UFC Fight Night Betting Odds, Picks, Projections: Our Best Bets & Preview for Roberts vs. Bahamondes, Guida vs. Madsen, More (Saturday, Aug. 21)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured (L-R): UFC opponents Clay Guida and Mark Madsen.
- Saturday's UFC card features 12 fights in total, but three stand out for our combat crew.
- Our analysts are eyeing Vinc Pichel vs. Austin Hubbard, Clay Guida vs. Mark Madsen and Roosevelt Roberts vs. Ignacio Bahamondes.
- Check out their analysis below along with moneyline and prop projections for every bout.
After a week off, the UFC is back this Saturday night at the APEX with a 12-fight card headlined by middleweights Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum. The action begins at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 with six prelim bouts and continues on ESPN with a six-bout main card at 10 p.m. ET.
So, where should you be looking to place your bets? Our crew is focusing on three fights in particular and sees a few bets with value in those matchups. You can find their analysis and picks on those confrontations below.
Erich Richter: Roosevelt Roberts vs. Ignacio Bahamondes
Contributor at The Action Network
Two mammoth lightweight fighters face off in the second fight on Saturday’s card.
Ignacio Bahamondes stands at 6-foot-3 and somehow makes the 155-pound weight limit. His opponent, Roosevelt Roberts, is one of the more creative strikers in the division and is also 6-foot-2. Both fighters made weight on Friday.
Bahamondes understandably relies on size advantages when he fights, but he won’t have that benefit in this fight as Roberts is just as tall with a similar reach.
Roberts has struggled in his last two fights, but his talent is undeniable. He was one of the UFCs highest thought of prospects prior to his last two losses. This is one of the biggest fights of Roberts’ career if he wants to be a legitimate contender at lightweight anytime soon.
Bahamondes was a fade of mine in his last fight with John Makdessi. In that fight, we cashed Makdessi via decision at +333. Makdessi did much more damage while landing a higher volume of strikes.
This fight is much different from his last fight. Roberts is much more adept on the ground and is a legitimate finisher.
What is troublesome for Bahamondes is that his grappling has been tested in the past with not great results. His 11-4 record includes two submission losses, including one to UFC newcomer Preston Parsons.
This certainly appears to be a rough matchup for Bahamondes. Taking away his size advantage and facing an excellent submission grappler like Roberts could spell disaster.
I expect this fight to end in a submission victory for Roberts. There was a lot of value on Roberts’ moneyline earlier in the week, but that has dissipated at this point as most of the betting handle is on Roberts.
Interestingly, Roberts opened as a betting underdog and is now a -150 favorite. His submission prop could be found at +420 at open and has been bet down to +350 on most sportsbooks.
My preference for this fight is to bet Roberts inside the distance at +260 on BetMGM. Roberts’ most likely win condition is submission, but his striking is a legitimate weapon too. I would bet this down to +230. Any lower than that I would rather take a stab at his submission prop.
The Pick: Roosevelt Roberts by KO/TKO, DQ or Submission (+260)
Sean Zerillo: Vinc Pichel vs. Austin Hubbard
Betting Analyst, The Action Network
Typically, when there is a significant age difference between UFC combatants, the younger fighter is undervalued.
For example, when there is at least an eight-year age difference between UFC opponents, the younger fighter has won 65% of the time (365-191), at average odds of -132 (56.8% implied).
While that angle lends itself to backing 29-year-old Austin Hubbard in this matchup, the Elevation Fight Team product has struggled against aggressive grapplers (58% takedown defense), and 38-year-old Vic Pichel is a high-volume grappler (3.83 takedowns per 15 minutes, 60% accuracy).
Pichel is a strong man with high-level jiu-jitsu and is a problem for opponents in top position. Though he tends to prioritize position over submission, Hubbard has shown a tendency to give up his back when scrambling, a mistake that Pichel can capitalize upon.
Hubbard is likely the better striker (+1.05 to +0.92 strike differential, with a 109 to 102 advantage in strike efficiency). He also has excellent cardio and has worked to improve his takedown defense.
Still, Pichel seemingly has a higher chance of finishing this fight, and his greatest strength lies in the area where Hubbard has struggled most.
Hubbard has the higher ceiling as a fighter, but Pichel is exactly the type of opponent who has previously stifled him.
I projected Pichel as a 57% favorite in this fight, and I would bet his moneyline up to -120 — FanDuel has the best odds at -108. I also show slight value on his decision prop (projected +134, listed +150), but I prefer the value on the straight play.
The Pick: Vinc Pichel Moneyline (-108)
Billy Ward: Clay Guida vs. Mark Madsen
Contributor at The Action Network
Everybody’s favorite action fighter is still at it, as Clay “The Carpenter” Guida is set to square off in his 57th professional bout against “The Olympian” Mark Madsen.
Guida has been … fine lately. He’s 2-2 over his past four, with wins over BJ Penn (in what looks to be the last fight of Penn’s career) and Michael Johnson, along with losses to Bobby Green and Jim Miller. Still, both of Guida’s wins came against fighters at the end of long losing streaks, three in a row for Johnson heading into the bout and six in a row for Penn.
Unfortunately for Clay, his opponent this time isn’t on a losing streak and has never even lost a fight. Madsen is an Olympic silver medalist (wrestling) with a 10-0 (2-0 UFC) record as a mixed martial artist.
This looks on all accounts to be a fight intended to build some hype around Madsen, as Guida is a fan favorite and has never been in a boring fight, but other than for an early barrage of strikes, he doesn’t seem to have a lot of ways to win this one. I see Madsen controlling the fight with his wrestling fairly easily, and I think there’s some value on his moneyline, which you can find at -155 on DraftKings (which is a bit off the prevailing prices at most books.)
But the bet I really like here is Madsen to win by decision. Guida is extremely durable, only having been knocked out twice in 56 pro fights. While he has 10 submission losses, it’s unlikely Madsen, who has only been a full-time MMA fighter since 2018, has the BJJ chops to catch Guida.
Guida’s relentless scrambling also makes him harder to submit, and the most likely outcome here is Madsen allowing him to get back up before taking him down again, instead of over-committing to a position while trying to find a sub.
The way I’m playing this is Madsen by decision (+125 BetMGM) with a slight hedge on Madsen by sub (+600 on FanDuel.) If you bet one unit on the decision prop, and 0.2 units on the sub, you’re getting a slight profit with a submission (0.2 units) and just over a unit with a decision. Hedging with a Madsen ML bet makes sense too.
The Pick: Madsen by decision (+125)