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BETTING

UFC 298 Preliminary Card Best Bets: Undercard Betting Value You Shouldn’t Ignore!

Amanda Lemos vs Zhang Weili UFC 292 
Amanda Lemos throws a punch against Zhang Weili of China during their Strawweight title fight at UFC 292. Paul Rutherford/Getty Images/AFP

The UFC returns to PPV this weekend, and we’re covering all your betting needs for a fight card brimming with elite-level talent.

The undercard sportsbook odds have much to offer, so let’s dive right into the most noteworthy betting picks for the UFC 298 preliminary card bouts.

Picks Summary


Amanda Lemos vs. Mackenzie Dern

UFC 298 Women’s Strawweight Preliminary Bout

Saturday, February 17, 2024 – 09:30 PM ET at Honda Center


Amanda Lemos

Last summer, we watched Lemos fail in her attempt to win gold, bringing her record to 7-2 in the division and 13-3-1 overall. Tatiana Suarez, the previous TUF champion, pulled out with an injury, and Lemos was initially supposed to face her, so we must consider Saturday’s competition level a significant drop.

  • Lemos Pro Record: 13-3-1
  • Lemos KO/TKO Wins: 8
  • Lemos Submission Wins: 3

Mackenzie Dern

Dern, who is 30 years old, has gone on a win-loss streak over her previous six fights. Coming into Saturday’s crucial bout, she enters coming off a second-round submission defeat to Jessica Andrade at UFC 295 in November.

Who knows what version of Dern will turn up, but the close-to-even odds this weekend are a great representation of her career because we’re never quite sure what we’ll get.

  • Dern Pro Record: 13-4-0
  • Dern KO/TKO Wins: 0
  • Dern Submission Wins: 7

Lemos vs. Dern: Fight Tape Analysis

Lemos is a former title challenger, with her lone UFC losses coming against the current champ, Weili Zhang, and the former champ, Jessica Andrade. In contrast, Dern has alternated wins and losses since 2021 and her most recent victories were notable versus aging veterans in the latter stages of their careers.

We know precisely what Lemos brings to the table; she’s aggressive and powerful and possesses the fundamental MMA skills worth getting behind. Dern presents a double-leg takedown and some wild boxing, but she’s unpredictable and unreliable when attempting to guess what gameplan she will enter the octagon with.

UFC 298 Preliminary Card Odds & Prediction

The UFC pricing with OddsTrader’s top sportsbooks has placed a respectable moneyline price on Lemos and I genuinely believe this is some of the best value at UFC 298 full stop.

Dern often lacks confidence, doesn’t embody the war and has frequently been neutralized whenever the opposition hits her hard. This is perfect matchmaking for Lemos, who’s down for war and has the power and technical abilities to back it up.

UFC Pick: Amanda Lemos ML (-130) [1.30u returns 1u profit] at Caesars Sportsbook (check our Caesars Sportsbook Review)


Rinya Nakamura vs. Carlos Vera

UFC 298 Bantamweight Preliminary Bout

Saturday, February 17, 2024 – 06:30 PM ET at Honda Center


Rinya Nakamura

Finale winner Rinya Nakamura finished his impressive “Road to UFC” run with a 33-second domination against fellow countryman Toshiomi Kazama. In his second outing and official UFC debut, he faced Fernie Garcia, a DWCS allum, who he utterly crushed on the mat and ultimately won unanimously.

Wrestling, wrestling and power. Technical prowess with a significant wrestling background accompanied by heavy hands and a vicious nature. He’s a monster, so he’ll enter as the biggest favorite at UFC 298.

  • Nakamura Pro Record: 8-0-0
  • Nakamura KO/TKO Wins: 5
  • Nakamura Submission Wins: 1

Carlos Vera

Team McGregor welcomed Carlos Vera of Ecuador into the house of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) on the strength of his four-fight winning run. After losing the first round by unanimous decision to Brad Katona, his stay was cut short, much like most of his colleagues.

Unfortunately, he’s now facing one of the best up-and-coming prospects at bantamweight, and with clear wrestling deficiencies, it could be a long night for the Ecuadorian.

  • Vera Pro Record: 11-3-0
  • Vera KO/TKO Wins: 1
  • Vera Submission Wins: 5

Nakamura vs. Vera: Fight Tape Analysis

In this bout, Vera faced an opponent who was on the verge of becoming an Olympic-level medalist; his failure to defend against takedowns was his downfall on TUF, so I find it hard to believe he can sustain the onslaught for any significant amount of time, especially since he has contended with Nakamura’s nuclear-left hand alongside the wrestling threat.

It’s MMA, anything can happen, sure. However, Nakamura is juiced at every sportsbook for a reason and we should expect a dominant victory, as the betting line suggests.

UFC 298 Preliminary Card Odds & Prediction

The pricing at the UFC odds boards isn’t giving us much wiggle room for profit on the side of Nakamura. For this reason, the over/under is where we’ll take our wagering interests.

Before his most recent decision win versus Garcia, who’d never been stopped inside the distance at the time, Nakamura had finished 6 of his 7 fights under one and a half rounds. As we’re now looking as high as -1250, a clear mismatch points towards another quick finish for the Japanese fighter.

UFC Pick: Under 1.5 Rounds (-125) [1.25u returns 1u profit] at Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)

*21+ Seek help with a gambling addiction at 1-800-Gambler

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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