Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera Prediction and Underdog Best Bets #ufc252

UFC 252 Picks and Best Bets

UFC 252 betting kicks off with s Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera prediction taking place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.  The main event features heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic defending his title against Daniel Cormier in the main event.

From a betting perspective,  the biggest favorite on the card is strawweight Virna Jandiroba who is currently -310 against Felice Herrig.  I don’t see any value on Jandiroba at those odds.

Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera Odds

#UFC252 Men’s Bantamweight Sean O’Malley Marlon Vera
To Win Outright -280 +240

Sean O’Malley competes in his first UFC PPV co-main event when he battles Marlon Vera in a bantamweight affair. O’Malley has been hit by the betting public and is now closer to a 3-1 favorite after opening as a 2-1 favorite.

O’Malley (12-0) is coming off back-to-back highlight-reel finishes, including a first-round TKO victory over former bantamweight title challenger in his last fight at UFC 250 in June. The 25-year-old remains undefeated in the Octagon with a perfect 4-0 record.

Cornier vs Miocic 3 Pick

Vera (17-6-1) very well could have been heading into this fight on a six-fight win streak. Instead, the 27-year-old is coming off a controversial decision loss to Song Yadong at UFC Fight Night in May, where the majority of media members scored that fight for “Chito.” The Team Oyama product has finished four of his last five opponents and has never been finished during his 24-fight career.

While I expect O’Malley to win this fight, it won’t be easy. I do see value on Vera as the underdog at +240. Vera is by far the toughest opponent of O’Malley’s career and his durability makes this matchup very interesting. If the Arizona native can’t get the finish early, Vera could pick things up in the later rounds. With that said, O’Malley will have a three-inch height and two-inch reach advantage in the matchup and I think in all likelihood he does win this fight.

Jim Miller vs. Vinc Pichel Staropoli Odds

#UFC252 Men’s Lightweight Vinc Pichel Jim Miller
To Win Outright -125 +105

Vinc Pichel looks for back-to-back wins for the first time since January 2018 when he faces Jim Miller in the lightweight division.

Pichel (12-2)  is currently a slight favorite over the New Jersey native, coming in currently at -125. What most people likely don’t realize is that Pichel is one year older than Miller, despite “A-10” having more fights. The 37-year-old last fought at UFC on ESPN 3 in June 2019, where he picked up a decision victory over Roosevelt Roberts. Activity has been an issue for the California native, having fought just four times since 2015. By contrast Miller has fought 17 times! (yes you read that correctly) during that period.

Miller (32-14) also defeated Roosevelt Roberts in his last fight at UFC Fight Night this past June, however, he submitted the 26-year-old in the first round of that fight. The 36-year-old has won three of his last four fights and side from a setback against Scott Holtzman, most of his losses are against top fighters in the lightweight division.

I see plenty of value on Miller as the underdog here at +105. While Pichel will have a two-inch height and one-inch reach advantage in the bout, Miller has fought far more than his opponent. Miller’s activity and having fought better competition gives him an advantage in this fight. In addition, Miller boasts 18-career wins by submission, and Pichel’s last loss came by way of sub.

Expect Miller to either submit Pichel early or pick up a clear decision in this 155-pound showdown on Saturday.

Livinha Souza vs. Ashley Yoder Odds

#UFC252 Women’s Strawweight Livinha Souza Ashley Yoder
To Win Outright -165 +145

Brazils Livinha Souza aims to avoid two straight losses for the first time in her career when she battles American Ashley Yoder on the prelims. Currently, Souza is the betting favorite at -165, however, I do see value on Yoder as the underdog.

Souza (13-2) last competed at UFC Sacramento in July 2019 where the 29-year-old dropped a decision to Brianna van Buren. Prior to that setback, Souza was riding a four-fight win streak.

Yoder (7-5) is coming off a split decision loss to Randa Markos at UFC Singapore in October which snapped her two-fight win streak. The 32-year-old is 2-4 in the Octagon and another setback could lead to her release after Saturday night. However, I’m picking the California native here for a few reasons.

Yoder has a four-inch height and 3.5-inch reach advantage in the bout and if she’s able to utilize that, it could be difficult for Souza to land on the feet. Most of Yoder’s losses have been to a top-notch competition, including Mackenzie Dern, Angela Hill, and the aforementioned Markos, who has been a mainstay with the UFC since 2014. The other thing I like about this matchup is that Yoder has been training more at San Diego Combat Academy for this camp with current Bellator flyweight champion Ilima Lei MacFarlane and former UFC title challenger Liz Carmouche. Yoder’s home gym has been Team Quest, where she hasn’t had the luxury of having women training partners. I think that switch up for this camp will pay dividends.

I expect this to be a close fight, but one that Yoder can edge out.