UFC Vegas 15 Predictions and Underdog Best Bets
UFC Vegas 15 Picks and Underdog Best Bets: Taking place this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main event features former heavyweight title challenger Derrick Lewis battling Curtis Blaydes.
From a betting perspective, the biggest favorite on the UFC Vegas 15 card is Curtis Blaydes at -345 I do see value on Derrick Lewis at +285, however, he won’t be a play I recommend here (via WilliamHill).
Anthony Smith vs. Devin Clark Odds
Smith (33-16) will be looking for his first win since June 2019 after dropping back-to-back fights. The 32-year-old is coming off a decision loss to Aleksandar Rakic in August at UFC Fight Night. The Factory X product will look to avoid three-straight losses for the first time since Dec. 2013.
Clark (12-4) heads into this contest off two-straight victories, including a unanimous decision victory over previously undefeated Alonzo Menifield at UFC 250 in June. The 30-year-old has gone 6-4 in the Octagon, with two of those losses coming against light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz and contender Aleksandar Rakic.
Smith is the rightful favorite in this fight as I believe he’s the better fighter on paper, however, I do see value on Clark at +130. While Smith has a clear edge inexperience, he’s taken a ton of unnecessary punishment this year, especially in the Glover Teixiera fight where his teeth were knocked out. Many pundits including myself believe Smith once again is coming back too soon and should have taken more time off from his most recent losses. Meanwhile, Clark is coming in here fresh off two pivotal wins and has the added bonus of training with Jon Jones, who defeated Smith last year at UFC 235.
If Clark can get on Smith early and take him out of his element (similar to the Rakic fight) then he absolutely can win this fight. My pick will still be with Smith as I believe he’s the better overall fighter, however, there is plenty of value on Clark at this price.
Luke Sanders vs. Nate Maness Odds
Sanders (13-3) competes for the first time since Feb. 2019 when he battles Maness on the prelims. “Cool Hand” was slated to fight Chris Gutierrez in August however pulled out of the fight with his fiancee’s going into labor close to fight time. The 34-year-old has gone 3-3 in the Octagon and will be looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since Jan. 2016
Nate Maness (12-1) is coming off a successful UFC debut where he defeated Johnny Munoz Jr. by decision ta UFC Fight Night in August. The 29-year-old quit his full-time roofing job after the matchup and focussed entirely on training during this camp.
While Sanders is the more proven fighter between the two, having six fights in the Octagon, the layoff is a concern. In addition, Maness will have a height and reach advantage in this matchup and could look even better now training full time. For that reason, I do see value on Maness at +115.
Kai Kamaka III vs. Jonathan Pearce Odds
Kamaka III (8-2) steps up on short notice replacing Sean Woodsen against Pearce on the preliminary portion of the card. The 25-year-old is riding a six-fight win streak, including a unanimous decision victory over Tony Kelley at UFC 252 in his promotional debut. Kamaka will be looking for his first stoppage victory since Aug. 2014.
Pearce (9-4) will be looking for his first UFC victory after dropping his promotional debut against Jou Lauzon at UFC Boston, where he was finished in the first round. Prior to that setback, the 28-year-old was on a five-fight win streak, with all of those victories coming by way of stoppage.
I expect Kamaka to win this fight, however, the line is way off and I see value on Pearce as the +280 underdog. For starters, Kamaka will be moving up a weight class for this bout and Pearce will have a height/reach advantage in the matchup. While the loss to Lauzon couldn’t have gone any worse, people forget that Lauzon was the hometown fighter in that matchup and it’s possible the UFC jitters could have got to JSP in the bout. Kamaka has only been finished once in his career and is extremely durable, however, if Pearce can utilize his frame, it’s possible he comes away with a decision in this one.