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Miocic vs Cormier: UFC 226 Money Line Odds and Predictions

Daniel Cormier(20-1-0) @ Stipe Miocic(18-2)

  • Where: T-Mobile Arena. Paradise, Nevada
  • When: July 7, 2018 6:00 pm EST
  • Moneyline: Miocic (-265) vs Cormier (+205)

On this July 4th weekend, let’s declare our independence from MMA main-event hype.

Sure, this Saturday’s UFC 226 in Nevada promises an interesting capper. Heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic will take on Light-Heavyweight title-holder Daniel Cormier in a match that only looks lopsided when measured with tape.

But sometimes, the best betting value is found further down the board. The money lines are moving for multiple bouts including Max Holloway vs Brian Ortega, a match in which gamblers may be trusting an unbeaten record more than their eyes.

We’ll kick off by previewing the featured match as usual. But several mid-card matches deserve just as much space this time around, including an intriguing Women’s Strawweight match hidden early in the gala.

UFC 226 Main Event: Miocic (-265) vs Cormier (+205)

If this match were a WWE bout, the announcer would say that Light-Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has to stay away from Heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic, “who is 7 feet tall and scares 400 pounds to death!”

But the UFC has billed the heavy, brutish Miocic at a modest 6’4” and 246 lbs. It’s the smaller Cormier whose billed height is thought to be inflated at 5 feet and 11 inches.

Maybe it’s not Giant Baba vs a Luchador. But the bout certainly has the bookends of a physical mismatch. Miocic will have at least a 5-inch height advantage, an 8-inch reach advantage, and a significant weight and power advantage.

The Heavyweight champ hasn’t yet defended the belt against a master wrestler. Cormier can grapple with the best in MMA, prompting some handicappers to call this a potential upset.

But the smaller fighter has not been keen on takedowns recently, preferring to spar and parry with jabs and leading punches. If Cormier chooses to keep his distance, his relatively tame kicks will not likely hurt the larger champion. If he tries to use his superior grappling skills, the size disadvantage could spell doom.

Miocic is a low-risk money line bet at 1 or 2 units. But I’m also feeling the over (3 and ½ rounds) due to Cormier’s tendency to back off when in trouble.

Max Holloway (-150) vs Brian Ortega (+125)

This line has been moving with the betting action. Holloway opened as close to a -200 favorite at some sportsbooks. Bettors like Ortega’s takedown defense and his simple efficient style against Holloway’s less-consistent record. Ortega has never lost a UFC fight, going a perfect 13-0 to date.

But betting against the public has never been sweeter. Holloway has a good chin, plenty of experience and far-superior mat wrestling skills. If he can avoid mistakes and parry any flurries by the upstart #1 contender, then bookies will be proven correct in their original assessment.

Considering the direction the odds are moving in, the best strategy here may be to wait until Friday or early Saturday and then bet on Holloway to win or by-decision at the highest payoff possible.

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Michael Chiesa (-150) vs Anthony Pettis (+130)

This bout will feature a classic clash of styles. Chiesa is a mediocre striker who isn’t a master on takedowns, but he knows how to corner an opponent and drive him into vulnerable positions with flurries and overhead strikes.

Once a fighter goes to the mat against Chiesa it’s usually all she wrote. 10 of Maverick’s 14 wins have come via submission holds.

Can Pettis, a talented striker who has lost 7 of 27 fights, stay on his feet long enough to carry the night in Nevada?

Possibly. The Lightweight veteran is a fearsome striker and knows how to wage a patient battle in the octagon. His legs are dangerous, and Chiesa may find that Pettis’ mat defense is stronger than others he has faced in UFC.

But Pettis has an Achilles Heel in that his strikes are not powerful enough to hurt Chiesa with a single punch or combination. He must get inside and throw several accurate punches at once or dance, prance and look to land kicks to the head. Pettis can’t avoid close proximity if he wants a KO, and it’s hard to win a decision when you must fight defensively to avoid being tapped-out.

I’m all-in for Chiesa on the money line or a submission-prop.

Jamie Moyle (-200) vs Emily Whitmire (+170)

2 exciting distaff Strawweights collide on a card otherwise dominated by male competitors. Moyle is the favorite, a spunky fighter with a diverse skill-set and excellent defensive skills. Moyle has fought 7 times as an amateur and 6 times as a professional without once getting knocked out or beaten by submission. It’s almost a given that she will last the duration of 3 rounds.

But that doesn’t mean Whitmire can’t pull off an upset.

The 27 year old lost to a vicious armbar from Gillian Robertson in her most recent bout, but the pair were roommates in training. Whitmire admits to having felt awkward going into the tussle and perhaps losing focus.

The Oregonian is more dangerous on the mat than Moyle, and while her defense against holds isn’t great, her opponent is essentially an amateur kickboxer who poses little threat of a KO or submission.

I’m liking Whitmire’s odds as well as her moxie. She can rough-up the finesse-oriented Moyle and win the fight in 3 different potential ways. Take “Spitfire” on the money line.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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