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Updated UFC 272 Odds, Predictions, Picks: Betting Analysis for All 13 Fights, Including Covington vs. Masvidal

Updated UFC 272 Odds, Predictions, Picks: Betting Analysis for All 13 Fights, Including Covington vs. Masvidal article feature image
Credit:

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Colby Covington (left) and Jorge Masvidal (right).

  • UFC 272 has 13 fights, headlined by Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal.
  • Sean Zerillo has run his numbers, and his betting card is ready.
  • Check out his fight breakdowns, projections and betting picks below.

On Saturday, the UFC returns to the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with a 13-fight card for UFC 272, highlighted by a grudge match between Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal.

The early prelims begin at 6 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass and ESPN+ before moving to ESPN at 8 p.m. ET. The five-fight PPV main card will commence at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

After examining all betting options, a typical UFC card can offer a substantial amount of actionable value. So, in addition to moneylines and over/unders, I’ll break down how I plan to bet every fight card, including exact winning methods, winning round props, and whether or not the match will go to a decision or finish inside the distance.

Fight times are approximate and subject to change. All times ET.

Click on a fight to skip ahead
13. Dustin Jacoby vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
6 p.m. ET
12. Devonte Smith vs. Ludovit Klein
6:30 p.m. ET
11. Tagir Ulanbekov vs. Tim Elliott
7 p.m. ET
10. Umar Nurmagomedov vs. Brian Kelleher
7:30 p.m. ET
9. Mariya Agapova vs. Maryna Moroz
8 p.m. ET
8. Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Nicolae Negumereanu
8:30 p.m. ET
7. Marina Rodriguez vs. Yan Xiaonan
9 p.m. ET
6. Jalin Turner vs. Jamie Mullarkey
9:30 p.m. ET
5. Serghei Spivac vs. Greg Hardy
10 p.m. ET
4. Kevin Holland vs. Alex Oliveira
10:30 p.m. ET
3. Bryce Mitchell vs. Edson Barboza
11 p.m. ET
2. Rafael dos Anjos vs. Renato Moicano
11:30 p.m. ET
1. Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal
12:15 a.m. ET

UFC 272 Projected Odds

Below, you can find my fair odds moneyline projection for each of Saturday’s 13 bouts. In the next section, you’ll discover forecasts for those fights to finish inside the distance or for each fighter to win by decision, knockout, or submission.

Odds as of Saturday morning and via DraftKings.

UFC 272 Prop Projections

In addition to creating a crowdsourced projection for moneyline plays, I also collect data on each fighter to win by decision, knockout, or submission, enabling us to determine fair odds for each fight to go the distance or for each fighter to win inside of the distance.

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UFC 272 Odds

All odds below via PointsBet.

Dustin Jacoby vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk

Light Heavyweight Bout Odds
Dustin Jacoby Odds -200
Michal Oleksiejczuk Odds +170
Over/under rounds 2.5 (-110 / -110)

Crowdsourced Projections: Dustin Jacoby (62.1%) 

Oleksiejczuk is a bit small for the light heavyweight division, but he carries heavyweight power in his left hand and shows good head movement in the pocket. Jacboy, meanwhile, tends to leave his head on the center line and throw naked kicks to keep the distance. That’s a combination ripe for violence.

In the smaller cage at the UFC Apex, I would be extremely high on Oleksiejczuk here — he’s faster, more athletic, and possesses much more finishing upside relative to his opponent. He’s also 6 1/2 years younger than Jacoby and more likely to be making improvements at this point in his career.

Jacoby has proven to be durable throughout his MMA career. Still, I expect Oleksiejczuk to find his chin while mixing to the body repeatedly in the early stages of this fight. I’m just skeptical of his ability to sustain that pace for three rounds.

Jacoby can control a moderate tempo kickboxing fight at range with relative ease. Still, Oleksiejczuk can close the distance (two inches of reach, three inches shorter) and bob and weave his way into the pocket. I’m confident that he’ll find the target so long as his legs are under him.

