UFC Vegas 74 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Alex Caceres vs. Daniel Pineda: Bet on Volatility (Saturday, June 3)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC featherweight Daniel Pineda
- Saturday's UFC Vegas 74 co-main event features entertaining vets Alex Caceres vs. Daniel Pineda.
- Rather than betting a side, MMA expert Dan Tom is tapping into the totals market.
- Check below for his Cacares vs Pineda breakdown as he explains why he expects a quick fight.
Alex Caceres vs. Daniel Pineda Odds
Saturday's UFC Vegas 74 co-main event features a fun featherweight fight between fan favorites Alex Caceres and Daniel Pineda.
Caceres, who stormed onto the UFC scene all the way back in 2010 off the heels of the 12th season of The Ultimate Fighter, has found himself on a somewhat surprising career renaissance of sorts, winning six of his last seven fights.
Pineda is also a veteran of the sport who has been finding success later in his career. The 37-year-old Texan is coming off another upset as a big underdog (accounting for one of my many round prop hits this year) and will be looking to upset the applecart opposite Caceres this Saturday.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||11:42||8:03|
|Weight (pounds)||145 lbs.||145.5 lbs.|
|Date of birth||6/20/1988||8/6/1985|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.16||3.32|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.92||3.03|
|Take Down Avg||0.57||1.47|
This matchup between Caceres and Pineda features one of my favorite types of stylistic pairings: a pressure fighter versus a counter striker.
An inherent bull in the china shop, Pineda has little issue when it comes to moving forward.
Pineda has a solid pocket presence and packs power in all of his hooks and crosses. The Texas native also wields wicked-hard leg kicks that he throws with impunity, regardless of stance.
However, it's usually within the grappling realm where Pineda likes to make his money.
Despite being a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who regularly competes, Pineda's aggressive transition game seldom gets the respect it deserves.
Should Pineda get to his game early, then no one should be shocked if "The Pit" is able to make it an early night at the office. That said, Pineda may have to walk through hell if he wants to get close to Caceres.
• Daniel Pineda, who faces southpaw Alex Caceres, is 0-1 opposite UFC-level lefties (Whiteford)
Pineda used body kicks to get Whiteford wrestling early, but Whiteford (as well as Fili) taxed Pineda’s dipping propensities with SP kicks: pic.twitter.com/zhEqT7Fl7C
— Dan Tom (@DanTomMMA) June 1, 2023
A natural counter fighter, Caceres carries all the tools that a southpaw should never leave home without.
Whether Caceres is hitting check hooks or variating his crosses, "Bruce Leeroy" can be a frustrating fighter to track down. And when Caceres is feeling in stride, he isn't shy about sneaking southpaw kicks in with his punches (something that could serve him well this Saturday).
Caceres has also made a concerted effort to improve his grappling in the later stretches of his career.
However, I suspect that Caceres' wrestling will be tested inside the smaller octagon that's used in the UFC Apex.
Caceres vs. Pineda Pick
Considering that I, too, initially came in leaning toward Caceres, I can't blame anyone for favoring him to win this weekend.
Not only is Caceres 5-1 inside of the UFC Apex (as opposed to Pineda's 1-1-1), but Pineda appears to have a hard time with southpaws due to his wrestle-boxing propensity to dip to his power side.
If Pineda isn't able to get to his game quickly and gets stuck in space, then we could see Caceres add another highlight to his reel.
Alex Caceres defeats Julian Erosa via head kick KO at 3:04 of the first round (12/17/22) pic.twitter.com/pgUvSsBIZT
— Squid Vicious MMA (@SquidViciousMMA) May 28, 2023
Nevertheless, I still find myself slightly leaning the other way.
Aside from the fact that the smaller cage typically favors the more dangerous grappler from a stylistic standpoint, persistent pressuring fighters who know what they want have traditionally done very well against Caceres throughout his career.
That said, this fight feels like more of a coin flip than the odds let on, which is why I suggest caution when it comes to taking a hard side here.
Despite riding with Pineda as my pick in the UFC Vegas 74 co-main event, I'll be banking on the stylistic volatility of the matchup and will be playing the "under 1.5 rounds" at plus money.
The bet: Caceres-Pineda under 1.5 rounds (+150 at WynnBET)