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Best Bets: BKFC 61 Pre-Event Odds Analysis

Best Bets: BKFC 61 Pre-Event Odds Analysis

 

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) is coming off a historic event with KnuckleMania 4 in Los Angeles, which shattered attendance and viewership records for the fast-rising promotion. The momentum continues to build as BKFC now heads to Uncasville, Connecticut for BKFC 61 at the legendary Mohegan Sun Arena on May 11th.

New England’s rich combat sports history makes it a fitting backdrop for another stacked card featuring both established stars and hungry prospects looking to make a name for themselves in the squared circle. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the matchups, analyze the betting odds, and offer our expert insights on where the smart money lies.

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Schedule and How To Watch BKFC 61

BKFC 61 takes place Saturday, May 11th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The main card kicks off at 9pm ET, with prelims starting at 7pm ET. To watch from the comfort of your home, find out where to watch live on BKFC’s site. Don’t forget to check out NXTbets for the latest odds updates and offers.

Odds Subject to Change

Please note, the odds provided herein reflect the raw probability odds for this analysis and are based on the information available at the time of publishing. Different sportsbooks may adjust these odds based on market conditions, bettor behaviors, and other factors that could influence the betting landscape. For a deeper understanding of why odds for alternative sports betting change and how it might affect your betting strategy, we encourage you to read our detailed article: Why Do Alternative Sports Betting Odds Change?. Make informed decisions and always check the latest odds with your sportsbook before placing bets.

Best Bets and Picks for BKFC 61

The Main Card

Class

Matchup

Moneyline

Payout on $20

LW

Daniel Straus

+146

$49.20

Jimmie Rivera

-197

$30.15

LW

Louie Lopez

+253

$70.60

Mike Trizano

-368

$25.43

BW

Anthony Foye

+211

$62.20

Ryan Reber

-298

$26.71

SW

Natalie Gage

-111

$38.02

Sarah Click

-124

$36.13

WW

Scott Lampert

+242

$68.40

Rick Hawn

-350

$25.71

HW

Robinson Perez

+134

$46.80

Matt Adams

-179

$31.17

HW

Connor McKenna

+246

$69.20

Zach Calmus

-356

$25.62

HW

Scott Roberts

+367

$93.40

Chris Sarro

-594

$23.37

BKFC 61 is loaded with intriguing matchups from top to bottom. Here’s a breakdown of the odds and some key factors to consider when placing your bets.

Jimmie Rivera vs. Daniel Straus: The main event is a fascinating clash of styles between two seasoned MMA vets. Rivera’s slick boxing and exquisite footwork should give him a clear technical edge, as he looks to stick and move against the plodding Straus. However, Straus’ relentless pressuring style and iron chin could enable him to turn this into a phone booth fight. If the 39-year-old can cut off the ring and unload his heavy hooks in close quarters, he’s a live dog at +146.

The pick is still Rivera via decision, as his more diverse striking and ability to dictate range should be enough to outpoint Straus over 5 rounds. But with only 30-second breaks between rounds, Straus will have ample time to impose his draining clinch game. An upset is far from a longshot if he can consistently force a brawl.

Mike Trizano vs. Louie Lopez: The co-main event features an intriguing crossover bout, as UFC veteran Mike Trizano makes his BKFC debut against the battle-tested Louie Lopez. Trizano went 4-3 in the UFC, showcasing a well-rounded skill set and solid durability. However, the New Jersey native is taking a sizable leap of faith here, as bare knuckle is a different beast than MMA.

Lopez has proven his mettle in the BKFC ring, engaging in memorable wars with Kai Stewart and Bryan Duran. The Montana product is a brawler through and through, with an unbreakable will and serious pop in his hands. If “El Loco” can make this an ugly, close-quarters affair, he could welcome Trizano to the sport in devastating fashion.

Still, Trizano’s more diverse striking and wealth of high-level experience make him a justifiable -368 favorite. The pick is Trizano via decision in a thrilling firefight, but don’t sleep on Lopez’s chances as a +253 underdog.

Ryan Reber vs. Anthony Foye: Next, one of BKFC’s hottest contenders goes against a dangerous but largely unproven challenger. Reber has looked phenomenal thus far, showcasing pinpoint accuracy and fight-changing power en route to a perfect 5-0 record. The technically sound striker excels at maintaining his preferred range and forcing opponents to play his counter-punching game.

In Foye, he faces an explosive and defensively porous foe who throws with serious bad intentions. If the ultra-aggressive Foye can blitz Reber early and draw him into a firefight, he’s certainly capable of landing a fight-altering shot. More likely though, Reber keeps his poise and systematically picks apart Foye as he fades down the stretch. While the -298 price is steep, Reber has proven well worth the cost of admission. Until the 24-year-old takes a serious step up in competition, he remains a strong straight play candidate.

