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UFC Vegas 24 Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Favorite Bets for Whittaker vs. Gastelum, More (April 17)

UFC Vegas 24 Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Favorite Bets for Whittaker vs. Gastelum, More (April 17) article feature image

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC fighter Robert Whittaker.

  • UFC Vegas 24: Whittaker vs. Gastelum features 11 total bouts, with the main event after midnight ET.
  • Our team of MMA analysts break down their favorite bets for this UFC card card, including one on the main event.
  • Get our full UFC Fight Night preview and Sean Zerillo's projections for every fight below.

We’re just one week away from the next UFC Pay-Per-View, but Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card can’t be ignored. The 11-bout card is headlined by two top middleweight contenders, Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum, which could have bigger implications.

So where should you be looking to place your bets? Our MMA crew is looking at three matchups on Saturday’s card and they see value on three fights. You can find their analysis and picks on those matches below.

You can also check out the moneyline and prop projections for every fight via Sean Zerillo’s betting model.

Moneyline Projections

Prop Projections

Sean Zerillo: Tony Gravely vs. Anthony Birchak

Betting Analyst, The Action Network

When I show a projected edge on a fighter’s moneyline, I also typically find value on one of their winning method props, making it easier to play big favorites at plus money or reduced vig by their most likely win condition.

I projected Gravely to win this fight 80% of the time — implied odds of -400 — but I wouldn’t consider him to be anything more than a parlay piece at the current odds.

However, I projected a decision victory as 50% of his win condition, meaning that I think Gravely wins this fight by decision 40% of the time overall — projected odds of +150. You can bet that prop down to +186 at a 5% edge and can find something closer to a 10% edge at some shops.

If you use Gravely’s listed odds around -325 (implied 76.5%), betting “Gravely to win by Decision” at +230 assumes that a decision is merely 40% of Gravely’s win condition — and that he wins the fight by decision, overall, 30.6% of the time.

So to reiterate, there’s roughly a 10% disagreement in my projection (50% of Gravely’s win condition, wins the fight by decision 40% of the time) relative to the betting market (40% of his win condition, wins the fight by decision 30% of the time).

You still may not win the bet — Gravely could continue to have cardio issues and get completely outboxed by a wilder opponent, or he could finish the fight himself as the older Birchak gasses in the latter stages.

But by avoiding significant exposure to juicy moneylines in MMA — either with winning method props or small, infrequent parlays — you can exploit value and grind out a profit despite winning fewer bets.

The Pick: Gravely by Points (+265) Play to + 186

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Billy Ward: Andrei Arlovski vs Chase Sherman

Contributor at The Action Network

Andrei Arlovski makes a quick turn-around following his Feb. 20 submission loss against Tom Aspinall to face Chase Sherman on Saturday night’s main card. Before the loss to Aspinall, Arlovski was having a bit of a career resurgence in 2020, with consecutive decision wins.

Sherman is riding a four-fight win streak, all coming by way of knockout, but just one of those fights was in the UFC. Sherman had previously gone 2-5 in the UFC from 2016 to 2018, before departing the promotion for the minor leagues and some bare-knuckle action.

As evidenced by his recent win-streak, Sherman has lots of power. Of his 15 career wins, all but one have been TKOs. Arlovski is, of course, a well respected striker himself, but hasn’t finished an opponent since 2015. At 42 years old, he seems to have lost some of the pop he had during his glory days.

Arlovski is also notorious for, to put it nicely, his questionable chin. He’s managed to avoid disaster as of late, but has been on the wrong end of highlight-reel knockouts since the 90s.

Despite eventually losing by submission his last time out, he looked like he got rocked by Aspinall a few times. It’s fairly accepted in the fight game that the ability to take a punch depreciates both with age and successive trauma, which doesn’t bode well for Arlovski against Sherman.

The only only way I see this one going the Arlovski’s way is if he manages to out-grapple Sherman. “The Vanilla Gorilla” has shown neither an ability, nor a willingness, to engage on the ground (usually fighters don’t head over to the bare-knuckle streets to showcase their jiu-jitsu ability). Unfortunately, Arlovski isn’t much better in that area, having attempted just one takedown in his last six fights (and failing to get it).

All the signs point to Sherman in this one: He’s the younger, more powerful fighter, with momentum behind him and facing an aging legend with a highly suspect chin in what should be a stand-up fight. (Also, a way cooler nickname.)

Even better, we can get him at plus money. I’m betting Sherman’s moneyline, and Sherman to win inside the distance. The best odds on Sherman’s moneyline odds are at FanDuel and his inside the distance prop has the most juice at BetMGM.

The Pick: Sherman ML (+108) | Sherman Inside the Distance (+260)

Erich Richter: Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Contributor at The Action Network

Saturday’s main event features former champion Robert Whittaker and perennial contender Kelvin Gastelum. To date, Gastelum was the closest to usurping current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Two of the best that the middleweight division has to offer will be hoping to land a rematch with “The Last Style Bender” after this fight.

The matchup stylistically should be action packed as both fighters typically carry a high output. Neither fighter is an accomplished grappler in the UFC — although we could see Gastelum work in a few takedowns to keep Whittaker off balance.

The value on this fight is not particularly high on Whittaker as a big favorite — in fact I project Gastelum closer to +200 rather than the +220 which he is currently at.

My biggest value prop on the card is this fight to go to decision. Gastelum is one of the most durable fighters in the UFC, has been submitted just twice inside the octagon and never knocked out. Whittaker has never even attempted a submission in his UFC career and I don’t see that trend changing even with Gastelum being extremely difficult to knock out.

Gastelum might be more of a live dog than people think, but I won’t be backing him here. Instead, I’ll take this fight to go to decision. I grabbed this prop at -122, but FanDuel has the best line (-128) at the time of writing.

The Pick: Fight Goes to Decision (-128) up to -135

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