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Sleepers and Value Bets for UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira – Arlovski to Win and More

| May 9, 2020 3:06 am PDT
UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira

The bookies have released odds for UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira, and I’m not disappointed in what I have found.

Despite this rare Wednesday night fight fest coming as a surprise to us fans, the UFC’s matchmakers have not strayed outside the lines too much. I mean, Ben Rothwell vs. Ovince Saint Preux is a little bit of a weird one, but the rest of the fights on this card seem to make sense. 

And that seems to work in tandem with the odds the top online sportsbooks for UFC betting are offering on these bouts. But with that said, a keen eye will also find UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira value bets and sleepers, and I think my eye has been pretty hawkish today. 

Anyway, let’s get down to business with a few sleepers for this card.

Arlovski to Beat Lins +110

Andrei Arlovski is a former UFC heavyweight champion. Seriously.

While today’s version of Arlovski seems content with separating the wheat from the chaff for the sake of a paycheck, he is still capable of winning fights. Even at 41, Arlovski can still pull off the occasional surprise.

Sure, he has a meager return of three wins from his last ten and got starched in just 29 seconds by Jairzinho Rozenstruik in November, but I believe he could be capable of making his next fight one to remember.

On Wednesday night, the Belarusian faces the 2018 PFL Heavyweight Tournament winner Philipe Lins, who will be fighting for the first time since December 2018. A 15-month build-up of ring rust could work against Lins here. 

Lins is on a four-fight win streak, but I’m not mega impressed by the caliber of his recent opponents. I feel Arlovski could very well get the decision here, and the plus money odds are enough for me to take him in this contest.

Johnson to Beat Moises -115

Michael Johnson has been in there with some real killers over the past few years. So much so that his record looks a hell of a lot worse at first glance.

The 33-year-old has posted of 3-7 in his last ten fights, which is a record you would usually attribute to a promotional gatekeeper. But given that he has been in there with Khabib Nurmagomedov, Nate Diaz, and Justin Gaethje, you have to give him some respect.

Thiago Moises will feel confident about this fight but should not sleep on Johnson. Sure, Moises has great BJJ but might find the attritional style of his opponent a little difficult to crack.

Johnson is one of those guys that can look great in some fights and completely fall apart in others. But against Moises, I’m tipping him to be the on the more impressive end of the spectrum.

Moises dropped a loss to Damir Ismagulov in his last fight, and I believe Johnson will have his number, too. It will be a good back-and-forth fight, but Johnson should get it done on the scorecards.

Kelleher to Beat Azure +140

Brian Kelleher is another fighter that some might be sleeping on this coming Wednesday.

Kelleher’s odds of beating Hunter Azure are a pretty impressive +140 and are probably a little inflated due to Azure’s unbeaten record as a pro. He is currently 7-0 in the paid ranks, and things are moving along nicely.

A UFC debut win over Brad Katona in September brought Azure to the attention of fans, and he is being tipped for a decent run at bantamweight. But I’m not sure he has really proven himself at this point.

Regardless, Azure has little to fear and everything to gain. But if he is not prepared against Kelleher, he could end up with the first loss of his career. 

Remember, Kelleher has wins over Renan Barao and Iuri Alcantara. Some will forget that in favor of remembering defeats to Marlon Vera, John Lineker, and Montel Jackson. But he is a very solid fighter who has the power to settle any difference.

More than this, I think Kelleher’s submission game doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Nine of his twenty wins have been ended by way of sub, and I see that record jumping to ten from twenty-one on Wednesday night. 

More of the Best UFC on ESPN 9 Bets

There you have it, three sleepers for the Smith vs. Teixeira card this coming Wednesday in Jacksonville, Florida.

I’m looking forward to seeing whether my predictions will come through. It’s always nice to see UFC value bets come off, especially given the volatile nature of the sport. Fingers crossed!

Still undecided? Why not check out my UFC on ESPN best bets for some solid picks? And for even more UFC content, bookmark our MMA blog.

Good luck with your bets!

Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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