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UFC 97 odds – will Silva underestimate Leites

Posted by Jack "The Hammer" Howard on 4/25/2012 10:11:03 AM

Follow the link for up-to-date UFC 113 betting and coverage.

UFC 97 odds

UFC 97 odds

ANDERSON SILVA -500
THALES LEITES +350
CHUCK LIDDELL -175
MAURICIO RUA +145












Sports betting odds – Silva will roll, Liddell faces end of the line

  • WHO: Anderson Silva vs Thales Leites; Chuck Liddell vs Mauricio Rua
  • WHAT: UFC 97 betting
  • WHEN: Saturday, April 18 at 10:00 p.m. ET
  • WHERE: The Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec
  • PICKS: Silva, Rua

UFC 97 odds are a welcome treat for UFC betting fans that have waited several months for Dana White to dust off the championship belts and put them up for grabs. Anderson “the Spider” Silva, still regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet in most online betting circles, defends his title against fellow Brazilian Thales Leites.

In light heavyweight UFC betting action, Chuck “the Iceman” Liddell looks for redemption against the talented yet enigmatic Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Silva vs Leites odds

Even though the Silva vs Leites line is a title match, there’s no point rambling on about how close it will be. Yes, Anderson Silva (23-4) could hypothetically underestimate Leites (14-1), and he looked oddly tentative against Patrick Cote in his last title defense. But as “close” as the Cote fight was, Silva didn’t even break a sweat. Silva’s evasive ability remains unmatched in the middleweight class and his Muay Thai striking is as deadly as ever.

While his record is impressive, Leites hasn’t faced a ton of top competition for a No. 1 contender. Even his win over Nate Marquardt was gift – a split decision after Marquardt was deducted points. He’s a strong Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter with submission skills, but Anderson Silva is just as skilled on the ground.

JACK’S PICK: Leites is just a placeholder until Demian Maia emerges or Marquardt earns a rematch with Silva. He’s too green to handle an all-time great like Silva and his usual advantage on the ground won’t exist against the Spider. Bet on Anderson Silva to win and possibly become the first man to knock out Leites.

Liddell vs Hua odds

This light heavyweight clash isn’t the main event, but it’s the far more interesting fight to analyze at the sportsbook. The Liddell vs Rua odds feature two similar fighters; they come from different disciplines, but both are outstanding strikers and both have underrated ground games.

Now 39 years old, Chuck Liddell (21-6) has a legacy no one can take away, but he’s nearing the end of his illustrious career. Though his list of opponents is a who’s who of the light heavyweight division, there’s no avoiding the fact that Liddell has lost three of his last four fights. His speed is diminishing and he’s been caught with vicious knockouts – most recently, by Rashad Evans, who rode the massive punch to a title shot and subsequent victory.

At age 27, Mauricio Rua (17-3) is still in his prime, but his state of mind has online betting fans wondering where his career is going. There’s no denying his amazing ability to throw striking combinations together and some experts called him the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world just a few years ago. However, Rua’s conditioning and dedication have been called into question, particularly during his last fight—a win over Mark Coleman at UFC 93 that shouldn’t have been as close as it was. Rua knocked Coleman out but appeared out of shape and labored throughout the bout.

JACK’S PICK: Rua is well aware of the recent criticism heaped upon him and should show up for the UFC 97 odds much more focused and in shape. Liddell will be well-prepared as always, but Rua will be stronger and, more importantly, faster—as long as he trains properly. Give Shogun the benefit of the doubt and bet on Rua to “upset” Chuck Liddell.

Other UFC 97 lines

NATE QUARRY -130
JASON MACDONALD EVEN
CHEICK KONGO -300
ANTONI HARDONK +240
DAVID LOISEAU -140
ED HERMAN +110

Nate Quarry (16-3) vs Jason MacDonald (22-11): Two of Demian Maia’s recent victims go head to head in a battle of ground warriors. Both fighters are tenacious and athletic, with great conditioning, so this should be a war. Bet Quarry here, as he’s shown better poise against elite competition (though both fighters choke more often than not in those situations…no pun intended).

Cheick Congo (23-4-1) vs Antoni Hardonk (8-4): Two giant kickboxers collide in a matchup that shouldn’t spend much time on the ground. Many fight fans soured on Kongo after he wilted against Heath Herring, but he’s looked frightening in his last two wins, both TKOs. Bet on Kongo to overpower Hardonk.

David Loiseau (15-5) vs Ed Herman (16-6): Loiseau, a former No. 1 contender, returns to the UFC betting octagon after at three-year absence. He’s a big middleweight, so bet on Loiseau to outmuscle Herman and land some of his trademark elbows en route to a victory.

For more on UFC betting and UFC 97 odds, bookmark the Betting edge at betonline.com.

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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