Velasquez vs Browne Props At UFC 200

Jason Lake

Saturday, July 9, 2016 7:35 PM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 9, 2016 7:35 PM UTC

Cain Velasquez will be a popular UFC pick for Saturday's fight with Travis Browne. But if you shop around a little, you can find more betting value on the props market.

Cain Velasquez must be wondering what the hell went wrong. Thanks to Jon Jones testing positive for a banned substance (maybe PEDs, maybe not), as we go to press, Brock Lesnar is in the main event at Saturday's gigantic UFC 200 card. Velasquez is in the opening fight on the main card, taking on Travis Browne in Heavyweight action. Six years ago, Velasquez took the Heavyweight title off Lesnar (–210) at UFC 121.

It's been an interesting six years for Velasquez. He lost the belt, won it back, defended it twice, and lost it again. But that's the Heavyweight division for you – no champion has ever had three straight successful title defenses. Velasquez can put himself right back in the spotlight with a win over Browne, and the UFC odds are very much in his favor at –290. Tempting, but how about eating a little less chalk for a more likely outcome?


Distance Learning
We're talking about the props market, of course. At press time, Sportbet has posted –270 odds that Saturday's fight won't go to a decision. We like those odds. Most Heavyweight fights don't go the distance; Velasquez (13-2 lifetime, 11-2 UFC) has 11 wins by knockout and just two by decision. Both his losses ended in stoppages, including his last fight, when Fabricio Werdum (+310) took the title with a guillotine choke in the third round.

Browne (18-3-1 lifetime, 9-3-1 UFC) doesn't get paid by the minute, either. The big Hawaiian has 14 knockout wins, plus two more by submission. No fewer than 15 of his 22 career fights ended in the first round. Browne is 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds. Stamina is not his strong suit. Plus, we saw Velasquez, at 6-foot-1 and 245 pounds, tire out quickly in his loss to Werdum. Some of that was the high altitude in Brazil, but his handlers at American Kickboxing Academy have been criticized for overworking their fighters.


Gas Shortage
That's another reason to shy away from putting Velasquez directly in your UFC picks. It's been over a year since Werdum took the Heavyweight strap. Velasquez had to pull out of his rematch at UFC 196 with yet another injury, giving Stipe Miocic the opportunity to become the new champion instead – which he eventually did at UFC 198. Velasquez admitted he needed to change his training regimen, so that's a positive step forward. But is he truly prepared for Saturday's matchup?

We'd rather not speculate here at the ranch. The over/under for rounds is just 1.5, with UNDER the slight favorite at –115, which further illustrates how short Saturday's bout is expected to be. Does the new arena in Las Vegas have an oxygen bar?

Free UFC Pick: Fight doesn't go to decision (–270)
Best Line Offered: at Intertops
Record: 7-0 ML, 1-1 Totals, 1-0 Props (+9.50 units)

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