UFC 279 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Denis Tiuliulin vs. Jamie Pickett: Significant Upside for This Underdog (Saturday, September 10)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC middleweight Denis Tiuliulin
- Middleweights Denis Tiuliulin and Jamie Pickett could be fighting for their UFC jobs at UFC 279.
- Oddsmakers have lined their preliminary-card bout closely.
- Sean Zerillo explains why a bet on the small underdog is one of his favorites from the card.
Denis Tiuliulin vs. Jamie Pickett Odds
Denis Tiuliulin and Jamie Pickett could be fighting for their jobs when they clash on Saturday's UFC 279 preliminary card.
The middleweights were originally scheduled to meet in July, so they've had a little extra time to prepare for this matchup, where both fighters look to rebound from recent setbacks.
Oddsmakers have it close, but how does it play out? Let's break it down.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||6:58||9:34|
|Weight (pounds)||185 lbs.||185 lbs.|
|Date of birth||5/17/1988||8/29/1988|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.45||2.89|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||6.03||3.97|
|Take Down Avg||0.00||1.57|
Tiuliulin is my favorite underdog bet on Saturday’s card. Despite a three-inch reach discrepancy, he should be the superior striker in a matchup with Pickett, who doesn’t make the most of his physical gifts.
Pickett wins fights by controlling his opponents against the cage for long stretches, stalling, and wearing them down until he can generate a takedown. While Tiuliulin has struggled with grapplers throughout his career, he looked competent in his matchup with a high-level prospect in his UFC debut. Pickett likely represents a significant step down in competition.
Moreover, Pickett’s control-oriented style has become less effective as judges prioritize damage over control. I expect Tiuliulin to win minutes anytime these fighters are in the center of the octagon and to land the most impactful strike of each round.
While it’s possible that Tiuliulin gets held against the fence for 80% of the fight, he still may land the biggest strike in each round and swing the judges in his favor.
And if he can deny those clinch positions and keep this fight at a distance, he may look like a hindsight favorite.
Tiuliulin vs. Pickett Pick
Pickett likely needs to win a close decision while Tiuliulin seemingly possesses the significant upside in this fight, and I give him more finishing equity too.
I projected Tiuliulin as a small favorite in this matchup, and I would bet his moneyline at any plus-money price.
Moreover, I show value in his knockout prop (projected +286, listed +380 at Fuel), which could be worth a poke.
However, I don’t see value on either side of the total.
The Pick: Denis Tiuliulin (+115, 0.5u at Caesars)