UFC 252 – Betting Plays and Fight Predictions
13 August 2020
Simply put, this a pay per view event to get excited for. The main event features the rubber match of the heavyweight trilogy between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. We have perhaps never see so much hang in the balance of a heavyweight fight, or any fight for that matter. The general consensus is that the victor not only leaves with the belt, but leaves with the title of GOAT as well.
The co-main event will be a lot of fun as well, as rising star Sean O’Malley has a full steam hype train behind him right now, and he will try to prove that hype to be true as he takes on his stiffest test to date in Marlon Vera.
If you’re not a fan that purchases every pay per view, make sure this is one you opt to buy. The fight card is quite solid and the main event will be a little piece of history, not to mention that the fight itself has the potential to be an all timer. The fight card itself has just 10 fights, but that has no bearing on the PPV portion, this qualifies as must see tv.
UFC 252 PointsBet Promo
Free Bet: Place a bet on any fight on the UFC 252 undercard, receive a matched In-Play Free Bet up to $25 to use during the Main Event(s)!
Super Booster: +165 – Daniel Cormier & Sean O’Malley Both To Win (Boosted from +145)
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Before we dive into this week’s bets, let’s look at how we did last week. It was one of those unfortunate weeks that the fight game inevitably brings where even though you feel correct or correct enough, the wins and losses do not reflect it.
❌ Losses – Justin Jaynes +110 and Justin Jaynes via KO +250
Jaynes scored a massive uppercut that rocked and put down Gavin Tucker, but showed low fight IQ in the ensuing sequence. As Tucker scrambled to get back in the fight, Jaynes attacked a choke on the superior BJJ fighter and ended up having to survive the round himself, as he allowed a deep arm triangle to be cinched in. Somewhere in this late round exchange, Jaynes either gassed, injured himself or both. He limped to the corner and was not engaging in the fight after that and was ultimately finished himself later in the fight.
❌ Loss – Nasrate Haqparast via KO +165
Haqparast put on a striking clinic, as expected. The problem was he didn’t finish the job. Alex Munoz proved himself durable as he was completely busted up by the end of the fight and trailed 104-37 in the significant striking department, but he did survive to the final horn, making this play a loss.
❌ Loss – Darren Stewart via KO +165
Welp. So much welp. Sometimes we outsmart ourselves and that is precisely what I did here. With the Stewart ITD line sitting at +145 and the Stewart by KO line sitting at +165, I opted to try to suck every last bit of value out of the play. I was adamant that I don’t respect Pitolo’s skill set, and well, being both correct and greedy were a bad combination in this instance. Stewart jumped a guillotine in the first round that Pitolo tapped to, marking Stewart’s first ever submission victory. Quite unfortunate for KO bettors.
✅ Win – Chris Weidman -130
It took us to the last play of the night, but we finally got into the win column. Weidman is certainly just a shell of his previous championship self, but still has the grappling pedigree to win fights against most fighters that don’t bring natural power. Weidman rode his grapping to an easy decision win, and was very close to a submission in the third round, but the decision call was good enough.
We will do better this week, let’s get to them.
Parker Porter -120 vs Chris Daukaus
Fight is at heavyweight and is -310 to end inside the distance.
The fact that this fight exists is a testament as to how desperate the UFC is to fill out the bottom of the heavyweight division. Comparing these fighters to the current roster, there aren’t a whole lot of matchups to make that would put a minus number next to either of their names. That said, neither of these fighters see their fights go the distance. The last decision either of these fighters went to was way back in 2016. The one before that? 2011. Parker Porter will have to survive the first round if he’s tp have a real shot in this fight. He is the better grappler of the two and something of a submission threat, but will likely have to wait until Daukaus gasses if he’s to be able to effectively get the fight to the floor. Porter’s striking is not overly powerful and is certainly not pretty to see. Daukaus, while he isn’t overly impressive either, has the tighter and more powerful striking that I see ending the fight relatively quickly. Daukaus may have to defend a takedown or two when he establishes an advantage in the striking, but he really should lay it on in the first round. Daukaus’ gas tank is an issue and if this fight gets past the first round, it likely will be a rough ride for him the rest of the way. In any event, only laying three to one is a value on the fight ending ITD and for Porter has to survive while Daukaus will get first crack at ending it. With this being the case, we will play both Daukaus ITD at +170 and the fight ITD at -310.
