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UFC Vegas 65 PrizePicks: Picks for Waldo Cortes-Acosta, Charles Johnson, Others

UFC Vegas 65 PrizePicks: Picks for Waldo Cortes-Acosta, Charles Johnson, Others article feature image
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Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC heavyweight Waldo Cortes-Acosta

  • UFC Vegas 65 starts at 1 p.m. ET (ESPN+) on Saturday afternoon from the UFC Apex facility.
  • The 12-bout lineup is available on PrizePicks if you want to get action on fighter props.
  • Below, Billy Ward shares his favorites prop picks and parlay for UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Spivak.

(Editor’s note: UFC officials announced midway through the card that the UFC Vegas 65 main event of Derrick Lewis vs. Sergey Spivak has been pulled from the card due to an undisclosed medical issue for Lewis.)

After last week’s massive pay-per-view event in New York, the UFC is back in Las Vegas before taking the week off for Thanksgiving.

It’s a 12-fight card (1 p.m. ET, ESPN+), giving us plenty of opportunities for action – even in states without legal sports betting. That’s thanks to PrizePicks, which allows us to bet on the statistical performance of various MMA fighters.

Read on for my favorite parlay for the card, as well as some bonus picks if you’re hunting bigger payouts.


What is PrizePicks? A daily fantasy operator — meaning they’re available in more states (30) than sports betting is! — PrizePicks offers a unique opportunity for action on player props in which you parlay two or more plays together.


UFC Vegas 65 PrizePicks Parlay

Waldo Cortes-Acosta Over 50.5 Significant Strikes

After Waldo Cortes-Acosta fought Jared Vanderaa just three weeks ago, the Dominican former baseball player returns on Saturday in an attempt to complete his bottom-of-the-heavyweight-division parlay.

This time it’s Chase Sherman, loser of four straight fights before picking up his most recent win – over Jared Vanderaa. Vanderaa landed more than 100 significant strikes on Sherman, and WCA outstruck Vanderaa in every round of their recent meeting.

While there’s no transitive property of MMA, that’s still a fairly good sign. The matchup aligns perfectly for a high volume of strikes. Neither man in this matchup has ever attempted a takedown in his UFC career, with both landing more than six significant strikes per minute.

While Cortes-Acosta has solid power, he was unable to put away Vanderaa. Sherman is also fairly durable, with the bulk of his losses coming via submission or decision.

It wouldn’t shock me for Acosta to pick up a finish here, but he’ll need a ton of strikes to get there. He also probably clears this line in a loss, barring an unexpected quick knockout from Sherman, who’s a +185 underdog.

Charles Johnson – Under 50.5 Significant Strikes

Charles Johnson landed just 12 significant strikes in his UFC debut – a tough matchup against world-class wrestler Mohammed Mokaev. While that’s not necessarily reflective of his overall fighting style, we could see a similar fight this time.

He’s fighting Zhalgas Zhumagulov, another wrestling-focused fighter. Zhumagulov averages 2.5 takedown attempts per round in the UFC. That will make it hard for Johnson to rack up the striking volume, even if he successfully defends most of those takedowns.

Johnson is a strong grappler himself, and he could end up picking up a submission on a bad takedown attempt from Zhumagulov. Or he could put him away with strikes – Zumagulov was badly knocked out by Manuel Kape, and Johnson has four professional knockouts.

While a solid Johnson decision in which he lands a good volume of strikes is certainly one way this could play out, there are simply far more scenarios where he falls under this line.

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Quick Picks

  • Sergey Spivak Under 2.0 Takedowns: This is a line I’d feel a lot better about with an extra .5 tacked on, but I still like it at 2.0. Derrick Lewis is extremely tough to take down, defending all three attempts by Curtis Blaydes. There’s also the issue of what happens if Spivak lands one – he probably won’t need a second to finish “The Black Beast.” He almost certainly won’t need a third, though, making this line a push at worst.
  • Muslim Salikov Over 43.5 Significant Strikes: This is an awfully low line on Muslim Salikov against Andre Fialho, who’s absorbed more than six significant strikes per minute in his UFC career. Fialho also has solid takedown defense – and no interest in offensively wrestling – so this one should take place mostly standing. With the over 2.5 rounds line at +100, there should be enough time for Salikov to get it done.

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