UFC 245 Betting Picks, Odds & Predictions: Best Bets for Usman-Covington, Holloway-Volkanovski and More


Jason Silva, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Kamaru Usman

Dec 14, 2019, 05:15 PM EST

UFC 245 Betting Picks, Odds & Predictions

  • Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: T-Mobile Arena (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Channel: PPV

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will close out their 2019 pay-per-view schedule in style on Saturday with three championship fights, headlined by a Welterweight title bout between Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman (c), and controversial challenger Colby Covington.

Saturday will mark Usman’s first title defense, and Covington won the interim championship as recently as June of 2018 – making this matchup one of the year’s most intriguing fights.

Before they get underway, Max Holloway (c) will take on Alexander Volkanovski for the Featherweight title – a weight class Holloway has dominated since losing to Conor McGregor six years ago.

And Amanda Nunes (c) will look for her fifth consecutive title defense at Bantamweight, against an opponent she pummeled for a first-round knockout in 2013.

The two-division champion has four first-round finishes in her past six matches, and another dominant performance on Saturday would only further solidify her “G.O.A.T.” status.

While I think that this card will end up relatively chalky overall, I was able to find some actionable value in the prop market.

Here’s everything I bet for UFC 245:

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Petr Yan (-525) vs. Urijah Faber (Bantamweight)

Forty-year-old Urijah Faber returned to competition in June, after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus, to score an early first-round knockout over a rising prospect, Ricky Simon, as a +185 underdog.

Faber is a legend of the sport, and to win as an even bigger underdog this time around, he’s going to need to land more of those sneaky overhand rights and use his wrestling base to control his opponent on the ground.

But Petr Yan has proven effective at deflecting takedown attempts in the UFC (opponents are 3-21), and he has a massive edge in striking speed, and variety to both punish Faber and out-point him when he comes into range.

Most importantly, I think Yan has a better chance of winning on the cards than by knockout – but the betting market disagrees.

Notice how the knockout rate decreases in the UFC at lower weight classes (per fightmatrix.com)

Yan’s only UFC stoppage came from his opponent’s corner, and Faber has never been finished in a non-title fight.

He might be overmatched, but I think Faber makes it to the finish line – I’ll take Yan on the scorecards at plus-money.

Favorite Bet(s): 

  • Yan to win by Decision (+175)

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Marlon Moraes (-190) vs. Jose Aldo (Bantamweight)