My best bets for UFC 275

By Reed Kuhn  (VSiN.com) 

USATSI_14306647

Two title fights are on the line in Singapore at UFC 275, but the two champions on the card have opposite betting situations. Glover Teixeira is the rare case of an underdog champ against relative newcomer Jiri Prochazka. In contrast, Valentina Shevchenko is a chalky favorite for her title defense against Taila Santos. 

Before the title fights, a matchup between ranked flyweights — each hoping to break into the title picture — could be a banger.

Manel Kape (-260) vs. Rogerio Bontorin (+ 210)

Flyweights

Kape is ranked lower than his opponent, but the betting market thinks he’s undervalued. He has been a knockout artist in the flyweight division, and his precision and power has delivered in explosive fashion in recent fights. The problem is Bontorin has been similarly successful on the ground, making this a stylistic contrast. 

Kape’s striking metrics are superior, but perhaps a more subtle stat to look at is his 80% takedown defense. He’s definitely going to be tested, but hopefully he can stuff the takedowns and unleash his striking. If not, we have a very aggressive grappler in Bontorin who could finish the fight on the ground, if it gets there. Lots of finishing potential on both sides, regardless of where this lands. 

Play: Kape to win and Fight Does Not Go to Decision 

Valentina Shevchenko (-700) vs. Talia Santos (+ 500)

Women’s flyweight title

Santos looks strong on paper and is certainly the more eager grappler. But there’s a huge discrepancy in strength of opponent, and that’s why the odds are so skewed for the champ. When looking for a massive upset, you have to hunt for finishing potential. There’s some hint of aggressive submissions from Santos, but not against elite competition such as Shevchenko. 

Odds such as these make for easy parlay additions but are rarely worthy of a straight-up bet. 

Conclusion: Shevchenko to win, but there’s not much value unless her price drops. 

Jiri Prochazka (-195) vs. Glover Teixeira (+ 165)

Light heavyweight title | Main event

It’s hard to take a purely quantitative view of the main event this week, as we have a rare instance of a fighter entering a title fight with only two previous UFC appearances (totaling just 15 minutes of Octagon time). However, the numbers we do see confirm the striker-versus-grappler matchup we’re all expecting. 

Teixeira’s grappling and experience against elite competition makes him a live dog in every fight. But his takedown success rate is just average, so the trajectory of this fight will be determined in the first few minutes. We’ve seen Prochazka face just two takedown attempts, and he successfully defended only one of them. If he’s prepared and can stuff the early attempts, his precise long-range power striking should take over and eventually finish the fight. If not, Teixeira knows how to control and finish on the ground. 

Lean: Prochazka

Play: Fight Does Not Go the Distance for parlays

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