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Eric Uribe | Tue 20/10/2020 - 03:24 EDT

UFC 254 Free Betting Picks

UFC 254 Free Betting Picks
Perhaps the biggest fight of the entire year — Khabib vs. Gaethje — headlines the UFC 254 event. We have a complete betting preview of the lightweight title fight, along with our expert betting advice. Read this before making a wager on UFC 254!

If you're looking for UFC 254 free betting picks to make, you've come to the right place. But first, here's the current UFC 254 odds, per online bookmakers

Favorite mybookie mybookie Underdog 

Khabib Nurmagomedov 

-280 +220 Justin Gaethje

Robert Whitaker

TBD TBD Jarden Cannonier

Alexander Volkov

TBD
TBD Walt Harris

Islam Makhachev

TBD TBD Rafael dos Anjos

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Take MyBookie for example. If you create an account with them, fund your account for the first time, they'll match that deposit by 100 percent all the way up to $1000 in free play. We probably don't have to tell you twice how far a grand goes when betting on the UFC and other sports!

Undefeated Khabib Remains Heavy Favorite Despite Circumstances

By now, Khabib's track record speaks for itself — an unblemished 28-0 record, the reigning UFC lightweight champion for 29 months (and counting), and perhaps most impressively, has lost just one round in his entire MMA career (the third round in his win over Connor McGregor). Given that, it's no surprise bookies are giving him about 1-to-3 odds to retain his title over Gaethje.  

However, this matchup will be different for Khabib in that it'll be his first time fighting without his dad in his corner. The senior Nurmagomedov, who trained Khabib since he was a boy, passed away in July due to COVID-19. 

Playing the spoiler role will be Gaethje. With 19 of his 22 career wins coming via knockout, he'll be perhaps the most offensively-skilled fighter that Khabib has ever faced. Four months ago, Gaethje pummeled Tony Ferguson for a TKO win, ending Ferguson's 12-win streak. Gaethje was actually a late replacement for Nurmagomedov, who was forced to pull out of the Ferguson matchup due to travel restrictions stemming from COVID. 

Despite Khabib's sheer dominance over the lightweight division through the years, Gaethje has more than a puncher's chance in this one. That stems mainly from two things — his collegiate All-American wrestling background and pulverizing punch power.

For one, Gaethje must lean on the former to stay upright against an all-time mauler like Khabib, who has a whopping 57 takedowns over his UFC career (second-most in lightweight history). If Gaethje can avoid being wrestled to the ground — a big if, by the way — his stand-up striking will challenge Nurmagomedov, who's rarely been punished before.

Nonetheless, we just don't see that best-case scenario happening for Gaethje. Khabib's takedown game is truly world-class and there's zero evidence that any fighter can stay on his feet against him.

And just for the fun of it, let's pretend Gaethje does do the impossible and avoids the takedown. Can he make Khabib pay with his boxing skills?

We're not convinced. Khabib's last two wins — against McGregor and Dustin Poirier — were against equally-feared strikers and Nurmagomedov left the octagon largely undamaged. 

Until we see Khabib seriously challenged inside the UFC, we're not picking against him. For us, he's the obvious gambling pick to make come UFC 254. 

Betting pick: Khabib Nurmagomedov (-280)

Betting The Title Fight Finish

At staggering -280 odds, there's little value in wagering on Nurmagomedov to defeat Gaethje straight up. Nope, bettors will need to find more "bang for their buck" elsewhere, namely prop bets.

One UFC prop that comes to mind is the exact method of victory — knockout, submission, or decision. With this prop, you're simply picking how the fight will end, no matter which fighters score the victory. 

Obviously, we're on the record of saying Khabib will prevail against Gaethje. In the same token, Khabib has already predicted in the fight lead-up how he'll win — via knockout in either the third or fourth round.

Nurmagomedov was quoted as saying his fight IQ is superior to Gaethje's and it's his goal to tire him out. Moreover, he downplayed Gathje as just a "tough guy" that simply likes fighting and blood, hence that in-ring IQ comment.

Honestly, we have to agree with Khabib's assessment to a tee. It's exactly how we see the main event playing out: Khabib will maul Gaethje on the mat early, tiring him out and rendering Gaethje's lethal power as a non-factor. In the later rounds, Khabib will go for the knockout kill.

For what it's worth, Gaethje's jaw isn't exactly made of iron. Both of Gaethje's career losses have come via KO — against Eddie Alvarez and the aforementioned Poirier in back-to-back affairs between 2017 and 2018. Khabib will add a third KO loss to Gaethje's resume at UFC 254. 

Bet the knockout ending here. Not only for Khabib's win case but Gaethje, too. If he somehow pulls off the stunning upset, it'll be because he lands a devastating blow to Khabib early on.

Betting pick: Nurmagomedov by KO victory

Welp, that's our analysis of Khabib and Gaethje. Now it's on you to heed our advice and lock in your bet before the October 24 event. You can do so at any of the online sportsbooks below. Outside of the main event, you'll find up-the-minute odds for other UFC 254 fights, too.  

Creating an account at one of these bookmakers takes only minutes. Once you fund your playing account, you'll be all set to bet online — plus earn free play from that sign-up bonus we mentioned before.

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