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UFC 251 predictions, prop bets, odds: Finding the best values on a stacked Fight Island card

Watch Now: Breaking Down The Rest Of UFC 251 Main Card (0:52)

It’s time to get back to fighting. After a week off to celebrate the Fourth of July and get things prepared on Fight Island, UFC is back with UFC 251 on Saturday night in the US with a whopping three title fights on the marquee. It will be the first of four events over a two-week span in Abu Dhabi for the promotion, emanating from Yas Island.

After it seemed a fight between welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal may never come to fruition, with Masvidal and the UFC failing to come to terms on a price tag for the bout, Usman was matched up with Gilbert Burrns. When Burns tested positive for COVID-19, Masvidal and the UFC were able to come to terms and make the fight a reality, setting up an incredible headliner for the card.

Can’t get enough UFC? Subscribe to our podcast State of Combat with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon, including an in-depth preview of UFC 251 with Hall of Famer ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans below.

And that’s not all that’s in store come Saturday night as Alexander Volkanovski will face Max Holloway in a featherweight title rematch seven months in the making. Plus, Petr Yan faces off with Jose Aldo for the bantamweight title left vacant in May by former champion Henry Cejudo.

With so many big fights going down this weekend, there’s bound to be plenty of interest from the gambling world. And with 11 fights on the card this weekend, there’s so many ways to get in on the action. In addition to the moneyline bets for fights straight up, bettors can take some props on the action, like “method of victory” or “will the fight go the distance”.

With that in mind, we took a closer look at the main card and preliminary main event to find the best values on prop bets with odds provided via William Hill Sportsbook.

Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Jorge Masvidal

Method of result Odds

Usman via KO/TKO/DQ

+188

Usman via submission +1100

Usman via decision

+163

Masvidal via KO/TKO/DQ

+300

Masvidal via submission

+2000

Masvidal via decision

+1100

Draw

+5000

Fight goes the distance: YES

+120

Fight goes the distance: NO

-163

Pick: Kamaru Usman by KO/TKO/DQ (+188) — Masvidal is not an easy man to stop, and he’s on the best roll of his career. The reality is the reality here, however: Masvidal was not in camp for this fight and took it on short notice. Were this a three-round fight, I’d not be on board with Masvidal being stopped. But five rounds with Usman, who can bang or grind you down with wrestling without being in prime physical shape is a huge ask. If the fight hits the fourth round, I think Usman will be able to find the finish. If you’re feeling up to a big risk, big reward situation, pair the bet with either Usman in Round 4 (+1200) or Round 5 (+1600).

Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Max Holloway

Method of result Odds

Volkanovski via KO/TKO/DQ

+400

Volkanovski via submission

+1600

Volkanovski via decision

+110

Holloway via KO/TKO/DQ

+700

Holloway via submission

+1400

Holloway via decision

+300

Draw +5000

Fight goes the distance: YES

-250

Fight goes the distance: NO

+175

Pick: Fight to go the distance: Yes (-250) — It’s not always the sexiest pick to go with something over -200, but profit lies in hitting the favorites and not just the big swings at underdogs. There’s some risk that Holloway’s revelation that he had no camp and just trained via Zoom calls could lead to a disastrous performance, but the way the two match up feels like there’s another decision incoming, even if it’s a lopsided fight. Make sure to go with the “fight to go the distance” line at -250 instead of the -275 line for the over 4.5 rounds total. Volkanovski via decision at +100 is also appealing if you buy into Holloway not having live sparring for the fight as Volkanovski’s style is hard to figure out and a lack of hands-on training wouldn’t help solve that puzzle.

Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo

Method of result Odds

Yan via KO/TKO/DQ

+125

Yan via submission

+2200

Yan via decision

+250

Aldo via KO/TKO/DQ

+450

Aldo via submission

+1800

Aldo via decision

+450

Fight goes the distance: YES

+120

Fight goes the distance: NO

-163

Pick: Petr Yan via decision (+250) — Aldo is plenty experienced in high-level fights, though we’re still short on information about his true potential at bantamweight; taking a decision over Marlon Moraes could have been the absolute high-end of his performances at 135 pounds. Yan is a true top-level bantamweight and he’s the favorite coming into the fight for a reason. Aldo can absolutely be stopped and Yan has stopping power, but I’m putting some faith in Aldo’s chin to hold up at a lower weight and to be competitive in defeat.

Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas

Method of result Odds

Andrade via KO/TKO/DQ

+500

Andrade via submission

+1800

Andrade via decision

+350

Namajunas via KO/TKO/DQ

+400

Namajunas via submission

+450

Namajunas via decision

+175

Fight goes the distance: YES

-138

Fight goes the distance: NO

+100

Pick: Rose Namajunas via KO/TKO/DQ (+350) or submission (+450) — You lose a little bit here going to the any form of stoppage rather than picking Namajunas by KO/TKO/DQ or submission, but with Andrade having lost three fights by knockout and two by submission in her career, there’s something to be said for taking the lower number to cover all available stoppage options. Andrade is plenty dangerous in her own right. In fact, just under 70% of their combined fights have ended before the final bell. If you believe this fight stays entirely on the feet as a strategic striking battle, you may be more comfortable taking the yes on the fight going the distance at -143.

Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant

Method of result Odds

Ribas via KO/TKO/DQ

+450

Ribas via submission

+200

Ribas via decision

+110

VanZant via KO/TKO/DQ

+2000

VanZant via submission

+1600

VanZant via decision

+1000

Fight goes the distance: YES

-120

Fight goes the distance: NO

-120

Pick: Amanda Ribas by submission (+200) — Ribas has a very good jiu jitsu base and VanZant has been vulnerable on the ground in the past. It also sounds like VanZant still has some issues with her arm that has been troubling her over the past few years. If she can’t fully open up with strikes to keep Ribas from getting inside, she’s going to end up on the ground, and it feels like the clock immediately starts ticking toward the fight getting finished once that happens. But if you’re feeling really frisky and think VanZant has it in her to pull off the upset, there’s a lot of money to be made. Even VanZant by decision is sitting at +1000. If you want to bomb it in on a huge line, there’s your number.

Who will win Usman vs. Masvidal, and how exactly will each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight on Saturday’s UFC 251 card, all from the accomplished expert who’s up almost $21,000 and has nailed 12 straight main events.

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