UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: Fight Night 5/13 in Jacksonville
Combat sports are one of America's longest-standing active sports to wager on. This was evident throughout the late-1900s as boxing took the sports world by storm. From Muhammed Ali to Mike Tyson, several stars were born, and Americans placed bets around the country on who would win boxing matches. Nowadays, with boxing much smaller than throughout the 1900s, mixed martial arts has taken the lead as America's favorite combat sport.
By far, the largest and most successful MMA organization in North America is the Ultimate Fighting Championship, commonly known as UFC. The UFC lays claim to the best mixed martial artists in the world and is showcased on both cable and pay-per-view events every month. As one of the first sports to return with compliance of social distancing, UFC daily fantasy is now live on FanDuel.
numberFire is always your best place to prepare for the upcoming UFC card. In addition to this helper, Brandon Gdula has you covered with a betting guide for three of his favorite wagers on Wednesday Night's card. Jim Sannes also has an analytical preview of the upcoming UFC Fight Night, including fight win percentages, striking numbers per minute, and FanDuel points per minute.
With that, let's break down the UFC Fight Night slate scheduled for Wednesday night in Jacksonville, FL:
Sijara Eubanks ($20): Eubanks will be the most popular pick in the MVP spot, as she has the shortest odds to win of any favorite on the card at -410 on FanDuel Sportsbook. There's a good reason for it, and it is because her recent competition towers over that of her opponent. Eubanks has two wins over notable bantamweight Roxi Modafferi, who just ended Maycee Barber's hype train, and even though she has lost two in a row, it was to ranked fighters Aspen Ladd and Beth Correia.
Her opponent, Sarah Moras, has only fought one current ranked fighter and was knocked out by Macy Chiasson. Even giving up size, Eubanks' experience, and 4.77 strikes per minute marker should overwhelm the Canadian submission artist in this bout.
Ricky Simon ($17): There aren't many sure bets on this card, but I trust Simon stylistically in his fight to score plenty of points. Both he and opponent, Ray Borg, like to wrestle, as both average more than four takedowns per match in their UFC career, with Simon actually at a very high 6.53. However, Simon is the bigger man as a natural 135-pound fighter, with all of his UFC events coming at bantamweight. Borg, on the other hand, is really a 125-pound fighter moving up, as this is only his third fight at bantamweight in 11 career UFC fights.
Being the smaller wrestler alone should prove problematic for Borg, but Simon also has a six-inch reach advantage as a striker, and over double the strikes per minute marker of Borg (2.96 versus 1.36) in his career. Simon could very easily dominate this fight, landing enough takedowns and strikes in a decision to make not finishing Ray Borg worth it.
Other High-Priced Fighters
Ovince St. Preux ($17): OSP makes his debut at heavyweight in this fight against Ben Rothwell, and is a -150 favorite to win it. If it were not for four groin strikes to his opponent Stefan Struve, who eventually was so drained from the illegal punches he was knocked out, Rothwell could very easily be on a four-fight losing streak, and generally has no wrestling game to speak of (0.66 TD per match).
OSP, on the other hand, has only won two of his last five fights--but his losses to title contenders Dominick Reyes and Ilir Latifi are aging better as time goes on. OSP will have a substantial speed advantage at heavyweight as a smaller guy, but still holds the reach advantage over Rothwell, which could allow him to improve on his 2.59 strikes per minute marker at 205 lbs, where he was considered a slower fighter.
Philipe Lins ($16): On FanDuel Sportsbook, there are also "method of victory" bets as well. The most likely ending of the Lins/Andrei Arlovski fight appears to be a Lins knockout, which is currently a +130, and roughly translates to a 43.48% chance Lins knocks out the veteran. That would not be too surprising, as the only win the underdog Arlovski has in his last six fights is against the aforementioned struggling Ben Rothwell.
Lins is making his UFC debut, but finished his last four opponents against lesser competition, and his fight should be one to target for fantasy, as a Philipe Lins fight has not gone to decision since 2013.
Glover Teixiera ($15): I really prefer a balanced lineup on this particular card with a couple of heavy-priced fighters with longer odds than you would hope to win, so realistically I would feature guys like Chase Sherman ($16) and Marvin Vettori ($17) as other favorites I am equally confident in, with finishing potential, and at a much lower price, but if we are chasing underdogs, Teixiera is where to start. (UPDATE: Marvin Vettori's match with Karl Roberson has been cancelled, and both fighters should be omitted from your lineups.)
From a betting perspective, I would probably prefer Anthony Smith over Teixiera, but factoring in finishing ability, I like Tex as a daily fantasy play in this one. Smith's resume is a little inflated, which may be why the odds are shorter (+150) than many MMA experts would forecast. Smith was losing to Alex Gustafsson before a submission late in the fight and was outclassed by Jon Jones as well.
For his career, Tex actually has better striking (3.41 per minute), grappling (2.0 TD per match), and submissions (1.00 per match) than Anthony Smith. In a fight that feels like a coin flip, with five rounds scheduled to accumulate points in, Teixiera at an underdog price seems to have a lot more value baked in at $15 than Smith at $19, which would be in MVP territory.
Brian Kelleher ($13): "Boom" is the standout value play of this card. His opponent Hunter Azure is undefeated, and is $18 on FanDuel, third highest in the pool, and will be popular. However, his UFC career to this point is an uninspiring decision over Brad Katona in which he only landed 41 strikes. With Kelleher, you get an impressive submission finish from the same card Azure fought on, where he ended prospect Ode Osbourne's four-fight winning streak.
He will be giving up size into the larger Azure, but Kelleher's career-long strikes per minute marker (4.87) against ranked fighters like John Lineker, Renen Barao, and Marlon Vera is actually higher than the prospect Azure (4.00) facing very low-level competition. I worry about wrestlers moving up in weight like "Boom" is here, but Kelleher is a striker with a submission toolkit, and like with St. Preux, that speed could actually do him quite a few favors in his bout Wednesday.
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.