(Editor’s note: This post originally published at SportsBook Wire, part of the USA TODAY Network.)
Saturday night, Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera tangle in a bantamweight bout at UFC 252 at the UFC’s APEX Facility in Las Vegas. The early prelims kick off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+, followed by the main card set for 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view.
O’Malley (12-0) puts his perfect record on the line in the co-main event of the evening. The lanky O’Malley stands three inches taller than his counterpart, while also holding an inch and a half reach advantage. In addition, O’Malley enters the octagon with a staggering 6.86 significant strikes landed per minute, and he is pinpoint, posting a 58.22 significant strike-accuracy percentage. He is coming off a KO/TKO win over Eddie Wineland on June 6 at UFC 250, and two of his past three fights have finished inside the distance. Also, eight of his past 12 career pro bouts have ended up in knockouts, with O’Malley victorious in all eight. He has had only one submission result, a rear-naked choke against Omar Avelar at ICF 20 back in August, 2015.
Vera (15-6-1) heads into this one looking to rebound after a unanimous-decision loss against Song Yadong on May 16. It was rare for his fight to go to the judges, as five of his past six outings have finished inside the distance. Seven of his previous 12 career bouts have ended up going into Round 3. In 22 career fights, he has posted five KO/TKO victories and eight submission wins with no setbacks.
O’Malley vs. Vera betting odds
O’Malley (-304) is the overwhelming favorite, and there is no way to justify risking three times your potential return. Roll with the striker O’MALLEY TO WIN BY KO/TKO, DQ or SUBMISSION (+155) for a much better value, with slightly better odds on the 7-way line if you eliminate the submission and just go with O’Malley by KO/TKO or DQ (+160). Really, though, why limit yourself and exclude the submission for such a small difference?
It’s basically a coin flip on whether or not the fight will go the distance. Roll with NO (-112): WILL THE FIGHT GO THE DISTANCE? as I’m expecting an O’Malley knockout win. If you want a slightly better value here, consider Under 2.5 rounds (+105) for a plus-money return.
To watch the full card, sign up for ESPN+ now.
Gannett may earn revenue from audience referrals to betting services. Newsrooms are independent of this relationship and there is no influence on news coverage.