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UFC 69 betting tips and advice from Desert Dog

ufc 69 smart bets
Long time no see ... Desert Dog here back to offer some betting tips for tomorrow's pay-per-view (PPV) action.

The fights just keep on coming. And today, I'm going to whip out a new option for those of you who like to bet on these fights:

The parlay bet.

It's often viewed by professional bettors as a poor bet because obviously the odds of making multiple correct bets is low. However, with fight cards like this in which you have more than one lopsided bout, bets on multiple fights can be strung together into a single bet (parlay) reducing your overall exposure.

Another option is to use one very lopsided bout (i.e. St. Pierre vs. Serra) and combine it with other bets you were already planning to make. Even with the ridiculously high odds of -1000, adding this to a two-fight parlay bet will improve the odds on the closer bout.

Here are the smart bets for UFC 69:
Diego Sanchez -240 / GSP -1000 = Parlay odds (-179): 1.79 point to win 1
Mike Swick -150 / GSP -1000 = Parlay odds (-106): 1.06 points to win 1
GSP -1000 / Huerta -650 / Herring -280 = Parlay odds (-138): 1.38 to win 1
Pete Sell +220: 1 points to win 2.2

Before I hit the individual match ups I want to say that I really like the three-bet parlay here at -138. And personally, I'm doubling my normal bet size for this one. There could be a lot of movement on these odds so choose wisely.

As always, if you are going to bet only play with what you are willing to lose.

George St Pierre (-1000) vs. Matt Serra (+700)
These betting odds are just plain ugly.

That's because George "Rush" St. Pierre has beaten a slew of top fighters in the 170-pound division en route to the belt ... and he only appears to be improving. His game is extremely well-rounded and topped off with exceptional conditioning. So, how does someone beat George? He has to make a mistake and his opponent has to capitalize immediately.

Matt Serra is a world class Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and consummate professional. He has shown the ability to capitalize on weaknesses and has hung with some of the top fighters in the world. That is what he will likely do with St Pierre -- hang in there. Matt's a smart and expereinced fighter -- he knows where his strengths lie and will look to keep the fight close and preferably on the ground. That's a tall order and even if he gets it, George is solid in any position.

The pick here is obviously St. Pierre, but the odds are too high for a straight bet. It is, however, a great pick to use in a parlay. It sounds like some strange late night product pitch -- take any pick and add a dash of GSP parlay to improve your odds by 25 percent.

The one low-cost option for a straight bet on this fight is to take the +100 odds that this will go past 2 ½ rounds.

Diego Sanchez (-240) vs Josh Koschek (+180)
Looking back to their original split-decision fight during The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 1, it was obvious what both of their strengths were and what areas needed work. Diego has always had a sound ground game with decent wrestling skills -- his stand up was still under construction during the reality series. Diego's biggest weakness in the fight was his ability to defend against the takedowns of a great wrestler. However, when the fight did go to the ground Koscheck was unable to capitalize on his big takedowns, nor did he show the ability to be a finisher in that fight.

Since their last meeting both have improved significantly. Sanchez has become a complete fighter, continues to train with Greg Jackson's camp, and is ranked by many as the number three welterweight in the UFC.

Koscheck -- who trains at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) -- has been on a tear of his own, winning all four of his 2006 fights. His greatest strength continues to be his wrestling, but he has added a greater ability to finish on the ground with both submissions and good ole' "ground 'n pound." He's also showed some changes in his standup game, throwing huge (Liddell style) overhands and hooks. Koscheck has yet to finish and opponent with them, however, and his technique still looks open and a bit wild. But, if he can land one he could easily walk away with the upset.

I'm betting on Sanchez to finish this in the second round with a knee followed by a G'nP technical knockout. My play is to Parlay GSP (-1000) with Diego Sanchez (-240) -- the odds for the parlay bet are (-179). This is a great way to improve the odds on Sanchez.

Mike Swick (-130) vs Yushin Okami (+100)
These two undefeated fighters in the UFC are a bit of a mirror image: tall lean fighters who like to stand up using a Muay-Thai/Tae-Kwon-Do style.

Mike "Quick" Swick trains at AKA with the likes of Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch. His two most resent wins over Joe Riggs and David Loiseau have put him in line for a title shot . However, he's going to have to get through Okami first. Mike's finished most of his fights "quick" with six of his wins coming in the first round via three technical knockouts and three submissions.

Yushin Okami has a solid record but has yet to face stiff competition in the UFC. His three wins here were over Kalib Starnes, Rory Singer and Alan Belcher -- not exactly an all-star line up. He does have a win over Anderson Silva in 2006, but it was only because he got knocked out with an illegal kick from the ground (Silva believed it was legal).

Watching Okami fight, he shows a lot of the same attributes you see in Swick -- fast and accurate standup, as well as great angles, but he's missing the submission skills. Okami often shoots on other stand up fighters trying work the ground 'n pound. If he tries this with Swick, he might take a nap with a large knee imprint on his head or find out how good Mike's submission game is. On the feet this should be a high speed fight with a lot of great exchanges.

In the end, Mike has the momentum and overall skill and should win this fight. My quick pick is Swick by second round technical knockout (knee to the head). A two-fight parlay with GSP will give you odds of -106.

