MMA Best Bets: Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC Orlando

MMA Best Bets: Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC Orlando

This article is part of our UFC Picks series.

The UFC heads to Orlando, Florida for UFC Orlando on Saturday with a welterweight bout headlining the card, as Stephen Thompson takes on Kevin Holland.

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

Emily Ducote (12-6) vs. Angela Hill (14-12)

On the prelims of UFC Orlando, I like Emily Ducote to improve to 2-0 in the UFC after facing Angela Hill.

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

Tai Tuivasa (15-4) vs. Sergei Pavlovich (16-1)

For my underdog pick, I'm taking Tai Tuivasa to get his hand raised over Sergei Pavlovich.

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 (31-14) vs. Bryan Barberena (18-8)

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

Jack Hermansson (23-7) vs. Roman Dolidze (11-1)
Matheus Nicolau (18-2-1) vs. Matt Schnell (16-7)

For my parlay, I'm taking Jack Hermansson and Matheus Nicolau to get their hands raised at UFC Orlando.

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:

For up-to-date information on the latest odds and props from multiple sportsbooks, check out the UFC odds page on RotoWire.

If you're in Maryland, sign up at BetMGM using the BetMGM Maryland Bonus Code.

RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MMA Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MMA fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cole Shelton
Cole Shelton is a full-time sports writer focusing on MMA.
MMA Best Bets: Chris' Picks, Odds and Predictions for UFC 283
MMA Best Bets: Chris' Picks, Odds and Predictions for UFC 283
UFC 283 DFS Preview & Predictions: The MMA Mashup
UFC 283 DFS Preview & Predictions: The MMA Mashup
RotoWire Expert Picks: UFC 283 Main Card
RotoWire Expert Picks: UFC 283 Main Card
Fight IQ: UFC 283 Preview, Teixeira vs. Hill
Fight IQ: UFC 283 Preview, Teixeira vs. Hill
Drake's Takes: UFC 283 Teixeira vs. Hill
Drake's Takes: UFC 283 Teixeira vs. Hill
MMA Best Bets: Cole's Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC 283
MMA Best Bets: Cole's Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC 283