This article is part of our UFC Picks series.
Below I'll share my favorite play, an underdog, a prop and a two-fighter parlay. All odds are via the DraftKings Sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article.
Weight Class: Strawweight
Ducote is an experienced veteran who fought in Bellator at flyweight and is the former Invicta FC strawweight champion. Despite that track record of success, she seems to be at her peak right now. Hill, meanwhile, is always in close fights no matter who she faces, but Ducote is a tough out for her.
On the feet, I expect Ducote to throw more volume than Hill and land better shots. Meanwhile, Ducote has solid takedown defense and should be able to keep it standing. Effectively, she'll pick Hill apart to win a decision.
UFC Orlando Best Bet: Emily Ducote (-120)
Weight Class: Heavyweight
While Pavlovich has been impressive, the level of competition has not been there (other than, of course, his UFC debut which he lost by TKO to Alistair Overeem). Of his four UFC wins, only Derrick Lewis is a good win, and even that came with some controversy. Although the same can be said about Tuivasa, he showed he can hang with the best, as he dropped Ciryl Gane and was competitive throughout it.
This fight could really come down to who lands first, as both have a ton of power and both have been knocked out. To me, this is a coin-flip fight, so I'll take the underdog who I believe has more power and a better chin.
UFC Orlando Best Bet: Tai Tuivasa (+180)
Weight Class: Welterweight
Rafael dos Anjos is moving back up to welterweight and fighting Bryan Barberena, who isn't ranked. It feels like a bit of weird matchmaking. To some surprise, RDA is a massive outright favorite at -540, but by taking dos Anjos to win by decision, you get him at a reasonable -130 price.
Dos Anjos has won three of his last four fights by decision -- with the lone stoppage coming in the fourth round -- and this is only a three-round fight. Barberena, meanwhile, has gone the distance in three of his last four fights.
Why I like dos Anjos to win a decision is due to his wrestling. Against Renato Moicano, we saw RDA have a ton of success with grappling. Barberena, meanwhile, has struggled with grappling, as he has a 55 percent takedown defense, while dos Anjos is averaging 1.96 takedowns per 15 minutes.
Although I do think dos Anjos could hang with Barberena on the feet, I expect him to wrestle early and often to grind Barberena out and win a decision.
UFC Orlando Best Bet: Rafael dos Anjos wins by decision (-130)
Weight Classes: Middleweight & Flyweight
Hermansson was supposed to face Derek Brunson but gets Roman Dolidze instead, who takes this fight on short notice. Dolidze is on a three-fight win streak that includes back-to-back knockout wins over Phil Hawes and Kyle Daukaus. In this fight, Dolidze really has one path to victory, which is to catch Hermansson, but the Swede has shown off a better chin as of late and his striking is getting much better.
Meanwhile, in Dolidze's lone loss, we saw Trevin Giles use his grappling to beat him, which I expect Hermansson to do. Along with that, I have questions about Dolidze's cardio. After the first round, Hermansson should take over and cruise to a win.
In the other leg, I like Nicolau to beat Matt Schnell. Schnell is coming off an incredible comeback win last time out, but Nicolau is a much different fighter. Nicolau is a solid grappler who I expect to be able to out-wrestle Schnell, while Schnell also struggles with striking defense. The Brazilian should look at Rogerio Bontorin's game plan in which he continued to take Schnell down en route to a lackluster decision.
UFC Orlando Best Bet: Hermansson & Nicolau parlay (-104)
UFC Orlando Best Bets:
Here is a recap of my best UFC picks for this weekend's UFC Orlando event:
- Emily Ducote (-120)
- Tai Tuivasa (+180)
- Rafael dos Anjos win by decision (-130)
- Jack Hermansson & Matheus Nicolau (-104)
For up-to-date information on the latest odds and props from multiple sportsbooks, check out the UFC odds page on RotoWire.
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