UFC 287 Preliminary & Early Prelims Predictions, Odds & Picks: Finding Early Value in Miami

Devon Platana

Thu Apr 06 2023

UFC 287 Preliminary & Early Prelims Predictions, Odds & Picks: Finding Early Value in Miami cover

It’s no secret that the MMA world is buzzing as UFC 287 is just under 72 hours away from taking over Miami-Dade Arena in Miami, Florida. While the stacked main card is getting a ton of attention, the preliminary and early prelims cards also offer interesting matchups worth keeping an eye on.

Fortunately, Betting News has gathered the latest odds for all of UFC 287’s preliminary and early prelims fights, along with our prediction for each matchup.

UFC 287 Preliminary Card & Odds (Odds as of Thursday, April 6)

The UFC 287 odds listed below are via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Middleweight: Kelvin Gastelum (-138) vs. Chris Curtis (+108)

Kelvin Gastelum (16-8-1) hopes for positive results after losing five of his previous six fights, most recently falling to Jared Cannonier by unanimous decision in August 2021. He’ll have to deal with Chris Curtis (30-9), who is coming off an impressive second-round KO win over Joaquin Buckley at UFC 282.

Even though Gastelum is the favorite, I like Curtis in this one. The latter has demonstrated impressive knockout ability, winning seven of his last 10 fights by KO/TKO. On top of that, Curtis averages more significant strikes per minute (5.82) than Gastelum (3.53), giving him the advantage if they go blow-for-blow.

Back Curtis to take advantage of his foe’s struggles.

Best Bet: Chris Curtis Outright (+108)

Women’s Strawweight: Michelle Waterson-Gomez (+138) vs. Luana Pinheiro (-178)

Michell Waterson-Gomez (18-10) has had her fair share of recent struggles, dropping to 1-4 in her last five fights with a submission loss to Amanda Lemos. On the flip side, Luana Pinheiro (10-1) is a perfect 3-0 since joining the UFC and just defeated Sam Hughes by unanimous decision in her last matchup.

I see Pinheiro walking out with the victory at UFC 287. She’s on the hotter run at the momentum and has finished seven of her first 11 MMA opponents. Five of those victories came by submission and now she gets to face Waterson-Gomez, who has been submitted four times in her career.

In other words, look for Pinheiro to make the opposition snap or tap.

Best Bet: Luana Pinheiro by Submission (+700)

Middleweight: Gerald Meerschaert (+164) vs. Joe Pyfer (-215)

Gerald Meerschaert (35-15) has been terrific lately, winning for the fourth time in his last five fights with a submission victory against Bruno Silva at UFC on ESPN 41. He’ll have his hands full with Joe Pyfer (10-2), who has knocked out each of the last three opponents put in front of him.

While Meerschaert does have the striking defense to handle Pyfer’s onslaught, he’ll be in trouble if things head to the ground. Pyfer averages 2.01 takedowns per 15 minutes with 100% accuracy, whereas Meerschaert only has 29% takedown defense.

Nevertheless, Meerschaert has been KO’d three previous times and with the roll that he’s on, Pyfer is about to make it a fourth.

Best Bet: Joe Pyfer by KO/TKO (+110)

Heavyweight: Karl Williams (-480) vs. Chase Sherman (+330)

Chase Sherman (16-11) was supposed to fight Chris Barnett at UFC 287 before the latter pulled out for undisclosed reasons. Now, Sherman must face Karl Williams (8-1) — a heavyweight fighter who’s won five straight fights.

Considering how Williams is on a five-fight winning streak, I don’t see him losing to Sherman (who’s lost five of his last six). After all, three of Sherman’s last five losses have come by unanimous decision, which is exactly how Williams has won his first two UFC fights.

With Williams’ defense being superior, I see him outlasting everything Sherman throws at him before the judges side with the former. Unfortunately, FanDuel doesn’t have the “method of victory” market up at the time of writing, so back this fight going over 2.5 rounds.

