Mixed martial arts is a very tough sport to bet on. Upsets happen in this sport on an event-to-event basis and laying a lot of money on a favourite is a high-risk low-reward endeavor that will frustrate most bettors and blindly throwing money at underdogs is also inviting of trouble. But on every occasion, there are rewarding odds that can be lucrative even for the cheapest gamblers around. “Cheap Shot” is an article series that will look to be a long-term winner based solely on underdog bets and prop bets.

Cheap Shot System:

We’ll begin with an initial deposit of $1,000 and use one unit or one per cent of your bankroll ($10) as a standard bet. The props and underdog odds on these articles are based on 5Dimes. Some sportsbooks do not offer these same props and lines are subject to change. Our track record and current balance will be updated per article with results back from the previous event.

Initial Balance: $1,000
Current Balance:
Difference: +$42.50 (+4.25%)
Bets: 7 for 17 (41.18%)

Last Event: UFC on FOX: Holm vs Shevchenko (3-0; +$47.50)

Here are the props and an underdog to consider betting for UFC 201: Lawler vs Woodley:  

Serrano wins by Decision (+276)

Flyweight (125): Fredy Serrano (-120) vs Ryan Benoit (+100)

Based on the odds, not many seem to think Serrano and Benoit will go to a decision. Both fighters are finishers and all five of their UFC fights were finished. But the sample size is small and statistically, flyweight fights are the most likely to go to decision. Betting this fight to go to decision at +105 is a decent prop especially at plus money.

Serrano has the strong wrestling base to frustrate Benoit for three rounds. He has spectacular finishes but Benoit is a step up over the TUF fighters Serrano finished. Benoit hits hard and is aggressive sometimes to a fault but Serrano is very durable. So long as Serrano doesn’t fall in love with his striking and tries to outstrike the Muay Thai fighter, he should be okay. He can mix his kicks with his wrestling to neutralize Benoit and control him to a decision.

Play: risk 1 unit ($10) to win 2.76 units ($27.60)

Bojan Velickovic (+200)

Welterweight (170): Michael Graves (-240) vs Bojan Velickovic (+200)

Velickovic is being underrated in this spot or Graves is being overrated. The man known as “Serbian Steel” is a legitimate prospect boasting skills in all facets of the game: striking, clinch work, wrestling, and grappling. He’s also built like a tank and has solid size for the division. Graves is a relentless wrestler who is coming off a big win over Dana White’s handpicked fighter, Randy Brown. Graves is a smart fighter and is developed everywhere but he’ll likely go to his wrestling in this fight, which Velickovic should be ready for.

The fight is closer than odds indicate. Graves will have the wrestling edge and could wear down Velickovic with his wrestling but the Serbian can handle himself well enough to survive. Best case, Velickovic neutralizes Graves’s takedowns enough times to land some shots and score for himself. It’ll be a tough fight to grind, but Velickovic can do it.

Play: risk 1 unit ($10) to win 2 units ($20)

Under 2½ Rounds (+120)


Welterweight Championship (170): Robbie Lawler (-145) vs Tyron Woodley (+125)

It’s tough to narrow down who wins between Lawler and Woodley. Conventional wisdom assumes Woodley wins early or Lawler grinds him down slowly but surely to get a late finish. Instead of banking on either to win, try the alternative route of predicting a finish within the first two-and-a-half rounds of the fight.

Woodley is known for having quick hands, knockout power and explosiveness. He either starts aggressively and finishes his opponents or he’s tentative and drags the fight to deep waters. Lawler gets stronger as the fight goes on and gives as much damage as he absorbs. Regardless of which version of Woodley shows up, someone will get finished before the championship rounds.

Play: risk 1 unit ($10) to win 1.2 units ($12)

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Total: risking 3 units ($27.50) to win 5.96 units ($59.60)

*Lines subject to change