Saturday’s UFC 254 action will get off to a uniquely early start — 11 a.m. ET for early prelims and 2 p.m. ET for the main card on ESPN Pay-Per-View. With 12 action-packed bouts on the slate, there is plenty of value to be found on the card. So where should you be looking to place your bets for UFC on Fight Island?
Our crew has pinpointed two fights on Saturday’s card that present betting value. You can find their analysis and picks on those matches below.
Sean Zerillo: Alexander Volkov vs. Walt Harris
Betting Analyst, The Action Network
I went into greater detail on this matchup in my full card breakdown, but Volkov is my favorite value play of the night. This fight isn’t so dissimilar from Harris’ last matchup with Alistair Overeem, though I think the Reem has more power, and a lesser chin than Volkov.
As a result, I see this fight ending in three ways: (1) Harris Round 1 Finish; (2) Volkov Round 2 or 3 Finish; (3) Volkov by decision.
I projected Volkov by decision at +134 (implied 42.7%), and you can find it in the market over +200 (implied 33.3%). Play Volkov’s decision prop to +165 (implied 37.7%) at a five percent edge.You can play Volkov’s moneyline to -186.
Check out my full undercard and main card preview for more ways to bet on this matchup.
The Bet: Volkov’s Moneyline (-180, Risk 1u)
Reed Wallach: Da-Un Jung vs. Sam Alvey
Contributor at The Action Network
The South Korean light heavyweight is quickly rising in a wide open division. At 2-0 in the promotion, Jung is slated to face someone trending in the opposite direction in Alvey. The southpaw has lost his past four fights, and could be out of the promotion with a loss here.
Jung, meanwhile, is a devastating finisher, with 10 of his 13 career victories coming via knockout and I expect Alvey to see the same fate on Saturday. This is simply a brutal matchup for the UFC veteran. Jung has shown ruthless aggression since entering the UFC, averaging more than six significant strikes per minute, per UFC Stats.
Jung does take his fair share of shots as well, averaging seven significant strikes absorbed per minute. He is going to enter the fray and let his hands go, but he has been able to get late fight finishes, with his UFC debut win coming in the third round via submission.
Jung is going to be out for a statement in this one and I expect Alvey to act accordingly. If this becomes a firefight, the upstart light heavyweight will overpower “Smile’n” Sam and put him out quickly. On top of the volume difference, Jung averages more than double the strikes on a per minute basis, he has a 3-inch reach advantage.
With such a high moneyline, I’m going to play Jung to win inside the distance (-110) at PointsBet. I also think he is as strong of a parlay piece as there is on the card, and I’ll pair him with Lauren Murphy to make a parlay of -105.
The Pick: Da-Un Jung to win inside the distance -110 | Use Jung as a parlay piece
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