MMA on Fanduel – UFC on ESPN 23: Reyes vs Prochazka (May 1, 2021)

DFS Analysis for Reyes vs Prochazka from The UFC Apex on Fanduel (5/1/21)

The UFC is back in Las Vegas for MMA action at their Apex facility. Here are two plays of my top plays with below average salaries based on their value in DFS contests on Fanduel.

ION CUTELABA (FD $15) – Cutelaba is coming off of consecutive losses. The first was to Magomed Ankalaev, who is a very tough opponent, the second was… ALSO against Ankalaev. In the first fight, referee Kevin MacDonald was the “dope” who fell for Cutelaba’s rope-a-dope when he feigned to be hurt to lure in Ankalaev resulting in what many have called the worst stoppage in UFC history. So, at the very least, one of his losses to Ankalaev needs to be ignored. Prior to that, Cutelaba had gone 3-1 over his previous 4 fights with all wins coming by first round KO/TKO. He will face Dustin Jacoby on Saturday who is 2-0 in the UFC, but his wins have come against the likes of Maxim Grishin (who is 1-2 in the UFC) and Justin Ledet (who has lost his last 4 fights in the octagon).

Caveman’s advice: Cutelaba is a boom/bust play, but he is the favorite on Saturday against Jacoby. Despite the absurdity of the stoppage against Ankalaev the first time, his stat line reads that he is on a two fight losing streak, and that has undoubtedly altered his odds in this one. I believe he should be a bigger favorite in this matchup, and instead of being a small +125 dog to win inside the distance, he should be a small favorite to do so. With first round KO/TKO wins over Khalil Rountree Jr. and Henrique da Silva, the 27-year-old Cutelaba has demonstrated his potential to finish any fighter who enters the octagon with him.

(At the time of this writing, Ion Cutelaba is -134 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 60.48 on Fantasy Cruncher.)

LUANA CAROLINA (FD $9) – Carolina is a work in progress, but in a stand-up match I think she is very capable of hanging with the vast majority of fighters in her division. She has a poor ground game, but with a 69 inch reach she will have a two inch advantage over her opponent on Saturday, Poliana Botelho. Botelho is 1-2 over her last 3 fights and has never submitted an opponent in her career. If Carolina has the chance to remain upright in this fight, she will not only have a chance to get a decision victory, but will also have a chance at a finish. Botelho is no easy out, but Carolina is a very skilled striker who is under the radar at the moment.

Caveman’s advice: Carolina is strictly a boom or bust play, but this matchup is favorable in a couple of ways. First, despite being the shorter fighter Carolina will have the longer reach in a fight that figures to be contended on the feet. Second, Carolina came in heavy at Friday’s weigh-ins. This can indicate poor training, but it also points to a fighter who will have a size advantage and one who didn’t struggle much cutting weight. When taking a shot on a big underdog like Carolina, this can only increase her value as it may give her an edge over her opponent. Of course, this could also be consequences of her recovery from a knee injury suffered in her last fight, so DFS players must recognize that this is a risky play (although one with significant upside), but one still worth consideration in GPP contests due to her very low salary.

(At the time of this writing, Luana Carolina is +176 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 47.32 on Fantasy Cruncher.)

That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!

About Rob

Since getting out of the casino business, Rob has been playing DFS regularly with a focus on MMA and the NFL. He now lives in Denver, CO.

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