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NY Post
New York Post
8 Apr 2023

NextImg:UFC 287 predictions: Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira among picks, best bets

UFC 287 kicks off live from Miami, Florida, on Saturday night with a rematch between Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title.

Getting into our UFC 287 predictions and picks, it’s not my favorite for betting like UFC 286 was.

But we still have three fight breakdowns but no parlay, so bet responsibly.

The card begins at 6 p.m. ET. on UFC Fight Pass with the early prelims and the traditional prelims at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The final five fights will take place on PPV beginning at 10 p.m. ET.

Odds: (-136/+116)

What a tough fight to handicap

Adesanya comes in as a slight favorite, despite Peteira having beat him twice in kickboxing and then for the title in November.

Israel Adesanya of Nigeria is interviewed during the UFC 287 ceremonial weigh-in
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

A few things to take into account before betting this one.

As for this fight, Adesanya preparing for a grappling-heavy approach against Pereira is terrifying to me as a bettor.

Why he would change his entire game plan that made him the UFC middleweight champion is far from ideal.

Getting a guy that is much stronger and bigger to the mat can be exhausting if your muscles aren’t used to the grueling nature of grappling.

Moreover, Pereira has been training in MMA for a very short amount of time.

To expect him not to get better at grappling defense or even grappling offense is foolish.

UFC 287 predictions and picks

Alex Pereira gets fired up after his final face-off with Israel Adesanya
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

This fight could be a carbon copy of his previous matchup with Pereira, winning the most minutes followed by a cardio dump and eventually, a TKO when he is backed up against the cage.

Another potential outcome is Pereira using his excellent switch knee up the middle as Adesanya shoots for a takedown.

Remember, Adesanya’s takedowns were only one for four and Pereira has been training with wrestling savant Glover Teixeira.

I am taking the underdog here, who did substantially more damage in their November match and it’s tough to trust Adesanya’s grappling.

The best line on Pereira’s moneyline is +116 on FanDuel, but feel free to target Pereira wins in over 1.5 rounds at +205 or better on PointsBet and BetRivers.

Odds: (-490/+380)

Jorge “Game Bred” Masvidal claims to be the king of Miami.

Will he be able to defend his hometown crown?

He has a tough fight against title contender Gilbert Burns and is a massive underdog this evening.

On the surface, this line would seem to be disrespectful towards Masvidal but I have a lot of questions about his life outside the training room and his business dealings which are extensive.

Burns has been training as hard as ever, consistently entering and winning competitions against the crème de la crème on the grappling scene.

Gilbert Burns of Brazil and Jorge Masvidal face off during the UFC 287 ceremonial weigh-in

Gilbert Burns of Brazil and Jorge Masvidal face off during the UFC 287 ceremonial weigh-in
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Masvidal will probably have one round where he specifically lives to win but after that, we have seen his gas tank really fall apart.

With that, target over 1.5 rounds at -185 on BetMGM or better for your parlays as I believe Masvidal will be competitive early but likely wilt in the second and third rounds.

As for a long shot, Burns wins in round three is +1200 on FanDuel, by far the best line on the market. That is comfortably worth a bet down to +900.

Odds: (+163/-188)

Remember that controversial fight-fixing scandal that saw an FBI investigation target coach James Krause?

Well the beneficiary of that fight, Shayilan Nuerdanbieke, is back competing against Steve Garcia.

This is essentially a “curtain jerker” fight that kicks off the early prelims.

But Nuerdanbieke is far from a fighter that anyone should be laying nearly -200 on.

The fighter of Chinese descent is far from a finisher and mostly attempts to grapple and control his way to victory.

But that fighting style is not rewarded by judges anymore.

Garcia should be the far more active striker and has finishing upside.

No prop on this one, just back the moneyline at +163 on Bet365.