Evans a 5-to-1 favorite as lines open
The opening line has Evans at −500 and Ortiz at +350, meaning that Evans is nearly a 5-to-1 favorite over the legendary veteran light heavyweight.
Kalikas gave the odds exclusive to HeavyMMA on Wednesday afternoon shortly after Dana White confirmed that Ortiz is replacing the injured Phil Davis.
“The first line in 2007 was close to a pick ‘em the whole way through from open to close. Tito was Rashad’s first big step towards title contention. Since that time, the two have gone in completely different directions,” Kalikas told HeavyMMA. “Tito went on a 3 fight losing streak and was riddled with injuries. Rashad got a taste of the title. He suffered a setback to Machida, but has bounced back.”
“Rashad is definitely one of the best light heavyweights in the world, and Tito is trying to at least stay in that gate keeper role,” Kalikas continued. “You also obviously have to consider the conditioning of both. It’s short notice for Tito, while Rashad will be in top condition. The bottom line? Four years later, Rashad deserves to be a heavy favorite going in.”
For more MMA betting lines, follow Nick Kalikas on Twitter