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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

UFC Fight Night Blaydes vs. Lewis: Playing the Main Event

Backing (relative) youth Saturday: Curtis Blaydes 'inside the distance' -165

According to, the betting public appears to be flocking to Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis, for Saturday night UFC action. Blaydes' moneyline at Bovada is up from about an a 78% implied probability to win a month ago to 80% at present. This story is more or less the same at other shops, though the absolute levels vary (Blaydes can be had for anywhere between -389 to -500, so shop around).

Yet, we perceive slight value with Blaydes, despite the astronomical moneyline, as the Action Network's Sean Zerillo's crowdsourced odds point to an 82% implied probability of the win for the favorite.

But we generally do not play -400 lines, simply as a matter of risk management (the occasional loss at such levels hurts more than several wins helps). Instead we present for consideration a play on the Blaydes 'inside the distance' prop, at a much more palatable -165.

While Curtis Blaydes' 56% stoppage rate in UFC fights is mediocre, we note that every one of Derrick Lewis's UFC losses have come by stoppage. So if one buys the narrative that Blaydes is the better man Saturday, playing "Razor" for the finish is by no means a stretch, and reduces capital at risk by something like 60%.

The expectation for a finish also fits with the historical norm, as, per the database, of 107 clashes since 2013 featuring heavyweights off wins, only 30% went to the judges' scorecards. When such encounters featured 5-7 yr age mismatches among the combatants, the finish rate rose from 70% to 80% (n=26).

The increased vulnerability to the finish evident in heavyweights bouts featuring older fighters seems to owe to the reality that the body's ability to absorb punishment diminishes with age.

(BTW, the heavy favorite in such meetings, i.e. ≥ 75% implied probability, went 4-1).

Thus, history says back the heavy favorite at the top weight class versus aging competition, and bet that the end will come in rather swift fashion. We are positioning accordingly.

Happy betting!!


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