UFC 281 PrizePicks: How to Parlay Weili Zhang, Dustin Poirier, Frankie Edgar

UFC 281 PrizePicks: How to Parlay Weili Zhang, Dustin Poirier, Frankie Edgar article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC middleweight Dustin Poirier

  • UFC 281 on Saturday is one of the biggest pay-per-view events of the year.
  • With PrizePicks, fight fans can bet on player props for the MMA card.
  • Below, analyst Billy Ward shares his favorite props for the card, including ones for Dustin Poirier and Weili Zhang.

The UFC heads to New York City with a blockbuster pay-per-view card: UFC 281 on Saturday.

Middleweight kingpin Israel Adesanya meets longtime kickboxing foe Alex Pereira in the main event, with the women's 115-pound title on the line as well.

If you're looking to bet on player props – or you don't live in a state with legal sports betting – PrizePicks is the answer. Below is my favorite parlay for the card, as well as some additional correlated selections if you're 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 281 PrizePicks Parlay

Weili Zhang Under 83.5 Significant Strikes

Weili Zhang has a deserving reputation as a volume striker. She averages nearly six significant strikes per minute in her UFC career. However, in eight UFC fights, she's gone over this line just once.

Five of those fights were scheduled for five rounds, though only two went the full 25 minutes. Which is point No. 1 for how this could go under.  This fight is -150 to end inside the distance, and she'd have a hard time clearing that line in fewer than four or so rounds. Thanks to Carla Esparza's defensive prowess, I have Zhang's significant strikes per minute projected under four.

The only time Zhang cleared this line is in her fight-of-the-century candidate against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk was a willing dance partner, standing and trading with Zhang – who had to defend precisely zero takedowns from Jedrzejczyk.

That's highly unlikely to be the case against "Cookie Monster." Esparza is primarily a grappler, who's attempted three takedowns per round in her UFC stint. Even if Zhang successfully defends all or most of those, that's a lot of time spent not landing strikes. Incidentally, that's also why Esparza's absorbed strikes rate is so low – it's not really a reflection of her striking defense.

All things considered, we need a very specific scenario – a 25-minute slugfest – for this prop to lose. That seems unlikely (especially considering Esparza's recent title win over Rose Namajunas). The under has plenty of paths to hitting.

Dustin Poirier Over 49.5 Significant Strikes

Dustin Poirer is taking on Michael Chandler immediately before the evening's title fights, in what promises to be an action-packed fight.  Both Poirer and Chandler land more than five significant strikes per minute while absorbing more than four.

That means "Diamond" should be able to get to this line in about two rounds of action. That's a bit scary, but the weighted average of the betting lines says this one should go about 8.5 minutes.

Poirer is also a moderate favorite at -210 or so. If this one ends early with his hand raised, there's still a strong chance he's cleared this line. He finishes fights more by attrition than single heavy shots.

As evidence, he has four knockout victories since 2017. He cleared this line in three of them, and he got to 48 significant strikes in the fourth. (Not counting the broken leg suffered by Conor McGregor as a Poirer knockout victory.)

All of that together means we're highly likely to hit the over if Poirer wins this fight – which he's fairly likely to do.

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Quick Picks

  • Frankie Edgar Under 2.5 Takedowns: Edgar has cleared this line just once in his last eight fights. At 41, it's hard to project much improvement in that area. Additionally, his opponent, Chris Gutierrez, has very solid takedown defense at 73% in the UFC.
  • Chris Gutierrez Under 14.75 Minutes Fight Time: While you can't parlay multiple lines on the same fighter on PrizePicks, occasionally they have both fighters in a fight listed separately. This fight ending early obviously correlates with the under on Edgar takedowns. I wouldn't take this prop individually, but it pairs nicely with the Edgar prop.

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