Daukaus ITD +170
Fight ends ITD -310
Vinc Pichel -125 vs Jim Miller
Fight is at 155 lbs and is -115 to end inside the distance.
I’m seeing a stylistic matchup for Vinc Pichel in this fight. I suppose we can call Pichel live for a KO in this fight, but he has just one of those since 2011 and is not a fighter that will bring out volume striking. I’m unsure how much of a striking edge, if any, he’ll have on Jim Miller in this matchup. Pichel is a very sound offensive wrestler and has a competent BJJ skill set, but will fall quite shy of Miller in the BJJ department. Pichel working his wrestling in this fight could very well work to his detriment. Pichel has also been taken down repeatedly by high end wrestlers, but it will only take one for Miller and I feel it would essentially end the fight if and when Miller scores just one takedown. Even in a striking affair, Miller has to be close to, if not a coin flip, and anything taking place on the floor will be Miller’s world. This line is somewhat nonsensical and I am torn between the safe play of Miller flat around even money and Miller via sub at +305. I’m opting for the aggressive sub play as I believe this fight hits the floor one way or the other, but would understand taking the safer approach of Miller flat.
Betting Play: Miller via sub +305
Jair Rozenstruick -135 vs Junior Dos Santos
Fight is at heavyweight and is -280 to end inside the distance.
This is an interesting matchup between the last two victims of Franis Ngannou. It is sadly starting to look like Dos Santos is losing a step against the younger fighters. It was fully understandable when he was slept by Ngannou, but there are now massive concerns when he was stopped by strikes against Curtis Blaydes. I mean no disrespect to Blaydes, but when you’re finished by strikes that aren’t ground and pound by Blaydes, there is a problem afoot. In this fight Dos Santos will still have the crisper boxing, but his chin will be tested by powerful counters from Jair Rozenstruick. Rozenstruick may also choose to chew the leg if he’s willing to eat jabs, but the fight ender will be the counter throught the JDS jab that puts him down. I truly believe the method of victory for Rozenstruick is via KO, but with that line being just -105, there is no value in pivoting from the flat bet.
Betting Play: Rozenstruick -135
Sean O’Malley -315 vs Marlon Vera
Fight is at 135 lbs and is -120 to end inside the distance.
This fight is a great one to make, and the promotion is doing well to take full advantage of the hype train surrounding Sean O’Malley leading up to this fight. We will get some real answers on Saturday as to how warranted this hype is, as Marlon Vera is his stiffest test to date and is a finisher that will be looking to use this spotlight as a stepping stone to get the fights he’s been looking for. No need to mince words on the stand up. O’Malley is a superbly powerful and precise striker and he will be looking to hand Vera his first loss inside the distance in what is now his 15th UFC fight. O’Malley is a fast starter and Vera is a slow starter, so the first round is one I do expect to belong to O’Malley. The question will be whether O’Malley can secure that KO, because the start of round two is where I see this fight leveling out. O’Malley will have to have his cardio on point, because we know Vera will. Vera, once he get going likes to back opponents to the clinch, where he is quite dangerous, and he will be the stronger fighter in that area in this fight. He will also be the superior BJJ fighter on the floor, and a fresher Vera getting the fight to the floor later in the fight likely spells a submission win for the underdog. If you can’t tell, I believe this line to be far too wide for a fighter taking a huge step up in competition. I love the play of Vera ITD to cover the outcomes of a clinch KO or a floor submission and still getting a five to one return. I understand a hedge to cover the outcome of an O’Malley KO, which is also a plus figure at +135, but I’m opting to trust the durability of Vera and take this fight home in the later stages.
Betting Play: Vera ITD +480
Other Fight Predictions
👊Stipe Miocic via KO over Daniel Cormier👊
👊Merab Dvalishvili via decision over John Dodson👊
👊Livinha Souza via decision over Ashley Yoder👊
👊Felice Herrig via decision over Virna Jandiroba👊
👊TJ Brown via submission over Danny Chavez👊