. Reem also has even more of an advantage on the floor, where I think he would somewhat easily end the fight from top position. This line simply does not properly reflect the skill sets of these fighters. I also believe the durability concerns of Reem are overstated, as Sakai simply does not have the pop that the killers that have beaten Reem recently have. That list includes ground and pound from Miocic and Blaydes and of course, Ngannou. Take Reem flat here to cover all avenues of victory.

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Alonzo Menifield -135 vs Ovince Saint Preux

Betting Play: Menifield wins in Round 1 +325

Fight is at 205 lbs and is -250 to end inside the distance.

When this fight was first made for the card a couple weeks back, I was giving Saint Preux (OSP) more of a chance than I am now. The reason for the fight being pushed back was OSP returning a positive COVID test, and we have to assume he’s been sitting around waiting for clearance. Menifield’s last fight makes it easy to forget what a killer he has been in the first round to this point in his career, and there is an exploitable line on this fight to attack that. Menifield will be dropping hammers that OSP will need to survive, and I think it’s a coin flip at best that he is able to make it out of that first round. Enter the attractive line of Menifield wins in Round 1 sitting at a way too high +325. If this play loses and the fight gets to Round 2, the fight is dicey and can go either way. The value, however, is just too good to pass up.

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