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Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett Odds, UFC Pick & Prediction: How to Live Bet Saturday’s Main Event (June 18)

Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett Odds, UFC Pick & Prediction: How to Live Bet Saturday’s Main Event (June 18) article feature image
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Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC fighter Calvin Kattar.

  • A future Featherweight title challenger could emerge from Saturday's main event between No. 4 ranked contender Calvin Kattar, and No. 7 ranked Josh Emmett.
  • Kattar is headlining a UFC card for his fourth consecutive bout and Emmett is riding a four-fight winning streak.
  • Sean Zerillo breaks it down and shares his best bet below.

Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett Odds

Kattar Odds
-240
Emmett Odds
+200
Over/Under
4.5 (-130 / +100)
Venue
Moody Center, Austin, TX
Time
Approx. 9:30 p.m. ET
Channel
ESPN
Odds as of Saturday and via Caesars.

A future Featherweight title challenger could emerge from Saturday’s main event between No. 4 ranked contender Calvin Kattar, and No. 7 ranked Josh Emmett.

Kattar is headlining a UFC card for his fourth consecutive bout, following a loss to Max Holloway and a dominant win over Giga Chikadze.

Emmett is riding a four-fight winning streak and will enter a five-round fight for the first time since 2014 — when he competed for a title on the west coast regional circuit.

Below, I’ll provide my analysis and projections for Saturday’s matchup and utilize those factors to bet on the main event.

Tale of the Tape

Kattar Emmett
Record 23-5 17-2
Avg. Fight Time 14:40 11:59
Height 5’11” 5’6″
Weight (pounds) 145 lbs. 145 lbs.
Reach (inches) 72″ 70″
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Date of birth 3/26/88 3/4/85
Sig Strikes Per Min 5.19 4.28
SS Accuracy 41% 39%
SS Absorbed Per Min 7.64 4.10
SS Defense 52% 62%
Take Down Avg. 0.51 1.25
TD Acc 29% 47%
TD Def 89% 58%
Submission Avg 0.1 0.1

Kattar is both the taller and longer fighter and is far more active in the cage than Emmett. I expect Kattar to primarily win minutes in this fight with output, while Emmett has the more impactful moments.

Kattar’s poor defensive metrics (7.64 strikes absorbed per minute) are skewed mainly by his loss to Holloway, where he absorbed a UFC record of 445 strikes over 25 minutes.

Take that fight out of the equation, and Kattar has absorbed 5.53 strikes per minute throughout his UFC career; still a high number, but much closer to a 1:1 strike differential than a severe deficit.

Kattar swept every round against Giga (including a 10-8 on one card), despite absorbing more significant strikes in each of the first two rounds; and only winning the stats by a 157-129 significant strike margin.

Still, Kattar is a sound boxer who hits extremely hard -particularly with his elbows – and he’s generally able to put a pace on his opponents.

That said, Kattar absorbs a lot of damage too. He’s very hittable but often relies on superior durability while brawling with opponents.

That could lead to a knockout win — or multiple knockdowns — for Emmett, who averages 2.2 knockdowns per 15 minutes, second-most in Featherweight history behind Conor McGregor (2.31). He also has the Featherweight record for total knockdowns (11).

Pound-pound-pound, Emmett is one of the biggest punchers in the UFC. He utilizes his strong lower half to sit down on his punches and times his counters well, which has consistently wobbled the opposition.

While Kattar has proven himself one of the most durable fighters in any weight class, Emmett’s power is an outlier; I suspect he’ll hurt Kattar early in this fight.

Still, unless he can put Kattar away or score knockdowns in three of the five rounds, Emmett may have difficulty winning this fight because Kattar will primarily lead the dance and control the action.

In theory, Emmett may possess the grappling upside in this fight. He’s a former collegiate wrestler, but he’s rarely used his wrestling on the offensive end at the UFC level (1.25 takedowns per 15 minutes, 47% accuracy), with eight of his ten career takedowns coming in one fight (against Scott Holtzman, in 2016).

Moreover, since he has to manage his gas tank for five rounds, I doubt that Emmett will expend energy pursuing takedowns early; neither his top control nor his jiu-jitsu is particularly high-level for the UFC. Additionally, Kattar has proven a strong counter-wrestler (89% takedown defense) who can mix in some offensive grappling.

Despite his powerful fighting style, Emmett has pretty decent cardio.

He scored a third-round knockout against Michael Johnson to start his current winning streak and won the third round in each of his past two fights, against Dan Ige and Shane Burgos.

Still, the championship rounds may prove challenging against a fighter in Kattar who will push a hard pace and potentially cause Emmett to wilt down the stretch.

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Kattar vs. Emmett Pick

I projected Calvin Kattar as a 71.4% favorite in this fight (-242 implied) odds, and I show slight value on his moneyline depending upon the book, though it’s a relatively small edge.

While I would probably bet Emmett at this price in a three-round fight, I have difficulty projecting him to win a decision against a high-paced fighter in a five-round affair, and I couldn’t put his finish probability past 17.5% (+471 implied) overall.

I don’t project value on either side of the total – expecting this fight to go the distance about half the time (51%), with most of that assumption tied to an early finish for Emmett or a late finish for Kattar.

And I don’t see value on any winning method props, though Kattar by decision (projected +157, listed +125) and Emmett by knockout (projected +584, listed +425) seem like pretty binary outcomes.

Kattar to win in Round 4 (+2000) or Round 5 (+2500) could be worthy dart throws, considering Emmett’s question marks in the championship rounds.

However, I suspect Emmett’s cardio may be underrated, if anything, considering that fighters who carry a ton of power typically experience a drop-off when they hit Round 3 – whereas Emmett has excelled.

I paired Kattar (at -230) in a plus-money (+103) parlay with Kyle Daukaus (at -240) at a slight edge which is still available at DraftKings. And I view both fighters as relatively safe parlay pieces, provided they both can avoid a knockout loss at the hands of powerful but less skilled opponents.

I would also look to Live bet Kattar at some point after Rounds 1, 2, or 3 if he falls behind on the scorecards or the fight is tied 1-1, and his line moves closer to a pick’em price.

I expect Emmett to hurt Kattar early in this fight and potentially steal a round or two by having the most significant moments in those rounds before Kattar goes back to winning the vast majority of minutes.

The Pick: Calvin Kattar as a Parlay Piece (up to -240) / Live bet Kattar after Rounds 1, 2, or 3 if his price improves

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