Bellator returns to Ontario, Canada tomorrow where their welterweight champion Ben Askren makes his 4th straight title defense against the 24 year old Brazilian, Douglas Lima. Check out all of our betting picks for this event.

Bellator 64: Welterweight Championship

Douglas Lima vs. Ben Askren

Ben Askren vs. Douglas LimaThough the champion opened at -400, the early sports picks have dropped Lima a full 25 cents down to +275. The movement after the weigh-ins today should give us a better indication of where the MMA betting line ends up, which in my opinion should peak right around +255.

Ben Askren’s latest challenger, Jay Heroin, was recently able to deliver the first blemish on the champion’s record. Heroin, who closed as a +400 dog, lost a close split decision by out striking Aksren early while showing the better tank late in the fight.

Lima enters this fight having run through Steve Carl, Chris Lozano, and most recently Ben Saunders in last season’s welterweight tournament. In his last two matches against Saunders and Lozano, who were both knocked out inside of two rounds, he proved to be under priced at close to -110. Now, betting odds list him as nearly a +300 dog, and he faces a champion whose recent performance as a -400 favorite suggests he’s already being massively inflated and overvalued by the MMA odds makers.

Although Lima has shown a strong triangle and armbar off his back, I just can’t see him locking anything up against Askren’s top control, which leaves needing a knockout within the 25 minutes of action. The openings are certainly there from Askren, as he’s been caught with big shots multiple times on the way in, however his recovery time and ability to scramble into safety has yet to fail him. At current odds I would avoid a play unless a drastic shift is made after the weigh-ins. I personally wouldn’t touch Askren at anything higher than -280, and Lima at anything lower that +335.

Bellator 64 Pick: Mike Richman vs. Chris Horodecki

Featherweight Chris Horodecki will be matched with the quick hands of Mike Richman on the prelim portion of the under card, which can be viewed at Bellator and Spike.com.

The original opening line for this fight was priced accurately enough for me to avoid altogether, however Pinnacle is offering of +385 on Richman creates a curious case of questionable value. 

Richman’s below average level of opposition and largely inferior training camp are just two reasons I’d normally avoid a fight like this. However from the limited footage out there I was impressed by how instinctual he appeared in the pocket and how quick his hands are from the outside, particularly how fast he gets inside with his straight left. Aside form his straight left, he was also able to repeatedly stagger Morgan Sickinger with a deceptive right head kick. 

Chris’s strength and active combinations should ultimately decide this fight, but at +385 I’m willing to take a shot on the quick hands and sharp boxing of the still unproven newcomer.   

MMA Play: Mike Richman +385 @ Pinacle.com