UFC 220 breakdown: Betting advice, possible prop bets and fantasy studs

20 January 2018

MMAjunkie Radio co-host and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC 220’s main-card bouts. Today, we look at betting and fantasy options for the card.

UFC 220 takes place tonight at TD Garden in Boston. The main card, which includes two title fights, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

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Disclaimer: The following section is designed for entertainment purposes only. The unit sizes serve as a rough representation of the percentage of bankroll risked, as well as my confidence in said plays. If you intend on gambling, I suggest that you do so responsibly and legally, as it is at your own risk. All lines are drawn from 5Dimes.eu on the day this article was published (Jan. 20, 2018).

Dan’s plays

Playable parlay pieces (my most confident favorites):

  • Daniel Cormier (-340)
  • Islam Makhachev (-260)

Summary: My recommended parlay pieces are typically my most confident picks (within a reasonable price range) that could serve as potential legs for whatever play you’re trying to put together.

For my first recommendation, I elected to go with light-heavyweight champon Daniel Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), who faces Volkan Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC).

Oezdemir is a talented fighter who stormed the scene in 2017, and he could potentially shock the world with a thunderous punch here (it is MMA, after all). But, for the reasons stated in my co-main event breakdown, I believe that Cormier’s edge in the wrestling department will make the ultimate difference.

Don’t get me wrong: Oezdemir is no slouch in when it comes to defending takedowns and getting back to his feet; I am just not sure in how long he will be able to hold off Cormier. Even though -340 is a steep asking price, Cormier is still one of the safer bets on this card.

Secondly, I elected to go with Islam Makhachev (14-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who faces Gleison Tibau (33-12 MMA, 16-10 UFC) in UFC 220’s curtain-jerker.

It can always be tricky playing fighters who are coming off layoffs, but I feel like the intangibles are a bit too tilted, making it hard not to take a dip.

Tibau, a longtime staple of the lightweight division, is returning from a lofty two-year suspension courtesy of a failed drug test with USADA. The Brazilian veteran is being welcomed back my Makhachev, a highly touted Dagestani fighter.

Makhachev is also a southpaw, which makes things interesting given that facing fellow lefties have traditionally troubled Tibau (2-4 against UFC southpaws). Although Tibau could stymie this fight with his wrestling ability – as he had surprising success against Khabib Nurmagomedov a few years ago – I ultimately feel that he will be outmatched by his more diverse counterpart.

Makhachev is a superb grappler who can play positions or work transitions with ease, picking posts and fighting grips en route to dominating performances. Coupled with the fact that Tibau has a propensity to fade as the fight wears on, and I see this being one of the more safer spots to play as far as parlay legs go.

Straight plays:

  • Dan Ige +120 (0.5 unit)

Summary: For my straight plays, I typically like to look for fighters – from underdogs to reasonable favorites – who I feel have a solid chance and price tag.

Since most of my more confident picks are well above the -200 range, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and play Dan Ige (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who faces Julio Arce (13-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

Arce is a talented southpaw striker whose background in boxing shines through with the shots that he selects. And though the Tiger Schulmann product has worked diligently on his wrestling and jiu-jitsu, I think that Ige could be a tough matchup on paper.

Ige is a durable Hawaiian who wrestled collegiately in Iowa and has a natural feel for fighting. Attaching submissions to his already-solid grappling ability, Ige has also shown improvements to his striking, throwing with tighter technique each time out.

If Ige can get his pressure game going against Arce, then I believe he can earn himself a hard-fought decision on the scorecards, possibly scoring a submission late. For a half a unit, I’m in.

  • Gian Villante “by TKO” +209 (0.5 unit)

Summary: My only prop is a fairly straight forward one.

I elected to go with Gian Villante (15-9 MMA, 5-6 UFC), who faces Francimar Borroso (19-6 MMA, 4-3 UFC). As stated in my main-card breakdown, I believe that this could be a rough night Borroso, who depends largely on takedowns to win fights.

Although the Brazilian veteran has the savvy to slow down this fight, I doubt he will find success grounding Villante – a fighter who is among the top three at light heavyweight when it comes to takedown defense. Furthermore, I see Villante’s right uppercut and pressure stylings causing issues for Borroso. Villante is not beyond making bad decisions that could cost him here, but I ultimately see this as a matchup he wins by stoppage.

Fights to avoid (live dogs, high intangibles, etc.):

  • Kyle Bochniak vs. Brandon Davis
  • Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font
  • Kalvin Kattar vs. Shane Burgos

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

Read the full article here: UFC 220 breakdown: Betting advice, possible prop bets and fantasy studs