Stephen Thompson vs. Geoff Neal betting preview: Picks, predictions for UFC Vegas 17

Kevin Iole
·Combat columnist
·2 min read

LAS VEGAS — The UFC will end 2020 with what figures to be a highly entertaining fight between Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Geoff Neal on ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+) at Apex.

Neal is a slight favorite at BetMGM, coming in a -115. The far more experienced Thompson is -105.

It’s a fascinating fight because it’s a battle of strikers, and that’s a battle that Thompson rarely loses.

Both fighters will be fighting for the first time in 2020, and Neal is competing after suffering congestive heart failure in August.

The stakes are enormous in this one in more ways than one. For Neal, it’s an opportunity to prove he belongs among the elite at welterweight. For Thompson, a win over Neal adds strength to his argument that he only deserves top-five-caliber opposition.

I like Neal to win this and I like that I don’t have to lay a big number to get him. He’s a member of an elite team at Fortis MMA and has the power to hurt Thompson if he catches him.

I’m going to lay two units, or $200, on Neal to win by decision, which is at +350, so that would be a $700 payoff for me. I’ll hedge a bit and lay the $115 on Neal simply to win, in an effort to make another $100.

The fight going the distance is an underdog, so I’ll lay two units on that at +130, so I’ll risk $200 with the hope of winning another $260.

Best bets for UFC Vegas 17

  • $100 on Marlon Vera at +120 to defeat Jose Aldo.

  • $100 on Marlon Moraes at +300 to win by KO/TKO/DQ over Rob Font.

  • $125 on Michel Pereira to win $100 over Khaos Williams.

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