PFL 2023 #1 - Season Opener Best Bets
We're back with a brief, rapid-fire set of picks for the PFL season kickoff!
Welcome back degenerates! We’re excited to be back picking fights for another great card from the PFL to start their 2023 season off with a bang. We’ll keep this short and sweet as we’ll only be dipping our toes into a couple of contests on the card from a gambling perspective, but we’re more excited about the viewing prospects on this one. Lot’s of great talent should make for an awesome night of fights, though some difficult odds for a number of matchups make it a less than favorable card from a bet value perspective. That said, there are some (risky!) gems. Lets dig in:
PFL #1 2023 - Season Kick Off!
Card Line Value: D- — Lots of tight lines and not many clear value plays or solid picks I can feel great about. Lots of wildcards in the fights with more history that normally would be better plays, but that I would avoid like the plague this week. I’m going to make some picks on them anyway, but they will all be D lines or worse. Bet at your own risk, and potentially win big.
Card Viewing Value: A — this is a wild card with lots of wildcards! How will Moraes look at 45? Will he get demolished or will the speed difference surprise the reigning champ? Will Marreta look slow and old or does he defy age and show Wilkinson that there’s levels to this game? What will Movlid look like after a couple years away from his last pro fight, and fat from winning a million bucks? So many great matchups, so much value for the viewer on this weeks PFL blockbuster kickoff card. It’s sttttacked.
Chris “The Long Island Killer” Wade vs Bubba Jenkins
Wade by Decision +125 (B-)
The odds are close, as they should be, but for a rematch with a clear cut replay path to success, and a serious chip on Wade’s shoulder wanting the Loughane fight back for all the marbles, I’m banking on Wade to grind out a close decision. He might drop a round and it might be a split (if your bookie offers those lines there should be killer value in them, I’d jump at those if offered both ways as small straight bets or one way as a cover), but I’m leaning towards Wade cleaning it up again. His striking is a big cleaner (though he has a tendency to get hit in extended combos and doesn’t always tuck his chin), and he was able to stay ahead of the wrestling the majority of exchange in their first fight, and showed a slightly better gas tank. He gave Makhachev problems in the UFC back in the day. He’s a vet’s vet.
If you cover and the split decision props aren’t available cover on Bubba by Decision +175 (C+) — the value is all on a finish either way and both guys are capable but I also see them being careful and respectful enough of each other not to rush and both grinding out enough time to make it thru 15 even if hurt. These guys are both as tough as it comes and both want that big payday bad. Damn I wish Bovada had split decision lines for this fight.
Krzysztof Jotko vs Will Fluery
Jotko all day here. Too slick, too focused. I have a feeling he takes this one to the mat and maybe searches for a submission… He should also be a step ahead in the footwork on the feet even if his hands might not be as good as Fluery’s (though I suspect they are) +100 by decision (B) is a steal here. +750 by submission (C) is quite juicy as well and I’d take it too if I were you.
The above are the only fights I feel somewhat confident in the line value and likelihood of the reads playing out.
Extra Snacks (AKA spicy lines or ill advised bets):
Movlid “Killer” Khabulayev vs Ryoji Kudo
Movlid by Submission +300 (D) is feeling like my best pick here. But it’s a wildcard, I’m feeling like he might feel a little rust on the feet two years off and chases a finish when he gets his hands locked… But he could have a adrenaline dumb and then grind to a decision (+125), or look way off and get KO’d standing…. all possible with this fight, but the value on the sub line is juicy for a fighter that snatches them opportunistically and an opponent coming off an RNC loss to a less proficient submission artist.
Rob Wilkinson vs Thiago Santos
I’m feeling a decision here and the bookies see it as a guaranteed KO… Thiago is tougher than anyone Rob has faced at 205, and he’s fought a different level of competition, and also hits like a Mack truck out of nowhere. Anyone could go to sleep at any time or Rob could wear down Thiago and find the finish but I’m feeling like they both settle into a pace with the danger at hand and grind out a tough 15. Smart money is on Rob as he should be pushing the pace in the fight but I can’t count out Thiago’s experience and savvy.
Rob by decision +400 (D+)
Thiago by decision +425 (D)
Marlon Moraes vs Brendan Loughnane
I’m just expecting Marlon’s speed to catch Brendan off guard early. If it doesn’t, then Marlon is in trouble sooner than expected and may not make it out of the first five. I’m cautiously optimistic about this for him, however. Yeah Marlon could be less drained at 45 and be totally fit for a hard 15, and Brendan may be cautious with a faster, smaller fighter and grind out a win with grappling and distance management… But I’m feeling either Marlon shocks the world in rd 1 or he makes it out of the round and gets worn down and stopped by the relentless Loughnane in 2 or 3.
Marlon Rd 1 +1000 (F)
Brendan Rd 2 +300 (D)
Brendan Rd 3 (D+)
That’s all for this week fellow degenerates! Get your bets in, tune into this awesome PFL card tonight, and as always, win big!
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