UFC Vegas 72 Odds, Picks, Projections: Our Best Bets for Caio Borralho vs. Michał Oleksiejczuk, Martin Buday vs. Jake Collier, More (Saturday, April 29)

UFC Vegas 72 Odds, Picks, Projections: Our Best Bets for Caio Borralho vs. Michał Oleksiejczuk, Martin Buday vs. Jake Collier, More (Saturday, April 29) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC middleweight Caio Borralho of Brazil

  • Our UFC Vegas 72 best bets for Saturday night focus on four fights from the 11-bout card.
  • Our picks include the co-main event of Caio Borralho vs. Michał Oleksiejczuk plus three prelims, including the curtain-jerker.
  • Check out the breakdowns and the picks from our MMA experts below.

Check out our UFC Vegas 72 best bets ahead of Saturday's event, which streams on ESPN+ (4:30 p.m. ET) from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

The event, also dubbed UFC Fight Night: Song vs. Simon, has been ravaged by injuries, cancellations, weight-misses and other issues. However, we still get 11 UFC fights that are ripe for betting on Saturday night.

So where should you be looking to place your UFC Vegas 72 bets? Our crew has pinpointed four fights and picks on Saturday’s card that present betting value.

You can find their analysis and picks on those matches, plus Sean Zerillo's projections, below, using odds from BetMGM.

Moneyline Projections

Prop Projections

Billy Ward: Hailey Cowan vs. Jamey-Lyn Horth

Staff Writer at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 4:25 p.m. ET

This pick is a conundrum, with Jamey-Lyn Horth opening as a slight underdog before being quickly bet down to a moderate favorite.

On the one hand, that amount of line movement is a signal: Horth is clearly the A-side of this fight. On the other, I hesitate to recommend a bet with so much of the value already removed.

Putting that aside, I love this spot for Horth. She’s fighting Hailey Cowan, whom I’ve been attempting to fade in each of her previous failed attempts at a UFC debut. Cowan is 7-2 as a professional, but two of her wins were via split decisions.

She also fought a very poor level of competition prior to the UFC, with the exception of fellow UFC fighter Victoria Leonardo, who submitted Cowan in the first round. One of Cowan’s split decision wins was on the Contender Series, in a fight I would’ve scored the other way. The fight ended with Cowan hanging on for dear life as her opponent applied a rear-naked choke, but two of the judges awarded the round to Cowan.

Horth has a far more impressive resume with a 5-0 pro record and five finishes. She won the LFA flyweight title in her last fight, finishing an opponent with a 9-3-1 record coming in. She also beat UFC fighter Lupita Godinez twice as an amateur.

Cowan is a fighter whose entry to the UFC is based more on her marketability than her skills, while Horth is here on merit. Horth is a considerably better fighter, so I’m willing to pay the juice on her line. Cowan also missed weight for this bout and could be at less than 100% following multiple fight cancellations in a short period of time.

Dann Stupp: Stephanie Egger vs. Irina Alekseeva

Senior Editor at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 5:25 p.m. ET

Well, here we are again, hoping for a finish in a women's UFC bout.

Generally, I'm a straight moneyline bettor. And if I do play a prop or method-of-victory option for a fighter, it's usually a sprinkle or split bet with the regular moneyline play.

After all, there's nothing worse than betting on a fighter, watching her dominate a bout, and then fail to get that finish to cash your inside-the-distance prop bet.

But with the prelim bout of Stephanie Egger vs. Irina Alekseeva, I think we're simply getting way too much value on Egger via ITD to even bother messing with that chalky moneyline of Egger at -300 or worse.

In fact, I was already high on Egger to win this matchup before UFC newcomer Alekseeva flubbed her weigh-in on Friday. Even before weighing 140 pounds (four pounds over the 136-pound bantamweight limit) and losing 30% of her fight purse, Alekseeva just didn't offer much for a bettor to like.

Aside from the eyebrow-raising "Russian Ronda" nickname, the 32-year-old boasts four wins against subpar competition with a combined 10-9 record. She also has just one armbar win on her ledger (not exactly Rousey-esque, eh?).

