Last week’s UFC 266 continued a march of favorites as they realized an 11-2 result and have produced a 27-7 record over the last three cards.
This kind of chalky run usually spells trouble for underdog-driven handicappers, but I must point out that while underdogs are my preference, at the end of the day I seek to uncover advantage, no matter its form.
If advantage comes from a favorite such as Merab Dvalishvili (-240) completing the open-ended parlay with Anthony Smith (-165), or a straight-up win with Alexander Volkanovski (-165), then so be it. Profit from favorites will deposit just like profits from underdogs.
On the rare occasion that I release a favorite, the reason must be compelling. The compelling reason last weekend lay with Volkanovski’s determination and preparedness, for he was a man who was simply not going to get beat that night.
Insight the Octagon 2021: 24-18 + 9.57 units
This week the UFC returns to the smaller cage at the Apex Center in Las Vegas with a fight card on which six of the 13 bouts are bantamweight (135 pounds) or lighter. Four are women’s bouts, so off the top we’re going to see decisions. Fortunately, there are a couple of bangers to be uncovered on this card, so I’ll focus on those.
Thiago Santos (-170) vs. Johnny Walker (+ 150)
light-heavyweight (205 pounds), main event
The 13th-ranked Walker arrives to this fight as he does to most, with substantial height and reach advantages. He’ll be 5 inches taller and will hold edges of 6 inches of arm reach and 2 inches of leg reach over Santos.