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UFC 289 Best Bets: Top UFC Picks on DraftKings Sportsbook for UFC 289

Tim Finnegan gives his top picks on DraftKings Sportsbook for UFC 289.

UFC 289 is taking place on Saturday from Vancouver, Canada, and the main event is a women’s bantamweight title bout between Amanda Nunes and Irene Aldana. Nunes was originally scheduled to face Julianna Peña in a trilogy fight, but Peña was forced to withdraw, which resulted in Aldana entering as the replacement.

The co-main event is a highly anticipated fight between former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush. The winner of this fight is a strong candidate to become the next challenger for the lightweight title.

At UFC 285 in March, a DraftKings Sportsbook bettor had a legendary win, turning just $1 into nearly $400,000 with a UFC Parlay Bet. The bettor placed a $1 Parlay Bet on DraftKings Sportsbook featuring the following six picks at +39947171 odds:

  • Dricus Du Plessis to Win by KO/TKO/DQ in Round 2
  • Cody Garbrandt To Win By Decision
  • Bo Nickal to Win by Submission in Round 1
  • Shavkat Rakhmonov to Win by Submission in Round 3
  • Alexa Grasso to Win by Submission in Round 4
  • Jon Jones To Win By Submission

As a result of all of these outcomes hitting in the Parlay Bet, the bettor took home $399,472.71 in one of the greatest wins in sports betting history. Read more about the big parlay hit here!

DraftKings is hosting a big fantasy UFC 289 tournament that pays out $600,000 in total prizes, including $200,000 to first place. Enter the contest for only $25 here.

UFC 289 Picks

Parlay Bet:

Amanda Nunes to win

Charles Oliveira to win

Parlay odds: +195

Same Game Parlay (SGP):

Amanda Nunes vs. Irene Aldana

Amanda Nunes Moneyline (3 Way)

Amanda Nunes Most Significant Strikes

Amanda Nunes Most Knockdowns

SGP odds: +200

Editor’s note: A “Significant Strike” is any strike landed at distance, plus power strikes in the clinch and on the ground.

Amanda Nunes is one of the most talented fighters in the history of women’s MMA and was widely considered to be the greatest women’s fighter in UFC history heading into her first fight against Julianna Peña. However, a shocking upset loss to Peña where Nunes closed as a massive -1000 favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook has reduced some of the aura of invincibility around her.

In the first Peña fight, Nunes struggled badly with a dipping jab from Peña, which stunned Nunes. In response to getting constantly peppered with a stinging dipping jab, Nunes began aggressively chasing the knockout and took more damage while gassing out, allowing Peña to take down and submit an exhausted Nunes. Nunes’ loss to Peña was one of the most stunning upsets in UFC history, which is supported by her closing line of roughly -1000.

Nunes successfully bounced back from her shocking upset loss to Peña in an immediate rematch. In the Peña rematch, Nunes countered Peña’s dipping jab by switching to a southpaw stance, which allowed Nunes to check and smother Peña’s lead hand, shutting down her jab. Nunes then used her advantages in power and offensive grappling to dominate the fight, winning a decision and recording a 10-8 round on multiple scorecards. Nunes recorded three knockdowns, six takedowns, 13 minutes of control time and 126 total strikes, which shows the type of volume and power she is capable of generating.

Nunes is among the hardest strikers in women’s MMA history and has solid grappling statistics on a rate basis, averaging almost three takedowns per 15 minutes with a control time percentage of 36%. Nunes has also logged the second-most control time in the history of the women’s bantamweight division. This gives Nunes multiple paths to victory—she can win via power striking on the feet or by takedowns and offensive grappling.

Nunes’ opponent, Irene Aldana, has absorbed more strikes than she has landed, which is a red flag in her striking metrics. Aldana has absorbed nearly six significant strikes per minute, which is an elevated rate. Absorbing a lot of strikes against a fighter who hits as hard as Nunes does is not a recipe for success. Nunes should be able to comfortably win this fight, and Nunes is in a good position to record the most significant strikes. Nunes’ power punching also makes her a knockdown threat when she lands clean.

Pairing Nunes in a Parlay Bet with Charles Oliveira is another way to get plus-money action. Oliveira enters his fight against Beneil Dariush as the underdog on DraftKings Sportsbook, but Oliveira appears to be undervalued in the betting odds.

Oliveira has only lost one fight since December 2017, going 11-1 with 10 finishes over that stretch. The only fight Oliveira lost was against reigning lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, who is one of the top fighters in the sport and is currently ranked third in the pound-for-pound rankings. Oliveira finished several elite fighters during his winning streak, including Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler, who all rank in the top five in the UFC lightweight rankings. Beneil Dariush has not faced the same degree of elite competition that Oliveira has faced, which gives Oliveira a tougher strength of schedule.

Oliveira holds the record for most finishes in UFC history with 19. Oliveira also holds the record for most wins via submission in UFC history with 16. Oliveira is a BJJ black belt and uses his jiu jitsu for potent offense, actively hunting submissions during his fights, even when he has his opponent hurt from strikes. Oliveira has also developed good striking. Oliveira most notably showcased his striking progression in his title fight win over Michael Chandler—Oliveira landed a beautiful left hook that stunned Chandler and set up the finishing combination to win the title.

Oliveira also knocked down Justin Gaethje with a strong right hand, which set up the fight-finishing rear-naked choke.

Dariush’s chin can be had. Dariush has been finished multiple times—all four of Dariush’s career losses are finishes, including three via KO/TKO. Two of these finishes were brutal knockouts where Dariush was out cold, so there is an avenue for a finish if Oliveira connects on the button. We could see Oliveira finish this fight via strikes or hurt Dariush with strikes before hunting a finish on the ground.

To place a UFC Same Game Parlay (SGP):

  1. Find a fight that has the SGP icon in the left corner.
  2. Click the SGP icon. Once you click the SGP icon, all available bets will appear.
  3. Build your Same Game Parlay. Combine multiple bets from one fight. The more bets you combine, the more you can win.
  4. Place your parlay. Add your Same Game Parlay to your bet slip, enter your wager amount, and submit your bet.

Learn more about SGPs at the DraftKings Sportsbook SGP page!

Place your UFC bets at DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests. The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups.