Finally, the UFC’s cash cow has come back to the barn (I think that analogy make sense). Conor McGregor is back in action this Saturday, headlining UFC 257 in a rematch against Dustin Poirier. I already did a full article breaking down this fight, which you can read right here. The rest of the card isn’t super-stacked, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make money off of it – here’s my UFC 257 betting guide.
UFC 257 Betting Guide
Conor McGregor (-325) vs Dustin Poirier
As I stated in my column breaking down this fight, McGregor is my pick to win, and probably via (T)KO early on, if you want a prop. But with the line currently at -325 (and growing), I don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze betting on the moneyline.
Dan Hooker (-135) vs Michael Chandler
It’s hard to know what to expect from long-time Bellator kingpin Michael Chandler until we see him against UFC competition, but I’m not liking him in his debut matchup against Dan Hooker. The New Zealander is bigger, younger, and unkillable. He also has very strong takedown defense, which should help him force the strong wrestler Chandler into a striking battle, ripe for Hooker’s picking.
Joanne Calderwood (-115) vs Jessica Eye
This women’s flyweight tilt is currently a pick ’em on the boards. I think JoJo gets the W here, as she’s a strong enough striker and grappler to best journeywoman Eye.
Ottman Azaitar (-160) vs Matt Frevola
The former BRAVE Lightweight Champion Azaitar is a perfect 13-0 (2-0 in the UFC) and has finished each of his fights but one (10 knockouts and two submissions). He’s got the striking stats in his favor over the returning Frevola, who has been on the shelf since October 2019, and should make it 14 straight wins after Saturday.
Amanda Ribas (-320) vs Marina Rodriguez
Ribas is a budding star for the UFC, as her bubbly personality and perfect 4-0 mark in the octagon has made her quickly a fan favorite. But Rodriguez is no slouch, with her only loss in 15 pro fights coming via a split decision to former champ Carla Esparza. I’m picking Ribas’s grappling to keep the hype train rolling, but I don’t like a line this high for this fight.
Arman Tsarukyan (-290) vs Nasrat Haqparast
Two young, top lightweight prospects collide in the prelim’s main event on Saturday night. Tsarukyan has won two-straight, has the striking and grappling stats in his favor, and is the bigger man of the two. So, despite Haqparast training out of my native Canada, Tsarukyan’s my pick.
Antonio Carlos Junior (+100) vs Brad Tavares
Time to get some plus money here. Antonio Carlos Junior has been on the shelf since September 2019, but Brad Tavares has also been out of action for ages (November 2019). I like the grappling wizard to snap his two fight losing skid and get back in the win column.
Sara McMann (-135) vs Julianna Pena
#momfight! Both these ladies came back recently from giving birth and are back in the octagon. I’m going with Olympic wrestling silver medalist McMann to grind out a win here, as Pena’s has porous takedown defense – she only stuffs 28% of takedown attempts against her.
Khalil Rountree Jr. (-330) vs Marcin Prachnio
Rountree has looked like an elite striker since moving his training to Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand, but he dropped his last fight in September of 2019 and hasn’t been seen since then. He’s back on Saturday, against a guy who struggles with strikers and has been (T)KO’d in his last three fights. Sounds like easy money to me.
Makhmud Muradov (-145) vs Andrew Sanchez
MM has won 13 straight fights, including his two appearance in the UFC octagon, so he’s definitely got the momentum going for him. He’s also a bit younger, a bit bigger, and a better striker. More importantly, he’s my pick.
Movsar Evloev (-560) vs Nik Lentz
Evloev is the biggest betting favorite on the night for his catchweight (150 pound) fight against Nik Lentz. That might have something to do with him being 13-0, having four inches of reach over Lentz, and being 10 years younger.
Amir Albazi (-115) vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov
Another pick ’em fight, and I’m picking the 13-1 Amir Albazi. He’s 2-0 in the UFC, 2-0 in Bellator, and is bigger and younger than ZZ, not to mention being a better grappler.
UFC Predictions Overall Results
Overall Record: 219-146
Return on Investment: -(65.2)%
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