If Jacoby can chop down those legs and slow down Oleksiejczuk’s movement, he should eventually pull away. Still, the latter’s cardio concerns are overblown, and his attritional work to the body means that Jacoby may tire too if this fight gets extended.

I may consider a small bet on Oleksiejczuk’s moneyline if the number moves back towards +185 (35% implied). Still, for now, I prefer a small bet on his odds to win inside the distance (+350 at DraftKings, projected +211) at a far more significant edge.

I’m also interested in Oleksiejczuk in Round 1 (+700) — I just don’t want to take too significant a position against Jacoby’s durability — but it’s one that I have to consider adding to my card.

That said, Jacoby by decision (listed +225, projected +168) is an equally viable value proposition on the other side of the fight.

Bets

  • Michal Oleksiejczuk wins Inside the Distance (+350, 0.25 units)
  • Oleksiejczuk wins in Round 1 (+800, 0.1u)

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Devonte Smith vs. Ludovit Klein

Lightweight Bout Odds
Devonte Smith Odds -155
Ludovit Klein Odds +125
Over/under rounds 2.5 (+130 / -160)

Crowdsourced Projections: Devonte Smith (53.9%) 

I had higher expectations for Klein coming into the UFC, and he debuted with an impressive high kick knockout against Shane Young:

HEADKICK ARTIST 🎨

🇸🇰 Ludovit Klein puts Slovakia on the map!

[ Tune in LIVE on ESPN2 ] pic.twitter.com/0oj8dN5p1Y

— UFC (@ufc) September 27, 2020

However, “Mr. Highlight” has looked much better when he’s able to dictate the pace and push his opponents backward, rather than the other way around. And when he gets stuck counterpunching, his volume tends to fall off dramatically.

I would give him slight edges in durability and cardio, in addition to the grappling upside against Smith, who’s a glass cannon boxer with fast hands and a 100% finish rate (wins and losses) in his 14 professional fights.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Klein land that same left high kick competition that he loves to put Smith out, and I ultimately expect one of these two to fall in an extended exchange.

Khama Worthy vs. Devonte Smith.
UFC 241.
Smith was a -1000 favorite 👀#UFCVegas10 pic.twitter.com/xde2ukwoFT

— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) September 12, 2020

Ultimately, what I like here at the plus money number is both the grappling upside and Klein’s potential cardio advantage after moving up from 145 to 155 for this fight.

I wouldn’t bet Klein’s moneyline below +125 (projected +117). Still, he’s a worthy underdog play in what likely amounts to a close/competitive decision or a violent coin flip in the center of the cage.

I also value the fight to end inside the distance (projected -210, listed as low as -175) depending on the book, which is another way I’m considering playing the fight.

Bets

  • Ludovit Klein (+130, 0.5u)

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Tagir Ulanbekov vs. Tim Elliott

Flyweight Bout Odds
Tagir Ulanbekov Odds -250
Tim Elliott Odds +200
Over/under rounds 2.5 (-175 / +145)

Crowdsourced Projections: Tagir Ulanbekov (63.7%) 

I provided Elliott as my favorite underdog bet on Friday’s Action Network podcast.

He’s getting up there in age for flyweight, but his strength of schedule stands on par with any current fighter in his division. Elliott has good metrics (+0.82 strike differential, 101 combined striking accuracy, and defense) over a large sample size and good opponents.

Most recently, Elliott won extended striking exchanges last October with a flyweight who I rate highly — and bet — in Matheus Nicolau but lost because his corner mistakenly decided that he was up 2-0 on rounds in the fight. Elliott never attempted to get out from the bottom position in the final two minutes of the third round.

Ulanbekov hasn’t impressed in the UFC. I’m not sure that any fighter has had as much control time (12:04) in a 15-minute fight and failed to win a unanimous decision. He’s a solid offensive wrestler and applies decent pressure from the top position, but he doesn’t necessarily do anything with his takedowns.

