Here’s a parlay: parity and pre-fight bets.
That’s what’s unfolding before the March 27 UFC 260 main event in Vegas between heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and challenger Francis Ngannou.
How do you like these moneyline numbers at DraftKings? Ngannou is -130 and Miocic +110 for the rematch of their 2018 battle, which Miocic won by decision.
This is the second most competitive main event on the board since UFC returned last May 9. Daniel Cormier (-115) and Miocic (-106), produced the tightest betting line last August, in a fight Miocic captured.
Here are UFC 260 confirmed fights. Some may change as we get closer to the 27th.
UFC 260 odds
Here are UFC 260 odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Francis Ngannou -130 vs. Stipe Miocic +110
- Alex Volkanovski -190 vs Brian Ortega +155
- Vicente Luque -265 vs Tyron Woodley +210
- Sean O’Malley -305 vs Thomas Almeida +240
- Khama Worthy -152 vs Jamie Mullarkey +125
- Luana Pinheiro -210 vs Randa Markos +165
- William Knight -112 vs Alonzo Menifield -112
- Abubakar Nurmagomedov -240 vs Jarden Gooden +180
- Michal Oleksiejczuk -152 vs Modestas Bukauskas +125
- Miranda Maverick -177 vs Gillian Robertson +145
- Omar Morales -175 vs Shane Young +140
- Mark Andre Barriault -125 vs Abu Azaitar +100
Ngannou opened at -175 across many major sportsbooks, but that didn’t last long. Sharp bettors and early-bird gamblers jumped aboard Miocic, driving the number down to attractive betting odds on both sides. Knowledgeable gamblers won’t miss a trick if the opening line presents a perceived edge.
Miocic is the underdog despite defeating Ngannou before. He went on to lose and then reclaim the heavyweight championship with an unusual fight package of three straight fights versus one opponent in Cormier. Why is he the underdog after beating Ngannou? Bettors must think Ngannou is ascending.
Boxing icon Mike Tyson thinks so. Ngannou is riding the hype train formed by his last fight. In UFC’s return event last May, Ngannou destroyed Jairzinho Rozenstruik in 20 seconds. The performance went viral in UFC circles after because Tyson dubbed Ngannou a “future champ” in a glowing tweet. Ngannou has been considered an uncrowned champion since. Of his last four fights, three ended inside one minute and the longest was 1:11.
Because Ngannou has a string of short fights, what happens if Miocic extends this to later rounds? That could be an edge for him. Ngannou has lost every fight he’s been in that went the distance. Most of his wins are KO/TKO but he also has four submissions.
Pocket a nice payout by predicting the victory method. Here is the first glimpse of the method according to FanDuel:
- Miocic by KO/TKO: (+460)
- Miocic by Points: (+270)
- Miocic by Submission: (+1400)
- Ngannou by KO/TKO: (-110)
- Ngannou by Points: (+1400)
- Ngannou by Submission: (+2300)
The shortest betting odds involve the most logical victory outcome by each fighter. Miocic won a decision the first time. A repeat performance returns +270.
Ngannou’s string of one-round wins produces a great handicapping angle, but not a great price.
That’s a short payout for a difficult handicapping task.
If you try to nail the exact KO/TKO round, Ngannou ranges from +240 in Round 1 to +3600 in Round 5 at FanDuel. The “how the fight will end” prop includes the KO/TKO at -210, submission at +1000 and points at +210. This is often a worthy hedge, covering the results of both fighters in return for shorter money.
Volkanovski makes the second defense of his featherweight title in the co-feature. He won and defended the crown with a pair of victories over UFC legend Max Holloway. Volkanovski is 9-0 in the UFC since debuting in 2016. Ortega presents the betting trap that’s easy to fall into. His only loss came to Holloway, whom Volkanovski defeated twice. So Volkanovski will handle him, right?
This is not automatic. The theory plays out less than one would think.
Woodley and Luque features two fighters moving in opposite directions. Woodley, a former division champion, has lost three straight, all to ranked fighters. His last was a TKO loss and rib injury to Colby Covington in September.
Woodley is ranked seventh in the welterweight division. Luque is ranked 10th. He is stepping up to his highest level and says he needs a fight like this to reach the top five. Is Woodley too experienced or has he become an opponent? We’ll see here. If the class difference matters, Woodley is a terrific price.
The Mullarkey-Worthy board is interesting. Both come off setbacks, thus it’s hard to determine the favorite. Worthy had a seven-fight win streak snapped by Ottman Azaitar in his last fight. It was a one-round TKO.
Mullarkey has lost two straight by decision. Is one TKO loss harder to rebound from than two straight decision losses? The odds leave room for interpretation. It’s a good betting fight if you think either guy is right.
O’Malley is a heavy favorite because he lost in better company. He was stopped by Marlon Vera, the 15th-ranked bantamweight, in his last bout. Almeida, meanwhile, has lost three straight.
Where’s the money here? Three straight fights involving O’Malley, two wins and one loss, have ended inside the distance. That’s where his backers will have to go. Those props will go up close to fight time.
As always, check the books for promos and boosts. They often post these inducements close to the fight date, when more people are making their bets. A boost can eliminate the vig and then some.