Kendall Grove (-160) vs. Alan Belcher (+130)
"Da Spyder" continues to train with Team Punishment and is of course proud of being the TUF 3 winner. However, Grove believes it is just the beginning of a long road of improvement. His coaches and training partners continue to say he's a sponge and in the ring he has continued to show what he has learned. Look for Kendall to show an improved standup game, which will translate into better control of where the fight goes.

"The Talent" is looking at this fight as a chance to take back what was denied him when he wasn't cast in TUF 3. Alan's strength is his standup game and he's looking to get inside Grove's long reach to control this fight with inside striking, pushing to a ground and pound finish.

This should be a very interesting fight and it will be Grove's biggest test yet. I see Kendall controlling the standup with his reach on the outside and knees on the inside. When the fight turns to the ground Kendall will have to be very active from his back to swing the decision in his favor. Close but I give Kendall the edge and a win by decision. No bet for me on this one.

Roger Huerta (-650) vs. Leonard Garcia (+450)
Roger Huerta made his UFC debut with a unanimous decision win over Jason Dent at UFC 63. I was in Anaheim for this fight and was very impressed with his tenacity and definitely took notice of him. His first fight in the public eye was a 19-second technical knockout victory over John Halverson last month at UFC 67.

Leonard Garcia -- a UFC newbie -- won his last eight fights primarily in the Ring of Fire organization. Seven of his nine victories have come via submission. Garcia's fought just twice in the past three years, however. He was originally slated to face Spencer Fisher at UFC 60, but had to pull out because of an injury. Leonard definitely hasn't shown anything recently to suggest he's ready for a fight at this level.

Look for Huerta to knock the ring rust off of Garcia. This one is on my parlay list as well.
Heath Herring (-280) vs. Brad Imes (+220)
Heath Herring -- a PRIDE FC and K-1 veteran -- was picked up when the UFC acquired the World Fighting Alliance (WFA) back in December. He lost his UFC debut to Jake O'Brien after three rounds of takedowns and ground control. Herring was visibly upset by his performance. He's hoping to unleash his powerful stand up game in this fight.

Brad Imes has yet to pull off a victory in the UFC, has been out for nearly a year, and oddly enough is in for his hardest fight yet. I'll be honest -- I have nothing good to say about Brad other than he's big. Brad's style is slow, lumbering and wide open. Imes is completely outclassed in this fight.

Herring by technical knockout and add this to my parlay bets.
Thales Leites (-280) vs. Pete "Drago" Sell (+220)
Thales walked into the UFC unbeaten and met the pasty Dane, Martin Kampman ... he walked out with his first loss. Thales showed good hands standing and great takedowns. But, Kampmann's takedown defense was even better, allowing him to take over on the stand up.

The odds makers see this fight going differently.

Pete Sell -- who trains with Matt Serra -- has only lost by way of knockout (except the Lutter lay and pray). Most of Pete's wins have gone to the judges and the rest have been submissions. The man loves to bang and showed it in the amazing battle with Scott Smith.

So where will this fight go?

Thales will start this bout just like the Kampman fight -- looking to take it to the ground where he feels dominant. But, don't forget Sell's favorite move -- the guillotine. Pete has enough Brazilian jiu-jitsu skill to possibly stalemate Thales on the ground. And, if he takes the bait and moves the fight back to the feet it could turn into a real slugfest. I see this fight going either way and think the odds for Leites are really out of line. Hamma' fist Drago ... I'm backing you man. Pete Sell by submission is my lone dog pick for the night.

Marcus Davis (-340) vs. Pete Spratt (+270)
Marcus was very busy last year, taking seven fights and winning them all. His last loss was to Melvin Guillard (2005) because of a cut. Prior to taking on MMA, Davis was a pro boxer with a great record. Let's just say he has a solid standup game. Surprisingly, most of his MMA wins have come by way of submission. Training with the Miletich camp and studying many styles of fighting has made him a well rounded and aggressive fighter. Always looking to finish, Davis should put on a great show.

Pete Spratt is a great athlete and a well rounded fighter in his own right. He unfortunately fought Carlos Newton, St. Pierre, Chris Lytle and Koscheck in the last five years. And those losses seem to have really affected the mental side of his game. His desire to fight has waxed and waned. Last year, it looked like more of the same after TUF 4. A win over Jeremy Jackson gave him a boost of confidence, but he still doesn't trust his ground game.

This one is definitely a bigger bite than Spratt can handle right now. Davis pounds out a technical knockout on the ground, but I'm leaving these odds alone -- no bet on this one either.

Luke Cummo (-160) vs. Josh Haynes (+130)
The always weird Luke Cummo has dropped three of his last four pro bouts. Most of his fights have gone to decision as this scrapper always does enough to stay alive in any fight. What he's missing is the ability to finish. He's trained With Serra Jiu-Jitsu and believes he's made the necessary adjustments to move back into the ranks of contenders.Lets just get past this one first, Lukey.

Josh "The really big smurf" Haynes has lost four of his last five fights. He's got one finishing move -- the guillotine -- accounting for six of his seven wins. If he can't wrap that around an opponent's neck he's likely to stick out a gutsy performance ... for a loss.

Cummo wins -- God please anything but another decision. No bet for me on this one.

That's another wrap. Don't forget to use to place bets -- it's one of the few online sportsbooks that accepts parlay bets. Let me know if you have any questions about this new method in the comment section and I'll do my best to answer them as soon as possible.