UFC 269 Odds, Predictions, Preview: Best Bets for Munhoz vs. Cruz, Kara-France vs. Garbrandt

UFC 269 Odds, Predictions, Preview: Best Bets for Munhoz vs. Cruz, Kara-France vs. Garbrandt article feature image
Credit:

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC president Dana White stands between opponents Kai Kara-France (L) and Cody Garbrandt (R).

  • UFC 269 is shaping up to be the best card of the year, loaded with 14 fights, which means there's plenty of betting value to be found.
  • As always, our UFC crew is all over tonight's action with betting picks for three fights: Hall vs Minner, Munhoz vs Cruz and Kara-France vs Garbrandt.
  • Read on to see how they are finding value on those matchups.

We’re got a great night of fights ahead with a super-stacked UFC 269 card coming Saturday night.

There will be two title fights headlining tonight’s: Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier in the main event and Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena in the co-main event. The action kicks off at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+ with five early prelim bouts then moves to ESPN 2 at 8 p.m. ET for four more prelims before the five main card bouts on ESPN 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: Ryan Hall vs. Darrick Minner

Contributor at The Action Network

Jiu-jitsu savant Ryan Hall will face off against another submission specialist, Darrick Minner.

Minner has 21 first-round finishes in his career with 20 of them coming by submission. Hall is an incredible jiu-jitsu player and one of the premiere black belts in the world. However, his experience in mixed martial arts pales in comparison to Minner. Hall is 8-2 in MMA with a brutal KO loss coming in July to Ilia Topuria.

From a technical grappling perspective, Hall prefers to go for somersault’s and Imanari rolls to get into a 50/50 guard position and hopes to win the position from there. More often than not he does because of his elite jiu-jitsu.

For Minner, this will be his 29th fight in MMA; most recently he took a loss to Darren Elkins by TKO. Minner sprints out of the gate in every fight attempting to get quick finishes. Unfortunately, if he does not get it he can run out of energy quickly.

With Minner expected to be in top position for grappling exchanges and a clear striking advantage, Minner should be in an excellent position to win this fight. Hall’s best chance to win this fight is by submission, but I am not sure that Minner will get submitted here.

I prefer to bet Minner’s moneyline down to +120 and even think Hall’s chin has deteriorated enough to envision a Minner TKO win despite only having one in his career. Minner to win by KO/TKO is +700 on DraftKings, which is worth a small play. I would bet that prop down to +500.

The Pick: Darrick Minner ML +170 | Minner by KO/TKO +700


Sean Zerillo: Pedro Munhoz vs. Dominick Cruz

Betting Analyst, The Action Network

I wrote more about this fight and the rest of the card in my full UFC 269 breakdown, but I’ll sum up why this is my favorite bet on the card.

In theory, Cruz could have a path to victory through control time (2.99 takedowns per 15 minutes, 46% accuracy), but Munhoz has excellent takedown defense (80%) and a nasty guillotine choke.

At best, Cruz can win a close decision in this fight, predicated on volume. However, nearly all of the finishing upside lies with Munhoz, who possesses a clear power advantage.

The four outcomes here, in my assessment, are 1) Munhoz finish; 2) dominant Munhoz decision; 3) close Munhoz decision; 4) close Cruz decision. Even if Munhoz can’t entirely disrupt Cruz’s movement, the striking should be close on power optics alone.

I projected Munhoz’s moneyline closer to -150, and I think he’s the clear value side in this fight with -115 odds at BetMGM.

However, I also value the fight to go the distance (projected -256, listed -200) and Munhoz to win by decision (projected +176, listed +200).

The Pick: Pedro Munhoz (-115)

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Billy Ward: Kai Kara-France vs. Cody Garbrandt

Contributor at The Action Network

Unfortunately, some of the value has been sucked out of this one throughout the week, as Kara-France was as high as +135 earlier. I still like Kara-France. He’s welcoming Cody “No Love” Garbrandt to the 125-pound division on Saturday. Garbrandt has struggled as of late, losing four of his last five fights, three by knockout.

While there may be some optimism that Garbrandt’s chin holds up better at a smaller weight class, this isn’t the best fight to test that theory in. Kara-France has only one UFC win by knockout, but that belies his very strong knockdown rate of 0.22 per round (about three times the flyweight average.)

The city kickboxing fighter also throws at a very high-volume, attempting an average of over 66 strikes per round. All of which points to a decided striking edge for Kara-France. As does the tale of the tape — Kara-France has an extra inch of reach despite being 4 inches shorter than Cody.

Garbrandt’s best shot at winning this one is through his wrestling. However, he hasn’t been the most willing wrestler, despite his strong pedigree. His takedown attempts per round are below the UFC average. Kara-France has also been tough to bring down in his UFC career, defending 86% of the takedowns he’s faced.

While I normally lean “Grappler” in (on paper) striker vs. grappler matchups, that depends on Garbrandt actually using his wrestling. He’s been all too comfortable getting into firefights, which doesn’t bode well for him in this one. Kara-France takes this one, likely by knockout and I like his moneyline as well at DraftKings.

The Pick: Kai Kara-France ML (+110) | Kara-France by KO (+300)

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