MMA Betting: Strawweights Bring Heavy Value To UFC 205

Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, left, enters an all-Poland showdown against fellow unbeaten Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 205 in New York.

Thursday, November 10, 2016 12:36 AM GMT

While everyone waits for the big Conor McGregor-Eddie Alvarez UFC 205 lightweight fight Saturday in New York City, it's the women's strawweight title bout you should focus on for this week's UFC picks.

Record: 10-4 ML, 1-1 Totals, 10-3 Props (+10.29 units)

It seems like America is ready for a fight. Saturday's big bout between McGregor and the lightweight champion Alvarez is front and center at UFC 205; depending on where you shop, McGregor's odds have improved slightly since we last checked in, from -150 to -160 on our MMA odds board. Others still have the challenger at -150. There should be some value on Alvarez if the public comes in and pours enough money on McGregor.

We've already put the draw in our UFC picks – a first time for us here at the ranch – and you can still find that prop at +6500. But we can understand if you're looking for something a little less speculative. For that, we turn to the women's strawweight division and the title match between champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz, both from Poland. Jedrzejczyk is currently the -400 favorite, up from -330 at the open, but we've got something a little chalkier in mind.


Turkey In The Straw

It's been a pretty good year for us in the Octagon, as you can see by our record, and the props market has been especially profitable. Our approach has been simple: heavyweights usually don't go the distance, but lighter weights do. It doesn't get any lighter than strawweight at 115 pounds; according to Fight Matrix, 33 of 55 fights (60 percent) in this division went the distance.

Saturday's match is special, though. They'll be going five rounds instead of three, and while Kowalkiewicz (10-0, 3-0 UFC) went the distance in each of her past five fights, she has never gone five rounds in the Octagon. Kowalkiewicz also suffered a loss against Jedrzejczyk (12-0, 6-0 UFC) four years ago in the amateur ranks back in Poland, tapping to a rear-naked choke in the first round.

As for the champion, her past two title defenses went the full 25 minutes, but her previous two fights ended in TKO. So we're hesitant to recommend betting on this fight to go the distance at -180. Instead, look for “any other result” than Kowalkiewicz winning by KO/TKO. You'll have to eat some chalk at -1715, but the challenger hasn't knocked anyone out since her debut match and the champion has obviously never been put away. Be brave, my friends, and may the Octagon be with you.

Free UFC Pick: Any other than Kowalkiewicz by KO/TKO

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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