Ulanbekov’s takedown defense is below his takedown offense, and his striking volume at a distance is meager.

Elliott should be able to dictate the pace of the fight on the feet by creating awkward angles and kicking Ulanbekov’s leg, and he has some offensive wrestling upside of his own (3.8 takedowns per 15 minutes, 45% accuracy) to turn this fight into an absolute grind.

I certainly favor the younger fighter in terms of cardio, and I’m worried about Elliott losing a split decision on the thinnest of margins in the late stages. Still, he’s a very worthy bet around +200.

I bet Elliott to win by decision (listed +450, projected +293) and for the fight to go the distance (projected -201, listed -150). Swallowing the juice is likely the best approach because this has Elliott looking like he has 100% win value while Ulanbekov scores a split-decision win written all over it.

Bets

  • Tim Elliott (+200, 0.5u)
  • Elliott wins by Decision (+450, 0.25 units)
  • Fight goes to Decision (-148, 0.5u)

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Umar Nurmagomedov vs. Brian Kelleher

Featherweight Bout Odds
Umar Nurmagomedov Odds -1100
Brian Kelleher Odds +600
Over/under rounds 2.5 (-124 / -104)

Crowdsourced Projections: Umar Nurmagomedov (84%) 

Umar, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin, is likely a future contender or champion in the bantamweight division. Still, this moneyline pricing (roughly 85% implied) suggests he is already a top-five talent at 135 (this fight is at 145, per Kelleher’s request).

Umar is a flashy striker with good offensive wrestling, top pressure and submission skills. Still, he’s just 26 years old with 12 professional fights, and a 36-fight veteran like Kelleher, a dangerous finisher, is potentially worth a roll of the dice at long odds.

To cover his price, Umar needs to finish Kelleher with little resistance in Round 1, or secure a sweat-free a 30-25 decision, but “Boom” can put Umar in some dangerous spots, both on the feet, with powerful counterpunching, or by snatching up a guillotine on a sloppy takedown attempt.

Umar could run through Kelleher. If he doesn’t, though, the American likely finds some moments of success in this fight as a considerable underdog against a prospect who may one day be champion but is not a finished product quite yet either.

Umar Nurmagomedov, cousin of Khabib, puts Sergey Morozov out with a TIGHT choke in the second round to stay undefeated 😴 #UFCFightIsland8 pic.twitter.com/JwwukczHn9

— BroBible (@BroBible) January 20, 2021

Whenever a moneyline underdog with an established UFC Resume gets to that +550 range, I almost always have to take a poke on their moneyline. For every four Bobby Green (+600) vs. Islam Makhachev tickets, or potentially Brian Kelleher (+600) vs. Umar Nurmagomedov tickets that you throw away, there is a Gerald Meerschaert (+500) for Makmud Muradov ticket that pays off the pile of losing dogs.

Kelleher has legitimate finishing upside and will compete for 15 minutes if he is able. That’s a guy who will fight for your money.

Kelleher’s moneyline is worth a dabble (projected +526), but I prefer the fight to end inside the distance (projected -140, listed +100) prop in what could be a high-paced affair.

Bets

  • Brian Kelleher (+600, 0.25u)
  • Fight Ends Inside the Distance (+100, 0.75u)

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Mariya Agapova vs. Maryna Moroz

Women’s Flyweight Bout Odds
Mariya Agapova Odds -185
Maryna Moroz Odds +145
Over/under rounds 2.5 (-193 / +150)

Crowdsourced Projections: Mariya Agapova (59.7%)

For my money, Agapova vs. Moroz is Saturday’s best grudge match, and I would have loved to see this fight as the main card opener. It should be a Fight of the Night contender.

I’ll save you the backstory — google that on your own time — but just know that there is legitimate hatred here between these former teammates.

Naturally, I’m betting a decision prop in a fight that could be extremely violent.

Moroz, who’s Ukraine’s Olympic boxing coach, can keep this fight competitive on the feet with Agapova, a fluid, powerful, and high ceiling striker who is six years younger but has shown a wide degree of variance in her performances.

