UFC 272 Parlay Picks: Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal
UFC 272 Parlay Picks: Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal
Last week, I got too cute with taking Nunes inside the distance instead of the money line, which lost our +511 parlay even though all three legs hit. However, we hit the +400 knockout prop for Makhachev in the main event, so we came out ahead nicely for our two article plays from last weekend. I have another value parlay for UFC 272 this weekend, and I will not be taking any single fighter by finish in this one to avoid another close loss. This article will be strictly my favorite parlay, and then I will have my favorite straight bets in an article coming out on Friday. Let's get into it.
Leg 1: Colby Covington ML
This one is the most obvious play on the card for me. I would not recommend taking Covington straight or even inside the distance, but I do think he's a nice parlay piece. Covington (16-3) has only lost to two opponents since joining the UFC, and one of them was the current champ Kamaru Usman. Covington is a technical maniac who uses his conditioning and pace to control his opponents. Across from him on Saturday will be friend-turned-foe Jorge Masvidal (35-15). Masvidal is also a UFC veteran who has seen ups and downs through his time in the octagon, most recently coming off back-to-back title fight losses to Kamaru Usman.
Takedowns have been a bit of an issue for Masvidal lately, as he's fought the best of the best. He was taken down five times in his first fight with Usman and two times in the rematch before getting finished. He was also taken down four times by the experienced Demian Maia. Covington is arguably a very comparable wrestler to Usman, and Covington fought a very close fight to the final bell with Usman the second time around. Covington's conditioning, combined with his pressure and ability to control the octagon en route to his takedowns, should be too much for Masvidal to handle.
The books certainly agree, considering the wide line. In fact, Masvidal wasn't even this big of an underdog in his first fight against Usman. Masvidal closed around +230 in that fight and is hovering around +260 right now against Covington. The fact that Convington is a bigger favorite over Masvidal than Usman is pretty telling to me. The fighting styles are a terrible matchup for Masvidal. I expect Covington to win by unanimous decision or quite possibly a rear-naked choke (great odds on the submission, +800).
Leg 2: Kevin Holland ML
Kevin Holland (21-7) was hands-down the most exciting fighter in 2020. The DWTNCS-alum tied the record with five wins in a single calendar year, four of them being finishes. Holland will be facing Alex Oliveira (22-11-1) on Saturday night. Holland started 8-2 in the UFC before running into back-to-back losses over highly-ranked Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori. What seems to be (or was) Holland's kryptonite is his grappling in that three of his four losses in the UFC were to high-level grapplers/wrestlers. Not only does he get to face a fellow striker here, but it is in a lower weight class for Holland. Holland will be stepping down to Welterweight for this one, and I like the change for him.
He will have a significant six-inch reach advantage over Pereira, which means a lot in this one, considering it will take place mainly on the feet. Holland has been working hard on his grappling, as told by his many social media posts working with grapplers and showing off his new abilities. Perhaps working on stuffing takedowns is all he needs to hit his stride again. He seems to win almost every striking exchange he enters, and it's due to the speed of his hands and his movement. If I thought Pereira had any shot to take Holland down or keep him down, I would stay far away from this one. However, Pereira is no Brendan Allen, Derek Brunson, or Marvin Vettori.
Holland's speed and reach advantage, especially considering dropping 15 pounds, should be enough to outscore Pereira, if not finish him. Pereira has also lost six of his last eight bouts, and it's possible his age could be catching up to him. Either way, Holland should win Saturday night.
Leg 3: Devonte Smith/Ludovit Klein Under 2.5 Rounds
Fun fact: in 45 combined professional fights between these two, the judges have decided two. Smith alone has yet to see the judges in 14 contests. Devonte Smith (11-3) is an aggressive striker with a not-so-great chin. He carries rocks in his hands, explaining his ten knockouts in eleven wins, but his striking defense could be better. He leaves his chin high and doesn't have a ton of head movement.
This should be an interesting matchup, as his opponent Ludovit Klein (17-4) has four knockout wins in his last six fights. Klein has finished 16 of his 17 wins, mixing them up as well, with eight by knockout and eight by submission. Klein is a well-rounded fighter who is also stepping up a weight class for this fight, moving from Bantamweight to Featherweight. The extra pounds only help our case for this bet because it gives him additional power and strength.
I think Klein is live to finish with a submission here, as Smith hasn't faced many experienced grapplers, but it's hard to count out Smith's hands. I would take Klein as the dog in the parlay, but I think the under is the safer play. Smith is very aggressive and accurate with dynamite in his hands but leaves himself open to be finished. I would be surprised to see this one go to the judges.
This parlay doesn't have crazy high odds like my others usually do, but this one is absolute money. It's a safer parlay that I'm not worried about sweating out. Let's cash this one and hit another plus-odds UFC play.
Covington vs. Masvidal Parlay Pick
Pick: 3-Leg Parlay @ +175 Odds (Bet $100 to Win $175)
- Leg 1: Colby Covington ML
- Leg 2: Kevin Holland ML
- Leg 3: Devonte Smith/Ludovit Klein Under 2.5 Rounds
Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.