Updated UFC 272 Odds, Pick, Prediction: Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal (Saturday, March 5)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Colby Covington (left) and Jorge Masvidal (right).
- Colby Covington is a huge favorite in the UFC 272 main event against Jorge Masvidal.
- The former teammates' relationship has turned sour in recent years, resulting in this personal fight.
- Sean Zerillo breaks down the matchup and lays out his betting strategy below.
Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal Odds
UFC 272's main event between Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal is one of the more personal fights the company has ever seen.
Former American Top Team teammates have turned enemies, and they'll settle their score in the octagon in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Below I preview the matchup and odds for tonight's fight. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||15:57||13:05|
|Weight (pounds)||170.5 lbs.||170.5 lbs.|
|Date of birth||2/22/88||11/12/84|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.14||4.22|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.09||3.01|
|Take Down Avg||4.10||1.54|
Saturday's main event features a grudge match between the most recent welterweight title challengers and former roommates/teammates in Covington and Masvidal.
Masvidal, of five-second knockout fame, is always a strong draw and figures to attract public betting attention, mainly his knockout prop (listed around +400, projected +512).
He has some tools to frustrate or put Covington in danger early. Masvidal's takedown defense (75% career) largely stood up over two fights against Kamaru Usman (denied 11 of 18, or 61% of attempts).
Masvidal's submission defense and ability to work off of his back are underrated, as well. Usman controlled him for 2:36 and scored a takedown in the first round of their first fight. The champ scored two takedowns and 1:39 of control in the first round of the second fight. Yet Masvidal still won that round on at least one scorecard in both fights.
Masvidal carries more power and is the better boxer in the pocket, but Covington has him covered everywhere else in this fight, particularly in pace and cardio.
There's a scenario where Masvidal consistently denies takedowns or gets back to his feet and edges the early rounds on power optics in the striking exchanges.
The South Florida native also works the body and kicks the leg, which could help slow Covington's movement and create more pocket exchanges.
Still, Covington likely wins Rounds 3, 4, and 5 with better volume or dominant control time at drastically increasing percentages, which makes him a tremendous live bet after either the first or second round, mainly if his line falls closer to -200 after a tight opening five minutes.
Masvidal is statistically the far more efficient striker (113 combined striking accuracy and defensive percentages, 93 for Covington), but I doubt he gets much time in open space. He's either going to have to consistently break away from clinch positions up against the cage or find himself scrambling to get off of his back, and his success will be frontloaded.
Covington projects to land just under seven takedowns on roughly 14 or 15 attempts (46% accuracy), which is projected against his average level of competition in a five-round fight. I expect to see close to a repeat of Usman-Masvidal I, with Covington in the Usman role (landed 5 of 16 takedowns, 16:38 control time) if he covers his 75% price tag.
Usman mostly controlled Masvidal up against the cage in that fight, and I could see Covington putting him in similar spots for long stretches on Saturday while both neutralizing Masvidal's boxing and sapping his energy.
While I favor Usman's top control over Covington's top game, Colby can push an ever faster pace in all areas of the fight. While Masvidal can get up and keep this fight competitive early, his cardio could fall off in a drastic way in the middle or late rounds.
Covington vs. Masvidal Pick
That said, it's challenging to lay a ton of juice on a favorite with limited finishing upside, despite the potentially dominant wrestling advantage. Colby's pace could potentially break Masvidal late, and his Round 4 (+1800) or Round 5 (+2500) props crossed my mind, but I would need to see double those odds to make a play.
Covington by decision (between -105 to -120, depending on the book) is likely the surest winning method bet (projected -129). Still, there is a far better way to play this fight.
I projected the fight to go the distance 64% of the time (-175 implied odds), and I bet that prop at FanDuel at -122.
Looking at the listed odds on that same book, they're telling you that Covington wins by decision at least 51.2% of the time (-105 listed odds) and that Masvidal wins by decision 7.7% of the time (+1200).
Based upon that information alone, one would expect the Goes the Distance odds to be -143 or higher before accounting for any vig, yet that Distance/Decision prop is shorting someone (likely Masvidal's) decision-driven equity.
- Masvidal/Covington, Fight goes to Decision (-122, Risk 1u)
- Colby Covington Live after Round 1 and/or Round 2