How To Bet UFC 206 - Did Odds Makers Forget How Good Pettis Is?

UFC Fighter Anthony Pettis

Thursday, December 8, 2016 3:38 PM GMT

Although UFC 206 lost Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson and has been marred in a bit of controversy, it’s a card that shouldn’t be missed as it is loaded with compelling fights. And for the betting community, there is some money to be made.

Anthony Pettis vs Max Holloway

Let's start with the new main event that pits Anthony Pettis against Max Holloway for the interim UFC featherweight title. This is an extremely captivating between a former lightweight champion and a fighter who seems to have champion in his DNA.

Pettis made the move down to featherweight after running into a rough patch as a 155 pounder. Since losing the lightweight title to Rafael Dos Anjos, Pettis found himself backsliding as a lightweight and lost three in a row before making the move to featherweight. In his first fight, he surprisingly submitted jiu-jitsu practitioner Charles Oliveira in the third round. With so much uncertainty surrounding Conor McGregor's future, the UFC decided to elevate Jose Aldo to champion and make Pettis' fight with Holloway for an interim title. Not that any of that really matters, but it does speak to how highly the UFC thinks of Pettis despite being 1-3 in his last four fights.

Holloway has been a talent on the rise for quite some time. After losing to Conor McGregor three years ago, the Hawaiian has gone on a torrid run with nine victories in a row. He's rarely looked in trouble and has grown into one of the top talents in the UFC. With victories over the likes of Ricardo Lamas, Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira and Jeremy Stephens, Holloway is deserving of the opportunity to compete for the interim title.

The UFC odds for this fight finds Pettis as much as a +175 while Holloway sits as the favorite at a line as high as -210. I'm a little surprised at how wide the line is considering that Pettis was recently recognized as one of the top talents in MMA and landed on a Wheaties box. Taking his remarkable striking ability into consideration, I would certainly put money down on Pettis.

Although Holloway is four years his junior, Pettis is still in his fighting prime. Not only that, 145 could be the right weight for “Showtime.” It's almost as if the odds makers forgot how good Pettis can be when he's on his game. He's shown impressive ground skills and has finished the likes of Gilbert Melendez, Donald Cerrone, Benson Henderson and Joe Lauzon. As a matter of fact, considering that the last five fights he won came inside of the distance, I'd be compelled to take the under 2.5 rounds at +180 for my betting pick. Pettis has never scored a knockout later than the 3rd round so if he is able to finish Holloway, it would likely happen quickly.

Free UFC Pick: Under 2.5 +108

Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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Cub Swanson vs Dooho Choi

Another interesting line is the fight between Cub Swanson and Dooho Choi. Choi is a powerful kickboxer who hasn't lost an MMA fight in over six years. He's also scored knockouts in eight straight fights. Meanwhile, Cub Swanson has won back to back fights after dropping a pair against Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway. This is the quintessential veteran vs. prospect fight where we will find out if Choi is worth the hype.

But Choi being as high as a -220 favorite scares me…a lot. He hasn't fought anyone the caliber of Swanson. Granted, Swanson isn't rolling through the division as he did a few years ago. But I like the underdog at +185. Swanson is a competent and creative striker who has more heart than most. That could also be his downfall. Which is why you can hedge this bet with a +130 for the fight to go under a round and a half. Considering that Choi has finished a majority of his opponents in the first round, it's possible that he could do the same to Swanson.

Free UFC Pick: Under 1.5 +130

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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