Wednesday, July 24, 2024

UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig odds, predictions: MMA expert reveals surprising fight card picks, best bets

Two of the most accomplished grapplers in mixed martial arts will meet Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night as Brendan Allen faces Paul Craig in a matchup of ranked middleweights. Their five-round showdown tops the main UFC fight card starting at 5 p.m. ET from the Apex facility in Las Vegas. Both fighters are known for their world-class grappling and lethal submissions that have felled countless opponents. The No. 10-ranked Allen and No. 13-ranked Craig have 26 combined submissions, 13 each, in their 39 combined professional MMA victories. The winner will move up the rankings and toward the title-shot conversation in the top-loaded division. 

Allen is a -440 favorite (risk $440 to win $100), while Craig is priced at +310 in the latest UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig odds. In the co-main event, Michael Morales (-280) takes on Jake Matthews (+245) in a matchup of welterweight prospects. Before locking in your picks for UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine expert Daniel Vithlani

From breaking down film and following fighters and their camps closely, to tracking sharp action and betting market signals, Vithlani covers the breadth of the MMA betting landscape top to bottom. He also trains amateur boxers and speaks regularly with MMA fighters to understand the sport’s nuances. 

In his SportsLine debut for UFC 283 in January, Vithlani swept the main card and has been a consistent winner ever since. At UFC 292, he predicted the upset for underdog Sean O’Malley (+210) against Aljamain Sterling (-250) in the bantamweight championship main event. Anyone who has followed Vithlani already has seen massive returns. 

Now, with UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig on deck, Vithlani has scoured the card from top to bottom and released his top selections. You can only see those picks at SportsLine

UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig preview 

Allen (22-5) joined the UFC in October 2019 as a coveted prospect following a run in the Legacy Fighting Alliance that saw him become the promotion’s middleweight champion. His UFC debut resulted in a submission win over veteran contender Kevin Holland, and Allen’s stock soared behind two more impressive victories.

However, his momentum was stalled by a knockout loss to Sean Strickland, who is now the UFC middleweight champion. Allen rebounded with two wins before he was stopped again by veteran power puncher Chris Curtis, leaving some observers to question the UFC ceiling for the ace grappler. 

But the 27-year-old South Carolina native has made strides to silence his critics behind his current winning streak that has seen him submit three consecutive formidable opponents. In his last outing, he choked out veteran Bruno Silva in the first round.

Craig (17-6-1) is similarly a ground-game specialist who has seen plenty of ups and downs in his UFC career but is known for pulling off a handful of massive upsets when most MMA observers gave him little chance. 

For example, the 35-year-old Scottish fighter started his UFC stint with two consecutive losses and, in his third, he was losing handily to prized prospect Magomed Ankalaev. Craig pulled off a submission at 4:59 of the third round to win the fight, likely to save his job and earn a performance bonus. Ankalaev is currently ranked third and has fought for the light heavyweight title. 

Craig went on a six-fight unbeaten streak that saw him close in on a top-five light heavyweight ranking, but consecutive losses to ranked contenders compelled him to move down a weight division. The 35-year-old Scottish fighter made his middleweight debut in July and notched a technical knockout of Andre Muniz in the second round. You can only see who to pick at UFC Fight Night here.

UFC Fight Night predictions 

We’ll share one of Vithlani’s UFC Fight Night selections here: He is going with Amanda Ribas (-250) to get past Luana Pinheiro (+205) in a battle of women’s strawweight contenders on the main card.

Ribas (12-4) is a versatile fighter who emerged as a contender behind wins in her first four UFC outings but has since lost three of her past five against upper-tier competition. The Brazilian was stopped in the second round by Maycee Barber in their June fight.

Pinheiro (12-1) is a “Dana White’s Contender Series” alum who has won her first three UFC appearances. The Brazilian grappling specialist took a decision over veteran Michelle Waterson in April.

“Ribas can fight behind her volume striking on the outside with less risk of taking a powerful counterpunch. Pinheiro is certainly a skilled prospect with technical kickboxing, but she does not have close to the level of experience of Ribas,” Vithlani told SportsLine. See who to back here.

UFC Fight Night picks 

Vithlani also has strong picks for Allen vs. Craig and other bouts on the UFC Fight Night card. He’s also backing a fighter who “has shown the ability to stay poised” to emerge with a dominant victory. Those picks are only available at SportsLine

Who wins UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig, and how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night, all from the MMA expert who profited more than $6,200 in 2022, and find out. 

UFC Fight Night odds, fight card

See full UFC Fight Night odds, picks, predictions, best bets here.
Brendan Allen (-425) vs. Paul Craig (+330)
Michael Morales (-280) vs. Jake Matthews (+245)
Chase Hooper (-220) vs. Jordan Leavitt (+180)
Payton Talbott (-575) vs. Nick Aguirre (+425)
Amanda Ribas (-250) vs. Luana Pinheiro (+205)
Uros Medic (-245) vs. Johnny Parsons (+200)
Jonathan Pearce (-130) vs. Joanderson Brito (+110)
Mick Parkin (-345) vs. Caio Machado (+275)
Jose Johnson (-190) vs. Chad Anheliger (+160)
Trey Ogden (+120) vs. Nikolas Motta (-140)

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