UFC 287 Prop Bets: MMA Prop Squad Picks for Pereira vs. Adesanya 2 in Miami (Saturday, April 8)

UFC 287 Prop Bets: MMA Prop Squad Picks for Pereira vs. Adesanya 2 in Miami (Saturday, April 8) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira of Brazil

  • Check out the latest UFC 287 prop bets for Saturday night's pay-per-view event in Miami.
  • Our MMA Prop Squad has posted +41.1 units and a +29.3% ROI since its debut in 2022.
  • Their favorite UFC props, including a pick for Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya 2, can be found below.

Welcome to the latest edition of MMA Prop Squad, in which we offer an array of UFC 287 prop bets with oversized odds for Saturday's pay-per-view event.

Each Prop Squad installment features a handful of MMA prop bets from our squad of prop-betting enthusiasts, who have tallied +41.1 units and a +29.3% ROI overall, including +24.4u and +48.8% ROI in 2023.

This week marks the return of Prop Squad members Clint MacLean, Billy Ward, Dan Tom, Bryan Fonseca and Tony Sartori.

Check out their picks for Saturday's event, which is available via ESPN+ PPV from Miami-Dade Arena in Miami, below.

As with all betting endeavors, always wager within your means. That guidance is especially important when dealing with prop bets. Although the props often offer tantalizing odds, they also cash far less frequently than standard bet types. And be sure to shop around for the best price since prop odds can vary substantially from sportsbook to sportsbook.

(Note: Prior to the start of UFC 287, UFC officials announced the cancellation of the Karl Williams vs. Chase Sherman preliminary-card bout due to an undisclosed medical issue for Sherman.)

Clint MacLean: Lupita Godinez by KO (+900)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Die Hard MMA Podcast

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 7:25 p.m. ET

Lupita Godinez is a big favorite on Saturday at UFC 287 and rightfully so, in my opinion. She welcomes UFC veteran Cynthia Calvillo back to strawweight, and I believe the welcome will be a rude one.

Calvillo is 35 and searching for new life at a lighter weight class after going 1-4-1 in her last six bouts. Calvillo has two losses by finish, and both are by knockout – with one coming from throwing the towel in on the stool midway through a fight.

I personally try to fade fighters dropping weight late in their career as it reeks of desperation to find new life, and it rarely works out well. Godinez is powerful at 115 pounds and had Angela Hill wobbled with just a few strikes (and Hill is well known for her durability).

Calvillo left 115 because the weight cuts were getting to be too tough on her in the first place, and I don't expect her transition back down to be an easy one. This is a tale of two fighters. "Loopy" is getting better every time we see her and has God-given power. Calvillo, meanwhile, is regressing and may not be in the UFC much longer.

I’ll take the shot on Godinez to show out on Saturday and put hands on Calvillo.

Pick: Lupita Godinez by KO (+900)

Billy Ward: Chase Sherman by Decision (+950)

Staff Writer at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 7:55 p.m. ET

(NOTE: This fight was canceled prior to the start of the event.)

Chase Sherman is one of the largest underdogs on the UFC 287 slate (and literally the largest underdog on the slate, at 249.5 pounds).

Sherman is 4-10 across two UFC stints, and he would certainly be unemployed if he competed in any other weight class.

At UFC 287, he’s taking on Karl Williams, who had an impressive UFC debut against Lukasz Brzeski, landing eight takedowns and a knockdown. However, that grappling-heavy style is very demanding from a cardio standpoint, and Sherman’s cardio might be his best attribute.

More importantly, Williams is taking this fight on less than a week’s notice, so he probably has a smaller gas tank than usual. If he burns himself out early on, Sherman could take over down the stretch and win this one with volume. Sherman attempted 79 significant strikes in the third round of his last fight, and he has a tendency to build as the fight goes on.

This is also a solid live spot for Sherman, as he could approach similar odds if he gets dominated in the first round, while taking out the risk of an early stoppage. In fact, that’s my preferred way to play this one, but if you can’t bet live or won’t be watching the prelims, a little sprinkle on his decision odds is the way to go.

Pick: Chase Sherman by Points (+950)

Dan Tom: Gerald Meerschaert in Round 2 (+850), in Round 3 (+1200)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Protect Ya' Neck podcast

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 8:25 p.m. ET

This week, I decided to go back to the well with some round props, targeting a preliminary bout between Gerald Meerschaert (+160) and Joe Pyfer (-200).