Moroz is technical on the feet and likely has the grappling upside here, too. She has shown a greater urgency for takedowns (17 attempts) in her past two fights — following a two-fight losing streak, and Agapova’s takedown defense (33%) and getup game-rank amongst her lesser skills.

I’m very high on Agapova’s long-term potential, but she has shown questionable fight IQ and cardio in the past (losing to Shana Dobson as a -1500 favorite). I don’t see enough of a gap in any area of this matchup — aside from power/aggression — where Agapova has a significant skill advantage to justify her price tag.

If Agapova comes out guns blazing and cannot secure a finish, she will likely wilt after the first round based upon prior results. I would look to bet Moroz live after Round 1.

I would need something closer to +170 to bet Moroz pre-fight (projected +148) since Agapova should win the opening frame. That said, I show value on Moroz to win by decision (projected +231, listed +400 at Caesars) and made that my only pre-fight position. I would bet that prop down to +300.

Bets

  • Maryna Moroz wins by Decision (+400, 0.25u)
  • Moroz Live after Round 1

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Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Nicolae Negumereanu

Light Heavyweight Bout Odds
Kennedy Nzechukwu Odds -135
Nicolae Negumereanu Odds +108
Over/under rounds 2.5 (+118 / -152)

Crowdsourced Projections: Kennedy Nzechukwu (51.8%)

Nzechukwu (five-inch height and reach advantage against Negumereanu) has yet to take advantage of his obvious physical gifts in the octagon, nor has he made any significant strides since joining the promotion.

He’s also an exceptionally slow starter. When Nzechukwu’s opponents are fresh, they are typically able to back him up against the cage, where he shells into a high guard and falls behind on volume while absorbing attritional damage.

Negumereanu is a big hitter who can break through that high guard in that situation, and he’s undoubtedly the more well-rounded fighter, too, with all of the grappling upside lying in his corner. However, Kennedy’s size makes him both difficult to flatten (80% takedown defense) and keep down.

Moreover, Negumereanu can maintain a solid pace (for the division) for extended periods of his fights, and I expect him to be the clear minute-winner here for significant stretches.

My primary concern with Negumereanu is durability. Like Nzechukwu, he’s very hittable in exchanges. While Nicolae has never been knocked out, Kennedy suffered his first career setback just 3 1/2 months ago in pretty violent fashion.

I like Negumereanu on the moneyline down to +115 (projected +108), and I also played his inside the distance prop (projected +246, listed +300).

Bets

  • Nicolae Negumereanu (+118, 0.75u)
  • Negumereanu wins Inside the Distance (+300, 0.25u)

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Marina Rodriguez vs. Yan Xiaonan

Women’s Strawweight Bout Odds
Marina Rodriguez Odds -280
Yan Xiaonan Odds +215
Over/under rounds 2.5 (-271 / +200)

Crowdsourced Projections: Marina Rodriguez (69.9%) 

This bout is a potential strawweight title eliminator, and I do believe that Rodriguez is the goods (I bet her to hold the 115-pound strap (at +2000) at the end of the calendar year). This is the first of potentially two or three steps toward cashing that ticket.

However, I had initially expected to back Xiaonan as a sizable underdog in this spot. Still, after digging deeper into her tape, I decided that she’s unlikely to find her way into clean boxing exchanges in the pocket that she desires. Rodriguez will either keep her at a distance with kicks or get inside and dominate in the clinch.

I expect to see a high-paced kickboxing match (5.05 strikes landed per minute for Rodriguez, 5.95 for Yan) where both women have a potential grappling upside. How you see the grappling may determine whether you think Xiaonan is worth betting.

I think Rodriguez is the superior grappler, both offensively and defensively, in addition to being the bigger hitter and more technical striker with the ability to dictate where the exchanges take place.

