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Edson Barbosa-Lerone Murphy Pick, Odds and Preview

Saturday night brings us some exciting UFC action from the APEX facility, and while this is no pay-per-view slate, it’s certainly got some decent fighters late on the card. Let’s get into our Edson Barbosa-Lerone Murphy pick, odds and preview as we break down one spot bettors should plan to exploit. Be sure to check out the rest of our UFC articles, including our full-card breakdown, and our betting model’s top picks.

Edson Barbosa-Lerone Murphy Pick, Odds and Preview

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BarbosaMurphy Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Featherweight
Barbosa: +124 | Murphy: -148
Barbosa +5.5: -165 | Murphy -5.5: +120
Over 3.5: -160 | Under 3.5: +124

BarbosaMurphy Pick & Preview

In the main event, Edson Barbosa (24-11) looks to derail another hype train, while Lerone Murphy (13-0-1) tries to maintain his unbeaten record and announce himself as a contender to watch. Though Barbosa has seemingly tapped into the fountain of youth in his last few fights, Murphy’s versatility will be too much to overcome.

It’s hard to believe that Barbosa has fought in the UFC since 2010. At 38 years old, he’s one of the oldest fighters on the roster. Though older fighters have picked up wins, the amount of mileage he has on his body means any fight could be his last competing at a high level.

It looked like his career was close to being finished when he dropped seven of 10 fights over a span of four years, but he bounced back with two wins in a row against Billy Quarantillo and Sodiq Yusuff, both of whom are solid prospects.

Nonetheless, the skid Barbosa went on should concern any bettor, as time doesn’t march in reverse. Plainly speaking, Barbosa is not the fighter he was 10 years ago. That doesn’t mean he has nothing going for him. He’s still a strong striker, though his recent run has skewed the numbers such that he now takes more damage than he doles out.

Murphy can’t overlook Barbosa on the feet, but he employs such a measured approach, I don’t see Barbosa having many openings to capitalize on. Murphy lands 3.65 significant strikes per minute compared to the 2.40 strikes he absorbs. Both his striking efficiency (50%) and defensive efficiency (56%) are solid.

In his last fight against Josh Culibao, Murphy showed off a more well-rounded arsenal than we’ve seen in his past fights. As in most of his fights, Murphy won the striking battle, but he also stuffed Culibao’s two takedown attempts while landing three of his own and attempting two submissions on the way to a comfortable decision that had him winning by 11 points combined on the three judges’ scorecards.

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While it can be easy to write this performance off as a fluke and assume that Murphy will continue to predominantly remain on the feet, it is just as possible that this is something he’s worked on in his short time in the UFC and could be a more regular approach. After all, he lands 1.29 takedowns per 15 minutes of fight time, so he’s not completely stand-up dependent.

One of Murphy’s most glaring weaknesses is his takedown defense. He only stuffs 46% of his opponent’s takedown attempts. In his closest decisions, the reason for it being so close was primarily his opponents’ takedowns. However, this isn’t a hole Barbosa is well-suited to exploit. He only lands 0.48 takedowns in 15 minutes of fight time. While he had three in his last bout, it was over a five-round decision. Even if he lands a few takedowns, it’s unlikely to tip the balance of the fight if the striking numbers and damage is so lopsided.

While it would be great to see Barbosa continue his run, Murphy is too solid on the feet for him to find many openings.

Best UFC Barbosa-Murphy Bet & Pick: Murphy Moneyline (-148)

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