UFC 258 Odds, Picks & Predictions: Usman vs. Burns
Bet of the Card: (2u) Polyana Viana Moneyline @ +136 (to Return 4.72 Units)
(1u) Polyana Viana to Win Inside the Distance @ +370 (to Return 4.7 Units)
Preliminary Card Women’s Strawweight (115lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 8:40 p.m. EST.
- Polyana Viana holds a 1-inch height (5' 5" vs. 5' 4") and 4-inch reach (67” vs. 63”) advantage over Mallory Martin.
- Over the course of her 3 UFC fights (2 UFC, 1 Dana White’s Contender Series), Martin has posted a negative striking differential (strikes landed per minute: 4.28 vs. strikes absorbed per minute: 6.04), and a takedown defense of just 25% (per UFCStats.com).
I love betting on fighters who I can see multiple paths to victory for, and in this spot with Polyana Viana, I can see just that.
These two should be fairly evenly matched on the feet, but with Viana’s edges in height and reach, I can see her being first to punch on most exchanges. In addition to this, she also throws the harder, straighter shots, which could sting Martin and cause her to abandon the striking, and look to engage in the grappling.
If this is the case, I really like Viana’s chances in a ground fight. She may give up the wrestling edge, but from a Brazilian jiu-jitsu perspective, she is the more polished grappler. She’s by no means faultless, but she’s skilled on top and bottom, and even if she were to be in a disadvantageous position, I can see her throwing up sweeps and submission attempts, putting Martin in all sorts of trouble.
My biggest concern would be watching Martin take Viana to the mat and sitting on top of her burning minutes off the clock. But with Viana’s aggressive bottom game, you know she’s going to attack with elbows and submissions off her back, thus forcing the action, if not the finish.
I can see ways in which Viana finishes or out-works Martin, either on the feet or on the mat, and for this reason, I just have to look her way in this fight. Afterall, it’s not every day you can make a good case for an underdog having this many avenues to victory. As an additional play, I’m also taking FOXBet’s “Bet Boost” on Polyana Viana to win in rounds 1-3 (meaning inside the distance) at +370. All 11 of her pro wins have come via stoppage, and I can see potential danger for Martin, wherever the fight takes place.
(1.5u) Fight Goes The Distance – Yes @ -118 (to Return 2.775 Units)
Main Event UFC Welterweight (170lbs) Championship Bout – Approx. Start Time: 00:15 a.m. EST.
- Kamaru Usman has been to a decision in 9 of his last 11 bouts.
- Gilbert Burns has gone to a decision in 3 of 4 fights since moving up to Welterweight.
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The moneyline looks pretty accurate for this fight. Usman (pictured below: on the left vs. Colby Covington) is the rightful favorite, but at - 250 (best odds), it's just a little too rich for my blood. I can understand people taking the underdog shot on Burns at over 2-to-1 (+230 best odds), but Usman really hasn't shown us anything to indicate that he'd be worth fading, at least not that this number.
One play I do like for the fight, however, is the fight goes the distance prop at -118. Sure, it's a five-round fight with two phenomenal and surging fighters, but there’s a number of factors that I like when looking towards the over. Both guys are well conditioned, have great durability, and they've adopted quite conservative fighting styles. On top of this, they're former long-term training partners, meaning they should have a very good understanding about the nuances to each other's game, that could result in them sidestepping areas of the fight where they know their opponent is stronger than them.
I see this fight having prolonged moments on the feet, against the cage, and on the mat. Of course, Burns (pictured below: on the right vs. Tyron Woodley) is a seriously high-level BJJ player, so I'd expect Usman to implement a lot of clinch grappling along the cage to wear on Burns, which would reduce the risks that he would face being on the ground. This grinding style has made Usman an absolute gold mine for his moneyline backers, and over bettors, due to it being a low-risk and effective approach to minute winning.
Both guys aren't elite strikers, yet have shown decent defensive skills and strong chins, so I’d be pretty surprised to see either get finish whilst standing. Because of this, my only real concerns of a stoppage coming are from a Burns sub, or a late ground-and-pound finish from Usman out-cardioing Burns. But considering their familiarity, and Usman's relatively risk adverse approach to fighting, I just can’t look past him fighting safe, before coasting in the championship rounds. Take this fight to go the distance. -118 looks pretty cheap considering I’d have it lined closer to -150/-160.
Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.
Event: UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns / #UFC258
Location & Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Date: Saturday, February 13th, 2021
Start time: Main Card: 10 p.m. EST, Prelims: 8 p.m. EST. Early Prelims: 6:15 p.m. EST.
Where to watch: Main Card on PPV, Prelims on ESPN/ESPN+, Early Prelims on ESPN+
UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns Full Fight Card Predictions
UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns Main Event Prediction
Welterweight (170lbs): Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns – Usman via Decision
UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns Main Card Predictions
(W) Strawweight (115lbs): Maycee Barber vs. Alexa Grasso – Grasso via Decision
Middleweight (185lbs): Kelvin Gastelum vs. Ian Heinisch – Gastelum via Decision
Lightweight (155lbs): Jim Miller vs. Bobby Green – Green via Decision
Middleweight (185lbs): Maki Pitolo vs. Julian Marquez – Marquez via KO/TKO
UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns Prelim Card Predictions
Middleweight (185lbs): Rodolfo Vieira vs. Anthony Hernandez – Vieira via Submission
Welterweight (170lbs): Belal Muhammad vs. Dhiego Lima – Muhammad via Decision
(W) Strawweight (115lbs): Polyana Viana vs. Mallory Martin – Viana via Submission
Catchweight (140lbs): Andre Ewell vs. Chris Gutierrez – Gutierrez via Decision
Featherweight (145lbs): Ricky Simón vs. Brian Kelleher – Simon via Decision
Welterweight (170lbs): Gabe Green vs. Philip Rowe – Green via Decision
(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Gillian Robertson vs. Miranda Maverick – Robertson via Decision
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.