An uncharacteristically light 11-fight card awaits prospective bettors and DFS players on Saturday, but there are still plenty of opportunities to turn a profit. We'll cover every bout across five platforms, including an upstart coming for the spot of a divisional mainstay, and a debutante looking to spoil the party as a large underdog. Our betting lines this week come from William Hill and are accurate as to the post date of this article.
Plays to Consider on DraftKings
Erin Blanchfield ($7,700)
I don't remember the last time I picked against Jessica Andrade as a favorite, but her past struggles with strong grapplers compel me to take a point-scoring machine at dog odds. Blanchfield will need to fade the hurricane that is "Bate Estaca" on the feet, but Andrade hasn't shown much off of her back during her UFC career, which makes me think "Cold Blooded" will be able to have her way when she gets in top position. While Andrade's one-note offense has been incredibly powerful, she has a few questionable losses to submission grapplers on her resume, none of whom carry the pedigree and skill of someone like Blanchfield.
William Knight ($8,200)
While he has improved since debuting in the organization with three consecutive knockout losses, Marcin Prachnio is still a blank slate defensively, having absorbed more than four strikes per minute in his UFC career. This lack of defense also extends to grappling, with the Polish fighter stuffing just 53 percent of the takedown attempts registered against him. Given this, it's difficult to predict anything other than a grappling clinic from a strong judo player in Knight, particularly after Philipe Lins grounded him four times and garnered almost six minutes of control time during their fight in April. Knight may be hittable in his own right, but I will take the fighter capable of sticking to a game plan here.
Nazim Sadykhov ($8,600)
Sadykhov is a slick striker who can generate an incredible amount of power in his strikes. This goes double for his ground-and-pound, which he used to wear down and eventually finish his opponent on the Contender Series in August. Evan Elder is powerful and has a strong kicking game but was taken down four times in six attempts by Preston Parsons in his UFC debut. He also showed little ability to return to his feet, as evidenced by the fact that his opponent garnered nearly eight minutes of control time in the contest. While he is live to land a big shot, Elder has too many limitations for me to pick him in this spot.
Josh Parisian ($7,200)
This is partially a strategic play, as I can't justify paying up for a debutante in a low-level heavyweight fight against a veteran. Beyond that, I like Parisian's grinding style to wear on Jamal Pogues down the stretch, who was reduced to taking sloppy shots and throwing single strikes in the latter frames of his second bout on the Contender Series. Pogues is athletic and powerful, but I can't trust him to sustain offense, which will likely open the door for Parisian to take the fight over.
Plays to Consider on SuperDraft
Jordan Wright – 2.25 X Multiplier
We can apply similar logic to this fight, as Wright will take on a former football player in Zac Pauga who has amassed just seven professional MMA fights and is without a win in the UFC. Wright's all-action style has led to "The Beverly Hills Ninja" getting knocked out more often than not, but I believe he will be able to push a pace that will be too much for his opponent. To be clear, this is another low-level fight in which either opponent can go down at any time. Given that dynamic, it doesn't make much sense to line one competitor as a significant underdog, no matter how much trouble they've had with top-level fighters.
Jamall Emmers – 1.95 X Multiplier
Khusein Askhabov's 23-0 record should make him a dominant favorite here, but "Nohcho" hasn't stepped in a cage in more than three years, which raises some concerns about his level of fitness. While grapple-heavy opponents have troubled Emmers in the past, Askhabov stands so flat-footed in the cage that I expect Emmers' athleticism and footwork to rule the day. Emmers has shown himself to be a decent scrambler on the mat, which could help him work out of trouble if he finds himself grounded.
Themba Gorimbo – 2.2 X Multiplier
As a general rule, I'm not very high on fighters that come out of the EFC, but Gorimbo will enter his fight with AJ Fletcher with a whopping 10-inch reach advantage. Seeing how readily Fletcher was hit by simple 1-2 punch combinations in his fight with Ange Loosa, combined with his paltry 41 percent takedown accuracy rate, makes me keen to take the flier on Gorimbo here. This play becomes even more enticing when one realizes that Fletcher's push up the pyramid in the eyes of the betting public comes from how well he fared in a loss against Matthew Semelsberger, and not any actual success he's had in the Octagon.
Plays to Consider on Prize Picks
Clayton Carpenter UNDER 48.5 Significant Strikes and Mayra Bueno Silva UNDER 60.5 Significant Strikes
When dealing with significant strikes, it's helpful to remember that the overwhelming majority of strikes that occur in the clinch do not qualify. It is for this reason that we are going under in fights that will feature more than a few grapple-heavy exchanges. Carpenter has a nice all-around game, but his lack of defense has him looking to tie up with his opponent more often than not. This should also be the case against Juancamilo Ronderos, who leaps forward with big shots before trying to get his opponent to the ground.
Those who have seen one Lina Lansberg fight probably have a rough idea of the kind of fight she wants, as she constantly tries to wear on her opponents against the fence and land shots in the clinch. While she isn't the most skilled fighter, she has shown herself to be incredibly strong, which makes me think that Bueno Silva will spend much of her time trying to get back to space and achieve dominant position In 50/50 spots.
Bets to Consider
Alexander Hernandez wins via KO/TKO or DQ (+110)
Hernandez thrives in scenarios where he can leverage his athleticism against his opponent, and "The Great" should be much faster and more powerful than Jim Miller. While Miller is legendarily tough and will have an edge in grappling, it's tough not to see Hernandez sprinting to an early finish here, as Miller is known for starting slow in fights. Things will take on an entirely different tenor if "A-10" can survive the early onslaught, but this seems like too much for the veteran to handle.
Philipe Lins and Ovince Saint Preux fight goes the distance (+100)
We can usually rely on the heavier weight classes to produce finishes, but "OSP" and Lins are two of the slowest workers in the division, who often opt to grind opponents along the fence line. While either man can end the fight at any time, this becomes harder to do when you don't put combinations together. I expect much of this fight will be a staring match at kickboxing range, with a few tense moments when one competitor connects.
For more UFC betting picks, check out our UFC Vegas 69 Best Bets for this weekend. For the latest in UFC odds, head to the RotoWire MMA Betting section.
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