UFC 244 odds, best predictions: Top MMA insider picks Masvidal vs. Diaz, Gastelum vs. Till

Seven years ago, Nate Diaz lost his only UFC title bout in 12 years with the promotion. The belt he's fighting for on Saturday night doesn't come with a world championship crown, but the distinction it carries means more to him. Diaz faces Jorge Masvidal in the main event of UFC 244 for the "BMF" title, essentially determining who is the toughest fighter in the UFC. The bout and the BMF theme stem from Diaz's callout of Masvidal following his win over Anthony Pettis in August. He argued that since most MMA observers believe Masvidal and he are the toughest fighters in the promotion, they should face each other to settle the debate. Masvidal agreed and their bout will top a loaded UFC 244 fight card at Madison Square Garden to celebrate the UFC's 500th live event. The 12-bout showcase features the main UFC 244 card starting at 10 p.m. ET. Masvidal is a -165 favorite (risk $165 to win $100), while Diaz is the underdog at +145 in the latest Masvidal vs. Diaz odds. In the co-main event, Kelvin Gastelum (-210) meets Darren Till (+185) in a light heavyweight clash. Before locking in your UFC 244 picks and Masvidal vs. Diaz predictions, make sure you hear what SportsLine MMA expert Kyle Marley has to say.

Marley won the first-ever "ToutMaster" UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and is in contention to win this year's contest. He also appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and DFS shows. Over the past year, $100 bettors who have followed Marley's picks are up nearly $19,000.

At UFC 243, Marley predicated that Israel Adesanya (-115) would defeat Robert Whittaker (-105) in their middleweight unification bout even though Vegas viewed the fight as virtually even. He predicted that Adesanya's range and quickness would be too much for the former champion, and that's exactly what happened as the top-ranked challenger landed a lightning-quick flurry to score a second-round knockout. Those who have followed Marley consistently are way up.

Now, with UFC 244 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 Diaz (20-11) rose to fame following his upset of Conor McGregor in March 2016, but stepped away from the octagon for three years following a close decision loss in the rematch in August of that year. He returned this August with an impressive decision victory over Anthony Pettis that quickly restored his cult-hero status among UFC fans. Afterward, he called out Masvidal, who has long had a loyal following among hardcore fans but only recently achieved widespread popularity.

Masvidal (34-11) was long considered an exciting and durable fighter, but also something of a journeyman who was on the short end of several close decision losses. He took more than 15 months off before returning in March with a stunning knockout of former title challenger Till. Masvidal built on that win and saw his newfound fame explode when he knocked out the trash-talking Ben Askren with a flying knee five seconds into their anticipated July bout.

We'll reveal one of Marley's UFC 244 predictions here: He is backing Derrick Lewis (+105) to upset Blagoy Ivanov (-125) in a battle of powerful heavyweights on the main card. 

Lewis (21-7), a former title challenger famous for his entertaining post-fight interviews, will look to stop a two-fight losing streak. Ivanov (18-2) has won two of his three UFC bouts and comes off a June decision victory against Tai Tuivasa. 

"Each fighter will respect the other's power in this fight. I wouldn't lay juice on either of these guys, so I am going to pick the underdog," Marley told SportsLine. 

Marley also has strong picks for Masvidal vs. Diaz, Gastelum vs. Till and every other bout on the UFC 244 card. You can see each one only at SportsLine.

Who wins Masvidal vs. Diaz? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 244, all from the expert who's up nearly $19,000 on MMA bets in the past year, and find out.

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