Egger, meanwhile, has seven stoppages in eight career wins, including 3-for-3 in her UFC victories. Her takedowns should be a difference-maker, and I trust her cardio to wear down Alekseeva and eventually set up a stoppage with her superior grappling.

Alekseeva can be a bit wild with her punches, and she's got some size and can put some strength behind those punches. But I trust Egger to avoid the early danger and take over within a matter of minutes.

Egger to win ITD can be had for +125 to +137 at most sportsbooks. I like it to +100, so I'm fine with those prices. But BetRivers is offering a superior line of +150, which just offers substantial value, in my mind.

Count on Egger making life even rougher on the newcomer and getting out of there early.

The Pick: Stephenie Egger to win by finish (+150 at BetRivers)

Sean Zerillo: Martin Buday vs. Jake Collier

Senior Writer at The Action Network

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

Aside from his heavyweight debut against Tom Aspinall, former middleweight Jake Collier has faced plenty of soft bodies in a division with a 265-pound weight limit.

Matchups against Andrei Arlovski, Chris Barnett, Carlos Felipe, Chase Sherman and Gian Villante presented Collier with a height, reach and weight advantage in nearly every fight. And they came against fighters who – if they tried in their primes – could make at least 205 pounds, if not 185, for some of them.

Conversely, Buday is a true heavyweight and I expect his power to be more impactful than what Collier has felt in other recent bouts. He should be physically stronger than Collier's recent opponents and likely possesses most of the grappling upside and finish equity.

Although I don't expect Buday to pursue takedowns proactively, I expect him to use his size and strength advantage to pin Collier's back against the cage, where he can control the position and wear down the out-of-shape former middleweight.

Collier could outpace Buday over 15 minutes on volume. However, I don't expect his strikes to be as damaging as his opponent's. Buday absorbs (and even hides) damage as well as any fighter I've seen. He was nearly doubled up on strikes by his last opponent (118-66 against Lukasz Brzeski), but Buday stole the scorecards on optics by continuously pressing forward and never appearing impacted by his opponent's strikes.

In many ways, the matchup with Brzeski – a bigger man who hits harder than Collier – was a more difficult fight for Buday than Collier. And like that fight, I expect Buday to continuously press forward and eventually wear down Collier, who may set a striking pace early that he ultimately can't maintain.

I like Buday pre-fight up to around -115 (projected -123), and would look to add more live after Round 1 since he may have a cardio advantage down the stretch.

Tony Sartori: Caio Borralho vs. Michał Oleksiejczuk

Staff Writer at The Action Network

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

In the UFC Vegas 72 co-main event, we have a middleweight bout between Caio Borralho and Michal Oleksiejczuk. A heavy betting favorite, Borralho is riding a five-fight winning streak and looks to keep it rolling with another dominating performance.

Making his Contender Series debut in September 2021, Borralho wrestled his way to a unanimous-decision victory. However, he did not earn a contract as the UFC typically wants to see finishes in the Contender Series bouts — or at least a much more dominating performance on the mat.

Taking that personally, Borralho returned to Contender Series just a few weeks later, knocking out his opponent in the first round and earning a contract with the UFC. Since then, all three of Borralho's wins have come via decision, which is why we can grab his inside-the-distance prop at a cheap price of -115.

A tremendously balanced fighter, the southpaw is a clinical striker who lands at 61% accuracy, but he's even more lethal in the grappling department. Seven of Borralho's 13 professional wins have come inside the distance, something that could occur once again in this scrap against Oleksiejczuk.

Oleksiejczuk is just 3-4 over his past seven fights with two of those three losses coming via submission. None of his wins over that span are particularly impressive, outside of his knockout of Shamil Gamzatov at UFC 267.

While Oleksiejczuk will absolutely want to keep this fight upright given his weakness in preventing submissions, his 43% takedown defense is going to be a massive problem against Borralho and his 75% takedown accuracy. Borralho via submission would be a great play to make, but at -115, I will just take his inside-the-distance prop in case he catches Oleksiejczuk or beats him via ground and pound.

The Pick: Caio Borralho inside the distance (-115 at BetRivers)

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