DraftKings MMA DFS Picks for UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal

Welcome to the Quick Picks version of UFC 251!

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DraftKings MMA DFS Picks for UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal

Kamaru Usman, 8.9k

The current welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman only costs 8.9k on DraftKings this weekend and our projections indicate he is one of the top overall plays on the slate.

Usman will be fighting Jorge Masvidal, a tough opponent and one who can give him trouble in spots, but Usman has an elite level skill set and will have five rounds to work with on Saturday.

Usman is currently -235 to win, and he has already topped 130 points on DraftKings in his last three victories. MMA is a high-variance sport, but Usman is a good bet for price, and has a very high floor and ceiling this weekend.

Even if he wins a decision, Usman lands strikes and takedowns at a super high rate, and is likely to be competitive with tournament-winning lineups in a victory.

Amanda Ribas, 9.5k

The heaviest favorite and highest priced fighter on the MMA DraftKings slate, Amanda Ribas is -835 to win and costs 9.5k on Saturday.

She’ll be taking on Paige VanZant, who is probably more skilled than the public gives her credit for, but Ribas is one of the top prospects in the sport and has high-level skills both on the feet and on the mat.

Especially on the ground, Ribas is a black belt and will have potential to land takedowns and advance position in this matchup. It may be surprising to hear, but Ribas is not projected to be extremely popular this weekend, even with her odds.

There are three championship favorites priced below Ribas, as well as some other big names, and it’s simply difficult to spend up all the way to the top.

Ribas has scored 100 and 95 points in two of her three UFC victories, and offers legitimate upside in her matchup this weekend. She’ll make for a fine target in cash games and a strong contrarian option in tournaments, if you have the extra salary to spend.

Max Holloway, 7.1k

One of the best Featherweights of all-time, Max Holloway lost his belt in 2019 to Alexander Volkanovski, and the two will rematch Saturday for the title once again.

Holloway is a big underdog this time, he’s only +185 to win and is priced down on DraftKings because of it at 7.1k. He still has tremendous upside, even in a loss, as he has still landed 6.66 significant strikes per minute throughout his UFC career.

Holloway actually scored 67 points in his loss during the first fight, which would be a quality score Saturday again. Projections indicate he has even more upside than that, and will absolutely crush the slate if he happens to pull off an upset.

Expect Holloway to be popular on Saturday, but he’s a great value play if you need to save some salary, and is still considered one of the top MMA DraftKings on the board.

Raulian Paiva, 8.7k

There are many elite fighters on the DraftKings MMA slate this weekend, and it is very difficult to narrow down the player pool.

One of my least favorite high-priced options is Raulian Paiva, who comes in at 8.7k and will very likely need a finish inside the distance to end up on the optimal lineup. He’s capable of it, but fighting a tough debuting opponent named Zhalgas Zhamagulov.

Paiva is -180 to win which is strong, but he’s only +300 to win ITD. The odds are strong that this fight goes the full three rounds, and I fear Paiva won’t land enough significant strikes or takedowns to top 90-95 points in a decision.

For that reason, I will be very light on Paiva on this slate.

More MMA DFS Picks for UFC 251

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About the Author

  • Brett Appley (bbbomb)

  • One of the top MMA minds in the DFS industry, Brett Appley a.k.a bbbomb has been writing his weekly “Beat Down” article for RotoGrinders since the sport launched on DraftKings in 2015. Brett has earned multiple Top 10 rankings in MMA since that time and has taken down a handful of tournaments as well.

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