UFC 287 predictions, odds, best bets: Alex Pereira, Adrian Yanez among top picks to consider

It’s almost time for another big UFC pay-per-view and that means the action at the sports betting windows is heating up. Saturday’s UFC 287 card features plenty of intriguing action, though no fight draws attention from the middleweight championship rematch between Israel Adesanya and champ Alex Pereira.

Pereira picked up a late TKO win when they met at UFC 281 in November to become champion. Pereira also owns two wins over Adesana in the kickboxing cage, including a huge knockout win in their second kickboxing matchup. Adesanya will now set out to rewrite the history of their rivalry by finally toppling his rival and becoming champion once again.

The co-main event also features some familiar names, with a pair of former welterweight title challengers going head-to-head as Gilbert Burns takes on Jorge Masvidal. Burns is a strong favorite to claim victory, but Masvidal has already shocked the world and will be looking to score an upset in front of fans in his hometown of Miami.

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As always, we’re waiting for the event to determine our picks for the best bets for each fight on the main pay-per-view card. UFC 296 slowed our strong start to the year with our picks going 2-3, our first losing event of the year, taking our overall record to 13-7 over the first three UFC pay-per-view events. .

Let’s take a look at our picks for the best UFC 287 main card bets with odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

Raul Rosas Jr vs. Christian Rodriguez

Less than 2.5 turns (-125)

The price here feels like a steal and I’m tempted to play under 1.5 spins at +170 and that’s certainly worth a little play, but under 2.5 is a bit safer. In 16 fights combined, Rosas and Rodriguez have gone to the dash three times. Neither man was stopped in their caregiver, but it is a product of the level of the previous competition. They are finishers and finishers, so put your money behind that line of thinking.

Kevin Holland vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio

Struggle not to go the distance (-135)

It’s a tough fight to call. Holland took a serious beating against Stephen Thompson in his last outing. Holland suffered the kind of punishment in this fight that can dramatically change a career, or he can bounce back well. It is a great unknown who arrives on Saturday. At 36 years old and with 35 fights under his belt, Ponzinibbio has certainly seen better days, but still retains his knockout power. Between the finishing skills of both men and the flaws and responsibilities at play on both sides, a finish looks very much in play.

Rob Font vs. Adrian Yanez

Adrian Yanez (-190) vs. Rob Font

This fight is a little nifty bit of matchmaking. Font has established his place in the UFC, sitting just a little below the top tier of the division. Yanez needs a step up in the competition and that’s a big step. At some point, Yanez’s durability isn’t going to hold up and his shuffling style to land big counters will get him caught. Absorbing around 5.5 strikes per minute while landing 6.5 is not a long term recipe for success. For now, it’s working for Yanez and Font lacks Yanez’s ability to absorb strikes unaffected. Yanez should be able to get the job done here with his counters.

Gilbert Burns vs. Jorge Masvidal

Less than 2.5 turns (-135)

Things don’t look good for Masvidal heading into this fight. Burns is a formidable adversary from a stylistic point of view. Masvidal finds himself in another situation where he has to find a way to land a big shot that does real damage. To get there, he must manage Burns’ own power on the feet while preventing Burns from taking him to the mat and dominating the fight. If Burns wins he’s likely to be dominant and that should lead to a great finish. If Masvidal wins, it will almost certainly be by stoppage. Speaking to the ‘Morning Kombat’ team, Burns said he’s aiming for a big finish, adding a few more reasons to believe the price is right here.

Alex Pereira (c) vs. Israel Adesanya

Alex Pereira winner via KO, TKO or DQ (+190)

It makes sense to roll with Adesanya here. Looking back at their previous three fights across kickboxing and MMA, Adesanya has taken over the majority of that split fight time. Adesanya arguably deserved the decision in the first kickboxing bout, won the rematch before a brutal knockout from Pereira and won again in the UFC cage before Pereira was stopped. It’s just a couple where most of the fight doesn’t matter because Pereira has a really special power. Could Adesanya fight smarter and safer this time around, perhaps using more takedowns to knock Pereira out of his element? Of course. But Pereira’s kicking is a huge factor, as Adesanya admitted after their UFC fight. The odds are what they are for a reason, but why go against history? Pereira has Adesanya’s number. It’s that simple.

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