UFC 290 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus du Plessis: This Bobby Knuckles Prop Has Value (Saturday, July 8)

UFC 290 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus du Plessis: This Bobby Knuckles Prop Has Value (Saturday, July 8) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC middleweight Robert Whittaker of Australia

Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus du Plessis Odds

Whittaker Odds
du Plessis Odds
Total (Over/Under)
2.5 (+130 / -160)
T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
11 p.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday evening and via DraftKings

It's put-up-or-shut-up time for Dricus du Plessis, who meets former champion Robert Whittaker on Saturday's UFC 290 main card.

After a quick rise in the UFC, du Plessis now meets his final obstacle before a possible UFC title shot: ex-titleholder Whittaker, who's been a buzzsaw for many title hopefuls who had hoped to prove their mettle.

Does Whittaker deserve to be a substantial favorite? Or is there value to be found in underdog du Plessis?

Let's break it down.

Tale of the Tape

Whittakerdu Plessis
Avg. Fight Time14:259:33
Weight (pounds)185 lbs.185 lbs.
Reach (inches)73"76"
Date of birth12/20/19901/14/1994
Sig Strikes Per Min4.486.72
SS Accuracy42%55%
SS Absorbed Per Min3.263.73
SS Defense61%53%
Take Down Avg0.822.83
TD Acc37%47%
TD Def84%50%
Submission Avg0.01.3

Aside from champion Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker has separated himself from the rest of the middleweight division – similar to how Max Holloway has formed his own tier just below Alexander Volkanovski at featherweight.

Whittaker's patient style could prove a difficult test for rising contender Dricus du Plessis, an aggressive pressure fighter with a well-rounded skillset. Whittaker is the far more technical fighter, but du Plessis is more physical, hits harder, and potentially carries more finishing upside in this matchup.

Whittaker, who used to compete at welterweight, should be the faster man. But du Plessis is bigger (one-inch taller, three-inch reach advantage) and a good enough wrestler and grappler to force Whittaker to keep this fight standing.

Both fighters seem durable, but in the context of their careers, I would likely give du Plessis the durability edge. Whittaker has the better cardio; the question is to what degree.

Du Plessis typically starts breathing heavily midway through his fights, but he rarely slows down; his foot stays on the gas pedal for the duration of his bouts. Moreover, du Plessis recently underwent sinus surgery to repair that breathing issue, which might help his overall gas tank and effectiveness down the stretch of this fight.

Whittaker needs to play matador against the South African and use his speed and footwork to avoid the explosive attacks from Dricus – and land counters before exiting those exchanges. Whittaker is the superior fighter, but du Plessis can close the skill gap with physicality and power. If Whittaker can't wrestle successfully, this fight should be closer than the betting odds indicate.

Whittaker vs. du Plessis Pick

I don't see value on either side of the moneyline for this matchup.

However, I expect the fight to reach a decision 41% of the time (+141 implied odds), and you can find value on that prop as high as +172 at FanDuel.

Additionally, I think Whittaker should have more decision equity – and Du Plessis more finish equity – relative to the current prices on their winning method props.

Bet Whittaker to win by decision (projected +192, listed +240) at +200 or better.

The Pick: Robert Whittaker wins by Decision (+240, 0.25u) at DraftKings

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