TUF 10 Finale picks, Vegas style: Taking the next step

Clark Kent

<B>News Bot</B>
Sep 11, 2006
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12-05-2009 11:15 AM:Las Vegas is a proving ground for both Jon Jones and Kimbo Slice tonight during the season 10 Ultimate Fighter Finale. Jones, 22, is actually the more experienced fighter but he's facing the toughest opponent of his career in fellow wrestler Matt Hamill. Tonight is make or break time for Kimbo, 36, who battles another one-dimensional striker in Houston Alexander. It's a perfect matchup against a smaller fighter. Can Kimbo get it done? Or is his next step going to be the freak show circuit in Japan? Let's take a stab at picking some winners using the Las Vegas odds.

Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale odds (Courtesy Venetian Resort Hotel Casino):

Brendan Schaub (+210) v. Roy Nelson (-270) - Heavyweight
The value here is on Schaub. Nelson isn't a great striker and he's not a volume puncher either. If it stays on the feet, Schaub has a chance to outscore Nelson. Knocking out Nelson may be another story. "Big Country" looks to have an iron chin. On the ground, Schaub is way ahead of TUF 10 opponents like Kimbo, Justin Wren and James McSweeney. He's also been working with accomplished ground fighters and huge dudes like Shane Carwin. Nelson should win but the price is way too high.

Matt Hamill (+280) v. Jon Jones (-360) - Light heavyweight
Who isn't a Jones fan? And I've always been a harsh critic of Hamill's gameplanning and laziness with his hands. That said, Hamill is way too strong for Jones to be laying this kind of price. If they lock horns in the clinch it could be a helluva battle. That probably won't happen and it'll turn into a striking match. Hamill is sloppy and will get hit too often. But don't sleep on his power and remember his last time out he nearly booted Mark Munoz' head into the upper deck at UFC 98. Jones is still a work-in-progress. Hamill is the value pick here.

Kimbo Slice (+140) v. Houston Alexander (-170) - 215 pound catch weight

This line has exploded to minus-200 in Sin City and is as high as minus-300 off-shore. Smart bettors aren't buying Kimbo, his punching power or his lack of weight-cutting knowledge. If he had properly cut weight, he should held a 15-20 pound advantage. Now much of that edge is gone because he dieted down to 212. Alexander is a legit MMA striker with knees, kicks and punches. Kimbo's right hand and Alexander's shaky chin give the legendary street fighter a shot but don't count on it.


Matt Veach (+280) v. Frank Edgar (-360) - Lightweight

Matt Mitrione (+180) v. Marcus Jones (-220) - Heavyweight

Joe Brammer (+240) v. Mark Bocek (-320) - Lightweight

Dennis Hallman (+160) v. John Howard (-190) - Welterweight

Rodney Wallace (+110) v. Brian Stann (-140) - Light heavyweight

Jon Madsen (+200) v. Justin Wren (-250) - Heavyweight

Darrill Schoonover (+120) v. James Mcsweeney (-150) - Heavyweight

Yahoo! Sports.
Cagewriter is an MMA blog edited by Steve Cofield.