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UFC 246 odds, optimal predictions: MMA insider picks McGregor vs. Cerrone, Holm vs. Pennington

Conor McGregor and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone are two of the most popular fighters in mixed martial arts, and on Saturday, Jan. 18, the two legends will go head-to-head at UFC 246. The 13-fight UFC 246 card begins at 6:15 p.m. ET, with the main bouts starting at 10 p.m. ET. The UFC 246 fight card takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. McGregor (21-4) is making his return to the ring after a 15-month hiatus following a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, while Cerrone (36-13) is coming off a loss to Justin Gaethje.

McGregor is a -300 favorite (risk $300 to win $100), while Cerrone is the underdog at +230 in the latest McGregor vs. Cerrone odds. In the co-main event of UFC Las Vegas, Holly Holm (-135) is a slight favorite over Raquel Pennington (+115) even though she has dropped five of her last seven fights. Before making any UFC 246 picks of your own, check out what SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley has to say

Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and also appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and DFS shows. Over the past year, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up more than $19,000.

At UFC Fight Night 165 in December, Marley told SportsLine members that Chan Sung Jung, aka “The Korean Zombie” (-185), would dominate veteran Frankie Edgar (+165) in the featherweight main event. He predicted a knockout finish for Jung, and the South Korean delivered with a flurry to stop Edgar in the first round.

Moreover, at UFC 245, Marley accurately predicted that welterweight champ Kamaru Usman (-175) would prevail in his title defense against challenger Colby Covington (+155). The result: Usman scored a fifth-round TKO to secure the victory. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.

Now, with UFC 246 fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every single fight. He’s sharing those selections only over at SportsLine.

Marley knows the main event will likely be a defining moment in the careers of both fighters. McGregor has seen his star power and popularity take a hit because of a series of negative incidents outside the octagon. The 31-year-old Irishman also saw his reputation take a blow following his lopsided loss to Nurmagomedov following a nearly two-year hiatus from the UFC, during which he lost a highly-publicized boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.

For all of his accolades, Cerrone, 36, has just one title bout in his UFC career, a loss to Rafael Dos Anjos in December 2015. The Denver native appeared perhaps headed toward another title run when he reeled off three straight victories, but was stopped by Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje in his last two bouts. A third consecutive loss would give his critics more fodder. Go see the top UFC 246 picks now.

We’ll reveal one of Marley’s UFC 246 predictions here: He is backing Sodiq Yussuf to get the win as a -140 favorite in a featherweight bout against Andre Fili (+120). Yussuf (10-1) is riding a five-fight winning streak and has recorded a first-round TKO via punches in two of his three UFC bouts thus far. 

Against Fili (20-6), Yussuf will look to use a striking advantage to gain an edge. Yussuf has landed 5.57 significant strikes per minute in his UFC career to Fili’s 4.08, while Fili has been knocked out twice in his professional career. 

“Fili will be in trouble if this fight stays standing,” Marley told SportsLine. “If Yussuf can stuff takedowns, then I like him to win the striking exchanges and possibly get a KO along the way.”

Marley also has strong picks for McGregor vs. Cerrone, Holm vs. Pennington and every other bout on the UFC 246 card, including backing a fighter who’s a “stud on his feet and looks like a future title-contender.” Get every pick for every fight at SportsLine.

Who wins Cerrone vs. McGregor? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 246, all from the expert who’s up more than $19,000 on MMA in the past year, and find out.  

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