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UFC San Antonio Props: Trio of Bets for Nate ‘The Train’ Among MMA Prop Squad Picks (Saturday, March 25)

UFC San Antonio Props: Trio of Bets for Nate ‘The Train’ Among MMA Prop Squad Picks (Saturday, March 25) article feature image

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC featherweight Nate Landwehr

  • After a big week with UFC 286, the MMA Prop Squad is back with UFC San Antonio prop bets for Saturday.
  • Saturday's ESPN-televised event features 11 bouts and a slew of prop betting opportunities.
  • Below, the Squad looks to build on its lifetime 23.7% ROI with another batch of long-shot plays.

(Editor’s note: Prior to the start of the main card, UFC officials announced the cancellation of Alex Perez vs. Manel Kape due to an undisclosed medical issue for Perez.)

Welcome to the latest edition of MMA Prop Squad, in which we offer an array of UFC San Antonio 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 a healthy 23.7% ROI to date.

This week marks the return of squad members Dan Tom, John LanFranca, Liam Heslin and Sean Zerillo.

Check out their picks for Saturday’s event, which airs on ESPN (4:30 p.m. ET) from AT&T Center in San Antonio, below.

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.

Dan Tom: Daniel Pineda in Round 1 (+750), Round 2 (+1300)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Protect Ya’ Neck podcast

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

This week, I decided to target the featured prelim between Daniel Pineda and Tucker Lutz.

Between the unjustified bump that Contender Series fighters tend to get from the oddsmakers to the propensity that MMA gamblers have when it comes to fading older fighters, the current spread on this bout comes with a bevy of trap feels in tow.

And though I have an appreciation for the well-rounded counter savvy of Lutz, the 28-year-old is ultimately an unproven prospect who lacks names both in his training stable and on his resume.

Pineda may be coming off of an injury layoff late into his career, but the Texas-based fighter has an incredible wealth of experience and traditionally losses only to dangerous, top-level talents.

More importantly, Pineda appears to be the more skilled fighter in every phase, and – despite his do-or-die sensibilities – the veteran will absolutely fight hard for your money. I’m going to split my bet this week, and give me “The Pit” in Round 1 (+750) and Round 2 (+1300).

Pick: Daniel Pineda in Round 1 (+750)

Pick: Daniel Pineda in Round 2 (+1300)

John LanFranca: Alex Perez by Decision (+540)

Contributor at The Action Network

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

Despite Alex Perez not having a fight see the second round in almost four years, there is reason to believe he can pull off the upset here if he can implement his game plan successfully.

A change in gyms to Syndicate MMA heading into this bout may be what he needs to get back to what he does best: leg kicks and offensive wrestling.

Manel Kape has looked incredibly good as he has risen up the UFC rankings, and he may be the more dynamic striker of the two here. With that said, there are times in his fights when it feels like he is working through a short lull that allows his opponent to make it close in the judges’ eyes.

If Perez can be the more active fighter here and possibly land a takedown or two, there is a clear path to him winning a decision.

The only two times Kape has lost inside the distance in his career were by submission, and both were before he entered the UFC. If Perez is going to get the job done Saturday, he will have to exceed Kape’s output and initiate grappling exchanges.

Perez losing to two of the very best flyweights in the world the last two times we have seen him may be creating some recency bias in favor of Kape. This fight is closer to a toss-up in my eyes, and there is a better than 15.6% chance Perez gets his hand raised as the scorecards are read.

The Pick: Alex Perez to win by decision (+540 at BetRivers)

Liam Heslin: Austin Lingo in Round 1 (+750)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of Liam Picks Fights

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

Austin Lingo has recorded 55.6% of his career wins (five of nine) by first-round finish, so seeing the Round 1 finish prop priced at +700 (implied win probability of 12.5%) was a bit surprising to me.

Nate Landwehr has suffered two first-round finish losses in his UFC tenure against a meager level of opposition in Julian “Juicy J” Erosa and Herbert Burns.

When you check the stat line for Saturday’s matchup, you see that Lingo is the younger fighter by six years and he has been more durable thus far in his UFC tenure. Lingo has recorded knockdowns in two of his three UFC outings while Landwehr has suffered a knockdown in three of his five UFC bouts.

Lingo opened a +250 underdog and has been bet all the way down to a market-best +180 (FanDuel) as of this writing. He is a local-market Texas fighter, and he has been sidelined with minor injuries, so he will be looking to remind the division why they call him “Lights Out” when he takes on a fun action fighter in Landwehr.

I know sharp players on the Landwehr late-finish props, but I think if this fight gets finished early, the underdog can shine with his heavy hands and opportunistic front choke. Erosa was around +600 to win in Round 1 when he accomplished the feat against Landwehr, and Burns was +300 to win in Round 1 for Landwehr’s UFC debut. Lingo is live to keep this trend going on Saturday.

The Pick: Austin Lingo in Round 1 (+750 at BetRivers and Superbook)

Sean Zerillo: Nate Landwehr via Submission (+900), in Round 2 (+650), in Round 3 (+950)

Staff Writer at The Action Network

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

There are three fights on Saturday, given stylistic matchups and cardio dynamics, with which I am taking a similar betting approach.

In each of Austin Lingo vs. Nate Landwehr, Daniel Pineda vs. Tucker Lutz, and Daniel da Silva vs. C.J. Vergara, I will back the pre-fight favorites – Landwehr, Lutz and Vergara – to win in Round 2 or Round 3 at juicy odds. After a competitive first round, I will also jump in live on all three pre-fight favorites, presumably at better odds.

All three have opponents who should be dangerous in the opening frame before their effectiveness considerably worsens.

Of the three fights, if I could bet only one, I would choose Landwehr, a former track athlete and M-1 Global champion who typically relies on outpacing opponents. Landwehr is the kind of fighter you bet as a +200 underdog, not a +200 favorite. He is unlikely to take the easiest path to victory; Nate “The Train” wants a performance bonus more than a win.

As a result, he’s likely to put himself in dangerous situations against Lingo, who may be the superior boxer. And Landwehr may get put down when he inevitably gets reckless in the pocket.

Still, Landwehr never stops moving forward, and he seems likely to drown Lingo with pace, eventually, if Lingo doesn’t stop him first.

Landwehr falls in love with his hands and may not use his grappling advantage in this fight, but if he does, his submission line (projected +683, listed +900 at Caesars) may look like the best bet on the card.

We’ll split my Prop Squad bet into three and sprinkle on Landwehr to win by submission (+900), in addition to his Round 2 (+650) and Round 3 (+950) props.

The Picks: Nate Landwehr by submission (+900 at FanDuel, 0.1u) | Landwehr in Round 2 (+650 at FanDuel, 0.1u) | Landwehr in Round 3 (+950 at BetRivers, 0.1u)

Pick: Nate Landwehr via submission (+900)

Clint MacLean: Marlon Vera by Submission (+800)

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

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 9:25 p.m. ET

Marlon “Chito” Vera is a pressure cooker.

This man starts slow but moves forward constantly and breaks his opponents.

What people fail to remember is that he actually started his MMA career as a grappler.

Vera is deadly on the mat, and main event opponent Cory Sanghagen has a history of mixing takedown attempts into his game. We’ve seen a hurt opponent shoot in on a poor effort after taking damage, and that’s the kind of opportunity Vera will take.

I think we can trust Sandhagen to be durable enough here but slip up after he gets hurt.

The Vera via submission bet comes with a nice +800 payoff at Superbook.

You can also find +700 odds widely available via FanDuel.

The Pick: Marlon Vera via submission (+800 at Superbook)

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