UFC Fight Night Saturday Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Porter vs. Baudot, Buckley vs. Alhassan, More (February 19)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Parker Porter (L) and Alan Baudot (R).
- UFC is back in the Apex in Las Vegas for a 12-fight Fight Night card.
- Johnny Walker and Jamahal Hill headline the event, but our experts have found even more value betting on other fights.
- See which three fights they're betting, as well as projections for every fight on the card below.
UFC returns to the APEX in Las Vegas on Saturday night a with a 12-fight card, headlined by a Light Heavyweight showdown between No. 10-ranked contender Johnny Walker and No. 12 Jamahal Hill.
The card begins at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and features seven prelim bouts, before continuing at 7 p.m. ET with the five-fight main card.
So where should you be looking to place your bets? Our crew has pinpointed three fights and picks on Saturday’s massive card that present betting value.
You can find their analysis and picks on those matches below.
UFC Fight Night Projections
Billy Ward: Chad Anheliger vs. Jesse Strader
Contributor at The Action Network
Jesse Strader logged less than two minutes of cage time in his UFC debut last March. It was cut short by a knockout loss to Montel Jackson before we got to see much from Strader. This time, he’s taking on UFC newcomer Chad Anheliger, who punched his ticket to the UFC via a split decision win in a Contender Series bout.
This pick is more about fading Anheliger than it is being high on Strader though. Anheliger had some positive moments in his Contender Series fight, but he put himself in trouble on numerous occasions. He was both mounted and had his back taken on a few occasions.
While it’s good to see that a fighter can work his way out of these spots, it’s even better to not be in them in the first place. Against (theoretically) tougher competition, he may find his ability to Houdini out of tough spots to be lacking. Strader hasn’t shown much grappling prowess as a professional, but it’s still not a great sign for the prospect.
Anhelinger likely needs to win the standup exchanges to have much of a chance then. Betting markets have him priced as if that’s a foregone conclusion. I’m not so sure that should be the case though. Strader is 5-2 as a professional with four knockout wins. He’s been knocked out twice as well, but those came against Marcelo Rojo and Montel Jackson.
Strader also has a fairly significant (six-inch) reach advantage, despite being only an inch taller. By being roughly the same height, he shouldn’t be giving up too much in the way of strength. However, he can fight at range far more effectively, which could be a problem for Anhelinger.
Anhelinger is a 35-year-old making his UFC debut following a relatively unconvincing Contender Series performance. Yet he’s somehow -270 or so around the industry. While Strader hasn’t looked like a world-beater so far, he hasn’t done much less than his opponent. At +220 odds that’s a great value, and I’d bet it down to +180.
The Pick: Jesse Strader ML (+220 FanDuel)
Erich Richter: Joaquin Buckley vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan
Contributor at The Action Network
My favorite bet of the weekend is by far on this fight between Joaquin Buckley and Abdul Razak Alhassan. Buckley is given a ton of credit (and rightfully so) for his KO win over Impa Kasanganay. The athleticism shown was something out of a movie.
Buckley then followed that fight up with a TKO win over Jordan Wright and then a head-kick loss to Alessio Di Chirico. This is the same Di Chirico who was flatline KO’d by Alhassan just a few months later.
Alhassan has insane KO power, which is something Buckley should be very fearful of. In fact, I think that Buckley’s best chance to win this bout is by decision (+550, 15.38% implied). It is no secret that Alhassan has next to no grappling capability. Buckley has two takedowns in his UFC career, so that is something worth monitoring.
Overall, Alhassan appears to be the better athlete with more power to win this fight by knockout. At +340 on FanDuel, this is a great bet and is most of Alhassan’s win condition.
Bet this prop down to +290 before taking Alhassan to win and under 2.5 rounds at +250 or better.
The Alhassan rebirth is upon us, ladies and gentlemen.
The Pick: Abdul Razak Alhassan KO/TKO Round 1 or 2 (+340 FanDuel)
Sean Zerillo: Parker Porter vs. Alan Baudot
Betting Analyst, The Action Network
Aside from being available at the right time, I’m not sure how Baudot ended up on the UFC roster.
The former Light Heavyweight took a short-notice fight with Tom Aspinall (up a weight class) in October 2020 after packing on more than 50 pounds in 18 months. He was coming off of a submission loss at the time (ruled a win via disqualification since his opponent tested positive for marijuana). He looked completely out of place against one of the UFC’s top Heavyweight prospects.
Baudot also lost his most recent fight in July to Rodrigo Nascimento after putting his opponent on skates in the first round, but the commission overturned that loss to a no-contest for a banned substance; so Baudot’s 8-2 (1 NC) record actually reads as 7-4, and he’s unofficially on a three-fight losing streak.
Each of Baudot’s 11 career bouts has ended inside the distance. And when his opponents can extend the fight, the Frenchman tends to quit.
Parker Porter figures to set a hellacious pace after landing 149 strikes against Chase Sherman and 126 strikes against Josh Parisian in his past two fights. Throughout their careers, those men are true Heavyweights who have shown much more durability and stamina than a natural Light Heavyweight in Baudot.
Moreover, Porter was able to take both of them down (landed three of 12 attempts), and he should have a massive advantage on the ground against Baudot, who seems clueless when his fights hit the mat.
There’s no chance that Baudot is absorbing 100 significant strikes in a fight before getting stopped, and there’s a high chance that he gets submitted if Porter can put him on his back.
I suspect that Porter looks for an early takedown or tries to clinch in the first round to tire Baudot out. The Frenchman does carry power, despite his other flaws.
That said, if this fight goes past the opening frame, Porter should begin to pour on the volume, and Baudot will likely look for a way out by the end of the second frame.
While I show value on Porter’s moneyline (projected -307, listed -280), I prefer his odds to win inside the distance (projected -112, listed +120 at Caesars) at more than a seven percent edge compared to my projection.
And while that’s my favorite way to play this fight, if you’re only making one bet, I have more money on this fight to end inside the distance (projected -280, listed -200 at DraftKings) since all six of Porter’s losses have also ended before the scorecards.
Additionally, I projected Porter’s submission line at +563, and I bet a quarter unit on his odds to win by submission (+900 at FanDuel). Baudot is an absolute fish on his back.
Although the measuring stick for “UFC caliber” is constantly getting lower as of late, I don’t think that Baudot deserved to sniff the UFC level at Light Heavyweight — let alone Heavyweight — and I suspect that he gets his walking papers following Saturday’s fight.
It’s hard to imagine the Frenchman surviving under Porter’s pace for 15 minutes. And unless Baudot is able to catch him in the early stages, I don’t see any paths to victory.
The Pick: Parker Porter wins by KO/TKO/DQ or Submission (+120 at Caesars) / Fight Ends Inside the Distance (-200 at DraftKings) / Porter wins by Submission (+900 at Fanduel)
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