UFC Best Bets: Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC Vegas 74

UFC Best Bets: Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC Vegas 74

This article is part of our UFC Picks series.

The UFC returns after a weekend off for UFC Vegas 74, which goes down on Saturday, June 3 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event of the card features Kai Kara-France taking on Amir Albazi in a battle of ranked flyweights.

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: Bantamweight

Luan Lacerda (12-2) vs. Da'Mon Blackshear (12-5-1)

Luan Lacerda had a tough assignment in his UFC debut, as he had to take on Cody Stamann -- a borderline top-15 bantamweight. He managed to put up a good fight there, and some even thought he won. Blackshear, meanwhile, lost to Farid Basharat last time out, and in his UFC debut, fought Youssef Zalal to a draw.

Lacerda is a great grappler, but even when he wasn't able to get the fight to the mat against Stamann, the Brazilian had success on the feet. He landed a total of 80 significant strikes in that matchup -- an average of 5.33 per minute.

Even if this fight stays standing, I like Lacerda to get the win. However, I think Lacerda will be able to get him down -- just like Basharat did -- and grind out a decision.

UFC Vegas 74 Best Bet: Luan Lacerda (-145)

Weight Class: Lightweight

Jim Miller (35-17) vs. Jared Gordon (19-6)

Jim Miller is coming off a tough loss to Alexander Hernandez last time out and now takes on Jared Gordon, who took this fight on short notice (which I am surprised by). 

Gordon fought Bobby Green on April 22 and got knocked out by what was essentially a headbutt, even though the fight was actually stopped due to ground-and-pound. Although the result was declared a no-contest, Gordon did still got knocked out. Because of that, I worry about how his chin will fare in this one, as he is making a quick turnaround.

Miller, meanwhile, does have KO power (as we have seen as of late), and he is a great grappler. Effectively, Gordon may not want to clinch and wrestle him as he usually does with his opponents. 

Gordon has all the tools to win this fight, but at +155, I think the odds are way off. I simply can't trust Gordon's chin, as he's coming back so soon after getting knocked out.

UFC Vegas 74 Best Bet: Jim Miller (+155)

Weight Class: Heavyweight

Andrei Arlovski (34-21) vs. Don'Tale Mayes (9-5)

Andrei Arlovski vs. Don'Tale Mayes may not be the most exciting fight, but I do like this fight to go the distance, which is just -150.

Arlovski is very durable unless he's fighting the top-10 at heavyweight, which Mayes is far from (though Mayes himself can take some good shots). Arlovski was submitted last time out by Marcos Rogerio de Lima, but before that, he went the distance in four straight fights. Six of his last eight fights overall have heard the final bell. 

Mayes, meanwhile, has gone the distance in three of his last four fights. Both of these fighters are prone to get submitted, which is why I expect this one to play out on the feet. When standing, neither fighter has much KO power, and both have good chins.

I had this line at -233, or a 70 percent chance of going to the distance -- enough value compared to the 60 percent oddsmakers have it at now.

UFC Vegas 74 Best Bets: Arlovski-Mayes goes the distance (-150)

Weight Class: Women's flyweight & Flyweight

Karine Silva (15-4) vs. Ketlen Souza (13-3)
Tim Elliott (18-12-1) vs. Victor Altamirano (12-2)

For my parlay, I'm taking Karine Silva and Tim Elliott to get their hands raised -- two fighters who also happen to compete in back-to-back fights on the main card.

Silva made good of her UFC debut, submitting Poliana Botelho in the first round and showing a glimpse at how good of a grappler she is. Watching some of her other fights, however, Silva was able to show is also a great striker and doesn't have to force takedowns to win a fight.

Souza, meanwhile, will likely have a hard time keeping this fight standing, as I expect Silva to have success with her wrestling. Once it gets to the mat, it should only be a matter of time before she locks in a submission.

In the other leg, I'm backing Tim Elliott to beat Victor Altamirano. Although Altamirano is 2-1 in the UFC, I don't know if he is a top-15 flyweight, which Elliott has proven to be.

I worry about the Mexican's cardio, though, as he tends to fade a bit in fights. Furthermore, he is also there to be hit, as he absorbs 4.65 significant strikes per minute compared to Elliott, who absorbs 2.86. 

I also suspect their grappling will negate each other, so this will be a kickboxing fight. Elliott is the much better striker with the better cardio, and he'll end up getting a late stoppage.

UFC Vegas 74 Best Bet: Karine Silva & Tim Elliott parlay (+126)


UFC Vegas 74 Best Bets

Here is a recap of this weekend's UFC Vegas 74 best bets:

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 Ohio where legal betting just launched, check out Ohio sports betting promos. Sports betting is also officially live in the state of Massachusetts. To get the most bang for your buck when selecting a sportsbook as a new customer, check out these Massachusetts Sports Betting Promos.

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