UFC 280 PrizePicks: Target These Picks for Islam Makhachev, Armen Petrosyan, Others
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC lightweight Islam Makhachev
- With an early UFC 280 start time, MMA fans have to choose their PrizePicks early.
- The 12-fight lineup in Abu Dhabi includes two title fights and many opportunities for props.
- Below, Billy Ward breaks down his favorite plays, including one with headliner Islam Makhachev.
The event that fight fans circled on their calendars months back is finally here: UFC 280 (7:30 a.m. ET).
Lightweight champion (and don't tell me otherwise until somebody beats him) Charles "Do Bronx" Oliveira defends his title (I mean it) against Islam Makhachev.
The co-main event features a bantamweight title clash between champion Aljamain Sterling and former titleholder T.J. Dillashaw.
If you want some action on any of the festivities, but don't live in a legal sports betting state, PrizePicks has you covered. Even if you do, their player prop-style lines offer a unique way to wager on MMA.
Below is my favorite parlay for the event, and some extra choices in case you are hunting for bigger payouts.
What is PrizePicks? A daily fantasy operator — meaning they’re available in more states (30) than sports betting is! — PrizePicks offers a unique opportunity for action on player props in which you parlay two or more plays together.
UFC 280 PrizePicks Parlay
Islam Makhachev Over 25.5 Significant Strikes
The hotly anticipated main event for UFC 280 is fairly close, according to the betting lines, but this prop is lined as if the fight will be a blowout. Makhachev is a moderate favorite here, but at -180 or so hardly a guarantee.
While he's been compared to his friend and training partner Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev is probably the better striker. He's landed a solid 2.27 significant strikes per minute in his career.
Oliveira is also fairly hittable, absorbing more than three significant strikes per minute. He's historically been willing to take damage in order to get the fight where he wants it: to the ground.
How this one plays out during grappling segments is crucial to this prop. Based on Oliveira's jiu-jitsu credentials, finishing via ground and pound seems like the better option for Makhachev. Oliveira is fairly durable, though, and I don't expect Makhachev to finish him with the first 25 strikes.
The other risk is a quick Oliveira finish, but that doesn't seem likely against a grappler like Makhachev, at least not via submission. If it comes on the feet, it's likely following some extended grappling exchanges since Oliveira is more of an attritional striker than a one-shot knockout artist.
Armen Petrosyan Over 48.5 Significant Strikes
Armen Petrosyan is 1-1 in the UFC, coming off two of the tougher fights to start a career in recent memory. He made his debut against Gregory "RoboCop" Rodriguez, winning a close decision and racking up 127 significant strikes.
In his follow-up performance, he fought fellow UFC 280 fighter Caio Borralho, losing a decision. He landed just 31 significant strikes – but 72 overall strikes – in that contest.
A.J. Dobson is a step down from both opponents, with a 0-1 UFC record. He should be a more willing dance partner than Borralho, who attempted five takedowns and landed four against Petrosyan.
When he's not defending takedowns, Petrosyan is a high-output striker. He's also likely to get the better of this matchup as a -210 favorite. I'm more concerned about a quick knockout than Petrosyan being unable to land his strikes.
This one should last about eight minutes on average, though, based on a weighted average of the round-by-round betting odds. Dobson has also never been knocked out, with his lone pro loss coming via decision (to a grappler in Jacob Malkoun) and his only amateur loss from an armbar.
That's enough for me based on Petrosyan's 5.17 strikes per minute rate coupled with Dobson's 39% striking defense. If you aren't convinced, his 91.5 fantasy points line hedges against a quick knockout, though is a bit more fragile if this one goes longer.
- Mateusz Gamrot Under 47.5 Significant Strikes: Gamrot has cleared this line just once in his four three-round UFC fights. Against Beneil Dariush, I suspect much of the fight will be spent defending – and chasing – takedowns. This one should be an exciting grappling match, not a standup war.
- Muhammad Mokaev Over 2.0 Takedowns: Mokaev is a world-class wrestler, which he showed in his last bout, racking up 12 takedowns against Charles Johnson. There's some risk that he finishes Malcolm Gordon too quickly for this line to pay off – as Mokaev did in his UFC debut. Still, Gordon should survive at least one takedown, with the official UFC stats' generous grading of takedowns a factor here.