UFC 293 Odds, Picks, Projections: Our Best Bets for Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland, More (Saturday, September 9)

UFC 293 Odds, Picks, Projections: Our Best Bets for Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland, More (Saturday, September 9) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya

Check out our UFC 293 best bets for the Saturday pay-per-view event in Sydney, Australia.

UFC 293 features 12 fights in all, including UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland in the five-round main event.

UFC 293 kicks off with a preliminary card on ESPN+ (6:30 p.m. ET) and ESPNews (8 p.m. ET) before the main card shifts to ESPN+ PPV (10 p.m. ET).

So where should be looking to place your bets for UFC 293? Our crew has pinpointed four fights and picks on Saturday’s stacked card that present betting value.

You can find their analysis and picks on those matches plus Sean Zerillo's projections below using odds from DraftKings.

Moneyline Projections

Prop Projections

Tony Sartori: Kevin Jousset vs. Kiefer Crosbie

Staff Writer at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 6:25 p.m. ET

Welterweights Kevin Jousset and Kiefer Crosbie kick off the UFC 293 fight card on Saturday night.

I expect this fight to kick off the card with a bang, and we're going to back Jousset to win via KO/TKO. As of this writing, Betway has a market-best +225 offering for the KO bet, and the +180 at BetRivers is also a solid option.

Both of these guys are newcomers to the UFC promotion and have a lot to prove. Crosbie trains out of SBG Ireland, which many of you likely know of due to Connor McGregor's affiliation.

After four straight finishes to begin his professional career, Crosbie earned the jump to Bellator and underwent mixed success. He went 4-3 before moving on from the promotion. Since then, he is 2-0 in MMA and 1-0 in boxing, and he will once again rely on his striking in a bout that figures to stay on the feet against Jousset.

Jousset has not had the opportunity to fight in a promotion as big as Bellator – let alone the UFC – but he is arguably the bigger prospect nonetheless. A strong striker with the ability to finish opponents, Jousset is 8-2 in his professional career with one of those losses coming via doctor's stoppage against current No. 14-ranked UFC contender Jack Della Maddalena.

A former two-division champ in the Hex Fight Series, Jousset joined one of the best gyms in the world – City Kickboxing – to work on his striking immediately following that loss to JDM. The results have paid dividends, which one would expect in training with Alexander Volkanovski and Israel Adesanya, two of the best strikers in the world.

Look for that striking to give Crosbie problems and ultimately a quick finish in what many expect to be yet another monster night for City Kickboxing. In a fight that figures to stay on the feet throughout, look to back the favorite in the knockout department at plus-money.

The Pick: Kevin Jousset via KO (+225 at Betway)

Billy Ward: Jack Jenkins vs. Chepe Mariscal

Staff Writer at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 8:55 p.m. ET

Given his performance in his UFC debut, I was pretty surprised at the line on Chepe Mariscal coming in to UFC 293.

He fought noted wildman Trevor Peek back in June – in a fight he took on short notice, and up a weight class. He hung with Peek in the striking despite the size disparity, and he showed off his judo background with some beautiful throws.

And while this is just his second UFC fight, Mariscal is heavily battle tested. He’s fought a whopping eight UFC vets before signing with the promotion, picking up wins over Pat Sabatini, Yusuff Zalal and Carl Deaton (which was later overturned to a no-contest).

The grappling is where he should have the edge over his opponent, Jack Jenkins, on Saturday. Jenkins was taken down and controlled by Jamall Emmers in the third round of his controversial split-decision win his last time out, and Mariscal is far more of a grappler than Emmers.

While Jenkins has good offensive wrestling, Mariscal’s judo throws are an entirely different problem to solve, and Jenkins hasn’t shown the ability to do so. He also had his worst round in the third round of the fight against Emmers while Mariscal was able to turn up the pace in the final round.

Now, he has a full training camp and is fighting at his natural weight class, which should only help his cardio.

I’ll also be taking a sprinkle on Mariscal by submission at +1200, as that’s how Jenkins has dropped both of his career losses, while Mariscal was close on numerous occasions against Peek.

The Pick: Chepe Mariscal (+170 at DraftKings)

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Sean Zerillo: Tyson Pedro vs. Anton Turkalj

Senior Writer at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 9:55 p.m. ET

After a couple of cake matchups and set-up finishes against Harry Hunsucker (as a -800 favorite) and Isaac Villanueva (at -625), Tyson Pedro was fraud-checked as a -250 favorite against Modestas Bukauskas in his last bout. He should have a difficult test at UFC 293 trying to finish the extremely durable Anton Turkalj.

Pedro had a significant size advantage over Hunsucker and Villanueva. Still, both Bukauskaus and Turkalj present size parity, and Turkalj, in particular, will push a crazy pace (averages nearly 14 takedown attempts per 15 minutes).

Pedro might be the more skilled fighter everywhere in this matchup for the first four or five minutes. Although I don't love his striking, his leg kicks should be effective, and he may be the more skilled grappler.

Still, Pedro has limited cardio before his effectiveness wanes, and from that point forward, Turkalj should take over.

"The Pleasure Man" gets wobbled or hurt in nearly all of his fights, but his recoverability is as good as any fighter in the sport, and he'll continue to press forward – and put a pace on Pedro until he breaks him.

I projected Turkalj as a -128 favorite in this fight and would bet his moneyline at -120 or better. Additionally, I would add more live after Round 1; Pedro has never won a fight past the five-minute mark.

The Pick: Anton Turkalj (-107 at BetRivers) 

Dan Tom: Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland

Contributor at The Action Network

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

With UFC 293 featuring a lot of fresh faces and international flavor, I find myself targeting the more known quantities like the UFC 293 main event matchup between Israel Adesanya and Sean Strickland.

Although Adesanya is more known for his kickboxing accomplishments and acumen, both fighters quietly carry a similar UFC sample size of at least 15 fights inside the UFC octagon.

But with Adesanya clocking in at north of a 7-1 favorite in most sportsbooks, the question becomes more of a "how" than a "who."

Strickland may have an on-paper grappling edge with his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, but I don't think that the American's wrestling chops will be enough to defeat Adesanya.

Aside from Adesanya traditionally doing his best work against opponents who try to take him down along the fence, "The Last Stylebender" also tends to produce highlights against aggressive opponents with defensive liabilities.

Add in Strickland's susceptibility toward kicking attacks (particularly to the legs), and I suspect that the stage will be set for Adesanya to make a statement this Saturday.

You can find a slightly better number by playing Adesanya to win by knockout, but I tend to take "inside the distance" props if the prices are close – just in case the champion tries to get cute and lock up a quick front choke on a stunned and shooting Strickland.

Pick: Israel Adesanya by KO/TKO or Submission (-105)

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