Top DFS Plays for UFC on ESPN 34: Luque vs Muhammad 2 (4/16/22)
The UFC returns for more MMA action from The Apex facility in Las Vegas. Our analysis will take a deeper look at some of my favorite plays for DFS contests on Saturday.
Fighter to Build Your Lineups Around
PATRICK SABATINI (DK $9,200 / FD $22) – To make things simple, Sabatini submits T.J. Laramie in round one. Sabatini has won 5 straight coming into Saturday’s fight with Laramie. During that span, he has 3 finishes with 2 coming by submission and 1 by KO, and two of those finishes came in the first round. Meanwhile, Laramie is coming off of a first-round submission loss (just 52 seconds in) to Darrick Minner in his UFC debut in September of 2020. This is his first fight action since, and his 19-month hiatus doesn’t instill confidence. The fact that Sabatini stands 2 inches taller and has a 4-inch reach advantage doesn’t either. Current odds make Sabatini +105 to win inside the distance. I will be taking that bet, and I’ll be using Sabatini quite a bit in my DFS lineups as well.
(At the time of this writing, Patrick Sabatini is -500 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 78.44 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
Fighter with the Best Value
VICENTE LUQUE (DK $8,500 / FD $21) – I rarely feature fighters in the Main Event in this article in order to give readers more information on other fighters not featured in my Fight Study article. Luque’s value in contests on DraftKings (where he is priced 11th in salary compared to 3rd in salary on Fanduel) is just too big to ignore here. Let’s begin with his first fight against Saturday’s opponent, Belal Muhammad. Luque needed just 79 seconds to get the KO victory. He scored 103.69 FP (DraftKings scoring) in the midst of a 9-fight span where he eclipsed the century mark in 8 of those fights. In addition, dating back to December of 2015, Luque has scored 90+ FP in 13 of 16 fights inside the octagon. This gives him the second-best average of all fighters on Saturday. Muhammad has improved since, but his game plan uses his striking to set up his wrestling. This won’t work against Luque who brings relentless striking to his opponents – not the other way around.
(At the time of this writing, Vicente Luque is -175 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 82.98 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
Fighter with the Best Upset Potential
JORDAN LEAVITT (DK $7,900 / FD $15) – Leavitt is 9-1 overall with the only blemish on his record coming by a decision loss to Claudio Puelles in his second fight in the UFC. He has since rebounded with a submission win over Matt Sayles in December of last year. Over his last 5 fights, he is 4-1 with finishes in each of his 4 victories. In fact, over his 9 career wins, Leavitt has finishes in 77% of them. His opponent, Trey Ogden, is a submission specialist with 11 wins by submission to date. If this fight goes to the ground, Leavitt will need to be careful, but as long as this fight remains upright, he will have the advantage. Leavitt has the better striking in my opinion, and he is the only one of these two fighters to have a win by KO/TKO. If this fight goes to the ground, however, Leavitt is also a high-level grappler with 6 submissions to his credit. This makes him a threat on any level, but if he keeps this fight upright, I like his chances with the judges to score the upset.
(At the time of this writing, Jordan Leavitt is +119 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 60.19 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!