MMA Best Bets: Cole's Picks, Odds, Predictions for UFC 276

MMA Best Bets: Cole's Picks, Odds, Predictions for UFC 276

This article is part of our UFC Picks series.

The UFC heads to the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, July 2 for a stacked UFC 276 card with two titles on the line, as Israel Adesanya faces Jared Cannonier, and Alexander Volkanovski takes on Max Holloway in their trilogy bout.

Below I'll share two of my "favorite" plays (I don't love an underdog enough to bet them), a prop and a two-fighter parlay. All odds are via the DraftKings Sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article.

Weight Class: Welterweight

Robbie Lawler (29-15) vs. Bryan Barberena (17-8)

On the main card, I'm taking Robbie Lawler to get past Bryan Barberena, as the former UFC champion should have success in what will be a good style matchup for him.

Barberena is there to be hit, as he absorbs 4.83 significant strikes per minute and barely edged out Matt Brown in his last fight. Lawler, meanwhile, seems revived in his career. He has found his groove on the feet of late, while Barberena has a striking defense of just 45 percent.

Not only can Lawler have success on the feet by landing the heavy shots, he also can mix in the wrestling. Barberena has just 55 percent takedown defense, and the former champ can use his wrestling to help win the rounds.

UFC 276 Bet: Robbie Lawler (-120)

Weight Class: Middleweight

Dricus Du Plessis (16-2) vs. Brad Tavares (19-6)

Dricus Du Plessis gets the toughest test of his career, as he faces Brad Tavares, who is a perennial top-15 contender. I still expect Du Plessis to get his hand raised.

Tavares has won his past two fights, but both Omari Akhmedov and Antonio Carlos Junior aren't in the UFC anymore, and he barely edged them out. On the feet, Du Plessis throws a ton of volume, as he lands 5.07 significant strikes per minute (compared to 3.18 for Taveres).

Although Du Plessis is known as a striker, he is averaging 2.99 takedowns per 15 minutes, so he can also mix in the wrestling to control the fight and win the rounds. Tavares is super durable, but Du Plessis' volume and wrestling will be the difference.

UFC 276 Bet: Dricus Du Plessis (-135)

Weight Class: Women's Flyweight

Maycee Barber (10-2) vs. Jessica Eye (15-10)

Maycee Barber looks to enter the top-10 at flyweight, and she gets an excellent style matchup to do just that. She'll be taking on Jessica Eye, who could very well be fighting for her job.

Eye is on a three-fight losing streak and has struggled as of late, as she is getting picked apart and not throwing enough volume. Barber, meanwhile, does struggle to find her range early, but she can use her strength and wrestling to clinch Eye along the fence. Then, as she finds her range, she will begin to take over.

Barber is a sizeable favorite, so to get better odds, take her by decision. The 24-year-old prospect has won her last two fights by decision, while Eye has only been finished by Valentina Shevchenko, and I can't see Barber being the other fighter to finish her.

UFC 276 Bet: Maycee Barber by decision (-120)

Weight Class: Middleweight & Bantamweight

Israel Adesanya (22-1) vs. Jared Cannonier (15-5)
Sean O'Malley (15-1) vs. Pedro Munhoz (19-7)

For my parlay, I'm taking Israel Adesanya and Sean O'Malley to get their hands raised at UFC 276.

Adesanya is defending his belt against Cannonier, but this is a great style matchup for the champion to emerge victorious in spectacular fashion. Cannonier has one-shot KO power, but he needs to get inside to land it, and he struggled to get inside against Robert Whittaker. Meanwhile, his hands are a little slow. To me, this fight will be very similar to the Adesanya-Paulo Costa one where Adesanya picks him apart and gets a second or third-round TKO.

In the other leg, I'm taking Sean O'Malley to beat Pedro Munhoz. Although Munhoz is the first top-10 opponent O'Malley fights, "Sugar" is getting him at the perfect time. O'Malley will have a seven-inch reach advantage, and he can use his jab to piece up Munhoz and stuff the takedowns. Even if he doesn't get the finish, his striking volume will be too much for Munhoz.

UFC 276 Bet: Adesanya & O'Malley parlay (-143)

 

UFC 276 Best Bets:

Here is a recap of my best UFC picks for this weekend's UFC 276 event:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cole Shelton
Cole Shelton is a full-time sports writer focusing on MMA.
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