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How to Bet UFC Vegas 45: Lewis vs. Daukaus | Expert UFC Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions 12/18/2021

The UFC returns for its final card of the year, and it’s headlined with a heavyweight banger between Derek Lewis and Chris Daukaus. A couple of fighters missed weight, which is something to pay attention to for late line movement and possible live-betting opportunities. There are some interesting prop bets that still have plenty of value that the bettors can take advantage of, but from a moneyline standpoint, a lot of the favorites are steamed out of range. As always, when shopping for the best UFC betting odds and lines, make sure to use Awesemo OddsShopper to find the top odds at various sportsbooks. It is easily the best tool when it comes to shopping for the top ROI odds for the fights, and it will save bettors a lot of money in the long run. Below are my UFC picks for tonight when filling out your betting card. Let’s dig into some of the best UFC betting picks and spots to attack for this 13-fight card for UFC Vegas 45: Lewis vs. Daukaus.

How to Bet UFC Vegas 45: Lewis vs. Daukaus: Expert MMA Betting Picks Tonight

Justin Tafa vs. Harry Hunsucker

In a battle of low-level heavyweights, Justin Tafa will take on Harry Hunsucker in a sloppy, violent fight — while it lasts. Tafa missed the heavyweight limit by one pound yesterday, weighing in at 267 ,becoming the first-ever heavyweight to miss weight in the UFC. However, outside of Tafa surrendering a percentage of his purse to Hunsucker, it should not impact the analysis of this fight. If this fight took place on the regional scene, no one would be going out of their way to say this should have been on a UFC card. Hunsucker is not a UFC-caliber fighter, and in 10 professional bouts has never seen the second round. In his most recent fight, Hunsucker lost by KO to Tai Tuivasa in 49 seconds. Tafa is not a world beater, but all of his professional wins have been by KO and he has some serious power. It is hard to imagine Hunsucker being able to withstand a Tafa flurry here. Originally, the target was the bet the under 1.5 rounds, but that got steamed up and out of betting range, but the fight ending in Round 1 is still holding at -120. Tafa by KO in Round 1 is only +140, which honestly is not a great number, so it makes sense to grab that Hunsucker KO equity. This is a low-level heavyweight fight and we have seen Tafa get his lights shut off before.

The Bet: Tafa/Hunsucker Fight Ends in Round 1 -120 (FanDuel Sportsbook)

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Stephen Thompson vs. Belal Muhammad

In a matchup of top-10 welterweights, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson will be taking on Belal “Remember the Name” Muhammad. This is an important fight for both fighters, but probably more so for Thompson, because if he loses, his chances of fighting for the title again go down to almost zero as he is getting up there in age at 38. It is always an awkward time fighting Thompson and it does not seem like a very good matchup for Muhammad. He is good everywhere, but not great anywhere, and that is going to pose a problem. For Muhammad to have success, he will need to pressure with his striking and mix in wrestling, but on the feet against Thompson, he will be at a massive disadvantage. Thompson is one of only a handful of karate fighters to have success in the UFC, and it’s because his movement and variety of strikes are so great. Muhammad can potentially close the distance, but he does not have the raw power to put Thompson away. It is possible for Muhammad to wrestle here, as Thompson defends takedowns at 73%, but Muhammad’s wrestling is good — and not great — and it may be hard to control him on the mat. If Muhammad cannot close distance consistently, he will get picked apart at range, and that is what Thompson will want to do — stay on his bike and throw all sorts of strikes at range. It is possible that Thompson can put away Muhammad here but the fight is lined at -250 to go the distance. It is hard to imagine Muhammad winning two of three rounds here. Thompson by decision is still plus money on FanDuel Sportsbook, and that is tremendous value for a fight expected to go the distance.

The Bet: Stephen Thompson by Decision +105 (FanDuel Sportsbook)

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