Rob Whittaker is favored vs Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 290

Whittaker vs Du Plessis Odds & Picks: The Reaper Too Quick, Too Smart

Robert Whittaker fights Dricus Du Plessis in a much-awaited middleweight contender fight at UFC 290 Saturday.

This fight sits on the main card just before two excellent title fight showdowns, the first between Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja, followed by the main event between Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez.

The UFC 290 prelims begin at 6 p.m. ET and the main card starts at 10 p.m.

Whittaker is a chunky -400 favorite vs Du Plessis.

UFC 290: Robert Whittaker vs Dricus Du Plessis Odds

Whittaker vs Du Plessis Odds
Robert Whittaker-400
Dricus Du Plessis+300

Odds as of July 4

Per our odds calculator, Whittaker's -400 status equates to a win probability of 80% and a $100 bet on him pays $125. Du Plessis gets a 25% chance and a $100 bet yields $400. 

UFC 290: Whittaker vs Du Plessis Preview

Is this fight as one-sided as the odds suggest? Let's see.

How Whittaker Wins

Rob's quickness makes the difference in this fight. He's a king at managing distance, often chopping at opponents' legs and knees with slashing kicks. Whittaker is great at popping jabs and following with high kicks.

"The Reaper" must stay patient and twitchy. If he dodges Du Plessis' advances, he can slow the pace down. The South African is bound to run out of steam, and that's where Rob can snipe. 

In and out. That's how Whittaker wins. Size up your opponent, do damage and slide out of range. He's made a career with that tactical approach. 

How Du Plessis Wins

"Stillknocks" is far more imposing than Whittaker. Du Plessis is heavier, more muscular and carries a three-win reach advantage. But that doesn't make him a better fighter. Not even close.

Du Plessis is still raw as a mixed martial artist. He's a brute who often gasses out, though he said he's addressed that issue with a nose surgery to make breathing easier.

I don't think Du Plessis will win, but his best bet is to smash Rob with low kicks. Whittaker tends to fight with a wide stance and his weight heavily on his front foot. If Du Plessis can hurt Whittaker that way, then he might be able to muscle in close, work a takedown or try to club the Aussie's chin.

UFC 290: Whittaker vs Du Plessis Pick

There are levels to this game. Whittaker is better than every middleweight contender, especially Du Plessis. Bet on Bobby Knuckles to win inside the distance.

Pick: Whittaker By KO/TKO/SUB (TBD); UNDER 2.5 rounds (-135)