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UFC 270 Odds, Picks, Preview: Our Best Bets for Moreno vs. Figueiredo, Ngannou vs. Gane (Saturday, January 22)

UFC 270 Odds, Picks, Preview: Our Best Bets for Moreno vs. Figueiredo, Ngannou vs. Gane (Saturday, January 22) article feature image
Credit:

Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC. Pictured (L-R): UFC opponents Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane.

  • The first UFC PPV card of the calendar year kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and features 11 bouts.
  • Our UFC analysts have bets on three of tonight's fights, — including both title fights: Matt Frevola vs. Genaro Valdez, Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (co-main event) and Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane (main event).
  • Read on for their fight analysis and best bets for Saturday night.

The UFC returns to California for the first time since 2019 when UFC 270 takes over the Honda Center in Anaheim. The action begins at 7 p.m. ET with two early prelim bouts on ESPN+ then shifts to ESPN at 8 p.m. ET for four more fights before the Pay-Per-View portion, which features two title fights: Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo and Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane.

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.

Billy Ward: Matt Frevola vs. Genaro Valdez

Contributor at The Action Network

Genaro “El Rayadito” Valdez is making his UFC debut on the undercard of UFC 270, as he takes on UFC veteran Matt Frevola. That Frevola is taking on a debuting fighter speaks to the downturn we’ve seen in his UFC career as of late.

Frevola has lost two in a row, including a shocking seven second knockout at the hands of last minute replacement (and debuting fighter) Terrance McKinney his last time in the Octagon. Frevola also was knocked out in his own UFC debut in the opening minute.

Those are concerning signs as he takes on Valdez, whose perfect 10-0 record contains seven victories by knockout (with the other three coming by submission). Valdez clearly has power, and seems to have a solid ground game as well based on his record.

While we don’t know a ton about Valdez, his record includes some tough competition, including an impressive knockout in his Contender Series fight. Frevola seems to be fading fast, and I’m not sure his suspect chin holds up in this one.

IT’s not entirely comfortable betting on a fighter with so little data available, but this is more of a bet against Frevola as a -200 favorite than on Valdez. This fight feels closer to a toss-up than anything, so I’d bet Valdez’s line down to +140. Consider sprinkling a little on Valdez to win by (T)KO as well, which is +330 on DraftKings.

The Pick: Genaro Valdez ML (+170)


Sean Zerillo: Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo

Betting Analyst, The Action Network

Check out my full fight preview on this co-main event where I break down the both sides of the third matchup in this trilogy.

In short, I think that the first fight — when both men appeared at their best — tells us much more about this stylistic matchup than the second fight in which Figueiredo looked utterly drained of energy.

I’m afraid I disagree with the current odds for the trilogy fight, which have Moreno closer to 65% implied after closing at +250 (28.6%) and +150 (40%) the previous matchups.

I’m willing to accept the closing odds for the rematch (roughly 60% implied for Figueiredo) as the true odds in this stylistic matchup — it incorporates the assessment that Figueiredo is the man with both the higher finishing upside and damage-inflicting ability — but with the caveat that he may fade or prove to be a shell of himself.

And even if the prediction market sets Moreno as the favorite now (projected 53.8% or -116 implied), there’s still betting value on the challenger at current odds.

I would bet Figueiredo on the moneyline down to +126 (44.2% implied), at a two percentage point edge compared to my projection. Moreover, you could bet him to win inside the distance (projected +233, listed +330) in the prop market.

The Pick: Deiveson Figueiredo ML (+155)


Erich Richter: Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane

Contributor at The Action Network

Does anyone remember that article that I wrote about Fading The UFC Public Money? Well, consider this the first of many bets I will be making following that guideline.

In that article I clamored for bettors to block out the noise when a fighter goes from favorite to underdog status, the sportsbook knows what it’s doing.

Well, fading the public has another case right here as Francis Ngannou opened as a sizable -190 favorite in this fight and has cratered down to a +130 underdog.

Sure, there’s some concern of his lack of focus with his contract up after this fight. Ngannou is set to be a free agent.

However, y’all must’ve forgotten the different beast that we saw against Stipe Miocic last April.

Ngannou shows off impeccable speed and power that is truly something to behold. He has the power to put anyone to sleep.

Not only that, but we saw Ngannou debut some impressive kicking ability to the lower calf and up high to the head. Moreover, he showed off some wrestling chops against Miocic, something we have not seen Gane deal with in his MMA career.

Ngannou as this big of an underdog is borderline disrespectful at this point. His under 2.5 rounds prop at +270 covers 75% of his win condition at least.

Per my research in the article I tagged above, if you faded the public and bet the initial favorite that sportsbooks posted, $100 bettors would’ve been up $682.33. Going from a -190 favorite to a +130 underdog without extenuating circumstances fueling it is unprecedented as far as I can tell.

The Pick: Francis Ngannou Wins in Under 2.5 Rounds (+270)

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