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UFC 303 Best Bets

UFC 303 Preview Bets
International Fight Week is upon us with UFC 303. The event is a great night of fights with a plethora of betting opportunities. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

UFC 303 Best Bets

The UFC assembled a great fight card for International Fight Week. It was not the event many expected as the card was shuffled in the lead-up to the event. Still, the card has quite a few fights worth watching. For our purposes today, it also has a few fights ripe with betting value. Here are three of the best bets you can make on UFC 303.

*All lines are taken from DraftKings and are accurate as of 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 28. *

Jiri Prochazka +120

The UFC 303 main event is a closely lined-bout from a betting perspective. Alex Pereira, the UFC light heavyweight champion, is currently a -142 favorite against Jiri Prochazka who is lined as a +120 underdog. I am siding with the underdog.

In rematches, I generally prefer to bet on the younger fighter and the fighter that has more room for improvement. In this fight, those two factors sit with Prochazka. Not to mention, he is the underdog while those factors are present.

Prochazka has a good amount of success in the first fight. Still, he can make improvements. This begins with dealing with leg kicks. Prochazka has to be aware of that threat. In this matchup, he should be better at checking or countering that attack. On top of that, his grappling success in that first matchup may persuade him to offensively grapple more efficiently this time around.

I also like Prochazka’s mindset heading into this fight. The best path to victory against Pereira is to take advantage of his suspect chin and defensive to knock him out. Prochazka is the type of fighter to take the risks required to land the finish. That leaves him open to counters, but it is a risk that has to be taken.

Overall, Prochazka is younger, more durable, has better cardio, and has more places to improve his performance. This all leads me to side with him heading into the rematch. At +120, that makes him one of my favorite bets for UFC 303.

Joe Pyfer ITD +100

The second best bet for UFC 303 is for Joe Pyfer to finish Marc-Andre Barriault. The money line is unappealing as Pyfer sits as a -290 favorite while Barriault is a +235 underdog. I like the favorite, but I am not a fan of laying -290. I’ll take Pyfer to get the finish at +100 instead.

I was on the Pyfer hype train before his loss to Jack Hermansson, but that performance does not dissuade me from picking him in this fight. Pyfer showed some flaws in that performance. That does not mean he cannot win this fight dominantly.

A three-round fight against Barriault is a much different fight than a five-round fight against Hermansson. Pyfer has cardio concerns, but those concerns do not get serious until the fourth round. In this fight, he will have 15 minutes of gas. I am not concerned about that. Furthermore, Barriault is there to be hit. Yes, he is as tough as it gets, but I would never advise someone to eat shots from Pyfer. Despite being durable, Barriault has been finished three times in the UFC.

Pyfer has an underrated ground game as well. A combination of physical strength and legitimate technique makes him a threat to land a submission on the ground. That will not come into play in every performance, but it is a nice tool to have in the back pocket when betting him to win by finish.

Ultimately, I have a hard time seeing Barriault survive for three rounds if he is being hit cleanly. The fact that this is a three-round fight will allow Pyfer to be more aggressive with fewer worries about getting tired. I will gladly bet for Pyfer to get a finish at UFC 303. The -290 favorite has finished every single win of his career. At +100, I’ll bet that trend continues.

Andre Fili vs. Cub Swanson Under 2.5 Rounds -125

The final bet for UFC 303 is the under 2.5 rounds prop in the Andre Fili and Cub Swanson bout. That prop is lined at -125 while the over sits at -105. In my opinion, the under is the best way to attack this fight.

The under in this fight is a combination of multiple factors. I do not trust either fighter’s durability and both have finish upside.

I am not optimistic about Swanson at this point in his career. At 40, his last two losses came by knockout. Fili has the power to add to that run. On the other side, Fili has been knocked out recently. The most recent knockout loss came in February against Dan Ige. This bout is a quick turnaround. I am concerned he is returning too quickly.

At the end of the day, this is two fighters with the ability to finish the fight and the durability to get finished. I will gladly bet the under when those factors are all present. At -122, the under 2.5 rounds is one of my favorite bets for UFC 303.

***

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