UFC 273 Best Bets: Cash in with Khamzat Chimaev
UFC 273 Best Bets: Cash in with Khamzat Chimaev
The long-awaited pay-per-view event will take place just over 24 hours from now. Every fighter has made weight except for Kay Hansen, who will forfeit a percentage of her purse as a consequence. The world is waiting to see if Aljamain Sterling can defend his title against interim champion Petr Yan after the famous illegal knee that gave Sterling the belt a year ago. This card is stacked with good matchups and good lines to go along with them. So what are the best money-making plays for tomorrow night?
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Khamzat Chimaev by Submission (+300) (Bet $100 to Win $300)
Frankly, this moneyline price on Chimaev is absolutely ridiculous. I realize the hype behind Khamzat Chimaev (10-0) is well-grounded, but Gilbert Burns (20-4) is one of the scariest fighters at welterweight currently and is a massive step up in competition compared to Chimaev's previous four bouts. While I expect Chimaev to win, this line is way too high to warrant any thought on the money line, even in a parlay (we took inside the distance in the parlay from yesterday). However, there is an excellent spot with value on this fight, and that is Chimaev to win by submission.
The knockout line is -115, and that honestly surprises me a bit. Chimaev has split his first four bouts with two knockouts and two submissions. I'm sure Chimaev and his coaches are smart enough to realize that Burns is the highest level striker he will have faced up to this point and probably the hardest hitting. Burns was even able to rock Usman early in their title fight, which is impressive considering Usman has never been finished in the promotion. Because of this power, I expect Chimaev to take a grappling/wrestling approach first. Chimaev is one of the best wrestlers in the world right now, and his performances against black-belt Brazilian Jie-Jitsu fighters have been incredible.
Chimaev will also have a size advantage in this fight, with Burns being the shorter and stalkier of the two. Chimaev has used his length to compliment his grappling, and I expect to see this in full effect tomorrow night.
The reason I think Chimaev has more knockouts than submissions at this point is that the level of striking from his opponents hasn't warranted him to wrestle to win, so he hasn't. However, with Chimaev now facing top-ranked fighters, he will have to use more of his arsenal as an MMA fighter. This fact, combined with his size advantage and the power that Burns holds in his hands, leads me to think Chimaev's path to victory lies in a submission. The line is also a lot nicer than laying juice on the knockout prop.
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Ian Garry/Darian Weeks Under 2.5 Rounds (-140) (Bet $140 to Win $100)
Ian Garry (8-0) had a successful UFC debut, but it didn't come without a scare. Williams tagged Garry multiple times and outstruck him 24 to 22 in the first before Garry landed a knockout shot with just one second remaining in the round. Garry left his chin too high and wasn't defensively sound enough in that fight. His second UFC fight will be against Darian Weeks (5-1). Weeks is coming off an absolute war against Bryan Barberena in which he landed 125 strikes and landed four takedowns but ultimately lost via decision.
The reason I like the under here is because of the conflicting styles. Weeks is a high-volume striker, and he is also accurate. If the fight starts the same way for Garry as in his debut, where he kept his chin high and didn't focus on his defense, he could get clipped early. Conversely, If Garry can defend well and settle in, he is the far more dangerous grappler and can find a finish via submission or ground and pound. My guess is the latter, but the former isn't out of the question judging by Garry's debut. Garry has a high level of raw strength, which has accompanied his wrestling and success thus far.
Garry has seen the third round twice in eight fights due to his aggression. Weeks has seen the third round once in six fights due to his accurate hands and high volume. My parlay pick was Garry to win inside the distance, but I am taking the under here as a straight pick as well to cover the chance that Weeks lands that big overhand right shot. Garry does tend to leave his chin high. Either way, I don't think we see the third round in this fight tomorrow night.
Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.