UFC 260 Betting Market Report: Francis Ngannou A Narrow Favorite Over Stipe Miocic

Posted By Dave Bontempo on March 27, 2021

A betting tug-of-war marks the tossup UFC 260 main event between heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and challenger Francis Ngannou.

One wagering pull drove Miocic down to +100 from +120 this week and the next moved the odds back up. Gamblers on both sides waited for good prices and then wagered enough to move the line.

The week-long action placed Miocic between even money and 6-5, important if the wager is large enough.

It’s been an excellent betting fight. Here’s the card, with DraftKings odds from Friday morning.

UFC 260 odds

Here are UFC 260 odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Francis Ngannou -137 vs Stipe Miocic +115
  • Vicente Luque -240 vs Tyron Woodley +190
  • Sean O’Malley -335 vs Thomas Almeida +250
  • Khama Worthy -130 vs Jamie Mullarkey +100
  • Miranda Maverick -167 vs Gillian Robertson +134
  • Alonzo Menifield -286 vs Fabio Cherant +220
  • Michal Oleksiejczuk -177 vs Modestas Bukauskas +140
  • Omar Morales -215 vs Shane Young +160
  • Abubakar Nurmagomedov -225 vs Jared Gooden +175

Boosts aren’t large but do provide an edge

There are no $100 gimmes from a major sportsbook if either fighter lands a punch this time, as there have been for some other major cards. But DraftKings Sportsbook does have a 26% profit boost for selecting a winning bet. It includes live bets and parlays (all bets must be UFC), and excludes same-game parlays, cash-out bets, voided bets and odds boosts. Maximum $50 bet and $250 additional winnings. Boost will apply to the winnings, excluding the original bet.

FanDuel Sportsbook, meanwhile, has brought a boost into a fight that needed a wagering hook. O’Malley, a heavy moneyline favorite over Almeida, has been hiked from +140 to +230 for a KO/TKO. Given O’Malley’s -335 moneyline odds, there’s almost nowhere for his backers to go except a prop, or boost.

Luque, a substantial favorite over Woodley, has been pushed from +280 to +330 to notch a KO/TKO.

Moneyline slam, prop assist for the main event?

This is UFC’s second most competitive main event in a year. The line stayed in a rare buy zone all week, as bettors on both sides have something to like and to fear.

Ngannou bettors ride the optimism of his four consecutive first round KO/TKOs, totaling less than three minutes. They see a breakthrough for him in this fight.

But they also know that Miocic decisioned Ngannou in 2018. All three of Ngannou’s losses have come via decision. A Miocic bettor thinks he has the style to diffuse the heavy-handed Ngannou. Miocic is UFC’s third-ranked pound-for pound fighter behind Jon Jones and Kamaru Usman.

The moneyline, a good value for either side, will be heavily played. But the props, which may represent a fraction of the bankroll this time, produce big opportunity.

The changing numbers for method of victory at FanDuel Sportsbook indicate an interesting sentiment. Miocic went from +270 to + 460 to gain a decision, which he got last time.

Ngannou, conversely, went all the way down to -105 for a KO/TKO. Read together, bettors think a Miocic decision has become more remote and a Ngannou stoppage win more likely.

For bettors who think Ngannou wins inside the distance, taking a stab at the exact round – especially after the first – will be profitable. Not a bad idea to group two rounds, trading a large chunk of time for a smaller payoff.

DraftKings head saw sharp contrast

“When we put these numbers up, there was some sharp action early,” Johnny Avello, the Director of Race and Sportsbook Operations for DraftKings told TheLines about the original line of Ngannou -175 that came down quickly. “After that happened, it leveled off, sat there for a while and we are going to write the most money the night of the event.

“UFC is holding its own. Remember at one time last year, they had their own stage. Now they are going up against other things. The Sweet 16 may hurt them a little this time, but you still have your diehard fans that will watch and bet it.”

Volkanovski Out, Woodley vs. Luque In For Co-Main

Alexander Volkanovski tested positive for COVID-19 and this fight against Brian Ortega was postponed. That opens other areas of betting and puts Woodley and Luque into the second feature.

How bad is Woodley’s descent? Although ranked seventh in the welterweight division, the former champion lost three straight bouts to ranked fighters. His last was a TKO loss to Colby Covington, which included a rib injury.

Luque is ranked 10th and faces a crossroads fight. Future champions often gain a definitive triumph over a former titleholder on the way up. This could be that fight for him.

If Woodley’s class edge matters, he’s a great moneyline price. If Luque can stop him, he’s a great props price.

Maverick vs. Robertson moves onto main card

The Maverick versus Robertson fight presents a creative opportunity. The FanDuel Sportsbook board says this bout has decision written all over it (-150 to end on points), which would prompt a look at Maverick +130 for a points verdict rather than the -167 moneyline.

But both fighters have also authored submission victories, which might warrant additional consideration. Robertson has six submissions in her nine triumphs and has predicted a submission triumph here. There’s an expectation that both fighters will be aggressive.

Maverick enters off of four straight triumphs, including two by submission.

If you go the submission route:

  • A Maverick submission is +950
  • Robertston via submission is +420

Most of the women’s bouts have gone the distance since UFC returned last May.

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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, who writes extensively on the emergence of legalized sports betting, is a recipient of the Sam Taub Award for Broadcast Excellence by the Boxing Writers Association of America. He has broadcast boxing for all the major networks over the last four decades and is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame as well as the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. His work also can be seen at the Press of Atlantic City and iGamingPlayer.

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