UFC Fight Night Main Event Odds, Pick & Prediction: Alistair Overeem vs. Augusto Sakai (Saturday, Sept. 5)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Alistair Overeem.
- Alistair Overeem and Augusto Sakai battle in UFC Fight Night's main event on Saturday, Sept. 5 in Las Vegas.
- Overeem remains the favorite over Sakai, and Sean Zerillo is on it.
- Check out Zerillo's full preview for updated odds, picks, and predictions ahead of Saturday night's main event.
Alistair Overeem vs. Augusto Sakai Odds
|Overeem odds||-182 (BET NOW)|
|Sakai odds||+145 (BET NOW)|
|Over/Under||1.5 Rounds (-200/+150) (BET NOW)|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Venue||UFC Apex, Las Vegas|
This weekend’s UFC Fight Night main event will feature veteran heavyweight Alistair Overeem against up-and-comer Augusto Sakai in a five-round scrap on ESPN. This is a huge step up in competition for Sakai, who is riding a four-fight UFC win streak, while Overeem is 3-2 in his past five fights, including an impressive win over Walt Harris in May.
Below, I break down where I see betting value based on the odds in tonight’s main event action. You can also check out my betting analysis and of all 9 bouts here.
Tale of the Tape
|Record||46-18 (1 NC)||15-1-1|
|Avg. Fight Time||7:02||11:10|
|Weight (pounds)||265 lbs.||265 lbs.|
|Date of birth||5/17/80||5/9/91|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.66||5.45|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.18||3.89|
|Take Down Avg||1.40||0.19|
Overeem’s physical advantages are slight (he’s 1 inch taller with a 3-inch reach advantage), but his age and experience will certainly be a factor as well.
Sakai has the higher output (his 5.45 would rank first among active heavyweights if he met the five-fight threshold, according to ESPN Stats and Info) and has two knockouts in his four UFC fights.
But Overeem has much better defense — his 2.18 strikes absorbed per minute, are the seventh-fewest among active heavyweights per UFC Stats — and he is the superior grappler in this matchup (1.40 takedown average).
Overeem vs. Sakai Betting Pick
I’m making a small play on Alistair Overeem, now that his moneyline has come into range. Bettors have been all over Augusto Sakai, who opened as a +230 underdog.
Overeem secured a second-round stoppage over Walt Harris in May. He was injured in the first round, but the veteran rebounded after Harris gassed out:
Overeem is the most accurate striker in UFC history (74%), but Sakai has shown a higher output (+1.79 significant strikes per minute) in his brief UFC career.
He is also 11 years younger and significantly more durable. Overeem has 14 career knockout losses, and as I mentioned, he took damage in the Harris fight. When there is at least a 10-year age gap between UFC competitors, the younger man has won 62% of the time.
Sakai seems the man more suited for a 25-minute battle, but its also not something that he has done previously. Overeem needs to punish Sakai’s doughy frame to slow him down and to potentially mix in some trips from the clinch – where the two men figure to spend a lot of time.
I wouldn’t play Overeem at anything higher than -160, but I do need to continue to back Team Elevation when I see the value. The Colorado-based outfit has all but printed money for us since the restart.
Overeem has more career losses (18) than Sakai has total fights (17) – and this is a tough test for the Brazilian’s first main event. I’ll ride with the Reem, albeit tepidly. I’m also betting over 1.5 rounds in this bout. Overeem has fought at a more measured pace later in his career, while Sakai will likely look to keep something in reserve for his first career five-round fight.
The Pick: Alistair Overeem -159 (-0.5 units) | Over 1.5 rounds