UFC 277 DFS Preview & Predictions: The MMA Mashup

UFC 277 DFS Preview & Predictions: The MMA Mashup

This article is part of our UFC Picks series.

Plays to Consider on DraftKings

Orion Cosce ($8,800)

$8,800 seems like a lot for a fighter who suffered a second-round knockout defeat at the hands of Phil Rowe in his only UFC fight in July 2021, but Rowe is clearly better than we thought at the time. Yet, the reason Cosce is a strong play here is cause of his opponent. Mike Mathetha or "Blood Diamond", has exactly four professional fights under his belt at age 34. He suffered a first-round submission loss to Jeremiah Wells in his UFC debut last February and is a clear and hefty fade until proven otherwise. 

Anthony Smith ($6,800)

Smith is probably going to lose to Magomed Ankalaev and his salary reflects that, but I still see a potential buy-low opportunity. Smith has won three straight dating back to November 2020. His 4-3 mark in his past seven is less impressive, but the three defeats came at the hands of Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira, and Aleksandar Rakic, so it's not as if he has been losing to scrubs. Ankalaev's eight-fight winning streak looks great on paper, but victories over Volkan Oezdemir, Nikita Krylov, Ion Cutelaba (twice), Dalcha Lungiambula, Klidson Abreu, Marcin Prachnio and a fading Thiago Santos don't really do much for me. Smith's durability should give him a chance to pile up the DK points.

Don't forget to try out these plays on the RotoWire DraftKings MMA DFS Lineup Optimizer.

Plays to Consider on PrizePicks

Brandon Moreno OVER 103.5 significant strikes, Sergei Pavlovich OVER 24.5 significant strikes, Rafa Garcia OVER 1.5 takedowns

This Moreno number is high, but it speaks to the type of bout most people are expecting. In a fight scheduled for five rounds and with Moreno's newly found stand-up skills, this should be a back-and-forth brawl with Kai Kara-France. When the two fought in May 2018 in a fight which went the entire three rounds, Moreno landed 91 significant strikes. If this one sees the final bell, Brandon needs to land about 20 significant strikes per round. Shouldn't be a problem.

This Pavlovich prop is tricky. Both he and Derrick Lewis swing for the bleachers with every single shot and can knockout their opponent in an instant. Lewis' recent durability issues are troubling, but 25 significant strikes is an awfully low number. Pavlovich can land four or five in one combination, and just like that, you are 20 percent there. 

Garcia hasn't been very good in the UFC, posting a 1-3 record, but what he has excelled at is racking up the takedowns. He's at 4.1 per 15 minutes and going against an opponent here in Drakkar Klose who defends the takedown at a fair, but not great, 68-percent clip. Toss in the fact Klose has been taken down at least once in six of his last seven fights, and this is a prop worth chasing.

Bets to Consider

Amanda Nunes (-275) parlay with ??????????

Yes, what you see above is intentionally vague. The point is that I love Nunes in her rematch against Julianna Pena. I think she's a solid parlay play with absolutely anyone else on the card you think will win. Nunes was no less than -800 in the first fight between the two. The average bettor isn't going to love the idea of laying out $550 to win $200, but Nunes makes for an exceptional parlay option to lower the odds. If you are willing to risk $300, make three, two-leg parlays with Nunes and three different fighters. 

Alex Morono to win outright (+135)

Morono, fighting is his native Texas, is a surprising underdog to Matthew Semelsberger. Morono is an exceptional Muay Thai specialist, while Semelsberger eats 4.55 significant strikes per minute. Toss in the fact Semelsberger's four UFC victories have come against A.J. Fletcher, Martin Sano, Jason Witt and Carlton Minus, and I'm willing to back Morono at plus money.

Joselyne Edwards to win outright (-145)

Edwards and Ji Yeon Kim have combined to lose six of their past nine fights. While neither has fought well. Edwards has a few things going for her. She's six years younger than Kim, and more importantly, much better at defending herself on the feet. She absorbs just 3.27 significant strikes per minute, while Kim is way up at 5.64. Since neither women has much power or any ground game to speak of, the winner should be the woman who lands the most volume on the feet. That sets up to be Edwards. 

Hamdy Abdelwahab to win outright (+140)

The real value play here is Abdelwahab via knockout, which should be available as we get closer to fight night. Hamdy is a 29-year-old rookie who will be making his UFC debut in his sixth professional fight. Maybe he'll defeat Don'Tale Mayes, maybe he won't, but his knockout prop is worth betting on regardless. All five of his fights thus far have been KO wins, with four coming in the first round and three coming in less than 33 seconds. Ride the wave and hope the magic carries over. 

For more UFC betting picks, check out our UFC 277 best bets for this weekend. For the latest in UFC odds, head to the RotoWire Sports Betting section.

Plays to Consider on Money Knife Fight

Rafael Alves OVER 36.5 total strikes

Alves has shown next to nothing on the feet over the course of three UFC bouts (including his appearance on Dana White's Contender Series), averaging just 2.10 significant strikes per minute. So, why are we taking the over? Well, Alves' opponent, Drew Dober, is a pure stand-up fighter who loves to engage his opposition in brawls. I don't expect Alves to win many of the striking exchanges between the two men, but it's difficult not to land 37 total strikes if you find yourself in a back-and-forth war which lasts for any significant length of time. 

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Jon Litterine plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: JLitterine.
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Jon Litterine
Jon Litterine is RotoWire's lead MMA Writer and MMA Editor. He has covered numerous MMA events live. He's also RW's NHL Prospect Analyst. Jon has been writing for RotoWire since 2005. He is a graduate of U Mass-Lowell.
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