Natalie Gage vs. Sarah Click: Promising newcomer Gage makes her highly anticipated BKFC debut against Click in a compelling strawweight clash. The 32-year-old Gage is 7 years younger than her foe and has been the far more active competitor of late. However, Click’s edge in BKFC experience adds an interesting wrinkle to an already difficult stylistic matchup to project. In a bout with this many intangibles, take a shot on Gage’s upside at appealing +111 underdog odds.

Rick Hawn vs. Scott Lampert: Former Olympian Hawn makes his first BKFC foray at age 46 against the unheralded Lampert. While Hawn’s world-class pedigree is undeniable, it’s fair to question how much he has left in the tank. Lampert is a serviceable pro boxer who could keep this competitive longer than the odds suggest. Ultimately, Hawn’s sublime athleticism and physicality should prove too much. Just be wary of laying the -350 price on a fighter debuting in a new sport so late in his career.

Matt Adams vs. Robinson Perez: Rising heavyweight Adams puts his stamp on the division against the gritty Perez. Adams’ aggressive, KO-hunting style has many pegging him as a future title challenger. He’ll need to be mindful though of Perez’s stout chin and sneaky counterpunching. Adams is rightfully favored at -179, but the cagey Perez is the type of foe who could drag him into deep waters.

Zach Calmus vs. Connor McKenna: Hard-hitting fan favorite Calmus faces a stiff test in the well-rounded McKenna. The aptly nicknamed “Shark Attack” excels at cutting off the ring and unloading his heavy artillery in close quarters. If McKenna can utilize his movement and make Calmus work, he could extend this fight longer than the odds imply. Still, Calmus’ relentless pressure and thudding power make him a strong play at -356.

Chris Sarro vs. Scott Roberts: New England standout Sarro aims to rebound from back-to-back losses against the debuting Roberts. There’s no denying Sarro is the sharper, more accomplished striker in this matchup. He should have a clear edge in both hand speed and combinations. Just be wary of laying the massive -594 price tag on a fighter riding a 3-fight skid. Sarro winning is likely, but there are better ways to use him than as a straight play.

The Undercard

Class

Matchup

Moneyline

Payout on $20

HW

Christopher Gamby

+202

$60.40

Pat Brady

-283

$27.07

MW

Pat Casey

-109

$38.35

Sam Watford

-121

$36.53

FW

Daniel Pettit

+367

$93.40

Dylan Felion

-594

$23.37

The most intriguing prelim is a clash of debuting heavyweights as football player turned MMA fighter Pat Brady (-283) meets Christopher Gamby (+202). Brady went 3-0 as an amateur before notching a 37-second head kick KO in his pro debut. Gamby has never fought professionally in any combat sport.

Brady’s athleticism, kickboxing skills and legit KO power give him a huge edge over the unproven Gamby. However, the small 4oz MMA gloves still provide more protection than bare knuckles, so it remains to be seen how Brady’s hands will hold up. Laying -283 is too risky, but a small play is fine for a prospect of his caliber.

Elsewhere, Sam Watford (-121) and Pat Casey (-109) are near even money in a middleweight bout, while Daniel Pettit (+367) is a huge underdog to Dylan Felion (-594) at featherweight. Watford has fought in Bellator but Casey has the experience edge. Felion is more proven than Pettit, but perhaps not enough to justify that massive spread.

Expert Pick for BKFC 61

For our Expert Pick, we’re taking Zach Calmus (-356) to stop Connor McKenna (+246) in a heavyweight bout. Calmus is on a 2-fight finishing streak and has an underrated kickboxing base along with legitimate one-punch KO power. McKenna is durable with a deep gas tank, but he’s outgunned here.

At age 32, Calmus is entering his prime and already has 5 bare knuckle fights under his belt compared to just 1 for McKenna. That seasoning, along with his crisper and more powerful punching, should allow Calmus to end this one inside the distance. Parlaying him with Ryan Reber balances out the risk-reward.

Where to Bet on BKFC 61

Now that you’re armed with the latest odds and expert picks for BKFC 61, it’s time to place your bets. NXTbets has partnered with a number of reputable sportsbooks to ensure that you have a seamless betting experience. To bet on BKFC 61, check out partnered sportsbooks. Simply follow the links to register an account, deposit funds, and start betting. For those venturing into BKFC betting for the first time, we highly advise perusing our Official BKFC Betting Guide for valuable insights and tips. Remember to gamble responsibly and enjoy the show!

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