Sportsbooks Seeing Coin Toss In UFC 243’s Whittaker Vs. Adesanya

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A blockbuster fight is slated for the main event at UFC 243 in Melbourne, Australia, a bout that will pit an Aussie against a New Zealander.

Robert Whittaker, the current UFC middleweight (185 lb.) champion, will defend his belt against interim champion Israel Adesanya. It has all the makings of an epic fight, with both fighters in their primes and riding long winning streaks. For the Oceanic region, it’s a superfight.

Whittaker (20-4 MMA) hasn’t fought since June 2018, while Adesanya (17-0 MMA, 75-5 kickboxing) has fought three times in the last year. Whittaker skeptics cite ring rust as a concern.

The taller, lankier Adesanya opened as an underdog, but the odds have narrowed as fight night approaches. Part of that could be due to Adesanya’s prowess at selling his skill set, and thus the fight itself, while Whittaker continues to be a man of few words.

New Jersey online/mobile sportsbooks are taking action on this highly anticipated contest. While it now sits as a pick ’em, there are plenty of intriguing options out there if you’re looking for some skin in the game, or if you disagree with the idea of the fight being a coin toss. For what it’s worth, there are plenty of people in the MMA community who don’t see this as a coin flip.

Here, we’ll give you a snapshot of some of the betting options and where you should go for the best price.

Straight win

If you’re looking to bet Whittaker to win, four books have the same (best) price. If you think Adesanya can continue his unbeaten streak in MMA, FanDuel is the best option at an even money +100.

For what it’s worth, at least one New Jersey book opened with Whittaker at -140 and Adesanya at +115.

Winning method

While the pick ’em nature of the moneylines might not interest you, there could be some more interesting options for how the winning fighter will win.

The books are in alignment that Whittaker’s path to victory is more likely to come by TKO or KO (or the highly unlikely DQ). If you’re intrigued by this potential outcome, PointsBet has the best price at +230. If you are confident in Whittaker pulling out the win but think it will be a war and he’ll come out victorious on the scorecards, PointsBet is also your best bet with a +360 price.

Some Adesanya believers should head over to, once again, PointsBet for a +215 price on him winning by TKO/KO. Thankfully, Kambi oddsmakers don’t rule the sports betting world!

As for Adesanya via decision, PointsBet actually isn’t the best place this time. DraftKings, FanDuel, and 888sport will give you the best price out there at +300.

The lines suggest that Adesanya’s much more likely path to victory comes via finishing Whittaker than it going to the judges. That is a bit interesting, considering that four of his last five wins came via decision, and Whittaker has shown himself to be as durable as they come. A bet of +300 on Adesanya via decision might be a -EV wager, but it’s probably a better one than him via TKO/KO at +215.

As for someone winning by a submission, consider that Adesanya has never submitted anyone and Whittaker hasn’t recorded a submission win since 2011. We’ll try not to dignify the odds on either fighter winning by sub here, as you should probably avoid those lines. Of course, anything can happen, so if you think there’s a possibility that Whittaker can eventually bring the fight to the ground and pull off a sub, PointsBet and FanDuel are your places to go with a +1400 line.

You might feel more satisfied lighting your money on fire than wagering on Adesanya, a lifelong kickboxer, by sub at the best price (+2200) New Jersey books are willing to give you.

If somehow there was a bet on Adesanya not winning by submission, you’d probably want to bet your house, and if you could, the entire block of houses on the street you live on.

Going the distance

If the betting options on the individual fighters don’t interest you or aren’t enough to satiate your betting appetite, you can wager simply on whether it will end by a finish (TKO, KO, DQ or submission) or going to the scorecards. If you think it will be a tough battle and won’t result in a finish, FOX Bet is giving you the best price at +140 on a decision. Other books are at +130 or worse.

If you think it won’t go to the judges, head to PointsBet for a -167 price, significantly better than some of the book’s competitors. The books are strongly favoring a finish in this bout, and you might find some value here even if your only considerations are that most UFC fights go to the scorecards and this is a pick ’em.

While this is a fight and not a football game, there is an over/under market on the fight. The common total rounds over/under is 3.5. All rounds are five minutes.

If you like over 3.5 rounds, FOX Bet is definitely your den of choice with a -110 price. As for the under, FanDuel is offering the best with an even +100.

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Brian Pempus

Brian served as a senior reporter and online content manager for Card Player Magazine for nearly a decade before joining USBets in October 2018. He is currently focused on legal and regulated sports betting and online gaming. He's an avid jiu-jitsu practitioner in his free time.

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