UFC 257 predictions, prop bets, odds: Finding the best values for a loaded fight card on Fight Island

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UFC 257 is not only the first UFC pay-per-view of 2021, but it will likely be one of the biggest events of the year when the calendar draws to a close. Any event with Conor McGregor in the main event is going to draw extra attention, and his rematch with Dustin Poirier is no different. With more attention comes more action at the betting window.

McGregor heads into the fight with Poirier as a -310 favorite to beat Poirier (+250). The fight stands out as even more important with the retirement of lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Whoever emerges victorious between McGregor and Poirier would seem to have the inside track on a title fight, whether for the vacant championship or against Nurmagomedov should the UFC be able to convince him to return for one more fight.

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There’s more to this card than just the main event. Another important lightweight contest is set for the co-main event when former Bellator MMA champion Michael Chandler takes on Dan Hooker. With questions surrounding current champ Khabib Nurmagomedov — although he has been vehement in his decision to stay retired after the death of his father — a win for either in this spot could put them into a spot to fight for the title next. Plus, rising strawweight Amanda Ribas is back to kick off the PPV card when she takes on Marina Rodriguez. 

When the action is expected to be this good, bettors can’t wait to get in on the fun. And that’s exactly what you can expect this weekend with so many intriguing matchups up and down this 12-fight card. A lot of gamblers like to live outside the box of straight moneyline picks, and that’s what we’re here for in this space. We’re going to take a closer look at the main card to find the best values on prop bets with odds provided via William Hill Sportsbook.

Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier

McGregor via KO/TKO/DQ

-175

McGregor via submission +1800

McGregor via decision

+600

Poirier via KO/TKO/DQ

+450

Poirier via submission

+900

Poirier via decision

+650

Draw

+4000

Fight goes the distance: YES

+300

Fight goes the distance: NO

-450

Pick: Total rounds — Over 1.5 (-150) McGregor is an explosive finisher and he didn’t have much trouble finishing Poirier in the first round of their previous meeting. To lean on that ignores several realities. Poirier isn’t going to rush in like Jose Aldo, he isn’t on a run of several knockouts like Donald Cerrone and he’s a much better and more complete fighter at 155 pounds than he was at 145. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that McGregor eats up Poirier in a matter of minutes, but the more mature version of Poirier should be taking the kind of patient and cautious approach that makes this a good value bet, especially with the playbook on McGregor saying that dragging him into the second half of the fight is your best chance to score the victory.

Michael Chandler vs. Dan Hooker

Chandler via KO/TKO/DQ

+500

Chandler via submission

+1000

Chandler via decision

+250

Hooker via KO/TKO/DQ

+188

Hooker via submission

+1200

Hooker via decision

+300

Draw +5000

Fight goes the distance: YES

-110

Fight goes the distance: NO

-125

Pick: Chandler via decision (+250) — Hooker via knockout is viewed by the oddsmakers as the most likely way the fight will end. This is a product of both Hooker’s talents as a striker and Chandler suffering three TKO losses in his career (though one was a doctor’s stoppage). Yes, Chandler is hittable and Hooker can finish talented fighters when he can get his strikes flowing. But Chandler has legitimate wrestling skills and some power on the feet. If he can make Hooker hesitate on the feet because he’s worried about the threat of a takedown, Chandler can grind out two rounds on the scorecards to edge out the decision. The likelihood of the fight playing out is high enough that +250 is an attractive line.

Amanda Ribas vs. Marina Rodriguez

Ribas via KO/TKO/DQ

+600

Ribas via submission

+300

Ribas via decision

+120

Rodriguez via KO/TKO/DQ

+1200

Rodriguez via submission

+1400

Rodriguez via decision

+350

Fight goes the distance: YES

-200

Fight goes the distance: NO

+150

Pick: Amanda Ribas via decision (+120) — If you want to live a bit more of an exciting life for 15 minutes on Saturday, throwing some money on Ribas to score a stoppage isn’t unreasonable. Personally, I want to place bets that have the highest chance of making money. Nearly 70% of women’s strawweight fights go to decision. Ribas is a reasonably heavy favorite for a reason, but Rodriguez has never been stopped. Getting +120 for what seems like far and away the most sensible outcome is still a good value here without just throwing up a Hail Mary and hoping for the best.

Who will win McGregor vs. Poirier 2, and how will each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 257, all from the incomparable expert who’s up more than $22,000 on MMA in the past 23 months, and find out.





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