Akin to the logic with my last winning entry (Daniel Pineda def. Tucker Lutz), I have a hard time passing up plus-money odds on more proven products when they're on the other side of inflated favorites from the Contender Series.

Don't get me wrong: Pyfer is a fairly well-rounded fighter who comes from a solid camp, and his heavy hands could certainly be enough to put Meerschaert out early.

But with Pyfer seeing the third round only once in his 12-fight career, I have a hard time understanding the justification for this spread considering that Meerschaert is the more experienced fighter who should have a significant edge if he survives the first round.

Add in Pyfer's propensity to shoot takedowns, and I'll take some fliers on Meerschaert. I'll split my bet and back him to snatch up a submission in Rounds 2 (+850) or 3 (+1200).

The Picks: Gerald Meerschaert in Round 2 (+850 at Caesars), in Round 3 (+1200 at DraftKings

Bryan Fonseca: Gilbert Burns by Round 1 Submission (+480)

Contributor at The Action Network and combat sports host and on-air talent

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 11:25 p.m. ET

Jorge Masvidal still has this allure around him as a captivating star despite being the loser in his last three fights.

It typically doesn't happen for guys with 16 career losses. Shoot, at one point, he was arguably the biggest star in the sport as the UFC partnered with ESPN in 2018. The actual relationship began in 2019, which coincided with Masvidal's breakout year.

He was 3-0 that year, with special finishes against Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz.

And he hasn't won since.

The reason Gilbert Burns is such a large favorite is obvious, he's just flatly better, but you don't want to go as far as to say this is a matter of how he wins vs. if he will, even against Masvidal at this stage.

Masvidal is a wildcard who is capable of turning a fight with one deadly strike. That being said, I think Burns wins in ugly fashion.

He should ground Masvidal, knowing that his foe will do what he can to keep the fight standing up, and because of that a Burns decision is how I'm leaning. The reason this is a +500 bet is because, despite 16 losses, Masvidal has only tapped out twice, and both predated his days in the UFC by a few years. (It was in 2009!)

Of 21 Burns wins, nine are by submission, including that awesome arm-triangle choke from January. I think he grounds Masvidal and goes for submission attempts and keeps this on the ground. If he does that, we might hit this longshot bet.

Pick: Gilbert Burns Submission & Round 1 (+480)

Tony Sartori: Alex Pereira by Round 4 KO (+2000), Round 5 KO (+2500)

Contributor at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 11:55 p.m. ET

In a rematch of UFC 281's thrilling middleweight title fight, it is now Alex Pereira's turn to defend the 185-pound strap against Israel Adesanya. Although this scrap is only the second meeting between these two under the UFC promotion, their storied past dates back to their days in the Glory kickboxing promotion.

Pereira beat Adesanya twice in kickboxing, once via knockout and the other victory coming via decision. Obviously, MMA is a bit different than kickboxing, and many thought that Adesanya's more well-roundedness in MMA would give him the upper hand in the rematch at UFC 281, which is why he was priced as a -225 favorite at the time.

Despite controlling the majority of the fight and winning three of the first four rounds on all three of the judges' scorecards, Adesanya suffered his first career MMA loss in the middleweight division when Pereira caught him with a left hook in Round 5.

Usually, I try my best to avoid overt hyperbole when hyping up a fighter. However, I am (almost) not exaggerating when I say that Pereira has the power of a god in that left hand.

Nobody is safe from that punch, which is why six of Pereira's seven professional MMA wins have come via knockout. There is no question that Adesanya is the more technically skilled MMA practitioner, but Pereira just seems to have his number, and that punch feels inevitable at this point.

The best value in backing Pereira can be found in his props. Specifically, we are going to split our bet and take him to win via KO/TKO in Round 4 (+2000) and Round 5 (+2500).

Adesanya is still one of the most intelligent fighters in the sport, and it will take Pereira time once again to find that opening for the left hand. Additionally, Adesanya will almost surely look to implement more wrestling/grappling to avoid that power, which will inevitably prolong the fight.

With that said, Adesanya attempted four takedowns in the first fight and landed only one, furthering Pereira's under-talked-about 73% takedown defense. In a very similar fashion to the first fight, I think Pereira will bide his time, and that left will eventually land flush in the championship rounds.

The Picks: Alex Pereira to win by Round 4 KO (+2000 at DraftKings) | Pereira to win by Round 5 KO (+2500 at DraftKings)

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