UFC 266 Fight Night Prop Picks and Best Bets
With the UFC in full swing throughout 2021, we here at Odds Checker 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.
Last week's sheet was a winner, as we'll look to keep that positive momentum going here.
UFC 266 Main Event: Volkanovski vs. Ortega
The main event for UFC 266 features a featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski (-178) and Brian Ortega (+150).
Although the under 4.5 rounds at plus money is tempting as an angle or hedge of sorts, I officially picked Volkanovski to retain his title by decision due to Ortega's staying power, as well as the champion's propensity to fight smart.
If you're confident on the Volkanovski side, then perhaps wait until the popularity of Ortega potentially drives the price down on fight day before investing in a money line. Unfortunately, the Volkanovski decision prop isn't plump enough for my liking at +135, while the under admittedly feels like a play on Ortega at a lower price.
Don't get me wrong: I don't hate anyone kicking for coverage in regards to playing totals for this fight. However, akin to Nick Diaz's rematch with Robbie Lawler, I suspect that this could be a volatile matchup regarding all the potential outcomes.
For that reason, I'll be staying away from said popular fights and will instead be enjoying as a fan. But don't worry, I do have action before the main attraction that I'll gladly share with you.
UFC 266 Parlay (+105)
As I always say, parlaying is a mad man's game in MMA. That said, I'd be lying if I told you that I didn't dabble in them for fun (keyword fun). For this week's parlay, I decided to go with a chalk pairing that could produce plus money earlier in the card.
For my first leg, I decided to go with Jessica Andrade, who faces Cynthia Calvillo.
Even though I'm a big fan of Calvillo, I believe that this could be a tough stylistic matchup for her, given that she'll likely be on the wrong side of wrestling, power, and volume advantage on paper. Andrade will not only be the more active fighter who has faced better competition, but the Brazilian contender has also trained at Calvillo's former camp, Team Alpha Male, ahead of this contest.
Basically, unless Calvillo can submit a legit black belt who has been working hard on her grappling, then I suspect that Andrade's volume and damaging style will make herself undeniable on the scorecards.
For my second leg, I elected to go with Chris Daukaus over Shamil Abdurakhimov.
Not only is Abdurakhimov a 40-year-old fighter who hasn't fought in two years, but the Dagestani has shown some troubling trends both in and out of the cage. Whether it's Abdurakhimov's mirage of a ground game (as he comes from a Wushu Sanda background and not a wrestling one) or the fact that he's actively avoided fighters like Daukaus in multiple sketchy ways, I suspect that this is a fight that the Russian representative doesn't want.
For that reason, I'm picking Daukaus to get him out of there early via knockout at +120.
UFC 266 Prop Bet:
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy Over 2.5 rounds (-120)
Playing chalk in the form of props may admittedly be the furthest thing from sexy, but this is one of my more confident reads on the card.
Whenever you get massive favorite lines as Shevchenko draws, a typical trend for bettors and casuals alike is to hunt for discounted angles by assuming that the chalked-up fighter takes care of business inside the distance.
Could Shevchenko finish Murphy? Sure she can.
But between Murphy being a legit Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt to the fact that she's still yet to be stopped, I have a hard time passing up on the value that this total presents. Unless Murphy gets shut down from a liver kick or stopped by a cut, then I ultimately see her durability getting her through to the final bell.
Regardless of what you're betting, good luck and bet responsibly, my friends!
And if you'd like more of my analysis, feel free to check out my weekly show, The Protect Ya' Neck Podcast.