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UFC 96 odds – Rampage will get mean with the Dean

Posted by Jack "The Hammer" Howard on 4/25/2012 10:10:22 AM

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UFC 96 odds

QUINTON JACKSON -300
KEITH JARDINE +240

GABRIEL GONZAGA -200
SHANE CARWIN +160

MATT HAMILL -200
MARK MUNOZ +160

ufc 96 oddsAnyone who enjoys sports betting knows it’s been a wild year for Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (29-7). The fearsome light heavyweight lost his title to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86, then got hit with a reckless driving charge. Yet the rough 2008 may have grounded the brash Jackson and made him a more level-headed fighter.


UFC 96 odds: Rampage will overcome awkward matchup

  • WHO: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs Keith “the Dean of Mean” Jardine
  • WHAT: UFC 96 betting
  • WHEN: Saturday, March 7 at 10:00 p.m. ET
  • WHERE: Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH
  • PICK: Jackson

Jackson vs Jardine odds

Rampage better be careful. Not only could he piss off Keith Jardine (14-5-1) by thinking of him as a mere “tune-up,” but Jardine is also a difficult matchup for him. Jardine is quite the enigma for MMA betting fans. While he’s experienced, having faced many of the top light heavyweights in the world, he’s an inconsistent fighter and a risky sportsbook pick more often than not. Beat Forrest Griffin, then got brutalized by Houston Alexander in 48 seconds. Beat Chuck Liddell, then got smashed to a pulp by Wanderlei Silva. Which is the real Keith Jardine?

Pay attention, Rampage and UFC betting fans. The answer is “both.” Keith Jardine is consistently horrible against aggressive fighters who walk forward, like Silva and Alexander, and he’s consistently strong against counterpunchers – a group that includes Griffin, Liddell and – gulp – Rampage Jackson. Those who bet on UFC therefore can’t write Jardine off in the Jackson vs Jardine odds.

With his solid striking ability based heavily on kicks, Jardine succeeds against opponents who like to wait for mistakes, as he seizes the opportunity to be the aggressor. Still, while Rampage looks like a good match for Jardine on paper, the Dean of Mean will get more than he bargained for in the UFC 96 odds.

Firstly, Jardine seriously lacks knockout power, especially for a “striker.” Only six of his 14 wins have come via knockout and, while he has two submission victories, he doesn’t stand a chance of hurting an excellent wrestler like Rampage on the ground. While Rampage isn’t absolutely impossible to knock out, he has one of the stronger chins in the light heavyweight division. Online betting fans shouldn’t expect Jardine to KO Jackson.

Secondly, Jardine’s big wins against Griffin and Liddell came when both fighters were ripe for the picking. Griffin’s ground game was seriously underdeveloped at UFC 66 and Jardine caught Liddell on the downside of his Hall-of-Fame career. Rampage is more like Liddell in his prime – a strong counterpuncher with good takedown defense – but probably a better wrestler.

Lastly, despite his intimidating theatrics, Rampage is a smart fighter. Don’t be surprised, MMA betting fans, if he alters his strategy against Jardine. Rampage is a powerful striker knows it; he saw what pit bulls like Silva and Alexander did to Jardine, so why not copy that plan?

While Jardine won’t be an easy test by any means, online betting fans should acknowledge Rampage for the world-class fighter he is. He’ll come prepared, so bet on Rampage to beat Keith Jardine. I doubt this one goes the distance.

Other UFC 96 Lines

Gabriel Gonzaga (10-3) vs Shane Carwin (10-0): Great underdog opportunity here. Gonzaga’s name value makes him the offshore sportsbook favorite, but how much longer can he ride that one famous kick against Mirko Cro Cop? He hasn’t impressed since then. Bet on the mean, undefeated Carwin to continue his rise up the heavyweight ladder.

Matt Hamill (7-2) vs Mark Munoz (5-0): Hamill usually alternates wins and losses but he may start a streak against the unknown Munoz. We’ve seen no-name fighters surprise recently but Munoz hasn’t fought anyone noteworthy. Pick Hamill.

Gray Maynard (7-0-1) vs Jim Miller (13-1): Maynard is determined to move up in the crowded lightweight division but hasn’t shown the ability to finish fights. Give him another chance to prove himself against the submission specialist Miller. Go with Maynard.

Kendall Grove (11-5) vs Jason Day (17-6): Should be a close one since both middleweights have faced similar competition. I’m staying away from BJ Penn’s team for now. Bet on Day to upset Grove.

Jack “ the Hammer” Howard is new to the MMA handicapping game, but his roots in the sport run deep. He enjoyed a brief amateur career in mixed martial arts and also has some boxing experience under his belt, making him an authority on the subject. Thoughts or questions?


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