First off, I want to start by saying that for a PPV card, this is pretty sad. I think the UFC could have done a much better job beefing up this card with such a good main and co-main event. Regardless there is money to be made and they beefed up the tournaments on DraftKings so that has me excited. There are 12 fights this week so ownership will be less spread out than last week so keep that in mind when building lineups.
$8.5K Tanner Boser vs $7.7K Giacomo Lemos
We have a heavyweight bout kicking off the early preliminary action as local Canadian, Tanner Boser is coming in as a small favorite against Giacomo Lemos. To be honest, I don’t think either fighter is that good but Boser is the favorite here because of his experience as Lemos only has six professional fights. I don’t have a strong lean here but this fight is (-230) not to go to decision so we should be looking to get some action on this fight. Lemos is the bigger fighter and has legit power and has finished all six of his wins before the bell. Boser will need to use his experience and advantage on the mat before getting clipped with Lemos power shots. I like the price on Lemos and if he wins it is most likely coming by knockout which will score well so I’ll have more exposure to him and hope that he can pull it off although I’m not too confident. Lemos by TKO is my official pick.
$8K Erik Koch vs $8.2K Kyle Stewart
This fight is another one that I’m not sold on either fighter’s skill level. That being said, I feel like I have more of a lean in this one despite the Vegas line being a true pick em fight. I like Kyle Stewart. He’s a former Marine and a tough fighter but he’s just not super talented. He struggles to defend takedowns and doesn’t have the best fight IQ either. He lost his UFC debut to our boy Chance Rencountre back in January where he was submitted in the first round. That is the concern here as Koch is a brown belt in BJJ and should look to use that advantage in this one. Stewart has some power and Koch has been knocked out a few times so he should look to take this fight to the mat. I expect he does and I think he gets a submission or at the very least has enough control time to earn a decision. Koch by submission is my official pick.
$8.6K Gillian Robertson vs $7.6K Sarah Frota
I’m very excited for this matchup as we have too good grapplers that are set to square off here. Frota is coming off her UFC debut split-decision loss to Livinha Souza. She is a black belt in BJJ and she is likely to be a popular underdog pick in this one. Robertson, on the other hand, has submission wins in three of her four UFC fights and is a purple belt in BJJ. She also trains at American Top Team which is a much better camp as well. This fight as a whole is (-265) not to go to decision and with the affordable prices on both fighters, the winner is very likely to end up on the optimal lineup. I’ll be targeting both fighters for that reason and because they both have the grappling upside. My pick is Robertson by submission but I’ll have exposure to both.
$8.3K Alexandre Pantoja vs $7.9K Deiveson Figueiredo
Here is another strong fight to target in the mid-range as we have an exciting matchup in the flyweight division. Pantoja is coming in as a slight favorite here with a three fight win streak and a first-round KO win back in April. Figueiredo on the other hand, suffered his first loss to the hands of Formiga back in March where he just couldn’t get anything going. That being said, he has big power for this weight division as three of his four UFC victories have ended by knockout. That is his best path to victory here is to keep this fight standing and land some power shots on Pantoja. It’s not going to be easy though as Pantoja has a decent chin and has never been knocked out. Pantoja should look to use the blueprint from the Formiga fight and take this fight to the ground. If he wrestles and wins the grappling exchanges then he can minimize the power of Figueiredo after he gasses. It basically comes down to who will be able to execute their game plan and I’m leaning towards Pantoja although it’s possible Figueiredo gives him his first knockout. I’ll be targeting both fighters quite a bit but my official pick is Pantoja by decision.
$8.4K Gavin Tucker vs $7.8K Seungwoo Choi
This is a fight that I won’t be targeting much aside from a few chances on the underdog in the hopes that he gets a knockout. Choi opened as a (+165) underdog but has since moved to just (+100) so money is coming in on him and I agree. I don’t love either fighter but I think Choi should be more aggressive and has the big reach advantage along with the better ITD line even though it isn’t strong at (+300). My guess is that this is a lower scoring decision but with two strikers, it’s possible one of them gets a knockout. It’s just something I’m willing to put a heavy investment in. Choi by decision is my official pick.
$9.3K Hakeem Dawodu vs $6.9K Yoshinori Horie
Dawodu is coming into this fight as a big favorite (-400) and rightfully so. He is coming off back to back wins and facing Horie who will be making his UFC debut. Horie does have some power though as he owns five knockout wins in his own right. The problem with playing Dawodu on DraftKings is that he is just too overpriced. His ITD line is (+116) is solid but not for that price especially when there are other fighters priced around him with better odds to finish. For that reason, I won’t be playing him on DraftKings and am actually more willing take a few shots on Horie in hopes that he can catch Dawodu with a hook and put him down. Dawodu by decision is my official pick.
