Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker Pick, Prediction & Odds: How to Bet the Over/Under In the UFC Fight Night Main Event

Credit:

Logan Riely/Getty Images. Pictured: Dustin Poirier.

Jun 28, 2020, 08:45 PM EDT
  • The updated betting odds for Saturday's UFC Fight Night main event list Dustin Poirier as a -235 betting favorite over Dan Hooker (+185 underdog) with the Over/Under set at 2.5 rounds.
  • Poirier makes his return to the octagon for the first time since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in September.
  • See how Sean Zerillo's betting analysis on the matchup, including where he's finding value on the total.

Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker Pick, Prediction & Odds for UFC Fight Night 

Poirier odds -235 (BET NOW)
Hooker odds +185 (BET NOW)
Over/Under 2.5 Rounds (-139/+105)
(BET NOW)
Time 10:30 p.m. ET
Venue Las Vegas
Channel ESPN

Saturday’s Main Event at UFC Fight Night features an exciting clash between top Lightweight contenders (No. 3) Dustin Poirier and (No. 5) Dan Hooker — who fight at a high pace, combining to average 18.9 significant strikes landed and absorbed per minute during their time in the UFC. Both fighters like to let their hands go.

Poirier has a 9-2 record since returning to lightweight, after a 2014 knockout loss to Conor McGregor. He enters Saturday’s bout off a title fight loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov last September; after defeating multiple championship level fighters in Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, and Max Holloway as part of a four-fight, two-year winning streak.

Hooker scored a controversial split decision win over Paul Felder in February — 12-of-17 media members scored the fight for Felder — but he has won seven of his eight matches since returning to lightweight in 2017 while facing increasingly better competition, and he is now presented with the most significant opportunity of his career.

How do these fighters matchup from a stylistic perspective, and where does the value lie on the odds board for Saturday night’s enticing Main Event?


UFC FIGHT NIGHT PROMO! Bet Dustin Poirier at +200 odds instead of -220 in Main Event


Dustin Poirier Odds History

Date & Opponent Opening & Closing Odds Results
9/7/19, Khabib Nurmagomedov +205, +285 L
4/13/19, Max Holloway +170, +165 W
7/28/18, Eddie Alvarez -145, -185 W
4/14/18, Justin Gaethje -130, -137 W
11/11/17, Anthony Pettis +100, -135 W

Except for the Khabib fight, the betting market generally sides with Poirier. Before the Pettis fight, he had his first encounter with Eddie Alvarez and moved from a +120 underdog to a -145 favorite. Before that, he plunged from -190 to -455 against submission artist Jim Miller.

The last time that big money took a stance against Poirier was the McGregor fight in 2014 — where the American opened as a -225 favorite before the line flipped, with the Irishman closing at -276.

Dan Hooker Odds History

Date & Opponent Opening & Closing Odds Results
2/22/20, Paul Felder -120, -175 W
10/5/19, Al Iaquinta -110, -145 W
7/20/19, James Vick -185, -155 W
12/15/18, Edson Barboza -135, -126 L
7/7/18, Gilbert Burns -160, -135 W

Poirier opened at -160 for Saturday’s bout with Hooker, and the line movement suggests that he is the right side.

The Gilbert Burns that Hooker defeated in 2018 is not the same version of  Burns that is about to fight for a belt against Kamaru Usman — no fighter has evolved or improved more in power rankings over the past two years.


Tale of the Tape

Main Event Dustin Poirier Dan Hooker
Record 25-6 (1 NC) 20-8
Avg. Fight Time 9:41 9:53
Height 5’9″ 6’0″
Weight (pounds) 155 155
Reach (inches) 72″ 75″
Stance Southpaw Switch
Date of birth 1/19/89 2/13/90
Sig Strikes Per Min 5.51 4.76
SS Accuracy 49% 45%
SS Absorbed Per Min 3.97 4.67
SS Defense 56% 55%
Take Down Avg 1.55 0.43
TD Acc 37% 28%
TD Def 61% 78%
Submission Avg 1.2 0.3

Poirier owns the advantage in striking metrics, with superior strike differential (+1.57 to +0.09), and better accuracy (+4%). He has quicker hands than Hooker, and also the southpaw advantage — overall, lefties defeat orthodox fighters at a 53% rate in UFC fights, though Hooker does switch his stance sometimes.

