UFC 288 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Braxton Smith vs. Parker Porter: Bet the Rope-a-dope Avenue (Saturday, May 6)

UFC 288 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Braxton Smith vs. Parker Porter: Bet the Rope-a-dope Avenue (Saturday, May 6) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC heavyweight Parker Porter

  • UFC 288's lone heavyweight fight features newcomer Braxton Smith vs. Parker Porter.
  • Oddsmakers don't expect this matchup to last long.
  • Below, Sean Zerillo breaks down his two betting angles for the matchup.

Braxton Smith vs. Parker Porter Odds

Smith Odds
Porter Odds
1.5 (+165 / -205)
Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
7:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday and via DraftKings

Noted first-round finisher Braxton Smith will take a step up to the big stage when he meets UFC heavyweight vet Parker Porter on the UFC 288 preliminary card.

Things could get wild in this one. But which big man has the edge?

Let's break it down.

Tale of the Tape

Avg. Fight Timen/a9:00
Weight (pounds)257 lbs.265 lbs.
Reach (inches)72"75"
Date of birth1/1/9904/22/1985
Sig Strikes Per Min0.006.49
SS Accuracy0%49%
SS Absorbed Per Min0.006.33
SS Defense0%51%
Take Down Avg0.01.43
TD Acc0%28%
TD Def0%50%
Submission Avg0.00.5

Smith is one of the more unintentionally funny MMA fighters you will watch; his style is absolutely berzerk. He's a short heavyweight who pushes forward, chucks bombs, and hopes he lands.

There is almost zero technique or plan to his game. So far, it has worked – Smith has recorded five consecutive first-round knockouts, all within the first 123 seconds of his fights – but against extremely low-level competition.

While Porter is coming off of a knockout loss to Justin Tafa, he can typically absorb some damage before overwhelming opponents with pace and volume.

Porter can outland his opponents by a significant clip at a distance or choose to grapple and use his weight to wear on his opposition.

Not only has Smith faced extremely low-level fighters – and he's taking a huge step up here against someone who is 3-3 in the UFC – but it's doubtful that his cardio will hold up once he's eventually extended in a fight. And I suspect that Porter has a significant grappling advantage too.

Smith vs. Porter Pick

I projected Porter as a -190 favorite in this bout, and I would bet his moneyline up to around -175. I also expect him to win almost any interaction of this fight that extends past three of four minutes. As a result, I will get Porter down to even money by betting him in a same game parlay (SGP) with Over 0.5 Rounds. Rope-a-dope may be his best strategy in this situation.

If the fight is still going after five minutes, add more to Porter live unless the moneyline has become unreasonable.

Saving 75 cents of juice on Porter's moneyline – to give away the first 2.5 minutes of his win condition – is an easy trade since I expect Smith to win early minutes until he tires.

The Picks:

  • SGP (+100, 0.5u) at DraftKings: Parker Porter & Over 0.5 Rounds
  • Parker Porter Live after Round 1

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