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September 21, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: UFC Fight Night 40’s Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva

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Sam Morris

Chris Lytle hits Matt Brown with a right during their welterweight bout at UFC 116 Saturday, July 3, 2010. Lytle won by submission in the second round.

The Play of the Day, which features odds from the South Point, has turned ugly for me.

A week ago, I was one win away from going over the $10,000 starting bankroll. Four straight losses later, I’m at risk of falling into last place.

For sports-book salvation, I’ll look toward a sport that’s consistently worked out for me in this contest.

Erick Silva minus-190 over Matt Brown: $570 to win $300

The line in the UFC Fight Night 40 main event has exacerbated the mixed martial arts world as a whole. The amount of times I’ve heard someone question why Matt Brown isn’t favored in this fight might outnumber punches thrown in the main event at Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena.

That’s always a bad omen. And, in this case, it’s created value on the Erick Silva side.

The Brazilian, who everyone thought possessed championship potential in the welterweight division less than two years ago, was as high as a minus-250 favorite earlier in the week. He’s crashed based on the sheer number of tickets on Brown alone.

Doubting Brown obviously hasn’t gotten anyone very far in the past two years. He’s won six fights in a row, as the underdog in four of them, but none of his victims in that span was as talented or well rounded as Silva.

Brown also wasn’t tasked with coming off of a nine-month injury layoff where he admitted he had nothing to keep him from falling out of shape. The only concern is Brown fighting in front of his hometown.

Mixed martial arts referees and judges tend to let the fans affect them to a maddening degree. Crowd noise could steal Brown some close rounds, or boos could force an unjustified stand-up to take Silva out of a dominant position.

But when those are a fighter’s best routes to victory, it’s wise to look the other way.

Standings: Bern (23-16-1, $11,500), Keefer (19-24, $8,098), Brewer (17-20-3, $7,595)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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