Welcome to Bales’ Premium PrizePicks – UFC on ESPN 9! Below I will discuss my favorite MMA plays for this weekend!
Casey Kenney gets an ideal matchup against Louis Smolka. Kenney is an outstanding grappler, who possesses the ability to control this fight. He’ll find plenty of opportunities to score fantasy points with his grappling because of Smolka’s care-free defense. In 2017, the latter allowed Tim Elliott to record 12 takedowns, 3 reversals, and 14 advances on his way to 176 fantasy points. I don’t expect Kenney to let Smolka up that many times in this fight, but the latter’s defensive grappling will be good enough for Kenney to record a number of advances. Kenney is one of the biggest favorites on the card, and he should control the majority of this fight on his way to a decision victory.
Speaking of Elliott, he makes an outstanding option against UFC-newcomer Brandon Royval. Royval found success on the regional scene, and he’s likely to find success at some point in the UFC. With that being said, he’s an offensive fighter, allowing a high-paced fighter like Elliott to score a plethora of fantasy points. Both fighters throw caution to the wind with their hands down on the feet. Royval also struggles with takedown defense or doesn’t care if he gets taken down because of his outstanding submissions off of his back. Similarly to the Smolka fight earlier in his career, Elliott could land a number of takedowns, scoring a ton of fantasy points on Saturday. The only real concern is that Elliott gets caught by Royval’s slick submissions, but his submission defense has held up in the past, and it’s unlikely to fail him against a debuting fighter.
Play 1 unit on Casey Kenney OVER 82.2 and Tim Elliott OVER 76.7 to win 2.5 units (2.5x)
Follow Justin on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)
Get all of our experts PrizePicks plays for all sports by subscribing to the package below!