In the UFC’s return to Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, a pair of light heavyweight titans will duke it out for a vacant throne, and a surging prospect will look to pass his stiffest test yet. Read on for our best bets for Saturday’s UFC 282.
After a shoulder injury forced Jiri Prochazka to abandon his light heavyweight crown, Magomed Ankalaev and former champ Jan Blachowicz were promoted to the bill’s headliner. They will now vie to become Prochazka’s successor while his original foe, Glover Teixeira, patiently waits in the proverbial wings.
Ankalaev has won nine straight and most recently dispatched Anthony Smith by TKO in July, while Blachowicz gets another shot at UFC gold after besting Aleksandar Rakic via injury TKO this past May.
In the co-main event, rising lightweight star Paddy Pimblett makes his first walk to the Octagon on pay-per-view for a date with Jared Gordon. The young English prospect has disposed of his first three UFC foes by stoppage, and he’ll look to earn a push up the divisional pyramid at the expense of an ever-game Gordon, who was last seen claiming a decision over Leonardo Santos in August.
UFC 282 Card & Odds
(Odds via Caesars)
- Magomed Ankalaev (-340) vs. Jan Blachowicz (+270)
- Paddy Pimblett (-260) vs. Jared Gordon (+210)
- Santiago Ponzinibbio (-175) vs. Alex Morono (+150)
- Darren Till (+150) vs. Dricus du Plessis (-175)
- Bryce Mitchell (+125) vs. Ilia Topuria (-150)
- Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-170) vs. Chris Daukaus (+145)
- Raul Rosas Jr. (-230) vs. Jay Perrin (+190)
- Edmen Shahbazyan (-300) vs. Dalcha Lungiambula (+240)
- Chris Curtis (+140) vs. Joaquin Buckley (-165)
- Billy Quarantillo (-165) vs. Alexander Hernandez (+140)
- TJ Brown (-110) vs. Erik Silva (-110)
- Cameron Saaiman (-340) vs. Steven Koslow (+270)
UFC 282 Best Bets
- Fight line: Topuria (-148 via FanDuel)
- Upset: Curtis (+140 via Caesars)
- Winning method: Du Plessis by KO/TKO/submission (+104 via PointsBet)
- Prop bet: Quarantillo-Hernandez doesn't go distance (+100 via PointsBet)
- Parlay: Curtis (+140) + Topuria (-150) + Ponzinibbio (-175) = +529 (via Caesars)
Top Picks for UFC 282
Fight Line: Topuria (-148) ★★★
Topuria’s pre-UFC resume is riddled with swift submission finishes, and he’s recently added a trio of thunderous knockouts to his slate, two of which have come against purebred grapplers in Ryan Hall and Damon Jackson.
The lauded prospect is tasked with yet another grappler in Mitchell, and he enters the matchup with an edge in significant strikes landed per minute (2.87 to 2.28), submission average per 15 minutes (2.63 to 1.89), and knockdown average (1.05 to 0.19).
With Mitchell aiming to bring the action to the mat (he averages 3.4 takedowns per 15 minutes), look for Topuria to take the center, find a home for his granite mitts early, and have Mitchell panic-wrestling often en route to a fifth UFC victory.
Upset: Curtis (+140) ★★★
Curtis is a clever striking technician who does his best work in space, while Buckley does his when applying pressure and closing the distance to land his devastating hooks.
Although Buckley has the edge in raw power, his significant strike accuracy is only 33% to Curtis’ 58%, with the latter also landing a solid six significant strikes per minute to Buckley’s 3.61.
As long as Curtis can keep his back off the fence, I expect him to simply outwork his foe from range and have Buckley swinging at air to get back in the win column.
Winning Method: Du Plessis by KO/TKO/submission (+104) ★★★
Du Plessis has earned all but one of his 17 pro wins by stoppage, with seven knockouts and nine submissions, and he gets a foe who’s fallen inside the distance in three of four losses.
Tasked with a Muay Thai stylist who’s not one to fight with any urgency, Du Plessis will likely get the striking duel he wants when he meets Till, and given that he more than doubles Till’s significant strikes per minute (6.55 to 2.26), I wouldn’t be surprised if Du Plessis is the one to apply pressure, walk Till down, and aim to overwhelm him.
I see the South African surviving in some hairy spots before catching Till with something nasty and earning another stoppage with more hellfire or one of his patented chokes.
Prop Bet: Quarantillo-Hernandez doesn't go distance (+100) ★★★
Quarantillo boasts a 75% finishing rate and can push the pace if he needs to, while Hernandez has been stopped in three of his four UFC losses and has a history of fading late. Consistency has long been a foreign notion to Hernandez, and he may aim to wrestle with Quarantillo in an effort to get back in the win column.
However, I expect Quarantillo to make him work for every position and have Hernandez gassing yet again come Round 2. Granted, Hernandez could overwhelm Quarantillo from the opening bell and score his fourth first-round finish in the Octagon, but if the pair make it out of the first, look for Quarantillo to open up on a tiring Hernandez with his fists of fury and put him away.
Parlay: Curtis (+140) + Topuria (-150) + Ponzinibbio (-175) = +529
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UFC 282 best bets made 12/10/2022 at 9:51 a.m. ET.