UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal Odds and Picks

UFC 251 is on Saturday on UFC “Fight Island” (Yas Island) in Abu Dhabi.

This is the first of four events on the island this month and will easily be the best card. This PPV card is absolutely stacked with three titles fights and some interesting women bouts.

Let’s get right into things...

Usman vs. Masvidal Picks – UFC Welterweight Championship

Fight Odds: Kamaru Usman (-285) vs. Masvidal (+245)

Things can change fast in the UFC.

It was reported just days ago that Gilbert Burns had COVID-19 and had to be pulled from the main event, but the UFC quickly found a replacement in Jorge Masvidal (35-13).

 


Kamaru Usman on Jorge Masvidal and the journey to Fight Island for UFC 251 | ESPN MMA


 

Masvidal is on a three-fight win streak with wins against Till, Askren and Nate Diaz.

All three of the wins were by TKO/KO. The win over Askren was the fastest knockout in UFC history (5 seconds) and then to end 2019, he won the “BMF” title when he finished Diaz.

Kamaru Usman (16-1) is 11-0 in the UFC and has looked unstoppable.

Usman has only finished three fights in the UFC, including a late TKO against Covington in his last fight (UFC 245). Multiple fighters have called Usman’s boring, but it’s working.

The striking battle is going to be close. Masvidal (4.33 SLpM) has 16 TKO/KO wins and is known for his heavy hands and Usman (4.60 SLpM) has improved his striking considerably in recent fights.

However, the big edge is for Usman on the ground. He has a relentless pace and he averages 3.44 takedowns per 15 minutes (50% TD Accuracy). He has also never been taken down in a fight.

Usman wins this fight, but my best bet is on over 2.5 rounds (-159). There’s a good chance this fight goes the distance, so getting –159 on O2.5 rounds is a bet I’m willing to pay up for.

Best Bet: Over 2.5 Rounds (-159)

Volkanovski vs. Holloway Picks – UFC Featherweight Championship

Fight Odds: Volkanovski (-237) vs. Holloway (+187)

This is a toss-up essentially and therefore the value is with Max Holloway (21-5) at plus money.

Alexander Volkanovski (21-1) is 8-0 in the UFC. He hasn’t lost a professional fight since 2013 (AFC 5) and he’s coming off a win against Holloway (UFC 245), which won him the title last year.

However, that first fight went the distance and I expect Holloway to make adjustments. He needs to prevent the low leg kick and use his rangy style to avoid being hit as much.

In the first fight, Volkanovski landed 157 strikes, while Holloway landed 134 strikes. Holloway turned things up in the final round, but it was too late. I’m on “Blessed” to win back the title.

Best Bet: Max Holloway ML (+187) at America’s Bookie

Aldo vs. Yan Picks – UFC Bantamweight Championship

Fight Odds: Yan (-237) vs. Aldo (+187)

Petr Yan (14-1) is undefeated in the UFC (6-0) and three of his wins were by TKO/KO.

Yan is coming off a KO win over Faber. Prior to that he won decisions against Rivera and Dodson, but both of those fights were three rounds. This is a five-round title fight.

Jose Aldo (28-6) lost his bantamweight debut against Moraes (Decision). He actually looked good in the fight, but Yan is a monster with an aggressive approach and power in his hands.

Yan averages 5.65 SLpM (Aldo 3.47 SLpM). Both guys have similar defense. Yan averages 3.15 SApM (67% Defense), while Aldo averages 3.18 SApM (65% Defense). The fight isn’t likely to make it to the mat either, as both guys have excellent takedown defense (Aldo 91% vs. Yan 87%).

Aldo will survive early on, but my money is on Yan winning by TKO/KO.

Best Bet: Petr Yan by TKO/KO (+130)

Two Women Fights Round Out the UFC 251 Main Card

Fight Odds: Namajunas (-205) vs. Andrade (+165)

Jessica Andrade (20-7) defeated Rose Namajunas (8-4) at UFC 237 last year, but it was a bit of fluke how she landed the knockout. Andrade lost her title defense to Zhang last August.

Is Namajunas focused and ready to earn a title shot? If she is, then she’ll win here, but her motivation has been a question mark. My best bet is that the fight doesn’t go the distance (+110).

Best Bet: Fight to Finish ITD (+110)

Fight Odds: Ribas (-840) vs. VanZant (+540)

Amanda Ribas (9-1) is 3-0 in the UFC with an impressive win against Dern last year. She followed that up with a win against Markos. Both wins were by decision. She fights Paige VanZant (8-4) who won against Ostovich (Submission) in her last fight. Prior to that, she has lost three of four fights.

VanZant is likely done with the UFC after she losses to Ribas on Saturday night.

Best Bet: Over 2.5 Rounds (-135) at America’s Bookie

UFC 251 Parlay Predictions

Here’s my best UFC 251 parlay:

Usman ML + Yan ML + Ribas ML (+114) at America’s Bookie

There’s a lot to like about this fight card and I can’t wait to watch UFC 251 on Saturday night.

UFC 251 Betting Lines

Kamaru Usman (-285) vs. Jorge Masvidal (+245)

Alexander Volkanovski (-237) vs. Max Holloway (+187)

Petr Yan (-237) vs. Jose Aldo (+187)

Rose Namajunas (-205) vs. Jessica Andrade (+165)

Amanda Ribas (-840) vs. Paige VanZant (+540)

Volkan Oezdemir (-167) vs. Jiri Prochazka (+137)

Muslim Salikhov (-130) vs. Elizeu Zaleski (+100)

Makwan Amirkhani (-195) vs. Danny Henry (+165)

Leonardo Santos (-185) vs. Roman Bogatov (+155)

Raulian Paiva (-180) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (+150)

Karol Rosa (-230) vs. Vanessa Melo (+180)

Martin Day (-180) vs. Davey Grant (+150)

About the Author

Scott is one of our newest writer and handicapper here at ScoresAndStats.com, but he has been writing sports betting content for more than a decade online. His work has been featured on many websites.

 

Scott is a millennial (born in 1989) who grew up in Toronto, Canada and he has never left the big city. He grew up playing a few sports (hockey, soccer and baseball) when he was younger. His favorite sport was hockey and he played goalie. He still likes to get out to the rinks to play some pick-up with his buddies.

 

Growing up in Toronto, Scott is a huge fan of all Toronto teams.

 

He watches the Maple Leafs and Raptors religiously. Scott also enjoys watching the Blue Jays, Argonauts and TFC.

 

His best sports memory was when the Raptors were crowned the 2019 NBA Champions. Unfortunately, he’s still waiting for the Maple Leafs to win a Stanley Cup during his lifetime.

 

Scott may be a diehard fan of Toronto sports teams, but he loves watching all sports. He’s a huge UFC fan (look for his UFC betting articles for most events) and he’ll watch just about anything, including tennis, golf, soccer and cricket.

 

Scott is a numbers guy and he likes digging deep into the statistics when handicapping games. He also likes to identify value bets in markets most bettors overlook, including player/team props.

 

When he’s not handicapping and watching sports, he enjoys golfing in the warmer months. He also loves burgers and poutine. Not only is that his favorite meal, but he has tried over 100 burgers in Toronto and he’s constantly looking for the best new burgers in the city.