$7.1K Alexis Davis vs $9.1K Viviane Araujo
Unfortunately, I don’t have much interest in either fighter here. Once again, the price is just too high for a fighter that is likely to go to decision (-190). Above the 9K, I would rank it Holloway, Neal then Cyborg which is why I won’t have any exposure to Dawodu or Araujo. I think Araujo is clearly the better fighter and should win here but I’d be surprised if she did enough in a decision to pay off that price tag which is why I have no interest here. I also have no interest in the underdog here because I think best case scenario is that she survives the full three rounds and maybe puts up 30 points in a loss and there are better underdogs on this card. Araujo by decision in this one.
$7.5K Marc-Andre Barriault vs $8.7K Krzysztof Jotko
Jotko comes into this fight as a small favorite (-165) despite money coming in on the local Canadian, Barriault. I think the winner of this fight should score pretty well in this one which makes me have a lot of interest. On one hand we have the local Canadian in Barriault who isn’t a terrible fighter and does have some power although I believe that’s his only advantage. Jotko is the more technical striker and has a huge advantage if this fight goes to the mat. He is a brown belt in BJJ and I expect him to really focus on landing takedowns and advancing which is good for DraftKings scoring. I think he stays active enough to pay off the price and a submission win here wouldn’t be a surprise. However, he has been having chin issues recently so if Barriault catches him clean then he could go down. That is why I like to have both sides of this one with preference to Jotko. Jotko by submission is my official pick.
$7.4K Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs $8.8K Arman Tsarukyan
This fight is going to be a fun one. Arman Tsarukyan is coming in as a significant favorite here (-210) after opening at (-305). He lost his UFC debut back in April but put on a strong performance that earned the Fight of the Night bonus. He is athletic and a good wrestler with decent grappling skills. The problem is I think this fight should be an even pick em or even have Aubin-Mercier as a slight favorite. Aubin-Mercier is much more tested at the UFC level and is a black belt in BJJ and Judo. I think this is going to be a close fight with many exchanges but I have to favor Aubin-Mercier for the experience. I think he does enough here to get the job done and this fight is (-270) to go to decision so it helps that he has the Canadian ties as well. OAB by decision for me and I like the grappling upside for DraftKings considering his price.
$9K Geoff Neal vs $7.2 Niko Price
Geoff Neal opened up as a (-185) favorite and it has since been steamed to (-345). Make no mistake about it. Someone is getting knocked out in this one and the fight as a whole is (-400) not to go to decision. Price is coming into this fight fresh off a first round knockout and is definitely live in this fight. That being said, Neal has yet to lose in the UFC and just keeps looking better in every fight. Neal has an ITD line of (-215) which is the second best on the entire slate. He is the more aggressive striker and I think he gets the knockout win here so I plan on having heavy exposure to him. I will be having a couple shares of Price though to hedge in case he sparks Neal and gets the win.
$9.6K Cris Cyborg vs $6.6K Felicia Spencer
The co-main event features Cyborg and Felicia Spencer. I always enjoy Cyborg fights as she is usually a heavy favorite and never fails to put on a show. Despite coming off the knockout loss to Amanda Nunes, I expect her to fully dominate this fight and get the knockout. Aside from Nunes, who is the women’s GOAT fighter, Cyborg has rolled through all of her competition in the UFC in dominant fashion. Spencer is coming off her UFC debut where she submitted Anderson in the first round. She has legitimate skills and is a black belt as well but this fight is just too much too soon for her. I understand how some could think the cheap price tag on DraftKings is tempting for a fight that could go five rounds but I really think she gets knocked out here early. That is how the majority of Cyborg fights go and despite Spencer being more talented than a lot of Cyborg’s previous opponents, I think this one ends the same way. Cyborg by KO.
$9.4K Max Holloway vs $6.8K Frankie Edgar
Much respect to the career that Frankie Edgar has had and all that he has accomplished but this is all Max Holloway in this one. Holloway is coming off his first loss in years and that was the decision to Dustin Poirier back in April. Holloway scored 90 points even in that loss and that’s just how active of a fighter he is which makes him DraftKings gold. He has legitimate 150 point upside in this fight and an ITD line of (-165). He is the top overall play on the slate and I’m picking him by knockout in this one.
My DraftKings core:
My favorite bets:
Aubin-Mercier by decision (+300)
Jotko ITD (+280)
Koch ITD (+210)
As always, I will post any Vegas line updates or changes in anything on Twitter @JonKelly22 so feel free to follow me there. Also, if you enjoy reading this, do me a favor and click the thumbs up on this post! Best of luck to everyone playing and enjoy UFC 240!