We have 8 bets in all for UFC 244 (5 straight bets, 3 props), and we wanted to give one of them away. Do what you want with it; place it, fade it.....just enjoy tonight!
-- Vincente Luque 4 units
Here's our write up on it from our premium package:
This will be Vincente Luque’s 13th fight in the UFC, and quite possibly could be the 1st fight where he’s an underdog. Yes, that’s right, in Luque’s 12 previous UFC fights he has never been the betting underdog going into the fight, and he’s 10-2 in those 12 UFC fights, and more recently has rattled off 6 wins in a row, and is 10-1 in his last 11. That’s pretty crazy when you think about it. Right now the betting line is a coin flip between him and Stephen Thompson, both settling in at -105 right now. Luque is 9 years the younger than the 36 year old, shop warn Thompson, but as we all know in MMA, age is nothing but a number, but your chin? Well, that’s not a number, and often times it’s weakness has a direct correlation to your age and the amount of damage that you’ve taken throughout your career.
Luque is a fun fighter to watch, but also has the talent to back it up. He’s got a solid BJJ game, but really hasn’t showcased it over the past 2 years as he’s become a powerful striker that has been punishing his opponents on the feet, leading to 4 KO/TKO’s over his last 5 fights. Luque throws crisp combinations, and has no issues with getting into a slugfest with someone. Just ask Mike Perry.
It seems like just yesterday that Thompson was one of the best Welterweights in the country, fighting and winning against the likes of Johnny Hendricks, Rory MacDonald, and Jorge Masvidal. But he’s a had a few seriously boring fights with Tyron Woodley and Darren Till. In those two fights he scored 26.5 DK points in a 5 round decision loss to Woodley that put 90% of the viewing audience to sleep, and then he scored an embarassing 15 total DK points in another decision loss to Till where they basically stared at each other for 3 rounds. Thompson seems to have lost something over the past few years. I think it’s partially due to his confidence being eroded through these loses, but he was also Knocked Out cold by Anthony Pettis’ Superman punch, and that may have had a lasting effect on him as well. I don’t see the killer instinct in him anymore, and his recent overly defensive style has made him a very difficult fighter to watch, let alone bet on or roster in DK. Over Thompson’s last 6 fights he’s gone 2-3-1, and hasn’t scored more than 85 DK points. He’s only averaged 41.3 DK points in those last 6 fights, and keep in mind that 4 of those 6 fights were 5 round affairs, making that stat even more embarrassing. On the flip side, in Luque’s last 6 fights he’s gone 6-0, and has averaged 111 points in those 6 victories, only not eclipsing the 100 point threshold in his last bought against Mike Perry where he scored 72 points.
My projections have Luque as a pretty big favorite here, but the line is a coin flip right now, so I definitely see some betting value in Luque. Thompson’s recent fighting style doesn’t play well with the judges, and I think that this is something that we have to consider, as there is a good chance that Thompson is reluctant to engage with Luque in the pocket, and circles away on the outside all night, hoping Luque cannot close the distance in time to land one of this powerful combinations that have put soo many fighters to sleep the past few years.
This is a tough one, as Thompson may be at a point in his career where he is so frightened of getting KO’ed again, that he just won’t engage on a level that we expect UFC professional to. Luque has more power, is 9 years younger, has a ground game, and is riding high on his recent impressive wins while his confidence is at an all time high. All of these factors make him a very dangerous fighter, and this is why I’ll be putting my money where my mouth is and betting on Luque to win. From a DraftKings perspective this matchup scares me more, as Thompson has been successful at lulling people to sleep by using his “keep-away” game to his advantage. If Luque can’t close the distance, and Thompson circles away all night, then we could be in for another repeat of the Woodley and Till fights, and this would not bode well for Luque’s chances of scoring well on DraftKings. It’s a risk, but for $7,700 I think Luque is well worth the risk. He’s got an incredibly high ceiling, but Thompson causes his floor to reduce quite a bit due to his defensive minded approach. Luque may be my favorite DK play of the night, but like I said, Thompson’s style does concern me somewhat, as he’ll be difficult to hit, and it will be even tougher to lure him into the brawl that Luque wants.
Bet: Luque – 4 units
Cash Game: Luque (8/10
GPP: Luque (8.5/10)