#Betting101: So Many Ways to Win at UFC 220

Stipe Type

Jason Lake

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 8:24 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 8:24 PM UTC

There’s a ton of betting value on tap for Saturday’s big event in Boston, but the main event between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou looks ripe for our UFC picks.

UFC 220

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Free UFC Pick: Fight won’t start Round 4 (-493)Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

Promotin’ ain’t easy – especially in today’s political climate. Saturday’s UFC 220 pay-per-view in Boston has already seen three fights get shuffled around, but only one of those changes was due to injury; the other two were, allegedly, because of visa issues. And wouldn’t you know it, one of the fighters in question is Norwegian: Emil Weber Meek. He ended up on last week’s Fight Night 124 card instead. The other gentleman with visa issues, allegedly, is Englishman Arnold Allen. Presented without comment.

These changes open the possibility of fading some replacement fighters for our UFC picks. There’s also a flyweight bout and a women’s strawweight bout we could bet on going the full three rounds. Instead, we’re going to focus on the main event between heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and challenger Francis Ngannou. Finally, a main event with some low-hanging value. Let’s riggidy-roll.

Hands of Stone

Miocic (19-2 lifetime, 13-2 UFC) is in the underdog role for Saturday’s fight. The champ is available at +150, while Ngannou (11-1 lifetime, 6-0 UFC) is the -180 favorite. Not something you see every day. Then again, Ngannou is uncommonly gifted: He has the heaviest hands on record in the UFC. Alistair Overeem (+165) got a taste last month at UFC 218, suffering a one-punch knockout in the first round.

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#UFCFacts: No. 1 contender @Francis_Ngannou has the longest finish streak in UFC heavyweight history with 6️ pic.twitter.com/LjKfaxORfD

— UFC (@ufc) January 16, 2018
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Overeem has plenty of company. Five of Ngannou’s six wins in the octagon were by KO/TKO, with Andrei Arlovski (+270) among the victims. The remaining victory was via submission against Anthony Hamilton (+325). Those two fights also ended in the first round, and both earned Performance of the Night honors for the Cameroon native. Just one of Ngannou’s 12 career fights ended in a decision, and that was in the French promotion 100% Fight, where they went only two five-minute rounds.

Lights Out, Uh-Huh

Miocic doesn’t get paid by the hour, either. Four of his 19 career fights went to the judges’ scorecards; each of his last four UFC appearances ended in first-round KO/TKOs and performance bonuses. The pride of Euclid, Ohio, put away Overeem (–115) and Arlovski (+155); he took the heavyweight strap off Fabricio Werdum (–200); and most recently Miocic felled former champ Junior dos Santos (+110) at UFC 211.

Naturally, we’re going to avoid the moneyline on the UFC odds board and hit the props market instead. Saturday’s main event is -1050 not to go to a decision; we can trim some of that chalk by taking “Fight won’t start Round 5” at -732. Make it Round 4, and the price drops to -493. We could keep going, but we don’t want to fly too close to the sun here, in case these two behemoths find themselves in an early stalemate before one of them hits the canvas.

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