Bellator returns this week and has back-to-back cards in Connecticut and New York that feature the heavyweight tournament semifinals.

The first of those two events, Bellator 207, takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card airs on Paramount and streams on DAZN following prelims on MMAjunkie.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, Matt Mitrione (13-5 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) takes on light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (25-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) in the first semifinal of the heavyweight grand prix. Bader is attempting to become a two-division champion. The winner of the tournament will become the new heavyweight beltholder. Despite fighting up from 205 pounds against a career heavyweight, Bader is a favorite of nearly 3-1 with the odds makers – and a huge picks favorite with our staff members. Our MMAjunkie editors, writers, radio hosts and videographers are picking Bader at a 12-1 clip.

The co-main event features two more heavyweights. Sergei Kharitonov (27-6 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) takes on Roy Nelson (23-15 MMA, 1-1 BMMA), who is a 3-1 favorite. Only two of our pickers are taking Kharitonov in an upset over fellow veteran Nelson.

We have a pair of unanimous picks on the main card. Lorenz Larkin (19-7 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) pitched a 13-0 picks shutout of Ion Pascu (18-8 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) in their welterweight fight. And lightweight Kevin Ferguson Jr. (3-1 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) is a 13-0 unanimous pick over Corey Browning (3-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA).

To open the main card, Carrington Banks (7-1 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) nearly is unanimous against Mandel Nallo (6-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) in their lightweight fight. Banks has a 12-1 advantage.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Bader (64 percent), Nelson (55 percent), Larkin (92 percent), Ferguson Jr. (87 percent), and Banks (63 percent) are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on Bellator 207, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.