UFC 273 Best Bets, Odds, Predictions: Our Picks for Gall vs. Malott and Pichel vs. Madsen (April 9)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured (L-R): UFC opponents Vinc Pichel and Mark Madsen.
- The UFC is back in Florida for an action-packed pay-per-view card.
- Our team of MMA experts is targeting two fights as their favorite bets: Gall vs. Malott and Pichel vs. Madsen.
- Get both our favorite UFC 273 best bets for those fights below.
After a week off, we’re back in action with an awesome UFC 273 card set to take over Jacksonville, Fla. on Saturday night. This card features 12 fights with the seven prelims starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+ and the five main card fights schedule for 10 p.m. ET on ESPN Pay-Per-View.
With two title fights at the top of the card, there’s plenty of excitement to go around for the late night bouts, but the earlier fights are not to be slept on.
So where should you be looking to place your bets? Our crew has pinpointed two fights and picks on Saturday’s stacked card that present betting value.
You can find their analysis and picks on those matches below.
Billy Ward: Vinc Pichel vs. Mark Madsen
Contributor at The Action Network
Olympic silver medalist Mark Madsen is taking on Vinc Pichel while looking to improve on his perfect 3-0 UFC record. Madsen debuted with two fairly convincing wins (against Austin Hubbard and Danilo Belluardo) before a controversial split decision over Clay Guida.
That (relatively) poor performance is contributing to the odds we’re seeing on Madsen here, who likely would’ve been installed as a favorite had that bout not happened. Pichel is on a three-fight win streak, but was taken down eight times in those contests. None of those fights were against olympic wrestling medalists either, so expect Madsen to find similar, or better, success.
Madsen is an older fighter at 37, but has only competed in MMA since 2018. He’s still on the upswing of his career in terms of becoming a complete MMA fighter. We should see an improved Madsen compared to his performance against the always-awkward Guida.
Pichel is actually the older fighter here as well, at age 39. While he only has 16 fights, he’s been a professional MMA fighter since 2009. He’s probably trending in the other direction after this many years in the sport, which is another advantage to Madsen.
If you’re looking for better odds, Madsen by decision is +225 as well. He doesn’t really hunt for submissions on the ground, and Pichel should be able to avoid eating too much ground and pound. Madsen straight up is my preferred option though.
The Pick: Mark Madsen ML (+104 PointsBet)
Sean Zerillo: Mickey Gall vs. Mike Malott
Staff Writer at The Action Network
People still view Gall as the warm body brought in to potentially lose to CM Punk (closed as a -430 favorite) back in 2016. Still, Gall has made significant improvements to his overall game while managing a 5-4 record in the promotion.
He recently moved his fight camp down to Sanford MMA — one of the top gyms in the sport — and as the younger man in the fight, I anticipate that he’s likely to have made more improvements since we saw either fighter last.
Malott’s current skillset remains a mystery, but I expect him to fade if he doesn’t get another quick finish. Still, Gall has never had great stamina, so it’s not like he can weaponize his cardio in this fight.
But Gall can take a punch, and I anticipate that the grappling will be competitive, at a minimum. Gall might even be the superior grappler once we see it play out, which would make him a hindsight favorite.
Additionally, Gall has improved his striking to the point where he can hang around with unranked competition, but he needs to ramp up his aggression to create more opportunities for variance, mainly when he’s the underdog.
Given the question marks on the Malott side beyond the first few minutes, and Gall’s general toughness, this fight projects closer to a coin flip than the odds suggest; and I set Gall’s moneyline at +113.
I bet Gall around +170 earlier this week — the line has since moved slightly in our favor — but would continue to play that number down to +127 (44% implied), at a three percentage point edge compared to my projection.
The Pick: Gall ML (+155 WynnBet)