The UFC this week has a card with very little mainstream name value — UFC Vegas 33: Hall vs. Strickland. This card may not pique interest for casual UFC fans, but there are a bunch of potential MMA betting picks at fairly good prices to capitalize on. As this article is being written, a lot of props that could potentially be bet have not been released yet by a bunch of books, so this article will be straight picks. As always, Awesemo OddsShopper is an invaluable tool for shopping for the best prices on UFC odds and betting picks. Betting markets can be tricky, and with this tool bettors will always find the best line available in any sport at any time.
UFC Vegas 33 Betting Picks: Hall vs. Strickland
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Best Outright Winner Picks
Ronnie Lawrence -150 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Ronnie Lawrence will be taking a fairly short-notice fight against a very powerful Trevin Jones. Jones has two fights in the UFC and two knockout wins in the second round. This may be a popular spot for people betting Jones at plus money, but his metrics are a bit suspect.
Jones has relied on big moments to get finishes. He was losing to Timur Valiev pretty handily before landing a bomb and capitalizing in the second round. He was also getting outworked by Mario Bautista early in their fight but landed a big uppercut, pounced on Bautista and finished the fight with some ground and pound. The power of Jones is worrisome, but a fighter who relies on big moments is not trustworthy. Jones only lands 3.84 significant strikes per minute, which is not great output. In the Valiev win he got out-struck 66-26. He out-struck Bautista 23-21, but 23 strikes in a second-round finish still is a low output. Without landing a kiss-of-death shot like he has in his previous two bouts, he is going to get vastly outworked by Lawrence.
Lawrence comes from a striking background, but it is his pace and wrestling that really stand out. On the contender series Lawrence attempted 17 takedowns and landed 12 in a pretty convincing win at plus money against Jose Johnson. In his UFC debut against Vince Cachero, he landed eight of nine takedown attempts and 102 strikes — 77 of which were significant in a third-round TKO stoppage. Over three rounds it is easier to favor Lawrence with the pace and activity over someone who was arguably losing both of his previous two fights before getting the stoppage. The best UFC betting pick here is Lawrence at -150.
Danny Chavez +100 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Danny Chavez will be taking on Kai Kamaka. Kamaka is always an exciting fighter to watch, but that does not always translate to profitable betting. Chavez at plus-money appears to be the sharp side this weekend.
Kamaka’s metrics appear to make this a quick and easy bet. He lands a whopping 5.63 significant strikes per minute and lands 2.66 takedowns per 15 minutes. The problem is he is very hittable, his takedown defense is not great, and his cardio is suspect. Kamaka beat Toney Kelley in his UFC debut in a very high-paced fun fight, but Kamaka was exhausted by the third round. He held on to win, but with it being Kelley’s first fight in over four years, it is not a great sign for Kamaka. He then proceeded to lose to Jonathan Pearce and T.J. Brown. He did look better against Brown, but it was a fight he could have — and should have — won.
Chavez is not a world beater, but in a fight that is essentially a pick-’em, taking the dog money is always a plus. Chavez also fought Brown and absolutely blasted leg kicks and defended takedowns, much to the surprise of many. Chavez then went on to lose to Jared Gordon, which is not a bad loss because Gordon is massive for 145 pounds and has a come-forward, smothering approach. Chavez may lose Round 1 while Kamaka is fresh, but if he lands leg kicks and mixes in takedowns, Kamaka will tire and Chavez should take over as the fight goes on. The betting pick here is Chavez +100, but this is also a live-betting opportunity, especially if Kamaka wins Round 1.
Best UFC Prop Bets
Baghdasaryan/Anglin Under 2.5 rounds
Any book where this bet has plus money is a bet worth investing in. Baghdasaryan has won four of his five fights in the first round — all under 35 seconds. If the fight gets extended into the later rounds, one or both fighters will be gassed, which can lead to a finish.
Rafa Garcia Inside the Distance
Garcia is the biggest favorite on the board at -310, and while he may be a decent parlay piece, it is hard to lay -310. If the inside the distance prop comes in around even money or better, it is worth a stab. Chris Gruetzemacher is 35 years old coming off multiple surgeries and has been very inactive. In his last fight he was knocked out by Alex Hernandez almost immediately. Garcia may not dispose of Gruetzemacher in the Round 1, but over the course of 15 minutes the cumulation of damage should add up, ending this fight inside the distance.
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