I don’t see value on either side of the moneyline, but I expect this fight to go to a decision at a high clip (listed -225, projected -326). That said, I also show value on Rodriguez to win by decision (projected -111) at any plus money price (+111 at Caesars).

Yan’s moneyline may look like value the whole way, but Rodriguez likely takes a clean 30-27 or 29-28 decision at a high percentage (unless she secures a finish first) if Yan cannot secure takedowns.

Bets

  • Marina Rodriguez wins by Decision (+110, 0.5u)

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Jalin Turner vs. Jamie Mullarkey

Lightweight Bout Odds
Jalin Turner Odds -160
Jamie Mullarkey Odds +128
Over/under rounds 2.5 (+132 / -170)

Crowdsourced Projections: Jalin Turner (54.9%) 

Turner is one of my favorite fighters to watch. “The Tarantula” is massive at Lightweight (6-foot-3, 77-inch reach) and is finally figuring out how to use his physical gifts on the feet. He’s mighty powerful, and his grappling remains underrated, despite consecutive submission wins in his past two fights.

Mullarkey is finally fighting a bigger man, and he is seemingly outgunned skill for skill, so long as Turner remains fresh. Jalin should be particularly dangerous in the first round, but that round prop (+300) doesn’t entice me. I would need closer to +400 to play that line.

Both fighters are extremely hittable (45% striking defense) and are 1-4 combined on the scorecards in their careers, but I think that the total is a bit low for a Lightweight matchup, standing at 1.5 rounds.

I project this fight to go the distance 38% of the time (+165 implied), but more importantly Mullarkey can compete at the UFC level. At the same time, Turner’s recent opponents have been more regional-level talent.

Turner is dangerous early, but Mullarkey has shown excellent durability during his career (particularly after pairing up as teammates with the first man to knock him out in Alexander Volkanovski) and the ability to navigate his way back from early deficits.

If Turner cannot secure a Round 1 stoppage but expends a decent amount of energy, I would look to bet Mullarkey live around +200.

I’m not interested in a pre-fight wager on Mullarkey (projected +122) when he is in the most danger early in the fight.

Bets

  • Over 1.5 Rounds (-150, 0.5u)
  • Jamie Mullarkey live after Round 1

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Serghei Spivac vs. Greg Hardy

Heavyweight Bout Odds
Serghei Spivac Odds -200
Greg Hardy Odds +160
Over/under rounds 2.5 (+132 / -170)

Crowdsourced Projections: Serghei Spivac (59.9%)

Frankly, it’s kind of embarrassing that the UFC continues to cram Greg Hardy into PPV Main Cards. At least three prelims (Mullarkey-Turner, Agapova-Moroz, and Rodriguez-Yan) deserve more shine, but everyone wants to see Hardy get knocked out.

Spivak has a decent chance of doing so – or winning by submission –  if he can get Hardy to the mat. The disgraced NFL star has looked clueless on his back, but the Moldovan needs to get out of the first round when Hardy is most dangerous.

Spivak doesn’t offer much power or striking technique on the feet, and Hardy isn’t afraid to come straight forward and walk through punches.

Despite his takedown numbers (2.72 per 15 minutes, 57% accuracy), I don’t think that Spivak is a particularly adept wrestler either. While Hardy struggles to get up once his shoulders are flat on the mat, his first-level takedown defense – is relatively sound.

That said, Hardy has asthma and has proven to fall off after the seven or eight-minute mark of his fights. He hits very hard – wobbling Tai Tuivasa badly – and fights with reckless abandon, but if he tires out in the second round, then Spivac should work his way back into the fight and eventually take over.

Serghei Spivac punished Tai Tuivasa on the ground before putting him to sleep with an arm triangle #UFC243 pic.twitter.com/22GLzjT2dQ

— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 6, 2019

Hardy is the pre-fight value side from a moneyline perspective (projected +150, listed +170), and his Round 1 prop or KO/TKO prop (projected +257, listed +300) would usually garner my attention.

