Betting Guide for UFC Jacksonville on 5/13/20

The UFC is back and back in a big way.

The dust from UFC 249 hasn't even settled yet, and we're mere hours away from UFC Jacksonville on Wednesday, May 13th. Then we have to wait all the way until the 16th for UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris.

Anyway, we've got 11 fights to sift through on this card, and FanDuel Sportsbook has plenty of odds: outright winners, method of victory, and more.

Here are some bets that pop to me.

Anthony Smith (-180) vs. Glover Teixeira (+152)

Smith and Teixeira headline the entire card, and I'm going to start here. It's a very intriguing match if you just skim the overview:

Tale of the Tape Anthony Smith Glover Teixeira
Wins/Losses/Draws 32-14-0 30-7-0
Average Fight Time 9:32 8:34
Height 6' 4" 6' 2"
Weight 205 lbs. 205 lbs.
Reach 76" 76"

Teixeira is 40 years old but remains eighth in the light heavyweight rankings. Smith is fourth.

Smith is still a pretty recent mover into the light heavyweight division (fighting as a smaller middleweight for a decade). Smith's last two fights include a unanimous decision loss to champion Jon Jones on March 2nd, 2019 and a fourth-round submission win over Alexander Gustafsson (who is seventh in the light heavyweight rankings). Teixeira enters on a three-match win streak with two submissions in that span.

The data is pretty intriguing here, and it shows a grappling/wrestling advantage for Teixeira, who has averaged 2.00 takedowns per 15 minutes (0.41 for Smith). The striking has been about equal: 3.06 strikes landed per minute for Smith and 3.41 for Teixeira. The real question is whether Smith's power wins out (he's +110 to win by KO/TKO) or if Teixeira can exploit Smith's lesser takedown defense (he's +460 to win by submission, an intriguing bet for sure).

If you were giving me even odds, I'd like Smith outright. But this match could go either way, especially if Teixeria can take it to the mat. For that reason, Teixeira looks to have value at +152 on FanDuel Sportsbook outright. I'd rather get Smith +110 by KO/TKO than the moneyline if you have a strong feeling he fends off Teixeira.

Ovince Saint Preux (-146) vs. Ben Rothwell (+124)

For the co-main event, we've got Ovince Saint Preux stepping up a weight class for a shot at heavyweight stalwart Ben Rothwell.

OSP is just 2-3 in his last five fights but earned performance of the night honors against Michal Oleksiejczuk back in September with a second-round submission (Von Flue choke). Rothwell returned to the Octagon in 2019 after a two-year suspension and is 1-2 since, mostly looking slow at 38 years old (OSP is 37, for what it's worth).

Despite a 24.5-pound disadvantage at weigh-ins (which will grow after weigh-ins), OSP has a two-inch reach advantage over Rothwell. It's Rothwell, though, who posts a higher rate of strikes landed per minute (3.34 to 2.59).

There are some concerns here toward a Saint Preux win: Rothwell's stone chin and OSP's lack of knockout danger takes away one method of victory, in theory. Saint Preux also has conditioning concerns, though he hasn't cut down to 205 for this bout. Overall, the speed advantage should be enough for Saint Preux to take care of business -- all he has to do is avoid getting knocked out.

There's probably just extra value baked into OSP by points at +240.

Marvin Vettori (-178) vs. Karl Roberson (+150)

Vettori followed up a split-decision loss to current-champion Israel Adesanya in April of 2018 with a two-match win streak (both unanimous decisions) and enters favored over Roberson, the only fighter on the card to miss weight. (UPDATE: Marvin Vettori's match with Karl Roberson has been cancelled due to an illness for Roberson.)

Roberson also bounced back from a loss (first-round arm-triangle by Glover Teixeira) to win two fights: a split-decision over Wellington Turman and a third-round rear-naked choke over Roman Kopylov.

Despite Roberson's background as a kickboxer, Vettori has the per-minute edge in strikes landed (4.05 to 3.16). He also holds the edge in takedowns per 15 minutes (1.43 to 1.07).

Vettori's past six UFC fights have gone the distance (3 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw), so it's tough to love any of the method of victory bets (though +600 to win by submission is juicy). Either way, Vettori's moneyline looks strong.