UFC 264 Odds, Preview & Predictions: Our Favorite Bets & Picks for O’Malley vs. Moutinho, Burns vs. Thompson, More (Saturday, July 10)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: UFC fighters Gilbert Burns and Stephen Thompson.
- Saturday night's UFC slate is packed with 13 fights, but our analysts are eyeing three fights -- all on the PPV main card -- for their best bets.
- Read below for more on today's UFC 264 card, including our bets on Sean O'Malley vs. Kris Moutinho, Irene Aldana vs. Yana Kunitskaya and more.
On a weekend that features NBA Finals, Wimbledon final, and Euro 2020 final, Conor McGregor still found a way to capture some attention for himself. The Irishman will face Dustin Poirier in the third installment of their rivalry as the headliner for a stacked UFC 264 event.
The card begins at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN with eight bouts on the prelim card and a five-fight main card starting at 10 p.m. ET on Pay-Per-View.
So where should you be looking to place your bets? Our crew has pinpointed three fights and picks on Saturday’s massive card that present betting value.
You can find their analysis and picks on those matches below.
Erich Richter: Sean O’Malley vs. Kris Moutinho
Contributor at The Action Network
I tossed around a few bets for my best bet of the biggest card of the year, then I found O’Malley under 2.5 (-228) on PointsBet. It totally jumps off the page (or app in this case). O’Malley to win in the first round is +115 (46.51% implied) and O’Malley to win in the second round is +300 (or 25% implied).
If we add those two up, we get 71.51% implied for O’Malley to win within the first two rounds. Converted to odds, 71.51% is giving bettors -251. When you convert his -228 to odds to win in under 2.5 rounds, you get 69.51% — essentially there is a 2% edge with an additional half round.
This is a three-round fight so if O’Malley finishes Moutinho within 12:30 of the 15 allotted minutes we win. This is 100% a tuneup fight for O’Malley who had his opponent Louis Smolka pull out due to a staph infection.
Moutinho is making his UFC debut and has just a 9-4 record in his career. He has already been knocked out twice in his young career and none of these fighters hit as hard as O’Malley does.
The UFC is building O’Malley up as a future star. In order to become a star, you need to produce highlight-reel knockouts. O’Malley has done just that in the past and should be able to do that here. This is the biggest card of the year and he is facing a guy who has never been in the octagon.
For reference, O’Malley to win inside the distance is -323 (-76.36% implied) on PointsBet. I get to sell that half of a round for a 7% edge, which I believe is disproportionate for a favorite this large. I view this bet as a strong parlay builder and of course a straight bet.
Sportsbooks have O’Malley at as high as -1200, meaning they believe he wins this fight 90% of the time. I would play this under prop up to -265 before I start taking a shot at first or second-round knockout at plus money.
The Pick: Sean O’Malley under 2.5 Rounds (-228)
Sean Zerillo: Irene Aldana vs. Yana Kunitskaya
Betting Analyst, The Action Network
Aldana was the only fighter to miss weight on Friday (139.5 pounds), coming in 3.5 pounds over the bantamweight limit. Fortunately, I already bet the Kunitskaya side, and I like her even more now that Aldana may be suffering from a bad weight cut.
I’m comfortable betting on Kunitskaya because she knows her limitations and will execute an optimal game plan. She has made noticeable improvements in her recent fights after moving her camp to American Top Team in Florida.
Aldana has seemingly peaked and is not going to get the distance striking style of fight where she excels most. Kunitskaya will turn this matchup into an absolute grind.
I projected Kunitskaya as a slight favorite, and I would bet her moneyline to -105 with the best value at DraftKings. I also show value on her decision prop (projected +145) which I would sprinkle at +160 or better.
The Pick: Yana Kunitskaya ML (+100)
Billy Ward: Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson
Contributor at The Action Network
Fresh off his unsuccessful title challenge against Kamaru Usman, Gilbert Burns returns to the Octagon to face Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Burns had been riding a six-fight win streak before losing to the No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world (according to Tapology.) Thompson has a two-fight win streak of his own, with those wins coming against the seventh- and 12th-best welterweights in the UFC.
Burns’ moneyline price is high as +140 (DraftKings) at the time of this writing, and I’m really struggling to understand why. Before facing Usman, Burns was pretty widely regarded as the second-best welterweight on the planet. At the risk of getting too Bayesian here, the probability of Burns beating everyone other than Usman doesn’t really need to be updated given the loss to Usman.
Besides, Burns looked … fine in the Usman fight. His biggest issue was his inability to bring the fight to the ground, but Usman is a far superior wrestler than Thompson.
Wonderboy hasn’t actually faced any takedown attempts in his past four fights (meaning Anthony Pettis and Darren Till both were able to win stand-up fights against him), but prior to that he was taken down twice (in three attempts) by Tyron Woodley over two fights.
Burns is a world class grappler (literally, he won the 2011 IBJFF worlds), so if he’s able to bring the fight to the mat, it will be big trouble for Thompson. As mentioned before, Thompson has been gifted quite a few matchups against opponents with no interest in taking him down, so his record (and the betting line) are a little inflated here.
I don’t think Thompson can afford to win this one by point-fighting with Burns, he’s going to need to do serious damage for however long the fight remains standing. That’s an issue for Thompson, who hasn’t won a fight by KO since 2016, and has only two knockdowns in the eight fights since then.
Burns’ moneyline is the right side here. I’d also be on the lookout for live-betting opportunities if the line moves any further against Burns, especially if the fight stays standing for the first round.
The Pick: Gilbert Burns ML +140