I prefer the Under 2.5 rounds (-175 at DraftKings), and I projected the fight to end inside the distance 74% of the time (-285 implied). If Hardy doesn’t get Spivac out of there early, “The Polar Bear” should maul him on the mat late.

You can also wait until after Round 1 to grab a live number on Spivac.

Bets

  • Under 2.5 Rounds (-175, 0.5u)
  • Serghei Spivac Live after Round 1

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Kevin Holland vs. Alex Oliveira

Welterweight Bout Odds
Kevin Holland Odds -400
Alex Oliveira Odds +290
Over/under rounds 2.5 (+110 / -141)

Crowdsourced Projections: Kevin Holland (80.4%)

Holland is making his UFC welterweight debut – and his first appearance at 170 pounds since a 2017 loss in LFA – and he’s hoping to bounce back from a rough stretch (0-2, 1 NC) against top middleweight talent after beating up on the bottom of the division with a five-fight winning streak in 2020.

His size (6’3, 81″ reach) will be a problem for a lot of welterweights, including Oliveira (5’11, 76″ reach) – and Holland is a proven high-volume, accurate (54%) and efficient striker on the feet, who makes use out of his length with straight punches.

Takedown defense (career 50%) has been the issue limiting Holland’s ceiling thus far. Still, his defensive wrestling looked improved against Kyle Daukaus (denied four of five attempts) before their head clash, which led to a finishing sequence – and he should have an easier time getting back to his feet against Welterweights than he did with top five Middleweights like Marvin Vettori (11 takedowns, 20:11 control time) and Derek Brunson (six takedowns, 16:55 control time). They seemingly humbled Holland with their Main Event victories.

Holland is a solid defensive jiu-jitsu player, but he hasn’t shown enough urgency off of his back at times. That said, I’m not sure if “Cowboy” Oliveira can take him down (37% accuracy, 2.27 per 15 minutes) or even keep him down at length without tiring himself out.

He prefers to get his takedowns from clinch positions, which doesn’t work as well against taller fighters. Even if he does get taken down early, Holland will be able to stay safe on the bottom and escape, or at least ride out the first round.

Oliveira has had some surprising performances mixed in of late (landed 39 strikes in round 3 against Niko Price last October). More often than not, however, he has shown about seven to ten minutes of sustainability in his fights; and when Oliveira starts getting the worst of it, he tends to look for a way out – by giving up his neck as opposed to taking damage.

While I show Holland’s moneyline as a potential parlay piece (projected -409), I would prefer to bet the fight to end inside the distance (projected -204, listed -175) or Holland to win inside the distance (projected -127, listed as low as -115).

I’ll play the latter so that a knockout at least covers my preferred bet – Holland to win by submission (+850, projected +522), given Oliveira’s preferred method for unsubscribing from his matchups. It’s not a significant individual play, but I’ll use it as a parlay stuffer for round-robin wagering.

And if he happens to drop the first round by laying on his back, Holland live after Round 1 at a discount as a solid investment.

Bets

  • Kevin Holland wins Inside the Distance (-115, 0.25u)
  • Holland wins by Submission (+850, 0.2u)
  • Holland Live after Round 1

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Bryce Mitchell vs. Edson Barboza

Featherweight Bout Odds
Bryce Mitchell Odds -170
Edson Barboza Odds +135
Over/under rounds 2.5 (-104 / -124)

Crowdsourced Projections: Bryce Mitchell (57.2%) 

We featured this bout as our “Fight of the Night” candidate on the Action Network podcast.

And this matchup is about as binary of a striker vs. grappler match as you can find at the highest levels of modern MMA, and Mitchell seemingly needs tons of control, time, and pressure to win his toughest test to date.

On the feet, the striking should be one-way traffic in favor of Barboza – who will make use of his size advantage (5″ of reach) and kicking game to take away Mitchell’s movement from a distance.

Mitchell will attempt to turn this fight into a grind – both up against the cage and on the mat – and see whether Barboza can fend him off or get back to his feet.

