UFC Poirier-Johnson Texas Throwdown Betting Odds & Predictions

Dustin Poirier apparently screaming during a match

Thursday, September 15, 2016 3:26 PM GMT

Dustin Poirier has the power of the punch, but Michael Johnson is a staunch defender. Which of these gentlemen will beat the UFC odds this Saturday night in Texas?

The last time we saw Dustin Poirier in action, he did us a solid by knocking out Bobby Green (+120 at the close) in the first round at UFC 199. That's four wins in a row for the Louisiana native since he came up short against Conor McGregor (–300) two years ago. Laissez les bons points rouler.

On Saturday,points (20-4 lifetime, 12-3 UFC) will headline Fight Night 94 in Hidalgo, Texas, where he'll face Michael Johnson in Lightweight action. Johnson (16-10 lifetime, 8-6 UFC) is a +135 underdog on the UFC odds board as we go to press, having lost back-to-back fights to Beneil Dariush (+110) and Nate Diaz (+237). However, Johnson is one of the better defensive fighters in the sport, and he won't hesitate to use his fists, either. Where is the betting value in this matchup?

Short Sharp Shock
Unfortunately, it's not on the props market. The only offering available at press time is with the total number of rounds; OVER 2.5 is a girthy favorite at –160, with each of Johnson's last four fights going the full three rounds. But Poirier has gone to the judges' score cards just once in his last seven fights. The other six didn't make it past the first minute of the second round. Oil and water, in other words.

So let's focus on the moneyline for our UFC picks. This past Saturday, Johnson opened at +135, but early bettors pounced on Poirier and drove the line up to +170 in less than 15 minutes. And just as quickly, the price came back down to +140 before settling in at the original +135. If early money is sharp money, and we keep saying it is, then Poirier looks like the sharp pick for this fight at these odds.

Unorthodoxy
We're not about to disagree. However, this matchup has some attributes that don't inspire much confidence in either side. It's a battle of two southpaws, which cancels out the advantage for both lefties. Johnson is the slightly larger fighter of the two, one inch taller at 5-foot-10 with a one-inch reach advantage; Poirier is three years younger, but Johnson is still in his prime at age 30.

Having said that, the favorite has the tools to win this fight. Johnson's striking accuracy is on the decline at 35 percent, according to FightMetric, while Poirier connects on half his punches and lands more per minute (4.82) than Johnson (3.89). Poirier may find it hard to get Johnson to the mat – the underdog was a top JUCO wrestler in college – but it's been a while since Johnson could be considered a submission specialist, and Poirier's own takedown defense is solid. We envision Poirier winning by knockout or decision, yet at the same time, we recommend keeping your bet size small out of respect for Johnson and his abilities.


Free UFC Pick: Poirier –155
Best Line Offered: at Heritage which offers a 50% Cash Bonus!
Record: 8-2 ML, 1-1 Totals, 9-3 Props (+9.74 units)

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