UFC Vegas 54 Predictions & Parlay: Jan Blachowicz vs Aleksandar Rakic

UFC Vegas 54 prop picks and parlay for Saturday's card. MMA analyst and handicapper, Dan Tom, breaks down his best bets for UFC Vegas 54, as well as his analysis of the main event, Jan Blachowicz vs Aleksandar Rakic.
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UFC Vegas 54 Predictions & Parlay: Jan Blachowicz vs Aleksandar Rakic

With the UFC swinging fast into 2022, we here at Oddschecker will be looking to have you covered when it comes to betting on MMA. As a longtime martial arts analyst and gambler, I'll be providing you with everything from technical analysis to my favorite lines in the form of parlays, props, and more for upcoming fight cards. Here are my picks, prediction, and the complete odds for UFC Vegas 54.

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Main event: Jan Blachowicz (+165) vs. Aleksandar Rakic (-190)

Jan Blachowicz vs Aleksandar Rakic

The main event for UFC Vegas 54 features an intriguing matchup at light heavyweight between Jan Blachowicz (+165) and Aleksandar Rakic (-190).

Although I'm usually one to back a proven veteran at underdog odds, I find myself reluctantly leaning toward the favorite in this spot. Blachowicz offers up the leg and bodywork that has troubled Rakic in the past, but I'm not sure if the former champion can keep pace with a bigger and more youthful athlete.

For that reason, I'll slightly side with Rakic to utilize his underrated wrestling en route to edging out a win on the scorecards. But as far as gambling on this fight goes, this is definitely "dog or pass" territory.

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UFC Parlay Pick

1 Unit Parlay: Ion Cutelaba (-225), Virna Jandiroba (-190)

2-Leg Parlay @ +120 (Bet $100 to win $120)

As I always say, parlaying is a madman's game in MMA. That said, I'd be lying if I told you that I didn't dabble in them for fun (keyword fun). This week, I decided to go with a chalk pairing that could produce a decent plus number on the payout.

For my first leg, I elected to go with Ion Cutelaba (-225), who faces Ryan Spann (+185).

Ion Cutelaba vs Ryan Spann

Despite being a big fan of the camp the Spann trains out of, he's proven to be an unreliable fighter past the first round with a suspect chin to boot. Cutelaba may be a bit of a wildman at heart, but the Maldovan fighter has shown solid growth and discipline since working with the Xtreme Couture team in Las Vegas.

With that in mind, I'll side with Cutelaba to finish his American counterpart inside the distance.

For my second leg, I decided to back Virna Jandiroba (-190) in a strawweight showdown opposite Angela Hill (+160).

Even though I hate picking against such a likable fighter like Hill, I can't help but side with Jandiroba in this spot. Not only has Hill traditionally been troubled by grapplers/grappling attacks, but Jandiroba is a world champion level Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who appears to be very durable on the feet.

Add in the fact that this fight will be taking place in the smaller octagon, and I also sprinkled on Jandiroba to get it done by submission at +275 (.37-units) in an attempt to bolster this parlay leg with a potential bonus.

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UFC Prop Play

1 unit - Underdog play: Frank Camacho +106 (Bet $100 to win $106)

Although money has been coming in on Frank Camacho (+106) all week, the 31-fight veteran still stands as one of my favorite underdogs this weekend.

Frank Camacho vs Manuel Torres

Camacho welcomes UFC newcomer, Manuel Torres (-126), who is a product of Dana White's Contender Series. The popular program has undeniably produced some solid talent over the years, but I find pleasure in trying to parse out the hype jobs and cheap labor that arguably take up a large part of the pool.

Torres, to his credit, does appear to have some solid striking skills and finishing abilities, but still lacks experience against quality competition (as the Mexican fighter was basically signed off of a fight-winning foul in the first round). This is another matchup that makes no sense, as I'll gladly back a rested and refreshed Camacho to survive the initial storms and serve up a classic "vet lesson" down the stretch.

Regardless of what you're betting, good luck and bet responsibly, my friends!

And if you'd like more of my analysis, feel free to check out my weekly show, The Protect Ya' Neck Podcast.

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MMA analyst for MMAJunkie, USA TODAY Sports, and OddsChecker US.

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