UFC 282 Akalaev vs Blachowicz: 3 Props to Target at Prize Picks
PrizePicks has no takedown props available this week which will force us into a flex play. Significant strikes can be very subjective as a statistic which lends itself to being less predictable as a statistic. Nevertheless, we drive on and attack the following three lines this week.
Joaquin Buckley over 40.5 strikes.
Buckley doesn’t offer the highest of paces and only lands at a 32% clip. That, combined with his pension for cardio issues, would normally point towards the under on a striking line like this. Fortunately, Chris Curtis is a fighter that dictates the pace of fights and often forces his opponents to follow his striking lead. Buckley will fall in line and should be able to hit the over, provided that one of his explosive strikes doesn’t end the show early.
Ilia Topuria under 41.5 strikes.
Another fight that will be dictated by the opponent, sees Topuria facing off with the relentless Bryce Mitchell. Mitchell is nonstop in his grappling pursuit and often walks through strikes as he attempts to force the fight to the mat. Topuria will have the striking advantage in this fight but will likely spend much of the fight fending off takedown attempts from Mitchell. Mitchell doesn’t stop moving and could cause problems with his cardio the later this fight goes. Topuria will be live to end the fight early with his striking but the grappling heavy approach and cardio of Mitchell also offer problems that should lead to the under hitting on this line.
Ankalaev over 17.5 minutes.
Jan Blachowicz is a tough out. He will likely have the power advantage which will lead to Ankalaev managing distance and being defensively sound. Ankalaev is disciplined in his attacks and over his most recent fights has shown a more cautious approach. That strategy should continue with Blachowicz as he maintains his discipline and waits for his openings as he avoids any heavy damage. Bigger fighters always have the ability to end the fight early but this one projects to go late between two fighter that have the experience and technical ability to pace their attacks in an attempt to avoid big damage from each other.