This article is part of our UFC Picks series.
UFC Picks: Picks, Odds and Predictions for UFC 275
UFC 275 kicks off on Saturday at 6:30 PM EST, and I am back to detail four (4) plus-money plays that could provide a bankroll boost. This includes three prop plays that focus on the strengths of our fighters, the weaknesses of the opponents, or a combination of both. All betting lines are taken from William Hill online sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article.
Without further ado, let's get to it.
Weight Class: Middleweight
Malkoun is already three fights into his UFC career, which makes it easy to forget that he is still a baby in MMA terms. As he heads into his eighth professional fight, it's worth noting that he is still going through growing pains, as we saw in his knockout loss to Phil Hawes. Allen is the first opponent who will be able to trouble him on the mat, making this bout much less of a binary proposition than his other fights in the organization.
Allen came into the UFC as a fighter who wanted nothing more than to drag his opponents to the ground, but since his debut win against Kevin Holland "All-in" has been far more willing to exchange on the feet. This becomes evident when we consider that he has as many takedowns since his fight with Holland (2) as he had in that bout in 2019. While it ended up being a dominant performance, Malkoun's inability to take his head off the center line led to a few tense moments in Round 1 against A.J. Dobson, and Allen hits hard enough to see the deed through.
There is always a worry that Allen will opportunistically jump on a choke when he has his opponent hurt as he did to Sam Alvey, but the price is good enough here that I will ride with the KO/TKO prop, particularly against an opponent who has shown himself to be a competent grappler.
UFC 275 Best Bet: Brendan Allen wins via KO/TKO/DQ (+320)
Weight Class: Welterweight
As a prospective bettor, it's a good idea to be on the lookout for what I call one-sided lines, where it seems like all odds are influenced by the tendencies of the favorite. It may be the case that Della Maddalena has only seen the final bell once in his career, but such is the life of a powerful action fighter on the regional scene with only two losses. He now faces a fighter in Emeev who has reached the judges' scorecards in eight consecutive contests.
That's not to say that Emeev couldn't find a finish on the ground, but "Goretz" hasn't been particularly active when it comes to locking up submissions, only attempting 0.6 per 15 minutes of fight time. This tells me that if I am picking Emeev to get his hand raised, I ought to find the method of victory that aligns with his fighting style. Emeev has been known to slow fights to a crawl when he has the upper hand, and I don't trust the Australian fighter to change the momentum once Emeev has the kind of bout he wants.
There is a chance Della Maddalena comes out and puts hands on Emeev early, but if he is unable to get the finish, then I expect the 35-year-old to drag the fight into his world, as the younger man has only fought into the third round twice in his career. It likely won't always be exciting, but those pockets of boredom will mean that we are on the way to cashing a bet.
UFC 275 Best Bet: Ramazan Emeev wins via decision (+225)
Weight Class: Light heavyweight
Continuing on the theme from our last selection, Glover Teixeira has won four of his last six fights via submission, so it makes some sense to look for that prop against a fighter who is known for causing havoc on the feet. Prochazka's awkward, inventive striking has served him well in his career, but it can also leave holes for a veteran like Glover to exploit.
I think the fight with Dominick Reyes gave us quite a bit of information regarding where Prochazka can be beaten, as the Czech fighter continually smothered Reyes and looked to land big shots. While this had the effect of draining his opponent, it also left him wide open to counter shots, one of which wobbled him and forced him to initiate a takedown. Every fight is different, but if Prochazka is accustomed to panic wrestling when he gets hurt, he may not be able to shed the habit against the 42-year-old, who is one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in the weight class.
While he does his best work on the ground, we have seen Teixeira use his boxing in the pocket to hurt opponents in the past, and he is accurate enough to counter an opponent whose entire focus is on creating offense. Even if he can't get his takedowns early, I think Glover can do enough work with his hands to get the respect of his opponent, which will open up opportunities as the fight wears on.
UFC 275 Best Bet: Glover Teixeira wins via submission (+350)
Nothing puts a prospective bettor off a fighter quite like watching them gas out in the middle of a contest. Regardless of how talented they may be, a fighter who can't keep their composure in the Octagon is likely headed for a loss, which was the case in Liang's debut fight against Ariane Carnelossi. While it can't be ignored, Liang hasn't made a habit of flagging in her career, which makes me comfortable writing it off as a special occurrence ahead of her bout with Juarez.
Power like the kind Juarez showed in her loss to Vanessa Demopoulos isn't especially common in this weight class, but the fact that she can achieve such a ferocious knockdown and lose the fight in her opponent's guard mere minutes later speaks to her lack of grappling acumen. Add in the fact that she will come into this bout sporting just an 18 percent takedown defense rate, and we begin to see how an active wrestler like Liang is something of a nightmare matchup for Juarez.
The power of Juarez will always be live, but Carnelossi finished Liang with strikes from the ground, which means "Dragon Girl" has sustained just one proper KO/TKO loss in her career. She will need to be on guard early, but once Liang is able to ground this fight, Juarez is unlikely to stop the onslaught of offense.
UFC 275 Best Bet: Na Liang (+120)
UFC Best Bets
Here is a recap of my best UFC picks for this weekend's UFC 275 card.
- Brendan Allen via KO/TKO/DQ (+320)
- Ramazan Emeev via decision (+225)
- Glover Teixeira via submission (+350)
- Na Liang (+120)