UFC Betting

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UFC 249 Odds Update: Justin Gaethje vs. Tony Ferguson

Is this real life? After the coronavirus pandemic – and the top brass at Disney and ESPN – forced Dana White to postpone UFC 249, it looks like we’ll finally get to see some action. Originally scheduled for April 18 in Brooklyn, this event is now scheduled for Saturday, May 9 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. There won’t be any fans in attendance, but the full slate of 12 matches is available right now on the MMA betting odds board at Bovada Sportsbook.
There have been a few other changes to the original card. Unfortunately, Khabib Nurmagomedov won’t be there to defend his Lightweight title in the main event; Tony Ferguson will instead fight Justin Gaethje for the interim title. To help make up for it, White has packed Saturday’s undercard with high-end matchups, including a full and proper title fight for the co-main event. Here’s a closer look at the UFC 249 betting lines as we go to press.

UFC 249 Odds: Justin Gaethje (+140) vs. Tony Ferguson (-180)

This is now the fifth time a planned fight between Ferguson (25-3 lifetime, 15-1 UFC) and Nurmagomedov has been canceled. It’s hardly ideal, but as the challenger, Ferguson was a +230 underdog on the MMA odds board; now he’s a –180 favorite versus Gaethje (21-2 lifetime, 4-2 UFC), the former Lightweight champ with the World Series of Fighting. Whichever man wins this Saturday will take the interim belt and wait for his shot at the real thing.

It probably won’t take too long. Gaethje has yet to see the judges’ scorecards since joining the UFC in 2017; of his 21 career victories, 18 were by KO/TKO, with two decisions and one submission. However, Gaethje’s stand-up game might not be the best fit against Ferguson, who enjoys a six-inch reach advantage and has never lost via knockout. Ferguson is also on a 12-fight win streak dating back to 2013 – a record for the Lightweight division.

UFC 249 Odds: Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz

This Bantamweight title bout was supposed to take place at UFC 250, which was scheduled for May 9 in Sao Paulo, so while that card had to be scrapped, these two highly respected fighters haven’t had to change their plans too much – although Cejudo (15-2 lifetime, 9-2 UFC), who was the promotion’s fourth “champ champ” before relinquishing the Flyweight belt last December, was due to face Jose Aldo until the latter pulled out on April 8. The UFC odds have Cejudo as the –230 favorite against Cruz (22-2 lifetime, 5-1 UFC), who hasn’t fought since dropping the strap to Cody Garbrandt in December 2016.

Cruz – who brought the Bantamweight title over from the WEC in 2010 – has more than just ring rust to overcome in this matchup. Injuries have delayed his return to the Octagon; plantar fasciitis hounded him while training for Garbrandt, then Cruz got hurt and had to drop fights against Jimmie Rivera (after breaking his arm) and John Lineker (after tearing his shoulder). Now he’ll be facing the No. 3 pound-for-pound fighter on the UFC rankings. It’s a tough task, but at least Cruz has a four-inch height and reach advantage over Cejudo.

UFC 249 Odds: Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis

While the rest of Saturday’s pay-per view main card (10 PM ET) is stacked, the preliminary card on ESPN (8 PM ET) is headlined by a must-see Welterweight matchup between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-14, 1 NC lifetime; 23-11 UFC) and Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (22-10 lifetime, 9-9 UFC), two struggling veterans who could both use a win right now. Pettis, the former Lightweight champion, is getting the benefit of the doubt at –145; Cerrone is available at +115 after getting torn apart by Conor McGregor in his previous fight, losing via TKO in 40 seconds at UFC 246.

Other UFC 249 Odds

Saturday’s preliminary card also features the return of former Heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum to the Octagon after a two-year layoff. He won’t get to do it in front of the fans in Sao Paulo as hoped, but his fight with Alexey Oleynik is still intact, and Werdum is a strong –310 favorite to come out on top. It’s going to be a very busy night for bettors, so keep checking in with Bovada Sportsbook for updated UFC 249 lines, and enjoy the show.

*Odds as of May 5, 2020


Bet on the UFC



How to Bet on the UFC: UFC Betting Explained

There was a time when boxing was the biggest combat sport in the world. These days, more people are betting on mixed martial arts – especially when it’s the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) putting on the show. This promotion has skyrocketed since its first pay-per-view card in 1993, back when it was no holds barred; new rules and regulations have turned the UFC into a sweet science all its own, allowing the company to spread across the globe. This UFC Betting 101 introduction will show you how to bet on MMA at Bovada Sportsbook, from basic wagers to simple strategies you can use to knock out your competition.

