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We're thrilled to add Dan Tom to the OddsChecker MMA team of handicappers. And, what better way to kick off his time on the site than with picks for one of the biggest events of the year, UFC 264?

UFC 264 Prop Picks & Parlay: Sean O'Malley To Finish It Early

With the UFC in full swing throughout 2021, we here at OddsChecker will be looking to have you covered when it comes to betting on MMA. As a longtime martial arts analyst and gambler, I'll be providing you with everything from technical analysis to my favorite lines in the form of parlays, props, and more for upcoming fight cards.

UFC 264 Main Event Preview: Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 3

UFC 264 is headlined by a rubber match between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, as they are 1-1 heading into Saturday night.

There are a ton of intangibles and potential adjustments from a stylistic perspective that have analysts like myself nerding out over the multiple possibilities. That, coupled with the stacked betting lines on unders, make this a tricky fight to both bet and predict.

Personally, I believe that Poirier's check right hook will prove to be kryptonite for McGregor's southpaw stylings, forcing a stoppage somewhere around the third frame. But if you like the American enough to back him at the betting window, then I suggest waiting until the day of the fight for best odds given the popularity of McGregor.

If you have strong enough feelings about either fighter, then the money lines are more than playable on both sides. But unless you're uber confident in a side or are trying to go contrarian with overs, then I suggest staying away and enjoying the show.

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UFC 264 Parlay

2-Leg UFC 264 Parlay @ +109

Leg 1 Brad Tavares @ -165

Leg 2: Zhalgas Zhumagulov @ -330

First off, let me just state that relentlessly parlaying plays in MMA can be a quick recipe for disaster. That said, whether you're trying to have skin in the game or are trying to legitimately turn a profit, there are some fighters that may be just out of your straight play budget that you'd still like to have action on.

In those cases, I suggest pairing your two most confident picks that equal a turnaround worth wagering on, as things get even dicier when you start to rely on three legs.

For this card, I chose to go with Brad Tavares and Zhalgas Zhumagulov. Tavares is facing a respectable Dagestani fighter in Omari Akhmedov, who tends to gas if can't take his opponent down or knock them out.

Tavares has been knocked before, but his stellar takedown defense and the consistent striking process are much more dependable for a win than the threat of a knockout from Akhmedov (who hasn't knocked anyone out since 2013). Tavares will also likely win by decision, as that prop currently sits at +130, for those interested.

For the second leg of this play, I elected to get chalky by anchoring my money to the former Fight Nights Global champion, Zhumagulov, who should roll past the scrappy Jerome Rivera. Rivera is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt with some amateur kickboxing experience, but he lacks a meaningful wrestling game or process to drive opponents into any strengths.

I also suspect that Rivera, who stands tall in this division, cuts too much weight to make the bantamweight limit, which perhaps explains his durability issues. Outside of a perfectly-placed flying knee up the middle, I'm not sure how I see Rivera out-working a consistent, stance-switching scorer like Zhumagulov.


UFC 264 Prop Picks

Sean O'Malley To Win In Round 1 @ +130

Sean O'Malley meets Kris Moutinho in an impromptu bantamweight bout.

Moutinho comes from a well-respect team in the New England Cartel, as he should have plenty of long strikers from Rob Font to Calvin Kattar to work with. That said, Moutinho – who has competed at flyweight before – is not the biggest bantamweight himself.

Moutinho is an action fighter that holds a Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt that could make things interesting if this fight gets extended, but I'm not sure how much the UFC newcomer will be able to do on short notice against a longer and more experienced fighter like O'Malley. The matchmakers made this fight for a reason, as I'll gladly take plus money for a fast-starting trend that's embedded into O'Malley's style.

Greg Hardy-Tai Tuivasa under 1.5 @ +150, under 2.5 @ -137

Also part of UFC 264's main card is a heavyweight affair that I was initially going to stay away from. However, after seeing the current totals on the board, I find it hard not to hit some of these lines.

I'm picking Tuivasa to win as far as a side goes, but have a hard time seeing this battle get to the final bell due to how these heavyweight strikers stack up. Not only are there only four decisions on paper between the two, but I also suspect that the cheers of a full arena will only feed the flames of violence. For that reason, I believe that both totals are more than playable (depending on how dangerous you want to get).

Regardless of what you're betting, good luck and bet responsibly, my friends!

If you'd like more of my analysis, feel free to check out my weekly show, The Protect Ya' Neck Podcast.

Article Author


MMA analyst for MMAJunkie, USA TODAY Sports, and OddsChecker US.


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