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Steve Cofield

UFN 15 picks, Vegas style

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

It's time for another round of picks from the gaming capital of the world. We ripped off a 5-0 and +590 at UFC 88. Let's not get nuts. That won't happen often. The key is finding value. Don't play every fight on the Omaha Ultimate Fight Night 15 card!

Odds courtesy the Venetian Las Vegas. Official plays in BOLD.

NATE DIAZ (-190) v. JOSH NEER - Lightweight (155 lbs.)

Neer has been a serviceable fighter in the UFC with a 3-3 mark. Diaz (pictured) does have to be careful but he appears to be in a different class. Hopefully, he's more prepared for this fight than he was against Kurt Pellegrino. Diaz, The Ultimate Fighter 5 champ, looked past Pellegrino. He was losing badly before pulling out a submission win. My big worry with Diaz is that he needs to get physically stronger because he's going to be at a disadvantage as he moves up the 155 chain. PICK: DIAZ -190

MAC DANZIG (-130) v. CLAY GUIDA - Lightweight

Are you sold on Danzig? I'm not there yet. His 18-4-1 record is nice on the surface but you have to question the quality of the opponents, Mark Bocek and Tommy Speer in the UFC. Guida's a gamer with 32 fights under his belt. He was on his way to a blowout win over Roger Huerta before getting drilled with a third round knee. You could argue that he should be 5-1 in the UFC had it not been for a lousy decision loss to Din Thomas and the Huerta fight. His stand-up isn't great but his wrestling/takedown game allows him to control the pace of all his fights. I don't feel safe laying favorite money with Danzig especially if he's working from the bottom the entire fight. PICK: GUIDA EVEN

HOUSTON ALEXANDER (-240) v. ERIC SCHAFER - Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.)

This one is a little scary. Alexander's ground game is still a huge mystery. Schafer is weak on the feet but he does have very good jiu-jitsu. It all depends on where the fight goes. Does Alexander go balls to wall after his eight second KO loss to James Irvin? If he doesn't and this one hits the ground, then watch out. Schafer comes in with two straight losses but those were pretty big steps up against Stephan Bonnar and Michael Bisping. This number is way too big. I won't play Schafer but that's where the value lies. PICK: SCHAFER +190

ALAN BELCHER (-145) v. ED HERMAN - Middleweight (185 lbs.)

This is another tough fight to handicap. Herman was crushed by Demian Maia his last time out and did score a KO in his last win over Joe Doerksen but he's still a one trick pony. He needs to ground and pound to get the win. Belcher is dynamic on the feet but he's a whack job. He must be focused for this one, right? He was clearly overlooking Jason Day in his last fight at UFC 83. The other worry is Belcher's training the last few weeks. The Biloxi, Miss. resident spent time recently fleeing Hurricane Gustav. PICK: BELCHER -145

JOE LAUZON (-450) v. KYLE BRADLEY - Lightweight

The price here is high but it appears warranted. Lauzon fought one of the most entertaining technical rounds (1st) of the year in his loss to Kenny Florian. Aside from Sean Sherk, who has looked dangerous against KenFlo? The kid is just 24 and really is superb on the ground. He simply came out of the gates too fast against Florian and gassed. Bradley, 26, lost his UFC debut at 170 in a KO loss to Chris Lytle. I hate laying this much money but we're going to roll the dice. PICK: LAUZON -450

WILSON GOUVEIA (-360) v. RYAN JENSEN - Middleweight

Jensen was a last second replacement which generally means a mismatch. It's not the case here. Jensen has two fights in UFC. He lost to a pair of high level fighters in Demian Maia and Thales Leites. He's also stepped up in the past to fight Joey Villasenor and Brock Larson. Gouveia is talented on the feet but he's often a slow starter and too inconsistent to lay this price. PICK: JENSEN +280

DREW MCFEDRIES (-360) v. MIKE MASSENZIO - Middleweight

There might be dog value in this fight as well. Wrestlers are the great equalizer when handicapping fights. You remember Cheick Kongo's loss to Carmelo Marrero? Marrero isn't better than Kongo but he took him down at will and cruised to a decision win. Massenzio has a similiar grappling background but more experience in MMA coming over from the IFL. He does have a win over TUF 7 cast member Dante Rivera. As long as it stays on the feet, big advantage goes to McFedries. If not, keep an eye on the dog. PICK: MASSENZIO +280

REST OF THE CARD

Joe Vedepo +200 v. Alessio Sakara -250

Jason Brilz -115 v. Brad Morris -115

Dan Miller +150 v. Rob Kimmons -180

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