While Barboza can be taken down (78% takedown defense), only Khabib (10:32 of control in a 30-25 x2, 30-24 decision) kept him there for extended periods.

Barboza returned to his feet to outstrike a similar archetype to Mitchell in Makwan Amirkhani (landed three of six takedowns, but only 3:13 of control) in October 2020 – just weeks before Mitchell’s most recent bout. If the Brazilian legend can do the same here, he will put a hurting on the camouflaged prospect.

This fight represents a significant level jump for Mitchell – relative to his previous opponents. However, he’s still at an age where he can significantly improve from one fight to the next, especially after a long layoff.

Mitchell is a relentless fighter, and he’ll look to get inside of Barboza’s range and either submit him immediately or turn this fight into an absolute grind.

At favorite money, this looks like a “prove it” spot for Mitchell, and I’d be happy to consider Barboza at plus money in what amounts to a binary finish on either side; or a potentially back and forth decision where judges have to weight Barboza’s effective striking against Mitchell’s effective grappling.

I’d give more credence to Mitchell in the smaller cage at the APEX, but I like Barboza’s chances to find his range in the full-size cage.

That said, I missed the best price on Barboza’s moneyline (+150), and I’m inclined to wait for that price to pop up again before making a play – since the number has since moved in line with my projection (+135).

For now, bet Barboza to win inside the distance (+300 at DraftKings, projected 30% or +233) – he can stop Mitchell with attritional damage, land big at range with a spinning attack or high kick, or potentially catch Mitchell with a knee as he searches for a level change.

Barboza’s knockout prop (listed +330, projected +290) is an acceptable alternative, but I always side with the finish wager when the discrepancy is that marginal.

Additionally, I may look to live bet Barboza after Round 1 if Mitchell cannot secure takedowns or maintain top position.

Bets

  • Edson Barboza (+140, 0.25u)
  • Edson Barboza wins Inside the Distance (+300, 0.5u)
  • Barboza Live after Round 1

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Rafael dos Anjos vs. Renato Moicano

Lightweight Bout Odds
Rafael dos Anjos Odds -185
Renato Moicano Odds +145
Over/under rounds 4.5 (+104 / -132)

Crowdsourced Projections: Rafael dos Anjos (71%) 

Moicano is taking the fight on four days’ notice in place of Rafael Fiziev – who was listed as high as -275 in that fight, before dropping off the card.

I would have bet dos Anjos (“RDA)”) as a sizable underdog against Fiziev – but seeing a 30%+ swing in implied probably from one matchup to the other initially gave me pause.

Still, RDA  is a former Lightweight champion and experienced five-round veteran (eight fights over 3.5 rounds, ten scheduled for five rounds since 2015)  who has possibly the most challenging slate of opponents in UFC history (Alvarez, Benson, Cerrone, Colby, Khabib, Pettis, Tony, Usman, to name a few).

Moicano is making his first venture into a five-round fight – and he hasn’t responded well to pressure. Despite scoring a second-round finish at UFC 271 – mere weeks ago – he lost the first round to Alexander Hernandez on one scorecard, and the live line tightened after the opening five minutes of action.

I don’t necessarily trust the durability for Moicano – a former Featherweight, fighting at 155 – let alone at a 160 catchweight against a former Welterweight in RDA, after cutting weight mere weeks ago.

Skill for skill, Moicano can undoubtedly make this fight competitive. He’s a highly technical and efficient striker (+1.54 differential, 111 combined striking accuracy, and defensive percentage). In the early stages, I think he can edge minutes on the feet against dos Anjos (+0.27 differential, 107 combined number).

Moicano is a bit taller (three inches), longer (two-inch reach advantage), and likely faster on the feet when both fighters are fresh. He may be a superior wrestler (2.14 per 15 minutes, 53% accuracy vs. 58% defense for RDA) – and he’s very dangerous on top.

