UFC Vegas 73 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Mackenzie Dern vs. Angela Hill: The Numbers-Driven Bet (Saturday, May 20)

UFC Vegas 73 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Mackenzie Dern vs. Angela Hill: The Numbers-Driven Bet (Saturday, May 20) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC strawweights Mackenzie Dern and Angela Hill

Mackenzie Dern vs. Angela Hill Odds

Dern Odds
Hill Odds
4.5 (-145 / +125)
UFC Apex in Las Vegas
9:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday and via WynnBET

Tonight the UFC returns to the UFC Apex facility for UFC Vegas 73, which features an important main event for the strawweight rankings with No. 14-ranked contender Angela Hill meeting No. 8 Mackenzie Dern.

Dern enters the ESPN+ event (4 p.m. ET) having lost two of her past three bouts – against Marina Rodriguez and Yan Xianoan in UFC Fight Night main events, after a 6-1 run to begin her UFC career.

Hill has won consecutive bouts – against Emily Ducote and Lupita Godinez, who is also fighting on the main card. After losing a controversial split decision to Micelle Waterson in 2020, Hill on Saturday will mark her second main-event appearance.

Below, I'll provide my analysis and projections and utilize those factors to bet on the main event tonight for UFC Vegas 73.

Tale of the Tape

Avg. Fight Time12:2214:02
Weight (pounds)115 lbs.115 lbs.
Reach (inches)63"64"
Date of birth3/24/19931/12/1985
Sig Strikes Per Min3.025.68
SS Accuracy36%49%
SS Absorbed Per Min4.394.97
SS Defense52%62%
Take Down Avg0.610.58
TD Acc11%29%
TD Def40%77%
Submission Avg1.80.1

Saturday's matchup is a reasonably binary fight.

Hill, who generally outpaces her opponents in the distance striking, figures to land more strikes than Dern over 25 minutes, and she should generally control the action and the pace of the striking exchanges.

Dern will look to get the fight to the mat – or attempt to take Hill's back from a clinch position – and deploy her world-class jiu-jitsu skillset. However, Dern isn't a good wrestler (0.61 takedowns per 15 minutes, 11% accuracy). Perhaps she can power through a single leg, as she did against Nina Nunes, but Dern may be better off pulling guard and looking to reverse.

Hill has decent first-level takedown defense (77%), but opponents know that her grappling is her weakest area, so they shoot for takedowns consistently. Only Emily Ducote and Amanda Lemos (combined 0 for 5) tried and failed to take Hill down in her past 10 fights. Everyone else got the fight to the mat at least once.

Dern has 25 minutes to get this fight into a dangerous position – as she did for long stretches, even in her losses against Yan Xianoan (9:19 of control time) and Marina Rodriguez (7:21 control time).

While Hill's defensive grappling seems improved of late, her defensive jiu-jitsu might not be on the same level as some of Dern's other opponents. And one takedown might be enough to win the fight.

Even if Dern cannot secure the finish, she may edge out a close round with a submission attempt after Hill lands more damage on the feet. Or, perhaps, she dominates multiple rounds, secures two 10-8 scorecards, and edges a decision against Hill, who won the other three.

Hill must fight a perfect game plan and stay safe for 25 minutes; Dern needs Hill to make only one mistake to win the fight.

As a result, I understand why Dern is favored; she has the vast majority of the finish equity and all of the grappling upside.

Still, the striking should be relatively one-sided, and I expect Hill to pull away on damage – and volume – over 25 minutes.

Since we have a clear-minute winner facing a fighter with obvious finishing upside, I would initially lean toward Hill by decision or Dern inside the distance – and my projections agree with those assumptions.

Dern vs. Hill Pick

In this bout, I projected Mackenzie Dern as a -124 favorite (55.4% implied odds). As a result, I would bet Angela Hill to +135 (44.6% implied odds) or better, at a 2% edge compared to my projection (+135, or 42.6% implied odds).

I don't see value on either side of the total. I expect this bout to end inside the distance 50% of the time (+100 implied odds).

However, I do see value in Hill to win via decision (projected +199, listed +225), and I think you can justify a wager on Dern via submission (projected +200, listed +180 at FanDuel) given the stylistic nature of the matchup, and regardless of my number.

I felt there were pretty apparent wagers to place on this fight – either backing Hill on the moneyline or via decision, or playing Dern via submission or inside the distance. While that made it an easy fight to handicap, it is equally tricky to bet – and to choose the correct winning method among the potential recommendations.

While backing Hill, I relied on the projections to place my bet; I was leaning toward Dern inside the distance before running the numbers.

The Pick: Angela Hill (+150 at WynnBet) 

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