UFC Fight Night Main Event Pick, Prediction & Odds: How to Bet Overeem vs. Harris
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Alistair Overeem
- The latest odds of Saturday night's UFC Fight Night Main Event between Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris makes Harris a slight favorite (odds: -149).
- Should you be picking Harris to win?
- Our MMA expert Sean Zerillo picks out his favorite bets for the UFC Fight Night Main Event, including a play on the side and the over/under.
Overeem vs. Harris Pick, Prediction & Odds for UFC Fight Night
- Alistair Overeem odds: +120
- Walt Harris odds: -149
- Time: Approx. 11:10 p.m. ET
- Venue: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena (Jacksonville, Florida)
- Channel: ESPN
- BET NOW
Saturday’s UFC main event is scheduled for five rounds, but the bout is listed in the betting market at -455 (implied 82%) to finish inside of the distance – which seems low considering that Alistair Overeem (45-18), and Walt Harris (13-7-1) have finished 92% (53/58) of their combined career wins before the scorecards.
The main event at both UFC cards so far this week has ended in an upset, with Justin Gaethje (+187) and Glover Teixeira (+175) each recording fifth-round stoppages, destroying parlays that included Tony Ferguson (-227) or Anthony Smith (-213) respectively.
The last time that Overeem fought, he too was stopped in the fifth round, with just seconds remaining in a fight that he was leading on all scorecards as a substantial favorite – the 14th time that the 39-year-old has been knocked out in his career.
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Can Overeem avoid getting knocked out again, for the fifth consecutive year since 2016, against “The Big Ticket” – who is looking for his most significant win ever? The Alabama native has recorded all 13 of his career victories by knockout, including consecutive first-round finishes in his last two fights, which lasted a combined 62 seconds.
Or will Overeem’s 20+ years of fighting experience and superior technique prove too much for the more one-dimensional striker?
Let’s dive into this exciting Heavyweight clash.
Alistair Overeem Odds History
|Date & Opponent||Opening & Closing Odds||Results|
|12/2/2017, Francis Ngannou||+170, +165||L|
|7/9/18, Curtis Blaydes||-140, +135||L|
|11/24/18, Sergei Pavlovich||-135, -110||W|
|4/29/19, Aleksei Oleinik||-245, -269||W|
|12/7/19, Jairzinho Rozenstruik||-135, -303||L|
Note that Overeem was a much more substantial favorite against Aleksei Oleinik than Harris, in two fights just three months apart.
Now, Overeem is an underdog to Harris – mostly because he was knocked out in his last fight. However, he was in complete control of that fight until getting complacent in the final 10 seconds.
Walt Harris Odds History
|Date & Opponent||Opening & Closing Odds||Results|
|11/4/17, Mark Godbeer||-270, -285||L (DQ)|
|6/1/18, Daniel Spitz||-260, -278||W|
|12/29/18, Andrei Arlovski||-175, -230||NC|
|5/4/19, Sergey Spivak||-155, -185||W|
|7/20/19, Aleksei Oleinik||-135, -175||W|
Harris hasn’t been genuinely defeated since October 2017, a first-round submission loss as a +175 underdog (opened +180) against Fabricio Werdum.
After that loss, he was disqualified for an illegal knee and had a split decision win against Andrei Arlovski overturned after using a banned substance.
Tale of the Tape
|Main Event||Alistair Overeem||Walt Harris|
|Record||45-18-0 (1 NC)||13-7-0 (1 NC)|
|Avg. Fight Time||7:01||6:35|
|Weight (pounds)||265 lbs.||250 lbs.|
|Date of birth||5/17/80||6/10/83|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.54||2.96|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.15||2.68|
|Take Down Avg||1.39||0.35|
Overeem is the larger fighter with the longer reach, and noticeably better striking and grappling metrics.
Alistair Overeem’s Path to Victory
Of the two fighters, Overeem is much more well-rounded, with superior grappling and striking abilities and significantly more experience against far better competition. But he’s also known for his glass jaw and tendency to choke away fights – having been knocked down or knocked out in nine of his past 16 bouts.
Whether you take his knockout loss at the bell while winning last December as a big favorite, or his 2016 Heavyweight title fight loss to Stipe Miocic, Overeem typically shows dominant offensive tactics both from range and inside the clinch, followed by severe lapses in judgment and focus – leading to heartbreaking defeats.
He’s going to need to weather several storms from Harris’s power in this bout, but he also has the tools to counter those combinations – powerful leg kicks and knees to the body and a big right hand to counter the southpaw.
When Harris is trying to rest, Overeem will back him towards the fence and eventually try to work his way inside of the clinch, where he could overwhelm Harris with his signature knee strikes or look for a takedown followed by a ground and pound finish.
Despite 17 career submissions, Overeem hasn’t tapped anyone out in the UFC or recorded one in more than 11 years. Still, he’ll surely test whether Harris’ grappling has improved since that blowout submission loss to Fabricio Werdum.
And Overeem is one of the best grip-fighters in the history of the Heavyweight division – with dominant control and devastating power:
If he can avoid getting knocked out early, Overeem should be able to pick apart Harris’s defense and win the majority of the rounds.
The question is whether he can finish the fight, or win on points from there.
Walt Harris’s Path to Victory
Harris’s more one-dimensional striking game should not be underestimated – he knows exactly how to play to his strengths.
He has swift hands and quite a bit of raw power, and he sets traps for his opponents by applying pressure and feinting to draw reactions, before unleashing his monster counters and following up with powerful knees of his own.
In recent fights, he has mobbed lesser strikes with a barrage of forward momentum:
Harris is more athletic and has faster hands, and his power should test Overeem’s chin; there are reasons to like him as the favorite in this matchup.
But his takedown defense will likely be tested at some point, and he can’t change styles on the fly to adapt to give Overeem different looks.
If Harris ends up on his back or gets stuck in Overeem’s clinch, it could mean the end of his night.
However, all it takes is one big left hand from Harris to end this fight at any point too.
Pick for Overeem vs. Harris
After scraping data and crowdsourcing more than 1,500 predictions for this fight, the consensus opinion is that Harris wins 56% of the time, implied odds of -127.
As a result, the line looks pretty accurate on both sides, but I would consider betting Overeem at +160 (implied 38.5%) or better, or Harris at -102 (implied 50.5%) or better. Either bet represents a 5.5% edge. Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.
The easy argument here is to look at this fight and say, “knockout artist faces an aging veteran who cannot stop getting knocked out,” and to bet Harris by knockout (-110).
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The contrarian in me says that Overeem finds a way to control the tempo of the pace early before winning by knockout (+225) or recording his first decision (+650) in a long time, but I’m expecting him to avoid early danger and betting Over 1.5 rounds for a half-unit at -150 or better.
I wouldn’t bet on Overeem’s moneyline unless I get a better number, but I do think that “The Demolition Man” wins this fight.
- Over 1.5 Rounds (-150, 0.5 units)
- Alistair Overeem at +160 or better