Predictions for Every Fight at UFC Vegas 38 With Top Bets and Sleepers

| September 30, 2021 9:36 am PDT

It’ll be tough for any card to follow what was an incredible night of fights at last weekend’s UFC 266.

But from a betting perspective, the odds for UFC Vegas 38 are very interesting. 

The fights go down this Saturday, October 2, from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. A crucial light heavyweight battle between Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker headlines the event, with Kevin Holland vs. Kyle Daukaus playing support.

I’ve put together a preview with predictions for UFC Vegas 38, as well as odds, top bets, and sleepers for the night. If you’re stumped on who to wager on ahead of the fights this Saturday, you’ll have a great idea of how to approach things by the time you get through this preview.

Let’s get my UFC Vegas 38 predictions and picks up and running with the top fight on the bill.

Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker

Santos to Win-170
Walker to Win+145

The odds for Santos to beat Walker come in at -170.

The former light heavyweight title challenger is the favorite in this fight. If you’re betting on UFC Vegas 38’s top-of-the-bill scrap, you should be asking yourself why. 

After all, Santos enters this clash on a three-fight skid. That doesn’t sound great, I agree. But when you consider that those losses came against Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira, and Alexander Rakic, it’s easier to approach things with a more sympathetic stance. 

However, Walker’s odds to beat Santos might make him one of the top sleeper picks for UFC Vegas 38.

Plus money odds for a fighter that is 4-2 since joining the promotion look appealing, especially when you consider that Santos might be on the down–unlike his compatriot who has the talent to go all the way at 205-pounds.

Although Santos would have been my pick had this fight happened a few years ago, I’m not sure he represents good value. His odds for UFC Vegas 38 aren’t wildly off, but they’re not great for a 37-year-old that has not looked the same since tearing his knees up against Jon Jones in July 2019.

Stylistically, Santos has more to him. But Walker’s devastating power and unpredictability might prove to be too much for “The Sledgehammer” to handle.

This is a fight that really could go either way. If Santos can get out of the first round on his feet and without significant damage accrued, he might have the ascendency.

Five of the former challenger’s nine losses have come by way of first-round stoppage. All four of Walker’s wins in the UFC ended in the first stanza. 

Having starched Ryan Spann in his last fight, I think we could see something similar for the 6’6″ Brazilian this Saturday. Thus, my first prediction for UFC Vegas 38 is a win for Walker.

  • Prediction: Walker by KO/TKO

Kevin Holland vs. Kyle Daukaus

Holland to Win-150
Daukaus to Win+130

The next prediction for UFC Vegas 38 comes in the co-main.

Although Holland went 5-0 in 2020, he suffered losses to Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori that were far from impressive. Essentially, both defeats exposed a glaring weakness in Holland’s wrestling that all of his opponents will be keen to target.

The odds for Holland to beat Daukaus are -150. On the surface, it looks like they are worth exploring, especially with that weakness sure to be there on Saturday night.

Still, I wouldn’t think that Holland will find the wrestling capabilities of Daukaus to be anywhere near as dangerous as Brunson or Vettori. So, for that reason, the “TrailBlazer” should feel confident of bringing his power and all-action standup game to his man.

Although Daukaus is a dangerous man on the ground, with eight submissions from ten victories, Holland is no bum on the mat. 

Like the main event, my betting tips for UFC Vegas 38’s co-main would be to look for value here. Both men are well-matched, but Holland does have the better resume.

If Holland can get off to a good start by picking at his man from range, we could see him look much better in this bout. I believe he has what it takes to nullify Daukaus on the feet, so the question will be if he can prove strong in the clinch and avoid walking into his opponent’s traps.

My prediction for Holland vs. Daukaus is a points win for the 28-year-old.

  • Prediction: Holland by Decision

Alex Oliveira vs. Niko Price

Oliveira to Win+150
Price to Win-130

This one should be a lot of fun. 

Predicting Oliveira vs. Price at UFC Vegas 38? Not so much. I mean, it’s another solid example of matchmaking, with two guys who are extremely adept in their unique styles.

Oliveira, however, seems to be on the slide while Price is looking to climb the ladder. But that is only one reason why the odds for UFC Vegas 38 bend towards the American.

Brazil’s “Cowboy” is 2-5 from his last seven and enters the fight following back-to-back submission losses against Shavkat Rakhmonov and Randy Brown. Although he’s just 33, Oliveira looked much older in those losses.

Price has failed to win since picking up a KO of the Year contender over James Vick in October 2019.

Although one of the most exciting welterweights on the roster, he has yet to show consistency in the promotion but will, nonetheless, see this as a winnable fight.

I do, too. 

If I were to include Price in my top picks for UFC Vegas 38, I’d look at the value for a stoppage. Cowboy is tough, but it looks as though he has passed his peak.

  • Prediction: Price by KO/TKO

Misha Cirkunov vs. Krzysztof Jotko

Cirkunov to Win+140
Jotko to Win-165

Another fun fight and another good matchup.

Cirkunov vs. Jotko could end up being one of the best fights on the card or a completely one-sided beatdown. It all depends on who can bring the best game plan to Vegas.

