A number of prop bets look particularly intriguing ahead of this Saturday’s UFC Vegas 31 card. Let’s get into the MMA betting picks and start cashing on some of these tickets.
UFC Betting Picks: UFC Vegas 31
Islam Makhachev +420 by Submission (BetMGM)
The marquee bout on UFC Vegas 31, Islam Makhachev takes on Thiago Moises in the men’s lightweight division. Makhachev enters this fight with a 19-1 professional record and a seven-fight winning streak. Moises is 15-4 in his career and is on a three-fight winning streak. However, the odds are a lopsided -650 in Makhachev’s favor. Known for training with Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev is one of the most dominant wrestlers in the UFC. Makhachev averages 3.46 takedowns per bout and has 68% accuracy. Moises’ takedown defense is 63%, which may create problems here. Moises has struggled against wrestling-heavy opponents, including Beneil Dariush, Kurt Holobaugh and Bobby Green. All of these fighters landed multiple takedowns against Moises. Moises may have an advantage on the feet, but Makhachev’s ability to get fights to the mat still gives him the overall advantage. Moises has never been finished in his career, but he has also never faced an opponent of Makhachev’s caliber. With Makhachev likely bringing this fight to the ground, a submission is a real possibility. Makhachev has eight of his 19 professional wins coming via submission. At +420 odds, Makhachev’s submission prop provides favorable odds here.
Amanda Lemos +125 by Knockout (William Hill)
Another heavy favorite, Amanda Lemos enters this bout against Montserrat Conejo -500. This fight is +102 to reach a decision, so Lemos’ +125 knockout prop looks intriguing. Lemos is 9-1-1 in her career and 3-1 in the UFC. Recently she defeated Livinha Souza by knockout. Conversely, Conejo is 1-0 in the UFC after defeating Cheyanne Buys in her debut. A number of factors point to Lemos potentially winning by knockout. She comes from a Muay Thai and boxing background. She has a four-inch height and reach advantage and lands 6.21 significant strikes per minute. Conejo is far less aggressive on the feet, relying primarily on her wrestling. As a significantly smaller fighter, she may struggle against Lemos’ 100% takedown defense. Lemos is also competent on the mat, landing 1.98 takedowns per bout herself. With the ability to pick apart Conejo from range or dominate via ground and pound, the knockout is a real possibility; six of her nine professional victories came via knockout.
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Francisco Figueiredo +500 by Submission (SugarHouse)
Francisco Figueiredo takes on Malcolm Gordon as a -310 favorite. Like Lemos above, far more favorable odds can be secured by looking at Figueiredo’s submission prop. Figueiredo defeated jiu-jitsu specialist Jerome Rivera in his debut. Conversely, Gordon is 0-2 in the UFC, with losses to Su Mudaerji and Amir Albazi. Both fighters enter this bout with negative striking ratios, but both also have small sample sizes. Figueiredo has a strong standup game with training in boxing. He also trains with his brother Deiveson Figueiredo, giving him one of the best training partners in the world. Both fighters are black belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and have experience in wrestling. Figueiredo landed four takedowns in his debut win over Rivera. Gordon has not landed a takedown himself, but he failed to defend the only takedown attempt thrown at him by Albazi. Seven of Figueiredo’s 12 professional wins came via submission. On the other side, Gordon has been finished in all five of his losses, but only one came via submission. Still, the submission prop at +500 odds and Figueiredo’s experience on the mat make this a worthwhile wager.
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