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Betting UFC 302: Parlaying Makhachev and Strickland

The buzz is building around UFC 302. The card is stacked and features some incredible matchups and storylines highlighted by Islam Makhachev’s (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) defense of his lightweight title against the always entertaining Dustin Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC). The co-main event features former middleweight champ Sean Strickland facing Paulo Costa.

On this week’s Octagons, Circles, and Squares, NBC Sports’ Stephen DeAugustino spoke with Makhachev. The champ mentioned having a surprise for Poirier. No surprise that he would not reveal the surprise but when DeAugustino pressed him and suggested Makhachev plans to use Poirier’s signature move, the guillotine, against him the champ merely smiled and said, “Maybe I show him (Poirier) how to do the guillotine right.”

Bet the Edge is your source for the day in sports betting. Get all of Jay Croucher and Drew Dinsick’s insight weekdays at 6AM ET right here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Here are the odds for Makhachev vs. Poirier as well as the rest of the UFC 302 card slated for Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Lightweight championship: Islam Makhachev (-650) vs. Dustin Poirier (+470)
Middleweight: Sean Strickland (-258) vs. Paulo Costa (+210)
Middleweight: Kevin Holland vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk (+240)
Heavyweight: Jailton Almeida (-310) vs. Alexandr Romanov (+250)
Welterweight: Randy Brown (-180) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (+150)
Middleweight: Cesar Almeida (-118) vs. Roman Kopylov (-102)
Lightweight: Grant Dawson (-500) vs. Joe Solecki (+380)
Welterweight: Phil Row (+136) vs. Jake Matthews (-162)
Welterweight: Niko Price (+210) vs. Alex Morono (-258)
Welterweight: Mickey Gall (+310) vs. Bassil Hafez (-395)
Women’s bantamweight: Ailin Perez (-185) vs. Joselyne Edwards (+154)
Men’s flyweight: Mitch Raposo (+220) vs. Andre Lima (-270)

NBC Sports’ analyst Brad Thomas sees plenty of ways to bet this weekend’s card.

“UFC 302 is actually a really exciting card from a betting perspective. If I were to compare it to UFC 300, there were more marquee fights on that 300 card, but you had a lot of big favorites. There were some upsets, but the big favorites really dominated the betting space. When we look at this card, there are some big favorites who are vulnerable, but there are also some really good matchups where the favorite is only like -140.”

Thomas goes on to give his play for the Almeida vs. Kopylov fight before breaking down the main events. He likes Strickland to take care of Costa.

“I have been back and forth on Strickland and back and forth on Costa where I want to back Costa more times than not…for as big and powerful as Costa is…you would think Costa would just run through people…Strickland thought he was robbed in his last fight (vs. DDP)…I think he (Strickland) wins this fight. Number one, Paolo Costa does not have the gas tank…I also think Sean Strickland’s unorthodox fighting style is going to give Paolo Costa fits.”

As for Makhachev vs. Poirier, Thomas respects Poirier but is siding with the champ.

“This could cement Makhachev as one of the best fighters in the world. I wanted to take Islam inside the distance. Islam has finished his fighter in six of his last seven fights. He did not finish Volkanovski (in their first fight)…I think that Poirier has the ability or the possibility of being subbed if he gets taken to the ground…for me, its Islam.”

When Thomas got to the betting window, he went with the favorites, but he hedged a bit.

“I’m going to just parlay Islam with Sean Strickland. It comes out to about -130, -135 depending on what shop you get that line at. I’m just taking both their money lines.”

Enjoy UFC 302 and be on the lookout for the next episode of Octagons, Circles, and Squares.