UFC 281 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Matt Frevola vs. Ottman Azaitar: ‘Steamrolla’ a Top Underdog Play (Saturday, November 12)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC lightweight Matt Frevola
- In the UFC 281 opening odds, Matt Frevola was a favorite but is now an underdog to Ottman Azaitar heading into the fight.
- Analyst Sean Zerillo thinks this has created a great betting opportunity.
- Below, he breaks down the lightweight fight and offers his favorite betting angle for it.
Matt Frevola vs. Ottman Azaitar Odds
The line has flipped as Matt Frevola opened as a favorite and is now an underdog to fellow lightweight Ottman Azaitar at UFC 281.
However, are those bettors approaching this preliminary-card bout the right way?
Let’s break it down.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||9:07||2:33|
|Weight (pounds)||155 lbs.||155 lbs.|
|Date of birth||6/11/1990||2/20/1990|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.43||8.43|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.47||1.76|
|Take Down Avg||2.47||0.00|
Frevola has moved from an opening line around -150 (60% implied) to as high as +135 (42.5%) as of writing.
After all the movement, I have to step in and back the Long Island native in his backyard. And “The Steamrolla” is my favorite underdog bet on Saturday’s card.
Frevola has a significant cardio advantage in this matchup and a clear grappling upside. He’s the superior wrestler and may look like a substantial favorite if he wrestles from the outset; because Azaitar tends to finish his fights in the first round (10 of 13 wins) or slow down when he gets extended; and a two-year layoff won’t help his gas tank.
If Frevola can drag Azaitar to deep waters – and use his wrestling to tire out his opponent – he should become an increasingly bigger favorite in the second half of the fight.
One concern: Azaitar carries big power, and Frevola has a questionable chin. If Frevola decides to start the fight brawling – as he often does – he could get clipped, and our bet may lose before it ever gets going.
Even in his last fight against Genaro Valdez, in which he secured as many as six knockdowns in Round 1, Frevola could have wrestled but chose to brawl and ate multiple big punches while his opponent was clearly wobbled. If Azaitar finds those same openings, it could be lights out.
Frevola vs. Azaitar Pick
It’s difficult to bet Frevola, knowing he may not follow an optimal game plan.
Still, it’s much easier to swallow that decision at +135 than it is to lay juice on him at -150. Frevola may look like a favorite if he wrestles from the opening bell, but he’d still be a value bet in a slugfest; I’d prefer he not swing until somebody falls.
I projected Frevola as a 45.1% underdog (+122 implied) and would bet his moneyline down to around +120, which would technically be a -EV bet pre-fight.
However, I really like the matchup if Frevola can avoid early trouble. Still, I will wait to see where the line goes before potentially adding more to the Frevola side. The Azaitar steam has been consistent for two weeks.
Either way, I would look to bet Frevola live after Round 1.
In the winning method market, Frevola by decision (projected +393, listed +500 at FanDuel) and Azaitar by KO/TKO (projected +128, listed +140 at FanDuel) qualify as value wagers. Of the two, I’d prefer the latter; if Frevola wins, I think he eventually melts Azaitar with pace.
You could do worse than an SGP (+255) with Frevola and the Over 1.5 Rounds at DraftKings.
The Pick: Matt Frevola (+135, 0.75u at DraftKings) | Matt Frevola Live after Round 1