Thursday, May 19, 2022

UFC 271 predictions, odds, best bets: Derrick Lewis, Carlos Ulberg among top picks to consider

UFC 271 goes down this Saturday night from Houston with a major championship rematch in the main event. Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will put his belt on the line against the man he beat to win the title, Robert Whittaker.

Adesanya is a -280 favorite to retain his title, according to Caesars Sportsbook, a sign that the oddsmakers believe we are in for a repeat of the first fight, where Adesanya dominated Whittaker before scoring a second-round knockout. Whittaker sits as a +230 favorite but claims to be more prepared for battle this time around.

There are other compelling fights up and down the card, including the heavyweight co-main event featuring heavy-hitting stars Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa and another clash of top middleweights as Jared Cannonier takes on Derek Brunson.

For many, there’s no better way to add a little extra spice to a big night of fights than having a little money on the line. With so many intriguing fights on the card and so many close fights, it’s a great card to get in on some of the action.

Caesars Sportsbook has you covered with every angle of UFC 271 to get in on the action. We’re going to give you a few options to consider with this card from our favorite moneyline play, prop play and parlay play. Let’s take a closer look at those picks now.

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Best moneyline pick

Derrick Lewis (-180) vs. Tai Tuivasa

Tuivasa is a fun fighter and it’s been great to watch him bounce back from a three-fight losing skid to win four in a row, doing shoeys all along the way. Unfortunately for Tuivasa, Lewis is a different beast than Stefan Struve, Harry Hunsucker, Greg Hardy and Augusto Sakai. Lewis routinely beats people around Tuivasa’s level and that’s why he’s become a staple of the top five in the heavyweight division. Lewis at any number under -200 feels like a great value as the more proven fighter who also has routinely displayed an ability to win fights that go past the first round.

Moneyline record to date (2022): 0-1

Best prop pick

Carlos Ulberg via KO/TKO/DQ vs. Fabio Cherant (-137)

Those of us who bet on Ulberg in his UFC debut likely have some instinctive recoil at the thought of betting on him again. Ulberg entered UFC 259 with a lot of hype and got off to a fast start against Kennedy Nzechukwu, hurting Nzechukwu multiple times in an opening round that got progressively more intense until Ulberg gassed himself out and got knocked out in the second round. In trying to get right in his second UFC fight, Ulberg has serious power and he’s been paired with Cherant, who has been submitted in 71 seconds and knocked out in under four minutes in his two UFC bouts to date. It’s set up as a perfect opportunity for Ulberg to score his first UFC win and score it in an impressive way.

Prop pick record to date (2022): 0-1

Best parlay pick

Casey O’Neill (-400) vs. Roxanne Modafferi

Derrick Lewis (-180) vs. Tai Tuivasa

Bobby Green vs. Nasrat Haqparast to go the distance: Yes (-200)

Parlay total: (+192)

Modafferi is a wonderful person and a largely under-appreciated figure in the history of women’s MMA. That said, she’s on her last legs in the sport and the bout with O’Neill is Modafferi’s retirement bout. O’Neill is a dangerous fighter and a heavy favorite for a reason. Fight sports don’t often provide a happy ending. We’ve already covered the reasons to like Lewis against Tuivasa. And in our final leg, we’ll turn to Green and Haqparast to end up going to the judges’ scorecards. Thirteen of Green’s 17 UFC fights have gone to decision. Similarly, six of Haqparast’s eight trips to the Octagon have done to the judges. A competitive fight between two men who tend to go to the cards at -200 is a must-include.

Parlay record to date (2022): 0-1

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