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UFC 280 Odds, Picks & Betting Predictions For Oliveira vs Makhachev

Adam Martin for Bookies.com

Adam Martin  | 11 mins

UFC 280 Odds, Picks & Betting Predictions For Oliveira vs Makhachev

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One of the best cards of the year takes place this Saturday when UFC 280 goes down in Abu Dhabi, UAE. There are 14 fights in total slated for this event, including two title fights at the top of the pay-per-view card. 

Overall, it is an incredible card and we are here to give you our best UFC picks for the event.

Favorite Underdog
Islam Makhachev | -175 Charles Oliveira | +150

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook and current as of publication. Check out our DraftKings sportsbook review for the latest DraftKings Promo Codes.

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UFC 280 Main Event Best Bet

Islam Makhachev (-175) vs. Charles Oliveira (+150)

The main event of UFC 280 is a vacant lightweight title bout between Islam Makhachev and former champion Charles Oliveira. Despite Oliveira being a +150 underdog on UFC betting sites, I am picking him to win this fight.

Oliveira is the former champion and riding an 11-fight win streak at the moment, but he is the underdog here and I just find that a bit surprising. Yes, Makhachev is an excellent fighter and he would be favored to beat the majority of lightweights in the UFC. 

But Oliveira is the former champ, and he would still have his belt had he not missed weight by half a pound in his last fight against Justin Gaethje. We’re talking about the man who not only holds the record for most submission wins in UFC history, but who is also showing knockout power. 

Oliveira is the best lightweight in the world but is somehow the underdog for the third time in his last five fights.

Despite the controversy on the scales in his last fight against Gaethje, Oliveira once again performed to the best of his abilities as he finished Gaethje in the first round by submission after surviving a knockdown. 

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That helped push the 33-year-old Brazilian to 11 wins in a row, which includes victories over elite fighters like Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler, and Tony Ferguson. It’s the level of competition that gives Oliveira the biggest edge over Makhachev in this particular matchup. He’s fought the best fighters in the world for 12 years and is still improving his game.

Don’t get me wrong, Makhachev is a phenomenal fighter and he has an incredible 11-1 record in the UFC. But the problem is, his level of competition hasn’t been great. Makhachev’s best wins are Arman Tsarukyan in his UFC debut, plus Bobby Green and Dan Hooker. While these are good wins, they certainly aren’t the elite opponents that Oliveira has beaten. 

At the same time, there’s no doubt that Makhachev has incredible skills. At age 31, he’s in his prime and has elite wrestling, ground and pound, and submissions, which make him a very dangerous fighter. 

However, does this mean he should be favored over Oliveira to win this fight? Although he has the ability to win, fundamentally, I just disagree with Makhachev being the favorite.

Oliveira vs. Makhachev is one of the most intriguing UFC title fights in recent memory. These are two incredible fighters, but if we’re talking about betting value, I think you have to take a shot on Oliveira at +155 here. He has the ability to finish Makhachev on the feet or on the ground, so take him as the underdog, and consider taking him inside the distance at +180 as well.

UFC 280 Best Bet: Charles Oliveira wins at +150 with DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC 280 Best Prop Bet: Charles Oliveira wins inside the distance at +180 with DraftKings Sportsbook

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Other UFC 280 Best Bets

Aljamain Sterling (-175) vs. TJ Dillashaw (+150)

In the co-main event, UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling defends his belt against former champ TJ Dillashaw. Sterling is a -175 betting favorite to win, and I believe he will successfully defend his title in this bout.

Sterling is coming off of a split decision win over Petr Yan in his last fight to defend the UFC bantamweight title, which he won via a controversial disqualification ruling against Yan the year before. 

UFC 280 Odds, Picks & Betting Predictions For Oliveira vs Makhachev 1

The 33-year-old Sterling joined the UFC in 2014 and he has a 13-3 record overall inside the Octagon since then. Aside from the two wins over Yan, Sterling also has victories over the likes of Cory Sandhagen and Pedro Munhoz. He is one of the best grapplers in his weight class, and he’s also improved his striking over the years, turning him into a championship-level fighter.

Dillashaw is a former champ himself, so he knows what it takes to wear gold in the Octagon. Now 36 years of age, Dillashaw has a similar 13-4 record in the UFC and he has notable wins over the likes of the aforementioned Sandhagen, plus Cody Garbrandt twice, John Lineker, and Raphael Assuncao. 

Like Sterling, Dillashaw also has a grappling background but his striking is what sets him apart. It’s worth noting that Dillashaw has not been active in recent years, going just 1-0 since January 2019, with much of that time off coming for a drug suspension, plus many injuries. Still, when he’s on, Dillashaw is an elite fighter at 135 lbs.

Although Dillashaw is a great fighter in his own right, Sterling has been staying busier in recent years and he is more in his prime. In what should be a competitive bantamweight title fight, look for Sterling’s output to be higher as he outpoints Dillashaw over the course of 25 minutes. Give me Sterling to defend his title as a -175 favorite, and for a prop, consider Sterling by decision at +120 on betting apps

UFC 280 Best Bet: Aljamain Sterling wins at -175 with DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC 280 Best Prop Bet: Aljamain Sterling wins by decision at +120 with DraftKings Sportsbook

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Sean Brady (-145) vs. Belal Muhammad (+125)

Also on the card is a welterweight bout between Sean Brady and Belal Muhammad. Brady is a -145 betting favorite to win the fight, and I believe he will get his hand raised.

Just 29 years old, Brady is already ranked in the top 10 at 170 lbs and he appears to be well on his way to being a title contender at 170 lbs. Since joining the UFC in 2019, Brady is a perfect 5-0 in the UFC, with notable wins over the likes of Matt Brown, Jake Matthews, and Michael Chiesa. 

He is a phenomenal grappler who is able to take his opponents down to the mat and then control or submit them on the floor. On top of that, he has some power on his feet. Overall, Brady is one of the best young fighters in the stacked UFC welterweight division.

His opponent Muhammad is ranked in the top five of the weight class and he has been looking sharp as of late. The 32-year-old Muhammad has been in the UFC since 2016 and he’s 12-3, 1 NC overall in the promotion, with big wins over Vicente Luque and Stephen Thompson in his last two fights. 

Muhammad has some of the best wrestling in the division and he has also improved his striking. On paper, he makes for an interesting matchup for Brady since he should have the wrestling to nullify his opponent, which means we might see a striking-based fight here. In this fight between two wrestlers, it might come down to who has the better striking.

Although Muhammad has looked sharp as of late with some big wins, I do believe that Brady has more upside and is the more well-rounded fighter, so give me Brady to win as a -145 favorite. If you want to take a prop, then consider taking a shot on Brady by decision at +150.

UFC 280 Best Bet: Sean Brady wins at -145 with DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC 280 Best Prop Bet: Sean Brady wins by decision at +150 with FanDuel Sportsbook

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About the Author

Adam Martin for Bookies.com
Adam Martin
A writer based out of Toronto, Adam Martin has covered professional sports, with an emphasis on sports gambling, for more than a decade, writing for such outlets as The Toronto Star and Sportsnet. He is an expert in UFC, while also covering NHL betting and the Stanley Cup.