However, I suspect their grappling credentials neutralize one another’s success on the mat and essentially turn this fight into a kickboxing match – where RDA’s pressure could pose problems for Moicano – whose game falls apart when he’s pushed backward.

With an entire training camp for a three-round fight, I would consider betting Moicano at this same price. I see the skills and the path to victory. But this is as short notice as it gets, against as experienced an opponent as there is, who is also more durable with proven cardio over five rounds.

Unless RDA has declined at age 37 off roughly a 15-month layoff, he’s on the clear side – given all the circumstances – for five rounds. And I think he can have some late grappling success, too.

I would bet RDA’s moneyline up to -200 (projected -250). You should also eye the live market for a better price after Round 1 and/or Round 2.

If Moicano sustains and survives a hard 25 minutes given the short notice double weight cut amidst his world travels, I’m happy to admit I got this one wrong.

Bets

  • Rafael dos Anjos (-175, Risk 1u)
  • dos Anjos Live after Round 1 and/or Round 2

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Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal

Welterweight Bout Odds
Colby Covington Odds -350
Jorge Masvidal Odds +260
Over/under rounds 4.5 (-167 / +130)

Crowdsourced Projections: Colby Covington (74.9%) 

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).

And he has some tools to frustrate or put Covington in danger early. Jorge’s takedown defense (75% career) largely stood up over two fights against Kamaru Usman (denied 11/18, or 61% of attempts).

And both his submission defense and ability to work off of his back are underrated. Usman controlled Masvidal for 2:36 and scored a takedown in the first round of their first fight. He 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.

Jorge 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.

He works the body and kicks the leg, which could help slow Colby’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 frame.

Masvidal is statistically the far more efficient striker (113 combined striking accuracy and defensive percentages, 93 for Covington). Still, I doubt that 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) – 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.

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.

Bets

  • Masvidal/Covington, Fight goes to Decision (-122, Risk 1u)
  • Covington Live after Round 1 and/or Round 2

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Zerillo’s UFC 272 Bets

Make sure to follow me in The Action Network App for bet notifications for any late additions to my betting card. 

Distance or Decision Props and Overs

  • Tim Elliott wins by Decision (+450, 0.25 units)
  • Elliott/Ulanbekov, Fight goes to Decision (-148, 0.5u)
  • Maryna Moroz wins by Decision (+400, 0.25u)
  • Marina Rodriguez wins by Decision (+110, 0.5u)
  • Mullarkey/Turner, Over 1.5 Rounds (-150, 0.5u)
  • Masvidal/Covington, Fight goes to Decision (-122, Risk 1u)

Inside the Distance Props and Unders

  • Michal Oleksiejczuk wins Inside the Distance (+350, 0.25u)
  • Michal Oleksiejczuk wins in Round 1 (+800, 0.1u)
  • Kelleher/Nurmagomedov, Fight Ends Inside the Distance (+100, 0.75u)
  • Nicolae Negumereanu wins Inside the Distance (300, 0.25u)
  • Greg Hardy / Sergei Spivak, Under 2.5 Rounds (-175, 0.5u)
  • Kevin Holland wins Inside the Distance (-115, 0.25u)
  • Kevin Holland wins by Submission (+850, 0.2u)
  • Edson Barboza wins Inside the Distance (+300, 0.5u)

Moneylines

  • Ludovit Klein (+130, 0.5u)
  • Tim Elliott (+200, 0.5u)
  • Brian Kelleher (+600, 0.25u)
  • Nicolae Negumereanu (+118, 0.75u)
  • Edson Barboza (+140, 0.25u)
  • Rafael dos Anjos (-175, Risk 1u)

Parlays

  • TBD

Live Betting Notes

  • Maryna Moroz Live after Round 1
  • Jamie Mullarkey Live after Round 1
  • Serghei Spivac Live after Round 1
  • Kevin Holland Live after Round 1
  • Edson Barboza Live after Round 1
  • Rafael dos Anjos Live after Round 1 and/or Round 2
  • Colby Covington Live after Round 1 and/or Round 2
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