UFC

Betting Guide for UFC 269

Former UFC champion Cody Garbrandt makes his debut at a new weight class on Saturday. Is he a lock to win his fight?

Saturday's pay-per-view card is the final one of 2021 -- but a heck of a way to go out. Between the lightweight title fight a year in the making, the return of Amanda Nunes and Sean O'Malley, and several razor-thin fights to pick at nearly even odds, it should be a betting delight.

UFC 269: Oliveira vs. Poirier takes place Saturday from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Where is the sharpest place to wager on Saturday's card using FanDuel Sportsbook?

Gillian Robertson and Sean O'Malley to Both Win (-149)

UFC 269 has plenty of two-sided fights. However, these two fights aren't particularly close.

Gillian Robertson (-375) and Sean O'Malley (-310) have great matchups that should allow them to do what they do best.

Robertson draws Priscilla Cachoeira. Nicknamed "Zombie Girl," Cachoeira's career was saved off back-to-back wins over the combined 4-11 records of Shana Dobson and Gina Mazany. Robertson, meanwhile, has the women's record for UFC wins by submission (4) and will set the flyweight record for fights (11) again on Saturday. Her six wins would be alone in third place in the division's history with win Saturday, too.

Cachoeira's statistical weakness is her striking defense; she absorbs 7.03 significant strikes per minute while defending just 41% of attempts. That won't come into play with the top control wrestler Robertson, but her 63% takedown defense might. Robertson averages 2.54 takedowns per match on a rock-solid 47% efficiency.

As for O'Malley, he somehow avoided a ranked fighter again. He draws former flyweight Raulian Paiva here, and Paiva's striking profile isn't inspiring. He's got just a 50% striking defense that's led to a -0.66 striking success rate. Not good for a one-dimensional striker.

O'Malley, conversely, averages 8.25 significant strikes per minute at a 62% accuracy. He's added a 65% striking defense. He has a +4.66 striking success rate to show for his efforts, and he won't need to wrestle or grapple with such advantages -- plus three inches of reach -- on Paiva.

The -149 odds are a fair price to pay for a pair of fighters in spots where they're not even facing the toughest matchup to date. Robertson sees her matchup to set records, and O'Malley sees his matchup to continue building a star. Either way, we can take advantage.

Kai Kara-France to Win (+120)

I'm shocked the UFC is debuting Cody Garbrandt at flyweight here.

Garbrandt, the former bantamweight champion, is dropping to 125 pounds after a 1-4 stretch that saw him lose the belt. He should be powerful at this division and pay less for his mistakes, but his matchup with Kai Kara-France (+120) is a terrible one.

In addition to four inches of a reach edge, Kara-France is just a better one-dimensional striker. Kara-France lands 5.02 significant strikes per minute at a 39% accuracy that's not shabby for high-paced flyweight. He combined that with a 66% striking defense and an 86% takedown defense -- should Garbrandt be inclined to try and change the location of the fight.

Garbrandt averages just 3.17 significant strikes per minute with a 38% accuracy. His 61% striking defense is solid in a vacuum, but that was just a 52% mark in his last fight against Rob Font. Garbrandt, notably, ceded six inches of reach to Font.

Kara-France is a weak grappler, but that will likely not come into play with no submission attempts in either UFC corner in this fight. Therefore, in a striking match, there's some value on "Don't Blink" to spoil the flyweight debut of "No Love."

Dart Throw of the Week: Jordan Wright by Submission (+1000)

It's important to know when you get lucky in betting UFC and take the information provided instead of feeling "loyal" to a fighter that came from behind.

I had a Bruno Silva ticket in the middleweight's last fight against Andrew Sanchez. Every rumor or concern for the fairly new UFC member (just one UFC fight before Sanchez) came to fruition.

Andrew Sanchez totally controlled Silva in that fight on the mat. He landed seven takedowns and scored 7:53 in control time to coast through the first rounds. Sanchez has as notable cardio issues as the sport provides, so he grew tired, and Silva came from behind to score the knockout.

The story should be Silva's problems with grappling. Five of his six pro losses before the UFC came by submission, and he has never scored a submission himself. That, combined with his Sanchez footage, leads to a fairly obvious conclusion -- he's pretty lost on the ground.

Enter "The Beverly Hills Ninja." Jordan Wright (+270) has had a wild, sporadic start to his UFC career. He's never seen the sixth minute with two wins and one loss by knockout. Wright's 39% striking defense is always a worrisome formula for a knockout, but worth noting, the unpolished Silva has a poor 38% mark himself.

Wright would be wise to lean on his ground game here -- even though it's not his best weapon personally. Wright has five pro wins by submission, but he's +1000 to score a finish that way because we've never even seen a grappling exchange from him in UFC.

Submission skills are what Sanchez lacked to finish a fight he dominated. Wright at least has them.

Wright's defense is too poor for me to feel great about targeting his moneyline, but a quarter-unit or half-unit play on these 10-to-1 odds could pay off a handsome reward for an obvious flaw in Silva's profile.