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UFC Best Bets
UFC Best Bets

The UFC’s return to the Apex sees a pair of strawweights meet in a five-round style clash. Read on for our best bets for Saturday’s UFC Vegas 73 card based on the odds from our best sportsbooks.

This weekend's main event features Mackenzie Dern facing off against seasoned veteran Angela Hill. Dern is coming into the fight after a closely contested match against Yan Xiaonan, where she suffered a majority decision loss in October. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist holds a UFC record of 7-3, with four of her wins in the promotion coming by way of submission. On the other side of the octagon, Hill bounced back from a three-fight losing streak with consecutive decision victories over Lupita Godinez and Emily Ducote in 2022. The 38-year-old striker brings a UFC record of 10-12, having faced numerous notable strawweight opponents.

In the co-main event, promising middleweight prospect Edmen Shahbazyan will square off against Anthony Hernandez. Shahbazyan, at 25-years-old, ended his own three-fight skid with a second-round TKO of Dalcha Lungiambula in December. Hernandez, on the other hand, secured his third consecutive victory in September by submitting Marc-Andre Barriault.

With all that said, here are our best bets for Saturday’s UFC Vegas 73 (odds via DraftKings, Caesars, and PointsBet; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

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UFC Vegas 73 schedule & odds

(Odds via DraftKings)

Main Card (7 p.m. ET):

  • Mackenzie Dern (-155) vs. Angela Hill (+135)
  • Edmen Shahbazyan (+160) vs. Anthony Hernandez (-190)
  • Emily Ducote (+125) vs. Lupita Godinez (-145)
  • Andre Fialho (+180) vs. Joaquin Buckley (-210)
  • Carlos Diego Ferreira (-150) vs. Michael Johnson (+130)

Prelims (4 p.m. ET):

  • Hayisaer Maheshate (+140) vs. Viacheslav Borshchev (-165)
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz (-130) vs. Vanessa Demopoulos (+110)
  • Orion Cosce (-110) vs. Gilbert Urbina (-110)
  • Ilir Latifi (+150) vs. Rodrigo Nascimento (-175)
  • Chase Hooper (+105) vs. Nick Fiore (-125)
  • Natalia Silva (-900) vs. Victoria Leonardo (+625)
  • Takashi Sato (+105) vs. Themba Gorimbo (-125)

UFC Vegas 73 best bets

  • Fight line: Dern ML vs. Hill (-155 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Upset: Fialho ML vs. Buckley (+190 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Winning method: Dern by submission vs. Hill (+180 via PointsBet) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Prop bet: Sato vs. Gorimbo Under 1.5 Rounds (+120 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Parlay: Sato vs. Gorimbo Under 2.5 Rounds (-160) + Cosce vs. Urbina doesn’t go the distance (-190) + Dern by submission (+165) = +557 (via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

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Top picks for UFC Vegas 73

Fight line: Dern ML vs. Hill (-155 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

In a main event pitting grappler against striker, I’m banking on the former to get her hand raised. Dern’s own striking remains a work in progress, but she’s game, packs a decent wallop, and lands at a good enough clip (3.02 significant strikes per minute) to earn Hill’s respect and set up her takedowns. 

Hill has earned her wins on volume, not power, and isn’t one to claim the center and walk her foes down, a habit that will give Dern time to land some leather, close the distance, and bring the action to the mat, where Hill doesn’t stand much of a chance. She’ll eat some combos for her trouble, but Dern should find enough openings to get a scrappy Hill’s back to the fence, then the floor and flaunt her lauded grappling to get back in the win column.

Upset: Fialho ML vs. Buckley (+190 via Caesars ) ⭐⭐⭐

Fialho and Buckley are a pair of ailing boxers in dire need of a win, and in a clash that will likely produce much violence, I see the former spoiling Buckley’s UFC welterweight debut. Granted, Buckley boasts a slight edge in reach, but he prefers chucking hooks to working behind the jab, only lands 32% of his significant strike attempts, and has folded to strikes in three of his four promotional defeats. 

Fialho hasn’t fared much better of late. But he’s the cleaner, taller boxer, and if he can hinder Buckley’s mobility with his nasty, yet dormant low kicks, he’ll have an easier time landing the more substantial blows upstairs en route to a bounce-back victory.

Take advantage of this plus-money price at the best sports betting apps.

Winning method: Dern by submission vs. Hill (+180 via PointsBet) ⭐⭐⭐

Hill has only tapped in two of 12 career losses, but she’s struggled against clever grapplers in Virna Jandiroba and Randa Markos. And Dern isn’t just any grappler. The decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu player has tapped seven of her 12 career conquests, and she won’t need long to pad those numbers should Hill’s back hit the floor. 

The seasoned Hill’s footwork and volume won’t make it easy, but with five rounds to work, Dern will find a way to drag the action into her domain sooner or later, after which she’ll snatch Hill’s neck or one of her limbs for an eighth career win by submission.

We like playing another plus-money prop at the best sports betting sites.

Prop bet: Sato vs. Gorimbo Under 1.5 rounds (+120 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

In 21 career contests, Sato has stopped 10 men in Under 1.5 rounds and caught the short end of five finishes, while Gorimbo has earned six stoppages and suffered three in less than 1.5 rounds. In other words, each of these welterweights has betrayed a habit of winning and losing big, and often in short order, with Sato boasting 11 KO/TKO victories and three submission losses, and Gorimbo owning six tapouts in 10 career wins. 

With Sato looking to stay upright and land his patented straight left and Gorimbo angling for takedowns from the opening bell, this pair should see another short night of work — no matter where the action goes.

Parlay: Sato vs. Gorimbo Under 2.5 Rounds (-160) + Cosce vs. Urbina doesn’t go the distance (-190) + Dern by submission (+165) = +557 (via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

It wouldn’t be a UFC card without a juicy parlay to root for throughout the night. Because we like the angle on most of these fights, we will take advantage of the +557 price tag at DraftKings on this parlay.

Always shop around at the best live betting sites to maximize your parlay payout.

UFC best bets made 05/20/2023 at 12:04 a.m. ET.

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