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Latest odds, online betting guide for UFC Fight Night 53 and UFC Fight Night 54

Get a detailed breakdown of the betting lines for UFC Fight Night 53: "Nelson vs. Story" and UFC Fight Night 54: "MacDonald vs. Saffiedine," both of which will take place this Saturday (Oct. 4, 2014) from Stockholm, Sweden, and Halifax, Canada, respectively. Best bets, underdogs, favorites and much more!

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

Two welterweight showdowns, two continents, one day.

It's time for another Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) doubleheader this Saturday (Oct. 4, 2014) when the world's largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion hits Stockholm, Sweden, with UFC Fight Night 54 and Halifax, Canada, with UFC Fight Night 53.

In the former, Icelandic blue-chipper and ADCC veteran Gunnar Nelson will face professional spoiler Rick Story, while Rory MacDonald looks to add a second Strikeforce scalp to his trophy case against Tarec Saffieine in the latter.

All in all, we've got 22 fights lined up this weekend. The question is, how many of them can we turn into opportunities for profit?

Let's find out:

Under Card Odds:


Magnus Cedenblad (-155) vs. Scott Askham (+135)
Nico Musoke (-200) vs. Alexander Yakovlev (+170)
Dennis Siver (-245) vs. Charles Rosa (+185)
Cathal Pendred (-140) vs. Gasan Umalatov (+120)
Tor Troeng (-115) vs. Krzysztof Jotko (-105)
Mairbek Taisumov (-190) vs. Marcin Bandel (+165)
Zubaira Tukhugov (-245) vs. Ernest Chavez (+205)


Daron Cruickshank (-170) vs. Anthony Njokuani (+130)
Olivier Aubin-Mercier (-350) vs. Jake Lindsey (+250)
Jason Saggo (-175) vs. Paul Felder (+135)
Paddy Holohan (-300) vs. Chris Kelades (+220)
Albert Tumenov (-260) vs. Matt Dwyer (+180)
Pedro Munhoz (-385) vs. Jarrod Sanders (+265)

Thoughts: Now that I’m finally back in black thanks primarily to working on narrow favorites, the obvious course of action is to go right back to playing with underdogs.

I like the numbers on Yakovlev, Jotko, and Njokuani.

It’s easy to dismiss Yakovlev based on his drubbing at the hands of Demian Maia. The thing is, as I mentioned in the preview, Maia has a habit of dishing out drubbings to top-control specialists. Yakovlev is a big, powerful welterweight with a very fast shot and nearly twice the experience of Musoke.

Against Musoke, I expect him to win the grappling battle and the decision.

I’m fairly confident in Yakovlev, but I’m very confident in Jotko. Troeng’s grappling has been sorely lacking in his past couple of fights and Jotko should be more than willing to exploit that. I believe he’ll find consistent success dragging Troeng to the mat for a decision win. He was at positive odds earlier and it’s a little disappointing he isn’t now, but you can offset that with a parlay.

Albert Tumenov might be a good choice, since I think the Russian is tailor-made to counter Dwyer into oblivion.

Cruickshank is fun to watch and has a nice arsenal, but he’s looked pedestrian against skilled strikers. Worse, he’s looking at a four-inch height disadvantage. Though I was sorely disappointed by Njokuani’s effort against Vince Pichel, he seems well-suited to running circles around Cruickshank and, since he’s coming off a loss, is statistically due for a win.

Main Card Odds:


Gunnar Nelson (-330) vs. Rick Story (+270)
Max Holloway (-650) vs. Akira Corassani (+475)
Ilir Latifi (-250) vs. Jan Blachowixz (+210)
Niklas Backstrom (-700) vs. Mike Wilkinson (+500)


Rory MacDonald (-500) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (+400)
Raphael Assuncao (-280) vs. Bryan Caraway (+200)
Chad Laprise (-280) vs. Yosdenis Cedeno (+200)
Elias Theodorou (-400) vs. Bruno Santos (+280)
Nordine Taleb (-350) vs. Jingliang Li (+250)
Mitch Gagnon (-600) vs. Roman Salazar (+400)

Thoughts: I don’t believe either of these main events are the mismatches the odds suggest. I actually think bets on Story and Saffiedine wouldn’t be terribly bad ideas.

Though Story is even (2-2) in his last four bouts, I actually scored both the Mike Pyle and Kelvin Gastelum fights for him. He’s looked better than ever lately, with some real thump behind his punches and actual gameplanning. Gunnar -- a very small welterweight -- is likely going to be dealing with a considerable strength disadvantage. In addition, Gunni is not hard to hit, which is bad news considering that Story has finally started really hurting people with punches.

I’m not saying Story is a guarantee, but I do believe that the +270 line underestimates his ability.

I was extremely wrong regarding MacDonald’s fight with Tyron Woodley. Perhaps I’m setting myself up for another foot in my mouth. I simply feel the Strikeforce champ is being undervalued. I don’t believe MacDonald is going to have any success trying to take him down and, on the feet, Tarec has some sublime kickboxing. In addition, he’s got experience going five rounds while "Ares" has never gone past three.

Don’t make "The Sponge" your go-to here, but consider putting a little down on him.

UFC Fight Night 53, 54 Best Bets:

  • Single bet -- Alexander Yakovlev: Bet $30 to make $51
  • Parlay -- Krzysztof Jotko and Albert Tumenov: Bet $40 to make $68
  • Parlay -- Anthony Njokuani and Albert Tumenov: Bet $30 to make $65.40
  • Single bet -- Rick Story: Bet $30 to make $81
  • Single bet -- Tarec Saffiedine: Bet $20 to make $80

Lots of fights, plenty of which have prospects and proven finishers.

See you Saturday, Maniacs, all day ... and night!

Remember that will offer live UFC Fight Night 53 results and UFC Fight Night 54 results this weekend, which is as good a place as any to talk about all the action inside the Octagon, as well as what you've got riding on the sportsbook.

Running Profit For 2014 Based On This Column: $97.90

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