Bellator 207 and 208 Odds – Betting Emelianenko-Sonnen, Bader-Mitrione and More

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Bellator MMA Odds

Scott Coker is bringing some serious heat with back-to-back Bellator events on Friday and Saturday. Each night is headlined by a Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Final matchup – and both are captivating in that weird Bellator way that MMA fans have grown accustomed to.

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On Friday, Ryan Bader (a former UFC light heavyweight contender), continues his quest to become a champ-champ against Matt Mitrione (a former UFC heavyweight fringe contender). While Bader’s never been the most exciting fighter, punching above your weight class is always a good way to gain new fans.

Then we’re heading to New York for a Saturday night headlined by the one and only Fedor Emelianenko. Opposing the legendary heavyweight is Chael Sonnen, one of the best heels in MMA history. So yes, this is one of those Bellator nights that are propped up by ancient fighters way past their primes – but dammit we’re intrigued regardless.

For your convenience, we’re covering the biggest fights from both nights here. We’ve got MMA odds from BookMaker.eu for you to look at, so read on for our best value bets.

BETTING BELLATOR 207

Main Event, Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Final

Matt Mitrione +266 vs. Ryan Bader -350

Over/under rounds: see UFC odds at BookMaker.eu

Betting Analysis

Oddsmakers made Bader an early favorite to win the entire tournament when the bracket when it was announced, which actually makes sense. Even though he’s a natural 205-pounder, he’s the only guy left that’s actually still near his competitive prime. The 35-year year is an elite MMA wrestler with heavy hands – a combination that can get you really far in this game.

The big question here is whether Meathead can keep this standing. If he does, his knockout power and hand speed could give Bader serious problems. In all of Bader’s losses, he was rocked by big shots and finished – he’s never lost by decision. Can he consistently impose his wrestling on a legitimate heavyweight (who happens to be a solid athlete)?

Our pick: Mitrione to win at +193

We can’t pass up these odds. Bader hasn’t faced a puncher this explosive since he met Rumble Johnson, and in that fight he got blown up in less than two minutes. If you really wanna take a risk, then Mitrione inside the distance is a MMA prop bet at BookMaker.eu that you should really consider.

Heavyweight

Roy Nelson -325 vs. Sergei Kharitonov +250

Over/under rounds: see UFC odds at BookMaker.eu

Betting Analysis

It’s really tough to bet on old fighters that are showing their age inside the cage. That’s the case here with Big Country and Kharitonov. Both guys are hovering around 40, and dieting doesn’t seem to be high on their list of priorities judging by their looks. They kind of just lumber around, hoping to land a missile and put their opponents away.

General rule of thumb: pick against Nelson. For the past few years, he’s been as one dimensional as it gets. All Big Country does at this point is walk guys down and throw overhand rights. Granted, if it lands it’s a game changer, but anybody with some mobility can gameplan for that. Even guys as shopworn as Kharitonov.

Our pick: Kharitonov to win at +250

Kharitonov is simply the more dynamic fighter at this point of their careers. As long as he keeps moving, he should be able to land enough punches on the portly Nelson and win on points. We’d also take a long look at the rounds over – both these guys have got iron chins.


BETTING BELLATOR 208

Main Event, Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Final

Fedor Emelianenko -260 vs. Chael Sonnen +210

Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +165 / -215

Betting Analysis

Though Chael spent most of his prime years at middleweight, he’s moved up two weight classes and got past a blown-up Rampage Jackson to advance in the tourney. Don’t think that Fedor will automatically be the bigger man because he’s fought at heavyweight his entire career – the Russian is the same height and has always been a soft 230 pounds. It’s likely that Chael is near the same walkaround weight.

Matchup-wise, oddsmakers are siding with Emelianenko – his takedown defense is stellar and Chael pretty much offers nothing on the feet. The x-factor here is Fedor’s cardio: can the 41-year old hold up for five rounds if this turns into a grind? Here’s a fun fact: not once in his 18-year career has Emelianenko ever fought past a fourth round.

Our pick: Sonnen to win at +210

At this price, a small bet on Sonnen makes sense. Emelianenko is a complete questions mark if this fight goes past the third round, and Chael can be absolutely relentless when it comes to trying to impose his wrestling. That kind of aggressiveness should wear on both guys, and Emelianenko’s small stature makes style a viable one for Sonnen.

Lightweight

Benson Henderson -410 vs. Saad Awad +330

Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: UFC odds at BookMaker.eu

Betting Analysis

Think Coker has buyer’s regret with Henderson? The former UFC lightweight champ was supposed to contend in two weight classes, but he hasn’t looked particularly impressive while posting a 2-3 record in Bellator. At 34, “Smooth” could very well be in physical decline. We’re not buying into his win over a washed up Roger Huerta as a sign that Benson’s ready to contend.

Awaad might struggle against Benson’s wrestling, but he definitely has the tools to give him trouble in the standup. All of Henderson’s Bellator losses came against guys that outstruck him, and Awaad’s power could be an issue. If this turns into a battle of attrition, it starts to favor Henderson, who was once considered the king of the close decisions.

Our pick: Fight goes to decision

Henderson doesn’t have much knockout power, and has the chin to survive massive shots from anyone. The risk with this prop is that Awaad gets into some dangerous scrambles, but in a three-rounder he should stay fresh enough to fight off the grappling.

Quick Pick: Timothy Johnson -130 to beat Cheick Kongo +110

Kongo has reinvented himself as a wrestler, but now he’s facing a grizzly-sized Timothy Johnson – a former two-time All-American wrestler. There’s just no way that the 43-year old Kongo can control Johnson or drag him to the ground like he’s been doing to the other Bellator heavyweights. We see the mustachio’d Johnson pressing him into the cage and pummeling Kongo with dirty boxing and knees to seal the deal.

Check out the latest Bellator fight odds.

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Abe first encountered MMA in 2000, watching a VHS tape of Kazushi Sakuraba kicking the legs of a downed Royce Gracie in Pride Fighting Championships. He's been hooked ever since. Abe has penned NBA and NFL articles for Sports Illustrated and RotoExperts. In 2010, Abe signed on as the lead MMA writer for BigOnSports.com, and is now dedicated to helping fellow fans beat the odds.