Mixed martial arts betting is so much more than just UFC matchups. Sure, those command plenty of headlines, particularly their pay-per-view events. But in the world of MMA, there's also Bellator MMA and the extreme fighting championship (EFC) slates on which to wager. Both can be a nice change of pace from UFC tilts, which only hold fight nights on certain weeks.
There's no better time to dive into these different events than now. We have betting odds and predictions for EFC 87, a highly anticipated slate that includes five main-card fights and is set to take place at the EFC Performance Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa.
To start, let's take a look at the latest MMA betting odds for EFC 87, courtesy of the fine folks over at BetOnline:
|Luke Michael||-185||+155||Dino Bagattin|
|Billy Oosthuizen||-145||+115||Sizwe Mnikathi|
|Fafa Dwama||-150||+120||Wade Kerspuy|
|August Kayambala||-185||+155||Brian Serut|
|Aly Kalambay||-210||+270||Bradley Swanepoel|
Be sure to recheck these MMA lines before deciding on a wager, as they could shift between now and the opening bell at the top online sportsbooks. And if you're new to following the EFC, we highly suggest checking out the best MMA betting apps to see whether any of them are running any specials on which you can capitalize.
EFC 87 Betting Breakdown
For those of you who haven't closely paid attention to the EFC before, you needn't worry. We have done all the necessary research on rules and skillsets and read up on the participating fighters at EFC 87.
What follows is our definitive predictions for the top-five battles set to take place on the card. If you wish to take this to the next level, most sportsbooks are still offering odds on the undercard matchups.
Luke Michael (-185) vs. Dino Bagattin (+155)
Many analysts are surprised that Dino Bagattin isn't checking in as something closer to a co-favorite, like a +120, +110 or something. He is working off a tough stretch that includes multiple losses and, most recently, a no contest, but he's extremely mobile on his feet. His head is in constant motion, making it a moving target, and his backpedaling speed makes him extremely hard to hit.
Oddsmakers must see what we see: an opponent in Luke Michael with an impressive 74.4-inch reach who can connect on even the fastest-moving targets.
To make matters worse for Bagattin, Michael has also improved his technique as a grappler while developing a strong submission game. To us, he's the one who's undervalued.
OSB Prediction: Luke Michael (-185)
Billy Oosthuizen (-145) vs. Sizwe Mnikathi (+115)
Don't sleep on Sizwe Mnikathi in this one. Many are bound to. He has flashed impressive power and accuracy in his first few EFC fights, but his experience is limited.
Billy Oosthuizen represents a serious test for the 26-year-old. He blends speed with power and a unique brand of risk-taking anchored by extreme confidence. He's not someone who will fall to opponents who second guess themselves.
Mnikathi doesn't profile as that guy, in our opinion. He was dominant as an amateur, did the same during his first-ever EFC victory, and can counter Oosthuizen's power with explosive combos of his own. We're calling for the upset.
OSB Prediction: Sizwe Mnikathi (+115)
Fafa Dwama (-150) vs. Wade Kerspuy (+120)
Wade Kerspuy enters EFC 87 looking for his first official win at this level. We're not sure he's going to get it.
Fafa Dwama might have the most deadly Judo form of anyone in the EFC. Some will argue that he could be worn down by Kerspuy's combination of pace, striking, and footwork, but we're not buying it.
Every one of Dwama's EFC matches so far has gone to a decision. He's used to going the distance en route to winning, and his power seldom wanes as matches drag on.
OSB Prediction: Fafa Dwama (-150)
August Kayambala (-185) vs. Brian Serut (+155)
Brian Serut comes to EFC 87 for his first career pro fight, and boy, could he be in trouble.
August Kayambala is revered for his discipline and power; few fights have his knockout potential. He will wait out opponents for openings based on how they turn their bodies when retracting their arms on strike attempts and is obsessed with picking up trends and patterns when it comes to their footwork.
Perhaps Serut's energy will be able to wear him down. But it only takes one mistake by the rookie before it's lights out—because those are the types of combinations Kayambala actively chases.
OSB Prediction: August Kayambala (-185)
Aly Kalambay (-210) vs. Bradley Swanepoel (+270)
This is our easiest pick of EFC 87.
Aly Kalambay has yet to lose at the professional level, and while he's only three matches in, he's shown enough to earn votes of confidence. There is no method of fighting he's schooled in most; he is what we instead call a pure mixed martial artist, an expert in nearly every form that exists. You'll be hard-pressed to find someone with a more well-rounded skill set.
Of course, this comprehensive knowledge comes at the cost of power. That can give him problems against certain opponents. But Bradley Swanepoel isn't one of them. He is at his best when he brings rivals down onto the mat. The thing is, that plays right into what Kalambay does best, too.
OSB Prediction: Aly Kalambay (-210)
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your MMA betting: