With very little action still going on in the sports world, UFC 250 arrives on Saturday to provide plenty of intrigue for enthusiasts and bettors alike.
The card is headlined by a women's bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Felicia Spencer. However, there are plenty of interesting fights on the slate. Specifically, it's a big night for the bantamweight division.
The card features five of the 15 ranked fighters in the 135-pound division including former champion Cody Garbrandt.
Here's a look at the odds for all of the fights and some of the best picks.
- Amanda Nunes (-565; Bet $565 to win $100) vs. Felicia Spencer (+440; $100 bet wins $440)
- Raphael Assuncao (+120) vs. Cody Garbrandt (-140)
- Aljamain Sterling (-115) vs. Cory Sandhagen (-105)
- Neil Magny (-140) vs. Anthony Rocco Martin (+120)
- Eddie Wineland (+400) vs. Sean O'Malley (-500)
- Alex Caceres (+160) vs. Chase Hooper (-180)
- Ian Heinisch (-130) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (+110)
- Cody Stamann (-270) vs. Brian Kelleher (+230)
- Charles Byrd (-170) vs Maki Pitolo (+150)
- Jussier Formiga (+105) vs. Alex Perez (-125)
- Alonzo Menifield (-230) vs. Devin Clark (+190)
- Evan Dunham (+190) vs. Herbert Burns (-230)
Odds via Caesars Palace
Parlay: Alonzo Menifield
Betting Alonzo Menifield isn't a lucrative proposition at his price. A $100 bet would only bring back $43.50. However, he's worth looking at as part of a parlay if there are other candidates on the card who bettors feel strongly about.
Menifield's matchup on the early prelims is the perfect example of the UFC giving a promising prospect a favorable matchup. Devin Clark has been a pedestrian 5-4 in the UFC with all five of his wins coming by decision and all four of the losses coming by either submission or TKO.
In essence, he's just good enough to win a fight on points but poses little serious threat to knock anyone out and has shown that he can be finished.
All Menifield has done is finish people in his brief career. He's a perfect 9-0 with eight of those wins coming by way of knockout. He's finished his two fights under the UFC banner in the first round.
Menifield's striking isn't as polished as you'd like it to be at this point, but he's a powerful striker who can and most likely will turn out the lights on Clark sooner rather than later. He's an easy addition to any parlay you want to build to boost your payout.
Toss-Up with Value: Cory Sandhagen
There are a few fights with close odds, but the closest fight on the card appears to be the bantamweight collision between Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen. The winner is likely in the driver's seat for a shot at the championship and both have been fighting with confidence recently.
However, the fighter with the most value, in this case, is Sandhagen.
The 28-year-old is a rangy striker at 5'11" with a 70" reach. He's creative in his use of kicks, elbows and spinning strikes to keep his opponent guessing and generates a ton of volume so he can win by knockout or decision.
The main argument for Sterling here is that he is the superior grappler, and Sandhagen's takedown defense wasn't great against Raphael Assuncao. The Brazilian took him to the mat four times in their fight, but the fact that Sandhagen still took a unanimous decision speaks to his ability to get out of disadvantageous positions and still win the fight.
That will come in handy once again vs. Sterling. Aljo's boxing has gotten better over the duration of his career, but he still isn't a great striker. Sandhagen's use of his length will force him to work for every takedown he scores and Sandhagen will have the opportunity to score plenty with his striking before the ground exchanges start.
Sterling is a great fighter, but Sandhagen has the potential to be a future star. This might be the last time bettors are able to back him at this price. If he puts on another dominant performance in on Saturday he could be a big favorite from here on out.
Live Underdog: Felicia Spencer
This is not a prediction that Spencer is going to beat Nunes. The Lioness has pretty much earned "pick her until she loses" status.
However, Spencer is an intriguing underdog pick. Especially when compared to the other massive dogs on the card.
As the week has progressed, her odds have only gotten shorter. At the beginning of the week she was listed as +475 but has already dropped to +440, indicating that she's getting some backing that's forcing the market for her to come down.
Again, Nunes is likely going to win but the implied probability of her current odds is 18.5 percent, which is pretty easy to justify.
Nunes has been dominant at bantamweight, but the amount of time she's fought as a featherweight in the UFC comes out to 51 seconds. That's how long it took her to knock out Cris Cyborg.
On one hand, that speaks to the devastating knockout power that she has. Her aggression, speed and power is unmatched in the women's game. However, it also speaks to the lack of experience fighting at the heavier weight. Nunes is not a natural 145er and will be giving up a considerable amount of size on Saturday night.
While Cyborg beat Spencer when the two fought it doesn't mean that she used her weight and size better. It just shows that Spencer is not as good a striker as the former champion. However, Spencer's gameplan could yield better results against the smaller Nunes.
Spencer attempted eight takedowns and spent a lot of time in the clinch against Cyborg. It stifled the Brazilian's ability to land bombs and forced her to carry her weight, but it didn't end up winning her rounds. That same pressure applied to a smaller fighter in Nunes has the ability to test The Lioness in ways she hasn't seen.
Nunes is the likely winner, but if you're looking to back a major dog and have fun rooting for an upset, Spencer has the best chance to pull one off.