It’s midweek mayhem.
Here comes the second leg of an unprecedented UFC betting carnival.
On Wednesday, for the first time since July 13, 2016, the UFC unfolds in the Octagon during the middle of the week.
Eleven fights occur at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. This is the site of the entire three-event, eight-day, 30-some fight marathon UFC presents to make up for Covid-19 induced postponements.
On Saturday, Justin Gaethje kicked off the schedule with an upset (+150) over Tony Ferguson in the main event. Wednesday is Round 2, and another Saturday card concludes the trilogy.
Smith vs. Teixeira
Headlining Wednesday, Anthony Smith is the sizable betting favorite over Glover Teixeira in the main-event battle of world-ranked light-heavyweights. Smith ranks third and Teixeira is eighth.
DraftKings reported that Smith had taken 91% of the bets by handle and 84% by tickets placed. The fight is +220 to go the distance and -315 not to reach the finish.
Other ways to bet the fight:
- Teixeira is +700 to win by knockout, disqualification or technical knockout. Smith is +100 (even money).
- Both fighters are +500 to win a decision.
- Smith is +1200 to win by submission, while Teixeira is +400
Full UFC Jacksonville card (with betting odds)
There are no title fights on the card, but there is an assortment of interesting matchups involving fighters trying to climb the rankings ladder.
Prelim Card (6 p.m. ET)
- Heavyweight: Philipe Lins (-15q) vs. Andrei Arlovski (+125)
- Lightweight: Thiago Moises (-125) vs. Michael Johnson (+100)
- Bantamweight: Sijara Eubanks (-360) vs. Sarah Moras (+280)
- Lightweight: Omar Morales (-162) vs. Gabriel Benitez (+125)
- Featherweight: Hunter Azure (-168) vs. Brian Kelleher (+144)
- Heavyweight: Chase Sherman (-136) vs. Isaac Villanueva (+116)
Main Card (Approx. 9 p.m. ET)
- Middleweight: Marvin Vettori (-177) vs. Karl Roberson (+144)
- Bantamweight: Ricky Simon (-165) vs. Ray Borg (+130)
- Lightweight: Drew Dober -(125) vs. Alexander Hernandez (+100)
- Heavyweight: Ovince St. Preux (-139) vs. Ben Rothwell (+115)
- Lt. Heavyweight: Anthony Smith (-182) vs. Glover Teixeira (+150)
Betting outlook: Five things to consider for UFC Fight Night
#1: The odds
This is a good wagering platform. The card offers well-matched fighters either on the fringes or in the middle of world rankings.
Consistency has been a problem for many of these fighters. That’s what makes them less predictable and more difficult to handicap.
Bettors with a hunch can find money on either side. Favorites are not too prohibitive. Underdogs have a respectable chance to win.
#2: The focus
This is a good time to be selective. There is another fight Saturday.
Many fans will observe all three cards over the eight days. Principles of betting horse racing, with its myriad of opportunities, come into play here. There is enough action to hone in on the fights you like. Some will be more appealing than others; it may simply depend on which fighter you have followed and for how long. Be careful about spreading the bread.
#3: The key variable
Determining the angle for most of these fights requires a judgment call. Hernandez-Dober has been the most wagered upcoming UFC bout at DraftKings. The odds suggest a significant pull on both sides.
Marquee or momentum?
Marquee: Hernandez is ranked 15th in the division. He has one win since a 2019 setback to “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone. That forced him down the rankings ladder, requiring a slow climb upward. What did he learn from fighting a big-name opponent like Cerrone?
Momentum: Dober has two straight first-round victories after a 2019 loss to Beneil Dariush.
The odds are interesting. Hernandez is the ranked fighter, but a slight underdog. Dober has fought less name opposition, but may be gathering steam with two quick victories.
#4: Parity at the top
Anthony Smith is 33-14 and ranked third in the UFC light-heavyweight division. His last fight was a June 2019 victory over Alexander Gustafsson by submission via rear-naked choke.
Smith’s previous fight was a decision loss to division champion Jon Jones in March 2019.
Glover Teixeira is 30-7 and has won three consecutive fights since a 2018 setback to Corey Anderson. He is ranked eighth in the division.
The over-under for the fight is 2.5 rounds at DraftKings. The over is +100 and the under is -134.
#5: The stab
Reserve at least a slice of your bankroll for your favorite prop. It’s always fun and feeds the romanticism behind the bets. Justin Geathje’s backers received +150 for his win over Ferguson, but a round-five stoppage was more than 15-1 at most sportsbooks.
This is a hard bet to nail, but if you love the prospect of a stoppage, why not take a specific-rounds shot? Even try grouping a couple of rounds. The return would be less, but the victory likelihood would go up.
Hernandez and Dober would pay handsomely for a knockout either way. Dober is +220 and Hernandez +350 at DraftKings. The specific knockout round would pay as high as 18-1.
At FanDuel Sportsbook, Moras is +280 and coming off a victory in her last fight. That snapped a three-fight losing streak.
Eubanks is -350 and coming off two straight losses. She is listed at 4-4.
News and notes
Wild cards: Draws are extremely rare, which is why they pay anywhere from 50-1 to 80-1. There are usually five or less in a given year, because that result requires strange scoring like 10-8 or 9-9 rounds. (Most are scored 10-9). In a five-minute round, there is a strong likelihood that it won’t be scored even. Somebody will gain a slight edge.
Recent history: UFC 249 on Saturday was a strong outing for the favorites, but there were two big exceptions. Aleksei Oleinik prevailed at +265 on DraftKings with a split-decision versus Francisco Werdum and Gaethje delivered at +150 in the main event.
Looking ahead: On Saturday, Walt Harris is -155 against Alistair Overeem, +130, in the headliner, according to FanDuel. BetMGM has similar numbers. Out of 10 fights listed, only two of the favorites are above 2-1.
It’ll be another attractive card on the moneyline.