UFC Vegas 71 Prop Bets: MMA Prop Squad Picks for Pavlovich vs. Blaydes Fight Card (Saturday, April 22)

UFC Vegas 71 Prop Bets: MMA Prop Squad Picks for Pavlovich vs. Blaydes Fight Card (Saturday, April 22) article feature image
Credit:

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC lightweight Ricky Glenn

  • The MMA Prop Squad has been crushing the MMA prop-betting markets, and we're back for UFC Vegas 71 today.
  • Our favorite prop bets for today's ESPN+ event include a bet on the curtain-jerker, as well a prop pick for the co-main event.
  • Read below as our MMA experts look to build upon a lifetime 28.3% ROI.

Welcome to the latest edition of MMA Prop Squad, in which we offer an array of UFC Vegas 71 prop bets with oversized odds for Saturday's event.

Each Prop Squad installment features a handful of picks from our squad of prop-betting enthusiasts, who have tallied +41.6 units and a +28.3% ROI to date.

This week marks the return of squad members Liam Leslin, Sean Zerillo, Dann Stupp, Clint MacLean and Billy Ward.

Check out their picks below for Saturday's Pavlovich vs. Blaydes event, which streams on ESPN+ (4 p.m. ET) from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas.

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 depending on the sportsbook.

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Liam Heslin: Danaa Batgerel in Round 1 (+400)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of Liam Picks Fights

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 3:55 p.m. ET

Betting on Danaa Batgerel in this spot against Brady Hiestand in the opening bout makes sense to me.

Batgerel is the more experienced fighter overall, and he has shown vicious KO power in the UFC against lower-level opposition, dispatching three of his five opponents inside the octagon via first-round knockout.

Hiestand, on the other hand, struggled out of the blocks with a start-stop decision victory over another unproven fighter in Fernie Garcia, and he absorbed plenty of damage and showed poor striking defense.

If Batgerel has shown anything inside the octagon, it's a propensity to start hot and win first rounds. In this fight, if he is stuffing takedowns and connecting early and often, he should be able to get Hiestand out of there.

I will take Batgerel to win in the first round, which SuperBook has available at +400. As an alternative, you can get Batgerel via Round 1 knockout at the same price at Bet365 (that was my initial plan before I saw the SuperBook line without the KO win condition). Additionally, it cuts the payout in half, but you could also consider the "Batgerel and under 1.5" prop on BetRivers, which is +200.

The Pick: Danaa Batgerel in Round 1 (+400 at Bet365)


Sean Zerillo: Ricky Glenn in Round 2 (+1000), Round 3 (+1400)

Staff Writer at The Action Network

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

Several spots on this card are ripe for live betting; my favorite is Ricky Glenn after Round 1.

Opponnent Christos Giagos is a decent grappler, but he typically has five to seven minutes of cardio, and using his best skill only drains his gas tank more quickly.

Glenn will likely permit early takedowns (68% career takedown defense), but I expect him to stay safe defensively, make Giagos work, and eventually take over the fight with his cardio advantage.

While I expect to find a better live price on Glenn after Round 1 than you can find pre-fight – and would look to bet him around a pick'em or plus money price after the opening frame – I bet a Same Game Parlay (SGP) with Glenn and the Over 1.5 Rounds (+115 at DraftKings), which should encompass the majority of his win condition.

However, I didn't come to the Prop Squad to give out a +115 ticket.

Given the cardio discrepancy between the two combatants, the late-round dynamics of this fight could create an attritional finish for Glenn.

As a result, bet Glenn to win in Rounds 2 (+1000) and 3 (+1400) on top of the SGP.

The Pick: Ricky Glenn to win in Round 2 (+1000 at BetRivers), in Round 3 (+1400 at BetRivers)


Dann Stupp: Jeremiah Wells in Round 1 (+400)

Senior Editor at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 6:55 p.m. ET

I believe in Jeremiah Wells (I gave him out as a moneyline play earlier this week via the Action App) and the under 2.5 rounds (it's my UFC Vegas 71 best bet) in his bout on Saturday.

So why not try to squeeze out any last remaining value from this welterweight main-card opener?

As tough and resilient as opponent Matthew Semelsberger has proven during his seven-fight UFC tenure, he's facing a dangerously tough opponent in Wells, who could finish this fight in any number of ways.

More importantly, I think Well, a hard-hitting Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, can do it quickly: He's got five first-round wins among his 11 career victories.

And at 30 years old, riding a five-fight winning streak and now with the confidence of three straight UFC victories, Wells also has a little more swagger to go with those dangerous offensive weapons.

With Semelsberger always a willing dance partner for fireworks, I think Wells is primed for a showcase performance in which he wastes very little time getting down to business.

Semelsberger is no joke – and part of the reason I like the u2.5 is because of what he personally brings to the cage – but I'm banking on Wells to find his openings early in this main-card opener. I think he gets a likely sleep – either via fists or via choke – in the opening frame of what will likely be a wild clash for as long as it lasts.

The Pick: Jeremiah Wells in Round 1 (+400 at BetRivers)


Clint MacLean: Iasmin Lucindo by KO (+340)

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

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

Iasmin Lucindo is 21 years old – 21! And at 21, she is more experienced than her opponent at UFC Vegas 71 by 10 professional MMA fights. In fact, she has already been featured by the UFC under the bright lights on the main card.

Brogan Walker, meanwhile, is a TUF runner-up, and though she is a credible BJJ black belt, her striking leaves a lot to be desired.

Walker is coming off the first KO loss of her career. It came at cage 33 and against a fighter who I am simply not convinced is actually any good.

Walker is a little late to the dance, and you have to wonder how her confidence will be affected taking that brutal finish loss and turning around against a young fighter who never stops swinging.

Lucindo will have a huge edge on the feet here, and if she's patched up her grappling game enough to keep the fight standing, I think she will catch Walker with big power shots when she drops her hands or shoots.

I'm predicting Lucindo gets her first UFC win – and does it spectacularly on Saturday.

The Pick: Iasmin Lucindo by KO/TKO (+340)


Billy Ward: Brad Tavares vs. Bruno Silva Ends via Split/Majority Decision (+650)

Staff Writer at The Action Network

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

The makeshift co-main event on Saturday features two fighters who are primarily strikers. That’s a key component to this bet, as when we have a grappler/striker matchup, we tend to get more clear decisions and/or finishes.

In those cases, generally speaking, if grapplers can get takedowns, they win clearly. If they can’t, the striker is the obvious winner. That’s not the case here, with both men averaging fewer than one takedown per 15 minutes in their UFC careers – and all of Silva’s takedowns coming against Alex Pereira.

Earlier this week, I wrote in my UFC Vegas 71 Luck Ratings about the inherent difficulty in judging what Brad Tavares presents. His aforementioned lack of grappling is one factor, but he also has a positive striking differential – but little power. His knockdown rate is below the UFC average regardless of division, which is somewhat rare for a larger male fighter.

Silva has better power, with all three of his UFC victories coming via knockouts. However, he has a negative striking differential and tends to be very sloppy. His wide, winging punches don’t look great to the judges, meaning he relies on big moments to score points.

This bet is partially a hedge against my Silva position, as the likeliest path to a loss for him is a decision in which the judges reward Tavares' volume over his bigger shots. That’s a tough situation to discern, though, making it more likely than usual that the judges don’t come to an agreement.

The Pick: Brad Tavares vs. Bruno Silva fight won by split or majority decision (+650 at DraftKings)

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