Poirier is also significantly more likely to try to bring the fight to the mat — though his takedown stats (37% accuracy) aren’t spectacular and Hooker has shown strong takedown defense (78%).

Hooker is both the longer and taller fighter by 3 inches, but the smaller 25-foot-cage at UFC Apex presents a disadvantage.


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Dustin Poirier’s Path to Victory

Those who are skeptical of Poirier’s chances will likely point, in part, to potentially decreased motivation following his loss on the biggest stage to Khabib.

Poirier could be a fighter who is on the way down after hitting his peak, while Hooker is technically on the way up.

But Poirier is more skilled than his opponent, and the style matchup plays to his favor. He has the quicker and more powerful hands and has fought and defeated more superior, championship-level fighters.

Hooker has defeated increasingly better gatekeepers, and Poirier can outclass him in all facets — he is the better technician on the feet, with superior grappling skills and strength if the fight goes to the mat.

Hooker will prefer to keep the fight standing, but he cannot keep his head on a line and come straight down the middle — Poirier will eat him up with combinations.

And while Hooker has strong Muay-Thai skills, Poirier may look to put his back to the cage in the smaller octagon and bully him with body shots:

The Louisiana native should also have a more bottomless gas tank. He landed 178 significant strikes in his five-round victory over Holloway and 174 significant strikes in a four-round win over Gaethje,

 

His strike counts, by round, in those two fights: (54-31-33-34-26; and 63-55-38-18). Poirier knows how to come out firing, before slowing his pace to sustain his efficiency late into a five-round battle.


Dan Hooker’s Path to Victory

I anticipate that this will mostly be a striking match – Hooker has only been taken down once in his past eight fights, and Poirier has only been taken down by Khabib – so Hooker’s stamina and striking defense will be the two keys to the fight.

He tired in the later rounds of his loss to Felder – landing 33 total significant strikes, compared to 39 in the third round alone – but still won a controversial decision.

Hooker is undoubtedly capable of scoring an early knockout – but he likely needs to adjust from his preferred strategy. His leg kicks and jabs from range won’t have the same effectiveness both in a smaller cage and against a southpaw opponent.

Poirier is undoubtedly capable of getting stopped, but he has looked significantly more durable as a Lightweight than he did at Featherweight.

If he cannot find a way to get the early knockout, Hooker could be in trouble – his chances of winning on the scorecards, given his expected output late in the fight, seems remote.


Poirier vs. Hooker Betting Pick

My crowdsourced projection set Dustin Poirier as a 77% favorite in this fight, which would make his fair odds -334, a 3.7% difference compared to his listed odds at -275 (implied 73.3%).

The crowd expects the fight to go the distance 24.6% of the time – fair odds of +307 – so there isn’t any value on the YES at +200, and the NO only offers a minimal 2.1% edge at -278 or, 73.5%.

However, Over 2.5 rounds (-125) is intriguing, given the fact that both men are durable and have good cardio.

Poirier by KO, TKO, or DQ (+110) is the most likely winning method, and I would set those odds closer to -117 (54%) than plus-money, meaning that I see more value there as opposed to on his decision prop (+350), which I set at +465 (17.7%).

And Hooker by KO, TKO, or DQ (+375) should be closer to +585 (14.6%) by my estimation.

If you want to bet this fight as a standalone bout, I would either take that Poirier KO prop, bet him to win inside the distance (-121), or go the other direction and simply play the juiced Over 2.5 rounds.

The Over has been kind to us in Main Events recently, and I think that there is value on that wager again for Saturday.

If the fight does get there, Poirier should have more left than Hooker in the later rounds and will continue to pour it on in; if you want a stab at big plus-money, I won’t talk you out of Poirier – Round 3 (+850), Round 4 (+1200) or Round 5 (+1800); but those are low percentage dart throws.

I will primarily be using Poirier to close out some parlays, and mostly hope that those tickets are alive by the time the Main Event starts. My parlay pairing options from earlier bouts will include Brendan Allen, Luis Peña, and Sean Woodson.

The Pick(s)

  • Over 2.5 Rounds -125 (1 unit)
  • Dustin Poirier -235 (0.5 units)
  • Use Dustin Poirier as a parlay piece

Forget -220 for Dustin Poirier … Bet him at +200 odds with Parx!


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