UFC 256 Odds, Pick & Prediction: The Smart Bet in Kevin Holland vs. Jacare Souza Matchup

UFC 256 Odds, Pick & Prediction: The Smart Bet in Kevin Holland vs. Jacare Souza Matchup article feature image
Credit:

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC). Pictured: Kevin Holland.

  • Kevin Holland has been electric for all of 2020 and looks to continue his winning ways vs. Jacare Souza at UFC 256.
  • Sean Zerillo details why the best betting value in this matchup may be the over/under and not either fighter's moneyline odds.
  • Check out his analysis of this fight below.

Jacare Souza vs. Kevin Holland Odds

Souza odds
-118 [BET NOW]
Holland odds
-106 [BET NOW]
Over/Under
2.5 (-125/-106) [BET NOW]
Venue
UFC APEX, Las Vegas
Time
Saturday, 11:55 p.m. ET
Channel
ESPN PPV

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No. 15-ranked middleweight contender Kevin Holland looks to continue the outstanding streak he’s been on this year when he faces Jacare Souza Saturday. Holland is seeking his fifth win in this calendar year, while Souza is looking to snap a two-fight losing streak.

Below I break preview the matchup and odds for this UFC 256 main card matchup. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.

Tale of the Tape

Main Event Holland Souza
Record 20-5 26-8 (1 NC)
Avg. Fight Time 11:09 10:10
Height 6’3″ 6’1″
Weight (pounds) 185 185
Reach (inches) 81″ 72″
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Date of birth 11/5/92 12/7/79
Sig Strikes Per Min 4.68 2.56
SS Accuracy 56% 46%
SS Absorbed Per Min 2.80 2.81
SS Defense 56% 62%
Take Down Avg 1.21 2.46
TD Acc 42% 38%
TD Def 54% 60%
Submission Avg 0.8 1.4

Souza vs. Holland Pick

Holland – who is 4-0 in 2020 – initially opened as a -175 favorite (implied 63.6%), but now sits as an even-money underdog (implied 50%) as of writing against the 41-year-old Souza, who hasn’t competed since last November.

As a reminder, UFC fighters who return from a one-year layoff win less than 40% of the time, and in bouts between fighters at least 13 years apart in age, the younger fighter has prevailed 69% of the time at average odds of -133 (implied 57%).

On paper, Holland is one of the more efficient strikers in UFC history, averaging 4.68 strikes landed per minute, with a +1.88 differential, a 56% strike accuracy rate, and a 56% defensive rate. He is incredibly long (81-inch reach) with a 9-inch advantage relative to Souza, who will look to test Holland’s grappling (54% takedown defense).

Jacare (2.46 takedowns per 15 minutes, 38% accuracy) – a former ADCC champion who has finished each of his past six UFC wins dating back to 2014 – may only need to complete one takedown to defeat Holland. The lanky limbs that make Holland an asset on the feet often prove problematic when grappling – providing ample surface area for his opponents to grab hold.

Holland was grounded three times (on eight attempts) and held down for more than four minutes in a split-decision win over Darren Stewart in September, proving that he still has work to do on his defensive grappling and wrestling.

Pre-fight, this matchup looks like a pick’em, but in hindsight, the winner will likely seem like they should have been a significant favorite. The relative strengths/weaknesses of these two combatants indicate that a finish is likely, and given his age, it’s entirely possible that Souza is completely shot.

If he isn’t, I expect Holland to eventually make a mistake, and for the Brazilian to capitalize. But if this is the end of the road for Jacare, and Holland denies every takedown attempt, he should eventually finish his opponent with pure volume.

Holland by KO/TKO (+450), and Souza Inside the Distance (+175) both align with my projections (+450 and +169 respectively), and I see this fight finishing inside the distance more often (57%) than the odds (-115, or 53.5%) suggest.

Given the path to a finish for both men, I’ll play the violence bet and take the Under 2.5 rounds.

The Pick: Under 2.5 (-106)

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