UFC 287: Three Best Moneyline Bets
UFC 287: THREE BEST MONEYLINE BETS – UFC 287 should be a terrific card that shows a lot of value both at the top and through the undercard. I’ve made my predictions for Pereira vs. Adesanya 2 here and Trent has you covered with this best prop bets for the main event.
Now it’s time to turn our attention to the undercard for UFC 287 Three Best Moneyline Bets.
Gerald Meerschaert (35-15) vs Joe Pyfer (10-2)
Looking to string together a winning streak, if he can get his hand raised this weekend, Meerschaert is fresh off of pulling another upset as a +250 underdog.
Meerschaert has made a career of forcing people to rip up their parlay tickets, because he comes through as an underdog so often. In his last four fights that he was an underdog, he won three times. One of those included pulling the upset as a +440 underdog.
Coming into his 51st fight, you can point to his experience and ability to endure adversity as to why he is getting his hand raised. His striking game mainly consists of kicks from distance. He loves to pressure his opponents so he can take over later on in fights where he utilizes his submission game to finish his opponents. He currently holds the record amongst UFC middleweights for more submission victories (9).
Pyfer Hype Train
Pyfer is still riding the hype that he brought from the Contender Series after his thunderous second round knockout to earn his contract to the big show.
He made good on his UFC debut back in December when he disposed of Alen Amedovski. He originally started as a grappler through the first half of his career. However, after breaking his arm in his first Contender Series shot back in 2020, he returned mainly with a striking heavy approach.
His hand speed and power has translated pretty well, but I question his ability to do that against higher levels of competition.
Don’t Buck This Trend
This is a prime spot where many bettors get burnt by the prospect taking a step up in competition.
There isn’t a huge problem in that, the problem comes when you are tackling these positions long term with the prospect as a favorite. There are many times where they fumble the bag and were not prepared for the big step up in competition.
That’s what I suspect will happen this weekend. We’ve seen Pyfer blow his wad in the past and be forced to tap out to a much lesser opponent. Meerschaert will put the pressure on him from the jump and if Meerscchaert can survive the early knockout threat, Pyfer is in big trouble.
The Pick: Gerald Meerschaert +165
Rob Font (19-6) vs Adrian Yanez (16-3)
Riding a tumultuous two-fight losing streak, Font is hoping to get back in the win column this weekend.
At 35-years-old, Font has limited time left competing at the highest level of the sport, especially being at a lower weight class. His volume-style has been difficult for a lot of fighters to deal with. Unfortunately, he has been getting clipped and hurt repeatedly in his previous two fights.
He showed great poise and confidence in his five round fight against Cody Garbrandt, a fighter that was a big knockout threat, but he couldn’t do the same against Jose Aldo or Marlon Vera. Even though he out-struck those two fighters on numbers, he was eating too many impactful shots in return that the judges favored over his volume.
His jab is a thing of beauty and the way he sets up the rest of his game behind it is even more impressive. Young fighters would learn a lot from Font’s jab and how to facilitate your offense with that basic strike.
A Real Test for Yanez
Coming in as the hot prospect who has won his first five UFC fights, Yanez takes on his toughest test to date this weekend. Yanez has finished four of the five opponents he’s faced in the Octagon thus far, just showcasing how talented this kid is.
People say he reminds them of a young Jorge Masvidal, and it’s hard to shake that comparison given his performances. He throws in slick combinations, maintains his distance well, has some solid striking defense to avoid most of his opponent’s strikes.
The level of his ground game is yet to be determined as opponents have had no success with dragging him to the mat. The most recent example we have of him dealing with a grapple-heavy approach was his last loss to Miles Johns on the regional scene back in 2018.
It was a split decision loss for Yanez, but you have to believe he has been diligently working on that aspect of his game as most would expect it’s the weakest part of his game.
Hot Prospect or Salty Vet?
Similar to the previous fight I spoke about, this is another hot prospect vs. tested veteran fight. There are a few more of these sprinkled throughout the card to keep an eye on.
The most adversity we’ve seen Yanez face was against Costa. He struggled with the consistent output and jab that was being stuck in his face.
He looked like he had no idea what to do about it. Luckily for him, Costa is horrible with his gas tank and started to fade after four minutes of pure success. At that point Yanez took over. Unfortunately for Yanez, he won’t have the luxury of his opponent gassing out in this fight, as Font has some of the best cardio in the UFC.
There’s a reason he can get up into the mid to higher 100s of significant strikes landed. All thanks to his jab. As long as Font’s durability hasn’t completely fallen off a cliff, he should be able to get his jab going and frustrate Yanez, then counter the frustrated attacks coming back his way. This is a great line for a fighter that has the perfect style to give Yanez fits.
The Pick: Rob Font +160
Gilbert Burns (21-5) vs Jorge Masvidal (35-16)
After going through a three-round war with Khamzat Chimaev and coming out on the losing end last year, Burns triumphantly returned to the cage in January when he made quick work of Neil Magny.
He was able to ground him without much issue and find the submission quickly thereafter. Burns came into the UFC mainly known for his high-level submission game, but, under the guidance of Henry Hooft and the Kill Cliff FC coaching staff, he has upgraded his striking game a good deal.
He still has some technical shortcomings, but he’s found a way to weaponize the power that he possesses in his strikes. It’s clear, though, that the safest and best way for him to get his hand raised is by taking fights to the ground.
Within his last four fights we’ve seen him come up short in the striking game against three of those opponents. Getting knocked out by Usman, lost round two to Thompson (which took place entirely on the feet), and got dropped by Chimaev (who is still working on the technical aspects of his own striking game).
He’s a very solid fighter, but I feel some may have gotten a little too far ahead of themselves with where his talent level is amongst the top 10 in the division.
Masviadal’s Recent L’s
Coming into this bout, Masvidal is riding a career-worst three fight losing streak.
I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and a pass because those three losses have come against two of the top three fighters at welterweight, no doubt.
The wrestling, pace, and pressure of Usman and Covington has ruled the top of this division for a long time now, Masvidal was just one of the victims that had to deal with it.
I think if Masvidal was given a striker or at least someone with a less impressive gas tank or wrestling game, he would be more likely to have gotten his hand raised within his last three fights. He is still a top notch striker.
He sets traps very well, fights from both stances very effectively, and has a plethora of experience under his belt to lean on. Not to mention, the level of his grappling has improved a good bit during the training camps he had preparing for Usman and Covington over the last 2.5 years.
Styles Make Fights
Styles make fights. That is saying you hear often when people are breaking down fights. That could not be any truer than with this matchup.
When I saw Masvidal as the big underdog, I thought people were going crazy. I then started thinking I was going crazy. However, after running the film and research, I concluded it was everyone else that was crazy.
Sure, you can make Burns the favorite just given both of the runs they are both on recently.
However, Burns does not have the cardio, pace, or volume that Usman and Covington present. Burns does not have the output that Covington had that kept Masvidal more on the defensive.
Masvidal’s takedown defense has been tuned up a lot over the last couple of years and if he can keep this fight in the striking realm, I think he will pick apart Burns. Burns has solid power, but Masvidal has him beat in technique.
I think if Burns sells out for takedowns, he will slow down and exert his gas tank. As this fight gets deeper, I think Masvidal turns up the heat and finds a finish in the latter half of this fight. Burns is dangerous, don’t get me wrong, but his current price tag is an absolute joke.
Lastly, Masvidal is fighting in front of his hometown. If there is anything that will inspire you to prepare and fight to the best of your abilities, it would be just that.