This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.
While we may be back to lower-level fights after UFC 286, the 13 bouts which populate the San Antonio card present opportunities for plus-money plays, as well as prop bets. We'll cover every matchup across four platforms, including a well-rounded kickboxer as a sizable underdog, and a freight train taking on an eminently hittable opponent. Our betting line this week comes from William Hill and is accurate as to the post date of this article.
Plays to Consider on DraftKings
Trey Ogden ($7,800)
Manuel Torres has been outside of the first round just once in his 16-fight professional career. This alone would be reason to be wary about selecting him as a favorite, but the wide shots he was throwing against Frank Camacho in his debut were being countered hard, which raises legitimate questions about his form and defense. Ogden can be a tireless wrestler and is extremely durable, which means that Torres will almost certainly be in trouble if he can't land the perfect shot.
Preston Parsons ($8,000)
Parsons is someone I'll be watching closely in his early UFC career, as he seems to have the tools to make a run in the welterweight division. True to his nickname, "pressure" takes the center of the Octagon from the opening bell, throws with power in combination, and is a powerful wrestler. All of these things will be issues for Trevin Giles, a slick boxer who likes to use his footwork and range in the Octagon. He is also a bit too comfortable off of his back, which should allow Parsons to bleed the clock in top position.
Hailey Cowan ($8,400)
Cowan is a bit too dependent on her physicality to win fights, but I believe the fade will have to wait, as Tamires Vidal's style of simply winging big shots isn't likely to produce much joy here. This is particularly true since Cowan is actually a fairly agile mover in space, which should keep her safe from the Brazilian fighter's power punches. Both of the losses on Cowan's resume have come via submission, but Vidal isn't much of a threat to take the fight to the ground, as she counts just two submission victories among her seven wins.
Steven Peterson ($8,700)
Peterson's game isn't quite as well put together as Preston Parsons, but the pace he puts on his opponents, combined with his grappling ability should be enough to claim victory over Lucas Alexander, a lanky fighter who looked a bit lost when Joanderson Brito applied a similar game plan. While not as athletic as someone like Brito, Peterson may be even more singularly-minded when it comes to the style of fight he wants to have, which should pay dividends here.
Albert Duraev ($7,400)
If you are like me, you've been waiting for Chidi Njokuani to face a suffocating grappler who can bring to light the issues he had in his run with Bellator. Duraev may have been a bit lax on the "suffocating" aspect in his first two UFC fights, but he is certainly capable of following a wrestling game plan, as evidenced by nine of his 15 professional wins coming via submission. "Bang Bang" is incredibly dangerous in space, but I would argue Duraev hasn't truly been knocked out since 2014, as his last fight with Joaquin Buckley ended due to a doctor's stoppage.
Holly Holm ($9,000)
Holm seems to have made a deliberate shift in her style, as she has been far more concerned with using her physicality than being an agile kickboxer in recent fights. Whether this is due to age or a recognition that she can use her size to her advantage, the new tact can play extremely well for DraftKings in the right matchup. Yana Santos is a bit of a stationary fighter in the pocket, which should allow Holly to grind her against the fence and take the fight to the floor. This doesn't guarantee 100 or more points but should make Holm worth a look in cash games at the very least.
Tucker Lutz ($9,200)
Daniel Pineda looked to be a success story after re-entering the UFC with a decisive win over Herbert Burns, but his current two-fight skid is unlikely to end via a matchup with Lutz. While he may be a little foot-slow, Lutz is the rare fighter comfortable whether countering or going forward, which he compliments with a power wrestling game. Pineda has fast hands and can throw with power, but Lutz's game is likely a bit too deep for "The Pit" to contend with.
Plays to Consider on Super Draft
Andrea Lee – 2.1 X Multiplier
Lee's four-inch reach advantage should make it difficult for Maycee Barber to navigate range in space, and "KGB" has the physicality to challenge "The Future" in grappling exchanges. While agility remains on the side of Barber here, many of her UFC wins seem to come down to strength and frame, which should not be an issue for Lee.
Alex Perez – 2.1 X Multiplier
Perez has had trouble on the scale in recent years, but the former title challenger does a good job integrating his striking and wrestling attacks and carries a fair amount of power for the weight class. Manel Kape seems to be rounding into form after back-to-back tough losses, but still suffers from periods of inactivity, and hasn't yet faced a wrestler who can expose some of the issues he had as a member of RIZIN.
Plays to Consider on Prize Picks
C.J. Vergara OVER 26.5 Significant Strikes, Victor Altamirano UNDER 51.5 Significant Strikes, and Cory Sandhagen OVER 107.5 Strikes
Vergara is such an active striker that the expectation of a quick finish is the only logical explanation for this line. While the overwhelming majority of Daniel Lacerda's fights (including all three of his UFC bouts) have ended in the first round, I'm not sure either man will be a consistent finisher at this level. Rather than banking on this being the fight where either man gets his first finish in the organization, I will bet that the Vergara continues his high-volume style, which should take him over the line in short order.
Altimirano versus Vinicius Salvador pits two hard-hitting counterpunchers against each other. This is especially the case with Salvador, who swings big, single shots hoping to clip his opponent. Whether due to inactivity or an early stoppage, I expect to stay below this line quite easily, as the volume thrown by Altamirano thus far in his UFC career is likely a product of the style of his opponents more than anything else.
The odd thing about Marlon Vera is he tends to get outlanded even in fights he wins, so I can't help but take the over with an opponent I think will beat him. Cory Sandhagen's frame and agility should make "Chito" even more hesitant than usual in the early rounds, which will allow Sandhagen to run up the total strike count.
Bets to Consider
Nate Landwehr wins via KO/TKO or DQ (+160)
Austin Lingo got hurt so often early in his fight with Luis Saldana that it's likely only due to the fading cardio of his opponent that he was able to pull out a victory. We've seen Landwehr fight through fatigue and adversity to finish opponents in the past, so I doubt pace alone will be able to save Lingo here. I expect "The Train" to put it on Lingo early and often in this one, leading to a second or third-round stoppage.
For more UFC betting picks, check out our UFC San Antonio Best Bets for this weekend. For the latest in UFC odds, head to the RotoWire MMA Betting section.
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