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UFC 246 odds, predictions: MMA insider makes picks for McGregor vs. Cerrone, Holm vs. Pennington

T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas will be center of the combat sports world on Saturday, Jan. 18, as Conor McGregor makes his return to the Octagon to take on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246. The last time we saw McGregor (21-4), he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, while Cerrone (36-13) is coming off a loss to Justin Gaethje at Fight Night 158. McGregor is a -300 favorite (risk $300 to win $100) atop the UFC 246 fight card, with Cerrone listed as the underdog at +230 in the latest McGregor vs. Cerrone odds.

Holly Holm will also be back in action as she takes on Raquel Pennington in the co-main event of the 13-bout UFC 246 card. The latest UFC 246 odds list Holm as a -135 favorite over Pennington (+115) as both women look to earn their way back to a title shot. Before making any UFC 246 picks of your own, check out what SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley has to say

Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and also appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and DFS shows. Over the past year, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up more than $19,000.

At UFC Fight Night 165 in December, Marley told SportsLine members that Chan Sung Jung, aka “The Korean Zombie” (-185), would dominate veteran Frankie Edgar (+165) in the featherweight main event. He predicted a knockout finish for Jung, and the South Korean delivered with a flurry to stop Edgar in the first round.

Moreover, at UFC 245, Marley accurately predicted that welterweight champ Kamaru Usman (-175) would prevail in his title defense against challenger Colby Covington (+155). The result: Usman scored a fifth-round TKO to secure the victory. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.

Now, with UFC 246 fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every single fight. He’s sharing those selections only over at SportsLine.

Marley knows the main event will likely be a defining moment in the careers of both fighters. McGregor has seen his star power and popularity take a hit because of a series of negative incidents outside the octagon. The 31-year-old Irishman also saw his reputation take a blow following his lopsided loss to Nurmagomedov following a nearly two-year hiatus from the UFC, during which he lost a highly-publicized boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.

For all of his accolades, Cerrone, 36, has just one title bout in his UFC career, a loss to Rafael Dos Anjos in December 2015. The Denver native appeared perhaps headed toward another title run when he reeled off three straight victories, but was stopped by Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje in his last two bouts. A third consecutive loss would give his critics more fodder. Go see the top UFC 246 picks now.

We’ll reveal one of Marley’s UFC 246 predictions here: He is backing Sabina Mazo (-105) to get the win over J.J. Aldrich (-115) in a women’s flyweight bout during the early prelims. Mazo (7-1) is coming off her first UFC victory after winning a decision over Shana Dobson at UFC 241.

Aldrich also won her last fight against Lauren Mueller at UFC Fight Night 161, but Mazo’s advantage in power and wrestling defense ability gives her the edge. Mazo has defended against 88 percent of takedowns in her two UFC fights. 

“Mazo is more likely to wrestle and more likely to get a knockout with her left head kick, but we should see mostly striking for 15 minutes,” Marley told SportsLine. “Mazo has better kicks and throws more volume. Mazo is only 22 and should improve in between each fight. She should be the slight favorite and I will pick her to win two of the three rounds.”

Marley also has strong picks for McGregor vs. Cerrone, Holm vs. Pennington and every other bout on the UFC 246 card, including backing a fighter who’s a “stud on his feet and looks like a future title-contender.” Get every pick for every fight at SportsLine.

Who wins Cerrone vs. McGregor? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 246, all from the expert who’s up more than $19,000 on MMA in the past year, and find out.  

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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