Rio de Janeiro is the site for UFC 237, a card headlined by a strawweight championship tilt between Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade. Here, we dive into the betting ins and outs, and dish out the best wagers to consider for the slate’s biggest matches.
Namajunas (+115) vs. Andrade (-135)
Total rounds: Over 4.5 (+100) / Under 4.5 (-120)
Following a shaky 5-3 start to her pro career, Namajunas has ripped off three consecutive victories. She took down Joanna Jedrzejczyk in November 2017 to claim the strawweight title, then successfully defended the belt six months later in a rematch. Namajunas won both those fights as an underdog and finds herself in a similar role Saturday. However, the pressure’s turned up a notch in Brazil, where her opponent will have the home crowd behind her.
Andrade is also coming into the weekend having won three straight, most recently a knockout over Karolina Kowalkiewicz last September. She’s faced top-flight competition leading up to Saturday’s headliner and gets Namajunas off a 13-month layoff in her home country. After losing a strawweight title fight to Jedrzejczyk in 2017, Andrade should capitalize this time around.
Jose Aldo (-140) vs. Alexander Volkanovksi (+120)
Total rounds: Over 2.5 (-135) / Under 2.5 (+115)
Aldo recently bottomed out with three losses over four fights, but has since rebounded with TKO’s over Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano. Like Andrade, the 32-year-old will fight on home soil.
Volkanovski has been a trendy fighter, climbing the ranks of the featherweight division to No. 4 overall thanks to an undefeated record in the UFC. He feels like a square’s version of a sharp play here, when in reality it’s a terrible matchup for the 30-year-old Australian. The chalk is the play here, as Aldo will add another chapter to his comeback story.
Jared Cannonier (-130) vs. Anderson Silva (+110)
Total Rounds: Over 2.5 (-140) / Under 2.5 (+120)
Just as Aldo sprung back on the right trajectory following some tough sledding, Silva is looking to do the same. He’s won a lone fight over his last seven tries, which came via decision over Derek Brunson more than two years ago. Silva was once a premier face of the UFC, rattling off 17 straight wins over six-plus years, but he’s just not the same fighter now. If you can get over the paper test, Cannonier, at this price, is one you should lean to.
Thiago Alves (-120) vs. Laureano Staropoli (+100)
Total rounds: Over 2.5 (-200) / Under 2.5 (+170)
It’ll be the seasoned veteran versus the rising star when the 35-year-old Alves (23-13) takes on the 26-year-old Staropoli (8-1). The former will be fighting in his native land, but the latter has the physical advantages of reach and strikes per minute. Staropoli doesn’t necessarily have a proven track record, but he could send Alves out of the game entirely should he net the biggest win of his career in this bout.
Alex Kolodziej is theScore’s betting writer. He’s a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 11 years. He can quote every line from “Rounders” and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AlexKoIodziej.
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