Betting on the UFC

The UFC holds dozens of events every year, with somewhere around a dozen fights on every card. The major events are pay-per-views, and smaller shows are aired on cable television and UFC Fight Pass; each card will feature a main event, often a title fight for one of the promotion’s 12 weight divisions, as well as a co-main event. Here are the different ways you can get in on the UFC betting action:

UFC Moneyline Betting

This has been the standard way to bet on combat sports for well over a century. UFC moneyline odds are a form of fixed-odds betting, where you choose one of the two fighters to win straight-up, no point spread attached. In North America, these odds are typically expressed using the American odds format. To better understand exactly what are UFC moneyline odds, let’s look at the famous August 2016 Welterweight rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz at UFC 202:

Diaz              +120
McGregor       –150

Unless it’s a pick’em, every fight has a favorite and an underdog. The favorite will always have a negative sign next to their MMA odds; in this matchup, McGregor was the –150 favorite, paying out $100 for every $150 wagered (smaller and larger bets are allowed). The underdog usually has a positive sign next to their odds, although that’s not always the case with two closely matched opponents. In this fight, Diaz was the +120 underdog, paying out $120 for every $100 wagered.


UFC Parlay Betting

A parlay bet is a combination bet that lets you group together a number of individual moneyline wagers. If you get all your picks right, your payout increases exponentially, but if you get a single pick wrong, the parlay loses. You can put anywhere between two and 12 moneyline bets in your UFC parlays. The more lines you add, the higher the potential payout. So how do UFC parlay bets work? Let’s say you wanted to combine the McGregor-Diaz fight at UFC 202 with the co-main event, a Light Heavyweight bout between Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Glover Teixeira:

Teixeira           +175
Johnson           –225

Here, Johnson was the –225 favorite, while Teixeira was the +175 underdog. If you parlayed Johnson together with McGregor, congratulations: Both favorites won their fights. Betting $50 on each of them separately would have earned you $44.44 in profit, but since you parlayed them instead, you earned $140.74. You can calculate your potential payouts by multiplying the odds for each fight in your parlay, either by hand or with an online parlay calculator. Even better, Bovada Sportsbook will do the math for you when you’re filling out your bet slip.

UFC Futures Betting

If you’ve been stumped trying to figure out just what is a UFC futures bet, we’ve got you covered. In general, the UFC odds for each card will be made available well in advance, but every once in a while, speculative odds will be published for a fight that may or may not take place in the future. This can happen when two really big-name fighters appear to be on a collision course. If there’s enough interest in their potential fight, UFC futures odds will go up on the board. You’ll find them under “UFC Futures” when you open the UFC menu at Bovada Sportsbook.

Betting on UFC futures looks exactly the same as betting on the moneyline. There will be a favorite and an underdog, and the odds for each fighter will adjust depending on how much action they draw. Once their prospective fight is made official, those odds will be taken off the UFC futures board and put on the regular market.

UFC Prop Betting

Aside from the moneyline, UFC prop bets (short for proposition bets) are the most popular way to bet on MMA’s most popular promotion. Rather than picking a straight-up winner, UFC props ask you to wager on things like method of victory (KO/TKO/DQ, submission or decision), and whether the fight will go OVER or UNDER a certain number of rounds.

Much like the Super Bowl, betting on UFC props can be both fun and profitable. The more popular the fight, the more props you’ll have at your disposal; you might be able to bet on whether a fighter will win during a specific round, or whether they’ll win by unanimous decision. Don’t forget to look for these props anytime you’re considering a bet on the UFC.

UFC Betting Tips

Think you know your way around the Octagon better than most people? If you’ve been following the sport for some time, you’ve probably developed a solid base of knowledge that can help you beat the UFC odds. But even if you’re betting on MMA for the first time, you can gain an advantage by remembering two simple rules of thumb:


1. Styles make fights. Every UFC fighter comes from a certain MMA background. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is common, but a well-rounded practitioner will bring other martial arts to the table, be it wrestling, boxing, karate, Muay Thai, sambo, judo, or other forms. Ideally, your chosen fighter will be strong in the two basic elements of MMA: striking, and grappling. They’ll also be strong on both offense and defense. If you see a fighter who’s gifted at ground-and-pound going up against someone who isn’t skilled at defending from underneath, that’s a mismatch that you can take advantage of.

2. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. There are 12 different weight classes in the UFC: eight male, and four female. The lightest division is Women’s Strawweight (up to 115 pounds), and the heaviest is Heavyweight (male, 206-265 pounds). As a rule, the lighter divisions have more of their fights end in decision, while the heavier classes will see more knockouts. You can use this knowledge, combined with the styles and past records of each fighter, to take advantage of the UFC props. For example, a Women’s Strawweight bout will end in a decision roughly 70% of the time; put two defensive strikers in the Octagon together, and a decision becomes even more likely.

Because the UFC has become so popular, detailed biographies of most fighters are available on the internet, showing their MMA backgrounds, which belts they’ve been awarded, and the results for all their previous fights – both in MMA and other combat sports. A little research will go a long way in helping you make sharper UFC picks. In the meantime, you now have everything you need to get started betting on the UFC. For more information, check out the FAQ and Help guide at Bovada Sportsbook, and feel free to contact Customer Service if you need further assistance.

Bet on UFC 247 Odds headlined by Jon Jones