UFC Vegas 68 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Derrick Lewis vs. Sergey Spivak: How to Bet ‘Polar Bear’ in Main Event (Saturday, February 4)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC heavyweight Sergei Spivak of Moldova
- Heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Sergey Spivak clash in the super-late-night UFC Vegas 68 main event.
- When the fighters meet at approximately 3 a.m. ET on ESPN+, oddsmakers expect it to be a quick fight.
- Below, Sean Zerillo explains how he's betting the fight, including a same-game parlay.
Derrick Lewis vs. Sergey Spivak Odds
The UFC returns to the Apex facility in Las Vegas on Saturday for a late-night card (prelims begin at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+), featuring a heavyweight matchup between UFC knockout king Derrick Lewis and rising contender Sergey Spivak.
These two fighters, who will clash at approximately 3 a.m. ET on Sunday, were originally scheduled to fight in November, but Lewis pulled out on fight day due to illness.
After 37 professional fights, Lewis physically appears on the downside of his career, sustaining three losses by KO or TKO in the past 18 months.
Spivak owns a 6-3 record in the UFC and enters off of a pair of finishes against Greg Hardy and Augusto Sakai.
Still, Spivak hasn’t dealt well with big punchers in the past, and his knockout losses against Tom Aspinall and Walt Harris are worrisome, considering Lewis’ substantial power.
At age 27, Spivak has half the fight experience (18 bouts) as his opponent, but a win on Saturday would represent the most significant moment of his career – and potentially propel the “Polar Bear” toward contention in a division light on grapplers.
Below, I’ll provide my analysis and projections for Saturday’s matchup and utilize those factors to bet on the main event.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||9:02||8:34|
|Weight (pounds)||265 lbs.||255.5 lbs.|
|Date of birth||2/7/1985||1/24/1995|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||2.57||3.79|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.57||2.96|
|Take Down Avg||0.60||4.09|
For the first booking, Spivak sat between -180 (64.3 % implied) and -200 (66.7%) from open until fight day on Nov. 19 – when he moved to a -250 favorite (71.4%) before the fight was canceled.
Oddsmakers reopened Spivak at -180 for Saturday’s bout, but he’s remained around current levels (-230, or 69.7% implied) since mid-January.
Based on the data I pull in to project these fights, I set Spivak as a 65.6% favorite (-191 implied) the first time but have moved that projection up to 70.6% (-241) for Saturday.
The Moldovan will make his first appearance in a five-round fight while Lewis will headline a UFC card for the 10th time; however, the fight is highly likely to end inside the distance (-750, or 88.2% at DraftKings).
Only two of those 10 bouts for Lewis went to the championship rounds (he went 1-1). Despite the lack of experience in five-round fights, Spivak has a clear cardio advantage and the obvious grappling edge.
Spivak will need to weaponize his cardio through his grappling and repeatedly ground a fighter with bad takedown defense (55%) who relies on pure strength – over technique – to fight off submission attempts or scramble back to his feet.
Spivak may win the striking exchanges too. The rising prospect has made drastic improvements to his game since joining the promotion in 2019 but has also filled out his frame and looks like a true heavyweight as he enters his physical prime.
Unless he scares his opponents into a starting contest – which has happened against the likes of Francis Ngannou – Lewis tends to absorb more strikes than he lands. The American is a liability on the defensive end (41% striking defense) and much easier to hurt and hit to the body and legs than to the head.
Still, striking with Lewis is exactly what he wants; all “The Black Beast” needs is one connection to turn around any fight, and he’s typically trailing on the scorecards:
Spivak will look to get into clinch positions and wear on the power puncher. He can trip in open space or switch to legs against the cage, but as long as he’s inside – and out of Lewis’ punching range – he should look dominant as the clock ticks down.
Getting to those inside positions will be the hairiest moments of the fight for Spivak. Lewis landed that vicious uppercut on a sloppy shot from Curtis Blaydes – when he put the wrestler out with his forearm – and you seemingly need to avoid making a mistake against him for the first 10 minutes to avoid getting hurt once.
Power is always the last thing to go, and no matter Lewis’ physical state in terms of his ability to last for multiple rounds – the idea that one clean punch can end things, at least for the first 15 minutes – makes it challenging to price his fights. Lewis is the most volatile of fighters in a division with a 72% finish rate, and Spivak also has a relatively questionable chin.
A few things are quantifiable: Spivak is the far superior minute-winner, with much better cardio and all of the grappling upside. And Lewis has bad takedown defense. Spivak should get to some dominant positions if he doesn’t get clipped on the way in:
Lewis may never be a champion, but he has evolved into the perfect chin-check gatekeeper for ranked UFC heavyweights, and Spivak will see if he can pass the test that prospects such as Chris Daukaus and others have failed.
Additionally, we’ll see if Spivak’s wrestling (6.5 takedown attempts per 15 minutes) will work on Lewis, who tends to overpower most of the division when he’s fresh.
Lewis vs. Spivak Pick
I projected Sergey Spivak to win this fight more than 70% of the time, which is roughly in line with the betting market. And as I mentioned, I increased my projection on the favorite relative to the first fight.
Moreover, I increased my projection for the fight to end inside the distance – setting the odds at 87% (-653) the first time, but putting the fight at 91% (-1072) for Saturday.
While heavyweight fights often go “Over” totals exactly when you don’t expect them to, Lewis has shown himself physically incapable of fighting for 25 minutes, let alone 20 or 15 minutes at this stage of his career – and Spivak should set a particularly grueling pace with his grappling.
I would lean toward Spivak inside the distance (projected -174) in the winning method market – but that prop was -140 the first time, and best available odds in New York this time are -155 (BetMGM) for Saturday.
I often find value in betting the Same Game Parlays at DraftKings for these main events, and the first time I bet Spivak with the Over 0.5 Rounds at -120.
Considering all the other line movement since the re-booking, Spivak with the Over 0.5 at -125 seems mispriced.
An SGP with Spivak and the Under 3.5 Rounds (-135) or Under 4.5 Rounds (-150) could be alternatives to Spivak’s finish odds at Draftkings (-165) if you don’t have access to his finish prop at BetMGM (-155); otherwise, pay the extra five cents and get the final 2.5 minutes of the fight.
Unfortunately, the +140 payout on the three-leg SGP (Spivak, Over 0.5 Rounds, Under 3.5 Rounds) wasn’t enticing enough for me.
I’ll alter my approach from the first fight – loading a larger bet on Spivak’s ITD odds at BetMGM with a smaller bet on his Over 0.5 Rounds SGP at Draftkings.
If you’re looking to play the Lewis side, I prefer his knockout odds to his moneyline, as is typically the case.
And if you can’t access the SGP plays or get a good price on Spivak’s finish props, take a look at tiny sprinkles on Spivak in Rounds 2 and 3, with Spivak potentially starting slow and then breaking a tiring Lewis.
The Picks: Spivak wins by KO/TKO/Submission/DQ (-155, 0.5u at BetMGM) | SGP: Spivak and Over 0.5 Rounds (-125, 0.25u at DraftKings)
How would you rate this article?
This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.