Best Bet: Over 2.5 Rounds (-130)

UFC 287 Early Prelims Card & Odds

Women’s Strawweight: Cynthia Calvillo (+230) vs. Lupita Godinez (-310)

Cynthia Calvillo (9-5-1) hasn’t been able to buy a win lately, losing four consecutive fights — including two of the last three by TKO. Meanwhile, Lupita Godinez (8-3) lost to Angela Hill by unanimous decision in her previous fight and now looks to prove that she can bounce back.

It’s just too hard to like Calvillo after she’s been finished twice in less than two years. Godinez is much more accurate with her striking and has the better grappling game that’ll tire the opposition out. She’s beaten tougher opponents than Calvillo, too, so expect her to get the job done in Miami.

Best Bet: Lupita Godinez by Points (-125)

Catchweight (160 lbs): Ignacio Bahamondes (-350) vs. Trey Ogden (+255)

Ignacio Bahamondes (13-4) has a shot at winning his third straight fight after beating Roosevelt Roberts and Rong Zhu by KO and submission, respectively. On the other side, Trey Ogden (16-5) has gone 4-1 in his previous five fights and just defeated Daniel Zellhuber by unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 60.

Finishing three of his last four opponents, I can’t doubt Bahamondes at UFC 287. He averages nearly five more strikes per minute than Ogden while also boasting a 95% takedown defense rate. With the height, reach and age advantages also on his side, Bahamondes shouldn’t have a problem creating distance from and outlasting Ogden.

A longer fight suits his style, so back Bahamondes winning by points.

Best Bet: Ignacio Bahamondes by Points (+170)

Featherweight: Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (-196) vs. Steve Garcia (+152)

Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (39-10) has been on a roll since losing in his UFC debut, defeating Sean Soriano and T.J. Brown by unanimous decision before knocking out Darrick Minner in his latest contest. Meanwhile, Steve Garcia (13-5) returned to the featherweight division in successful style, beating Chase Hopper by TKO at UFC Vegas 63.

In what should be a close fight, I’m going with Nuerdanbieke. Although Garcia looked impressive in his last outing, it’s worth pointing out that was only his second fight as a featherweight. He needs to show what else he can do in the division before being trusted from a betting perspective.

There aren’t any props for this fight either at the moment, so go with Nuerdanbieke on the moneyline.

Best Bet: Shayilan Nuerdanbieke to Win Outright (-196)

Women’s Strawweight: Jaqueline Amorim (-295) vs. Sam Hughes (+220)

Jaqueline Amorim (6-0) makes her debut at UFC 287 after a 6-0 start to her career, which features five victories by submission. Her first-ever UFC fight will be against Sam Hughes, who lost by unanimous decision to Piera Rodriguez back in October, dropping her to 2-4 in her last six matchups.

Amorim has demonstrated impressive finishing ability in her young career and I don’t see that momentum stopping in Miami. Hughes has’ UFC run has been nothing short of disappointing and I see her coming up short yet again this weekend. I’d hardly be surprised if the veteran ends up tapping out to the newcomer.

Unfortunately, only the moneyline is available for this fight, too.

Best Bet: Jaqueline Amorim to Win Outright (-295)

UFC 287 Event Details

When is UFC 287?

UFC 287 will take place on Saturday, April 8, 2023.

Where is UFC 287?

UFC 287 will take place at the Miami-Dade Arena in Miami, Florida.

What time does UFC 287 start?

  • UFC 287 Early Prelims Start Time: 6 p.m. ET
  • UFC 287 Prelims Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Start Time of UFC 287’s Main Card: 10 p.m. ET

How can I watch UFC 287?

The early prelims will be available on UFC Fight Pass, while the prelims will be available on both ESPN and ESPN+, and the main card will be available via pay-per-view (which can be ordered through the ESPN+ app).

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Devon Platana
Devon Platana

Devon is a Master of Journalism graduate who joined the sports betting world in 2020. His favorite leagues to cover are the NHL, NBA and NFL, and has a soft spot for fantasy football specifically. Outside of sports, he enjoys the finer things in life like pasta, live music and getting even more tattoos.