There are 17 fights on the Bellator 296 card. That’s 17 different opportunities to make money. We scoured the entire card and settled on three bets on the Bellator’s 296 main fights. If you keep reading, you’ll get all picks completely free of cost!
- What: Bellator 296
- When: May 12, 2023
- Where: Accor Arena in Paris, France
Moneyline: Gegard Mousasi vs. Fabian Edwards Betting Pick
These two middleweights — both born in Europe — headline this Paris show. The winner very likely gets a title shot at the division champion, Johnny Eblen. As it stands, Mousasi is a comfortable betting favorite over Edwards. Odds can change from now until Saturday, but here’s how the top Bellator betting sites are pegging this fight:
This is a big step in competition for Edwards. He’s won each of his last two fights, albeit against aging competition. First, he knocked out a 43-year-old Lyoto Machida then earned a decision over a 41-year-old Charlie Ward. Neither of those wins are particularly impressive to us. Mousasi, though no spring chicken at 37, can still bang inside the ring, unlike the other two.
Mousasi lost last time out against the aforementioned champion, but he’s been on an absolute tear at the stage of his career where most fighters are in steep decline. Before the loss, he had been 7-1 since joining Bellator after a stint in the UFC. This will mark his 60th career pro fight. Up to this point, he’s a whopping 49-8-2.
We expect the fight to mostly take place standing up. Both are competent strikers. Edwards, beyond just being much younger, also owns a three-inch reach advantage over Mousasi. But we’ll say this, Mousasi is quite talented at closing the distance and fighting on the inside. If he can successfully do that, this fight is his to lose.
Mousasi is getting our money here. We don’t see any falloff in his game yet — in spite of a recent loss, albeit against an undefeated fighter. He’s outright said he needs a win here since this could be his lost shot at a title fight. Mousasi has even said he might retire after getting another go at Eblen. All things considered, Mousasi is a solid moneyline pick here.
Over/Under 3.5 Rounds: Mansour Barnaoui vs. Brent Primus
We hate the Barnaoui-Primus moneyline. It’s way too lopsided in favor of Barnaoui (-350 to win). Therefore, we’re jumping on the Barnaoui vs. Primus over/under instead. Here are the betting options available both ways:
|Over 3.5 rounds||-110||-110||-110|
|Under 3.5 rounds||-120||-120||-120|
Look, we’re going to be blunt here and say there’s little chance that Barnaoui loses here. This guy might become Bellator’s next big star. He’s on an eight-fight streak but will barely be fighting for the second time in this promotion. Barnaoui also fights out Paris so he will have a partisan crowd on hand.
The question becomes, how does Barnaoui win? Early stoppage or does it go the distance? It has to be said that Barnaoui is as dangerous as they come on the ground. Thirteen of his 20 career wins have been via submission. But to play devil’s advocate, Primus has never been submitted in his career. Never!
Both fighters are ground-based fighters so expect a lot of wrestling and jiu-jitsu. However, Barnaoui being the bigger fighter — two inches taller and four inches longer reach — could give him a massive advantage while on the ground. We’re going to guess that Barnaoui makes Primus tap and he does so within the first two rounds. Therefore, you want money on the under.
Moneyline: Costello Van Steenis vs. Douglas Lima
Here’s a solid middleweight fight with the betting odds pretty close. As it stands, Van Steenis is a betting favorite over Lima. Here’s where the lines sit:
|Costello Van Steenis||-160||-160||-160|
We’ll be honest, Lima is living off his prior accomplishments. The former Bellator Grand Prix champion has been on a steep decline since losing to the aforementioned Mousasi in late 2020. He hasn’t won since, losing three fights in a row. All four of Lima’s recent defeats have been by decision so it’s not like he’s washed, but his sharpness has diminished.
We can't possibly bet alongside Lima given that downtrend. Van Steenis is a superior wrestler and we expect him to win on the ground off points. The bet to make here is Van Steenis, without question.
How To Bet On Bellator 296?
As we said at the top, there are a whopping 17 fights on the card this Saturday. To get a complete list of Bellator 296 bets, hit one of the underneath bookmakers right now. Moneylines, over/unders, props — every type of Bellator bet can be found here. That goes for not only this card, but future shows too.
The table below features the top-five-rated bookies in our latest online sportsbook reviews. You can’t go wrong with any of these, but links to those reviews can be found right on the table. Give ‘em a read to compare and contrast sites before deciding where to bet at.