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UFC Vegas 73: Dern vs. Hill Odds, Predictions & Best Bets

Adam Martin for Bookies.com

Adam Martin  | 11 mins

UFC Vegas 73: Dern vs. Hill Odds, Predictions & Best Bets

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The Octagon heads back to the UFC Apex this Saturday for UFC Vegas 73: Dern vs. Hill. The main event features a women’s strawweight bout between standouts Mackenzie Dern and Angela Hill, plus there are 11 other great undercard bouts on the docket. 

For this week, we’ll give our main event UFC picks as well as break down two of the prelims in greater depth.

Favorite Underdog
Mackenzie Dern | -190 Angela Hill | +160

Odds via DraftKings sportsbook and current as of publication. Check out our DraftKings sportsbook review.

UFC Vegas 73 Main Event Best Bet

Mackenzie Dern (-190) vs. Angela Hill (+160)

In the main event of UFC Vegas 73, Mackenzie Dern faces off against Angela Hill in a five-round women’s strawweight fight. Dern is the betting favorite at betting apps at -190 odds, and I believe that she wins.

Dern is 30 years old and she has a 7-3 record in the UFC since joining the world’s leading MMA promotion back in 2018. In the five years since then, Dern has turned into one of the best fighters at women’s 115 lbs. With four submission wins, she has one of the most deadly Brazilian jiu-jitsu attacks in her weight division. 

Her striking is still coming along, but it’s getting better, and she has also proven she can go 25 hard minutes on several occasions now. Dern still has a lot of potential in her weight class, and a win over Hill will help her get back on track. She is still young enough and marketable enough that the UFC still has a potential star on their hands.

Hill is basically the ultimate gatekeeper at women’s strawweight in the UFC. Now 38, Hill is one of the oldest fighters in her division, but she’s still winning fights. Since joining the UFC back in 2014, she has a 10-12 overall record in the UFC while fighting a high level of competition throughout.

Her striking has always been her calling card, not to mention her cardio and toughness. There have been many times when it seemed like Hill might be on the decline, but she has persevered and bounced back every time. In fact, she has won her last two fights as an underdog heading into this bout. Will she do it again? We’ll find out very soon against Dern.

While this fight should be very competitive on the feet, Dern has a massive advantage on the ground if she can get it there, which I think she will. Look for Dern to get this fight to the mat, put Hill in a bad spot, and finish her. Give me Dern to win this fight at -190 odds, and if you like props, take a look at her to win the fight by submission since she has 25 minutes to get one.

UFC Vegas 73 Best Bet: Mackenzie Dern wins at -190 at DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC Vegas 73 Best Prop Bet: Mackenzie Dern wins by submission at DraftKings Sportsbook

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UFC Vegas 73 Best Bets

Viacheslav Borshchev (-140) vs. Maheshate (+120)

On the preliminary card, Viacheslav Borshchev fights Maheshate at lightweight. Despite being a +120 UFC betting sites underdog, I like Maheshate to get his hand raised in this spot.

Maheshate is just 23 years old and he is one of the best MMA prospects from China currently in the UFC. After a standout performance on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2021, the UFC signed Maheshate and he picked up an incredible UFC debut knockout win over Steve Garcia last year.

However, he failed in his sophomore attempt as he was outwrestled and lost a decision to Rafa Garcia. The UFC is now giving Maheshate a favorable matchup to bounce back in. He should be able to be the more effective striker here, and given his opponent can not stop takedowns, Maheshate could potentially even show that he’s the superior grappler, too.

Like Maheshate, Borshchev had a great showing on the Contender Series in 2011 before making his UFC debut in 2022, earning a knockout win over Dakota Bush. That was a fantastic debut, and it showed how much power the 31-year-old Russian carries in his fists. 

While he is more than capable of beating his opponents on the feet, he showed in his losses to Marc Diakiese and Mike Davis that he doesn’t have any sort of takedown defense whatsoever.

Until he fixes that obvious hole in his game, he won’t be able to climb much up the lightweight ladder. While Borshchev has a puncher’s chance to win this fight, his opponent is more well-rounded.

It’s worth noting Maheshate opened as the batting favorite for this fight, which I believe was correct since I favored him outright to win this fight. The line movement toward Borshchev is very surprising to me given how poor he’s looked in his last two fights, especially with regards to his takedown defense. 

Even though Maheshate is a striker, don’t be surprised if he shoots for a takedown here. Given that he’s available as a +120 betting underdog, it’s no surprise that I’m going with Maheshate to win the fight as the underdog. If you want to take a shot on a prop bet here, I think he can be the more effective striker and grappler in this fight and win the decision.

UFC Vegas 73 Best Bet: Maheshate wins at +120 at DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC Vegas 73 Best Prop Bet: Maheshate wins by decision at DraftKings Sportsbook

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Karolina Kowalkiewicz (-140) vs. Vanessa Demopoulos (+120)

Also on the prelims, Karolina Kowalkiewicz fights Vanessa Demopoulos at women’s strawweight. As a +120 betting underdog, I like Demopoulos to win this fight outright.

Demopoulos is 34 years old, so she is a bit of a late bloomer given she only made her UFC debut two years ago. That being said, the Greek-American fighter has really taken advantage of her opportunity to fight on MMA’s biggest stage. 

She is 3-1 so far in the UFC, including wins in her last three fights. Not only has she shown an awesome ground game at times, but she has also improved her striking and is turning into a very well-rounded fighter. 

She is also very durable, has a good gas tank, and is gaining confidence with every win. Despite having one of the UFC’s shortest reaches at “59, she has managed to overcome it and have a winning record.

Kowalkiewicz is 35 years old and the Pole has an all-time record of 7-7 in the UFC, having first joined the promotion back in 2015. Over the years, Kowalkiewicz has fought the elite of the UFC women’s strawweight division, including former champion Rose Namajunas, who she has a notable victory over. 

Kowalkiewicz was at one time 5-2 in the UFC, but she lost five straight fights after that. She’s won her last two fights in a row since then and she is finally building back her confidence. 

Though she is a striker at heart, she’s shown improvements on the ground in her last few fights, and she’ll need those grappling skills in order to counter Demopoulos here.

The oddsmakers opened this fight as a near Pick ‘em, and now the early money has come in on Kowalkiewicz. While Kowalkiewicz has looked good lately, I still think Demopoulos has far more momentum heading into this fight. 

I’ve been far more impressed with Demopoulos over the last few years and I think she has far more gas left in the tank. To get her as a +120 underdog is a bet that I have to make as I think she will outwork Kowalkiewicz and win the judges’ decision.

UFC Vegas 73 Best Bet: Vanessa Demopoulos wins at +120 at DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC Vegas 73 Best Prop Bet: Vanessa Demopoulos wins by decision at DraftKings 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.