With the Ultimate Fighting Championships coming through with a slew of shows in 2020 that afforded us plenty of betting opportunities, you expect another solid year of content from everyone here at the Line Movement family, as I’ll be providing you with everything from technical analysis to my favorite lines for upcoming UFC offerings.
UFC Fight Island 7 is headlined by a fun featherweight fight between Max Holloway (-150) and Calvin Kattar (+130).
Despite there being playable points of entry on each side of the equation, I can completely understand why the betting lines haven’t gone too far one way or the other. Holloway may be the deserved favorite on paper, but there have been some recent trends that have had many concerned about the Hawaiian’s potential bottom dropping out.
Whether or not Holloway’s slightly-decreased volume was due to savvy counter-strikers/more fighters figuring him out, the former featherweight champion’s behavior has become increasingly difficult to predict. Couple those intangibles with the power and preparation that Kattar and the New England Cartel bring to the table, and I don’t blame anyone for backing the underdog here (which is where I believe the bulk of the betting value lies).
I’ll still be officially siding with Holloway to win by decision, as I’m banking that the 29-year-old is still durable enough to get his game going more consistently down the stretch. But regardless of what side you’re on, you might want to consider hedging your bets with some love on an over prop.
Although the over 4.5 rounds prop has been bet up to roughly -185 (as it opened at -172), it’s still not that much more north than a Holloway money line or a “fight goes to decision” prop, which is only a dime cheaper at -175. I’ll admittedly be staying away from any sides in this spot, as I plan on sitting back stress-free to finish out this card.
The co-main event on ABC features an intriguing battle between longtime veterans in Carlos Condit (-165) and Matt Brown (+145).
Even though I don’t blame anyone for finding Brown attractive at dog odds, I find myself siding with the favorite in Condit. Sure, I may have written off the former WEC champion prematurely in his last outing, but Condit really seems to have his swagger back ahead of this clash in Abu Dhabi.
With both shakey pre-fight interviews and performances being a common thread in Condit’s late-career that became hard to ignore, I was under the impression that the 36-year-old had nothing left to give. And though Court McGee wasn’t exactly the biggest measuring stick of Condit’s career, he was able to establish a groove that appears to be carrying over into this fight.
I’m rarely swayed by things like interviews or things you see on social media, but I suspect that Condit (particularly this fired up version) will hold up a bit better to the fires of battle than Brown.
The Ohio native proved in his fight with Miguel Baeza that he is still dangerous, but Brown – even in his prime – was always a do-or-die fighter with suspect body durability. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for action outside of the money lines, then there are some tangible angles on each side.
If you’re a Condit supporter who is also suspect of Brown’s body at 40 years of age, then perhaps a “Condit by TKO” prop at +210 offers a sexier stake at plus-money odds. Or, if you think Brown’s pressure breaks Condit, then maybe “Brown by submission” at +910 is worth a stab given his counterpart’s chin and 6-recorded submission losses.
Either way, I suggest staying light in a fight that is ultra-high in intangibles.
Total play: Phil Hawes-Nassourdine Imavov under 1.5 rounds (+110)
Considering that this fight has been a hot target for bettors, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to weigh in with an angle that I’ll be personally targeting.
Whether you’re looking to hedge a money line play or are looking for plus-money angles for coverage, I suggest considering some type of under in this spot. Although I’ll be amongst those who are looking to take a dip on a discounted Hawes line for his superior wrestling and ridiculous power, I don’t blame anyone for taking a stab on Imavov at plus money.
The Russian-born Parisian looks to have an accurate and intercepting right hand that could hurt Hawes, as well as a sneaky front-choke game that could close the show (“Imavov by submission” is +607, for what that’s worth). However, I suspect that Hawes’ urgent, do-or-die nature will continue to produce quick fights – win or lose.
For that reason, I think that a plus-money sprinkle on this under will either act as a hedge or an added bonus for potential plays. Just pray for fireworks.
Total play: Dusko Todorovic-Punahele Soriano over 1.5 rounds (-165)
In another fight that is being highly targeted by bettors, I recommend taking a look at some available angles to help to hedge or add value to whatever side you are on.
Though I don’t disagree with Todorovic being favored on paper for his skills and experience, I’ll be siding with Soriano as an underdog.
Sure, there’s always some admitted-bias whenever I’m breaking down an Xtreme Couture fighter being cornered by either Eric Nicksick or Dennis Davis, but durable southpaws who can wrestle have been an underdog archetype that I’ve been cashing on since Rick Story beat Thiago Alves back at UFC 130.
Nevertheless, this will be Soriano’s first time traveling to Yas Island, as the 28-year-old lefty will also be coming off of a year-plus layoff. Whether it’s Soriano’s power and wrestling ability or Todorovic’s speed and striking skills that win the day, I suspect that both men are durable enough to see the second half of this contest.
For that reason, I feel like laying some chalk on an over in an action-friendly fight is forgivable in this spot.
Regardless of what you’re betting, bet responsibly, my friends!