UFC 266 Preview, Best Bets: Volkanovski Undervalued in Title Fight

Dec 14, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA;  Alexander Volkanovski (blue gloves) prepares for a bout against
Dec 14, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Alexander Volkanovski (blue gloves) prepares for a bout against / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

We have arrived! 

The UFC is back on pay-per-view with UFC 266 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

We have 13 fights on tap and a ton of betting angles to hit, so let’s waste no time, here are eight plays that we have for you. 

All odds are courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook as of Friday morning.

Best Prelim Card Bet:

Uros Medic -120 vs. Jalin Turner

The only reason you’re getting Medic at -120 is because he’s only fought once in the UFC and is still a largely unknown fighter, but at 7-0, the 28-year old is the real deal. All seven of his wins have come via finish, and six of those have come in the first round. His aggressiveness is going to cause issues for Turner. -- Iain McMillian 

Merab Dvalishvili -255 vs. Marlon Moraes 

Dvalishvilli is a terror to face, pushing a relentless pace and landing takedowns at an obscene clip, averaging more than seven per 15 minutes. 

He’ll be facing former title challenger Marlon Moraes, who has dropped three of his last four. 

I see Dvalishvili overwhelming Moraes and spending most of his time on top of ‘Magic.’ He's the best parlay piece on the board (I like adding him with Alex Volkanovski in the main event), but will also be hitting his to win by decision prop when it opens on WynnBET at anything under -150. -- Reed Wallach

Best Underdog Bet: 

Jairzinho Rozenstriuk +250 vs Curtis Blaydes

Any fighter with knockout power at the heavyweight division is worth a bet when their odds are this long, especially as someone as talented and underrated as Jairzinho Rozenstruik. His only two losses in the UFC have come against the current champion in Francis Ngannou and current interim champion in Ciryl Gane.

Many people thought Blaydes was a top contender, but his last loss to Derrick Lewis shattered some of the allure surrounding him. Rozenstruik may not be the better fighter, but he’s absolutely worth a shot at +250. -- Iain McMillian

Jalin Turner +100 vs. Uros Medic

Wow, first pick and we are going against one another. I’ll side with Turner here, making him a small favorite. 

Let’s start with the size, he has a two inch height and six inch reach advantage, per UFCStats.com and Turner is a big step up in class for Medic. Medic is 7-0, but has mainly fighting against under qualified competition.

Turner may not be a star, but he has five fights under his belt in the UFC and we have seen him outside the first round more often. There are too many questions to side with Medic as a favorite, so I'll play the small underdog. There are some long odds out there but I couldn't get myself to pull the trigger, so I'll stick with the more proven commodity. -- Reed Wallach

Best Main Card Bet: 

Robbie Lawler -145 vs Nick Diaz

A rematch 17 years in the making. Diaz got the better of Lawler in their first bout back in 2004, but concerns have been raised around Diaz heading into this fight. He’s been cryptic (as usual) in his press conferences, and a last-minute change to the fight being at middleweight makes me think he’s not prepared for a cage fight.

Let’s be honest, both of these fighters are washed up, but I can’t bet on what seems like an unmotivated Diaz that has no desire to compete. -- Iain McMillian 

Valentina Shevchenko by Submission (+500) vs. Lauren Murphy 

Betting the co-main is a matter of how Shevchenko retains her title and I’ll take a stab at her winning by submission. This translates to an implied probability of 16.7%, and I see that underselling the odds of her ability to overpower Murphy and choke her out. 

Murphy has never been knocked out, but the KO prop sits at -120, so I’ll go a bit longer and count on a submission, which Shevchenko has done seven times, just not since 2018. -- Reed Wallach

Best Main Event Bet: 

Ortega/Volkanovski UNDER 4.5 rounds +110

Brian Ortega is going to be outmatched in this fight, but if he’s going to have any hope of beating Volkanovski, it’s going to have to be inside the distance. With the over/under set at a high mark of 4.5 and the under at plus-money, there’s a lot of value on this bet.

10 of Ortega’s 15 career wins have come via finish, and so has 13 of Volkanovski’s 22 wins. If you don’t want to eat the juice on Volkanovski at -185, this bet is a great alternative. -- Iain McMillian 

Alexander Volkanovski ML -185

Listen, I hate laying the chalk in UFC with the variance that goes on in the octagon, but this line is selling the champion short. I make this line closer to -250 and willing to lay the lumber on the Aussie to retain his title. 

While Ortega looked strong in his first fight back since 2018, Volkanovski’s cardio and striking efficiency are going to be on display for the entirety of the fight. Ortega will be playing catch up all fight and won’t be able to match the output of the champion. 

‘The Great’ averages more than six strikes landed per minute while Ortega absorbs that many as well. This will be a one sided title fight.

If you want to save some money, I do like Volkanovski by decision (+137), but I’ll stick to a rare chalky play. -- Reed Wallach

If you are betting UFC 266, make sure you are doing it with WynnBET Sportsbook!