This fight is about as 50/50 as you can get, putting Cirkunov among the best value bets for UFC Vegas 34. But under closer inspection, is Jotko’s familiarity with 185-pounds something that could change the course of the fight?

The Latvian moves down to middleweight, having gone 6-4 in in the UFC. His last seven fights have ended in first-round stoppages, with four of them losses.

Known for having good power and a dangerous submission game, he’s a tough test for anyone.

Poland’s Jotko is also 3-4 from his last seven. He saw a three-fight skid ended by the impressive Sean Strickland in May, making it four decisions in a row, either win or lose. 

I think Jotko is smart enough to put a clever strategy together for this one that is geared towards dragging his opponent into deep waters. The Latvian is not known for his cardio, and cutting weight doesn’t help.

I’ll take the Pole in this one.

  • Prediction: Jotko to Win by Decision 

Aspen Ladd vs. Macy Chiasson

Ladd to Win-200
Chiasson to Win+160

Aspen Ladd has one eye on the bantamweight title currently held by the awesome Amanda Nunes.

Having gone 9-1 in the UFC, with a knockout loss to Germaine de Randamie serving as the only blemish on her record, the American could take one step closer to a title fight with a win on the night. 

Ladd, however, will need to shake off some serious cage rust. A knee injury has kept her on the bleachers since 2019, and it is unknown how that will affect her on the night. So, if you’re looking to gamble on UFC Vegas 38, it’s worth playing this one safe.

Can Chiasson beat Ladd? It’s not out of the question. With that being said, she will need a career-best performance if her opponent is fully recovered from that injury.

Ladd has serious stoppage power, however, and might have enough to bag herself the 7th KO/TKO of her career.

Things could get tricky if she can’t finish Chiasson, but I think she’ll get the job done inside the distance.

Expect a callout of Nunes if that happens.

  • Prediction: Ladd by KO/TKO

UFC Vegas 38 Predictions for the Prelims

  • Joe Solecki to Beat Jared Gordon by Decision
  • Casey O’Neill to Beat Antonina Shevchenko by Submission
  • Karol Rosa to Beat Bethe Correia by KO/TKO
  • Devonte Smith to Beat Jamie Mullarkey by KO/TKO
  • Douglas Andrade to Beat Gaetano Pirrello by Decision
  • Alejandro Perez to Beat Johnny Eduardo by Submission

There is more to Saturday’s event than the main card.

In fact, there are some really interesting fights on this one. So, if you’re keen on the odds for UFC Vegas 38 prelims bouts, my predictions should come in handy. 

There is a lack of big names on the undercard, but our UFC betting strategy covers how betting on smaller fights can be a smarter way to gamble on the fights. 

If you’re ready to move on, let’s get to my UFC Vegas 38 picks and sleepers.

Top Betting Picks for UFC Vegas 38

  • Rosa to Beat Correia -350
  • Andrade to Beat Pirello -250
  • O’Neil to Beat Shevchenko -210

The first of my betting tips for UFC Vegas 38 is Karol Rosa to win.

Although you can find better value in backing Rosa to finish the veteran, Correia, it is a risk. Only Holly Holm and Ronda Rousey have stoppage wins over the former title challenger. 

Rosa should have enough about her to get the win. But if you are looking for better odds for UFC Vegas 38 than -350, Rosa is +320 for the KO/TKO.

I’d also play it safe with Andrade, who is -250 on the moneyline.

The prop bets listed under the UFC Vegas 38 odds are -150 for the fight to go over 2.5 rounds, however, which is good.

Finally, Scotland’s Casey O’Neill to beat Antonina Shevchenko is a good pick at -210. 

Unbeaten in seven pro fights, she will be looking to add the older Shevchenko sister to her list. Given that Antonina is nowhere near her sibling’s level, she has a great chance of doing that. 

A UFC Vegas 38 prop worth checking out is O’Neill by submission at +400.

Sleeper Picks and Value Bets for UFC Vegas 38

  • Perez to Win by Submission +1000
  • Walker to Win in Round 1 +500
  • Ladd to Win by KO/TKO +300

My best sleepers for UFC Vegas 38 can be found above.

First, Alejandro Perez to beat Johnny Eduardo by submission is worth some change at +1000. 

This fight opens the card, and there is a very strong chance of ending inside the distance. The Brazilian has lost two of his last four by submission, and Perez’s strength on the mat could spring a surprise.

Johnny Walker’s bull-like mentality has earned him a spate of first-round finishes in his career.

He’s coming off a knockout win in the first stanza against Ryan Spann, making it 15 opening-round wins from 18 in his career. This makes his odds to win in the first round one of the best value picks for UFC Vegas 38.

Speaking of value, Ladd to win by KO/TKO (+300) is also a top recommended bet for the fights this Saturday.

I don’t think the American will be keen on going the distance if she doesn’t have to.

Where to Bet on UFC Vegas 38

That’s my predictions for all fights at UFC Vegas 38 covered.

I’ve also provided you with six solid picks for the UFC this weekend that could net you a profit. The odds can be found on our recommended UFC sportsbooks, so make sure to take a couple of minutes sizing them up.

See what the team has for you on our sports blog for more picks for this weekend’s action.

Good luck with your bets!

Adam Haynes
Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

More Posts by Adam Contact Adam

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