UFC 302 Best Bets: Picks, Odds, and Predictions

UFC 302 Best Bets: Picks, Odds, and Predictions

This article is part of our UFC Picks series.

The UFC is back after a week off, as the promotion heads to Newark, New Jersey on Saturday, June 1 for UFC 302. In the main event, the lightweight title is up for grabs, as Islam Makhachev looks to defend his belt against Dustin Poirier.

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: Welterweight

Randy Brown (18-5) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (24-7-1)

Opening up the UFC 302 main card is a welterweight scrap between Randy Brown and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, and I'm backing Brown to get his hand raised.

Although Zaleski dos Santos has looked good as of late, he nearly did get finished against Rinat Fakhretdinov last time out, so his chin could be a bit of a concern. However, even though Brown isn't a big power puncher, he is a solid striker who should be able to use his reach to out-land the Brazilian to get a win.

Brown will have a five-inch reach advantage on Zaleski dos Santos, while Brown also has some grappling upside if he chooses to. Ultimately, this fight will likely play out on the feet, and Brown is the longer and faster striker. He should use his speed and footwork to his benefit to get a decision win.

UFC 302 Best Bet: Randy Brown (-175)

Weight Class: Welterweight

Phil Rowe (10-4) vs. Jake Matthews (19-7)

For my underdog at UFC 302, I'm backing Phil Rowe to get the win over Jake Matthews

Matthews has been super inconsistent in the UFC, as he's alternated wins and losses for the last six fights. Rowe, meanwhile, is coming off a very close split decision loss to Neil Magny after back-to-back KO losses.

The concern for Rowe is his takedown defense, as it sits at just 59 percent, while Matthews averaged 1.59 takedowns per 15 minutes. Matthews could very well hold Rowe down for 15 minutes, but if it's standing, his chin is a concern, as he was dropped three times to Matthew Semelsberger, and Rowe does have KO power.

I like Rowe to land some big shots and drop Matthews to win rounds that way, leading to a decision or even a TKO win after hurting him. 

UFC 302 Best Bet: Phil Rowe (+136)

Weight Class: Lightweight

Islam Makhachev (25-1) vs. Dustin Poirier (30-8)

Islam Makhachev is a -650 favorite, but I believe the way to bet him is to take him by submission at -120.

Makhachev is an elite grappler whose influence is his close friend in Khabib Nurmagomedov, who fought Dustin Poirier and submitted him. Nurmagomedov is expected to be in his corner for the title fight. Like Khabib, Makhachev's wrestling is relentless, and we know striking with Poirier is ill-advised, as 'The Diamond' does have KO power. 

Makhachev will likely follow the game plan that Nuragomedov did, as he will take Poirier down and eventually wear him out and get a rear-naked choke win.

Makhachev has won six of his UFC fights by submission, while Poirier has been submitted in three of his seven losses. 

UFC 302 Best Bets: Islam Makhachev by submission (-120)

Weight Classes: Heavyweight & welterweight

Jailton Almeida (20-3) vs Alexandr Romanov (17-2)
Kevin Holland (25-11) vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk (19-7)

For my parlay, I'm taking Jailton Almeida and Kevin Holland to get their hands raised at UFC 302.

Almeida is coming off a KO loss to Curtis Blaydes but gets a very favorable matchup in his return in Alexandr Romanov. Both Almeida and Romanov are grapplers, but Almeida is better, as we have seen Romanov struggle when he's on his back. Almeida should be able to get Romanov down at will and use control time to earn a decision win.

In the very next fight, I'm backing Holland to beat Michal Oleksiejczuk in his return to middleweight. Holland has had some bad luck as of late, but this is a good spot to take him here, as Oleksiejczuk likes to stand-and-trade, but Holland is the better striker.

Holland should be able to land some big shots and get a TKO win in the first or second round.

UFC 302 Best Bets: Jailton Almeida & Kevin Holland parlay (-123)

 

UFC 302 Best Bets

Here is a recap of this weekend's UFC 302 best bets:

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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cole Shelton
Cole Shelton is a full-time sports writer focusing on MMA.
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