UFC 249 Closes Out Betting Avalanche Saturday, May 16
UFC 249 was the first major sport to return on a large scale in the Covid-19 age. And sports-hungry U.S. bettors went for it. Here’s what’s next.
This one’s been a marathon for the ages: the return of UFC 249, the first headline sport to battle back from the Covid-19 shutdown.
UFC launched a three-fight package over eight days starting May 9. The program continued Wednesday, and there’s one card left. The finale will take place Saturday, May 16, without spectators, at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, which also hosted the first two.
Heavyweight Walt Harris is the -155 favorite against Alistair Overeem at PlaySugarHouse.com. Overeem is ranked eighth among UFC heavyweights. Harris is ninth.
The card’s co-main event features Claudia Gadelha vs. Angela Hill, plus action from Edson Barboza, Eryk Anders and more. The prelims will showcase talents such as Kevin Holland, Cortney Casey and Darren Elkins.
The card can be viewed at ESPN+. The prelims begin at 6 p.m. ET, and the main card usually kicks off at 9 p.m.
Place a bet with BetMGM.com, and get $25 on the house plus a first-deposit match up to $1,000.
- This card is good for moneyline players. Taking the fighter you like, straight up against the odds, is a reasonable play. Few of the favorites at sportsbooks like BetMGMcom, PlaySugarhouse.com, etc. are more than 2-1. And the underdogs have a respected chance to win.
- There are no title fights on the card, but some involve world-ranked fighters. The card is competitive, as it showcases fighters grabbing for the next rung of the rankings ladder.
- The lack of consistency by these fighters is the bettor’s biggest problem. Few have been able to compile long winning streaks. Many had to train with one eye on practice without knowing when UFC would open up—a distinct disadvantage, physically and psychologically.
- So protect your bankroll. Bettors will have enjoyed a smorgasbord of more than 30 fights in eight days by the time Saturday’s card ends. It’s impossible to get a feel for every one. Be selective.
- Don’t be afraid of the hedge. Prop-friendly bets—like whether a fight goes the distance, whether it goes over or under a specified number of rounds, and whether it’ll end in a particular round—gives you action on both fighters.
- Draws are usually listed at anywhere from 50-1 to 80-1. They require the rare judging of 10-10 or 10-8 rounds (most are scored as 10 to the winner, 9 to the loser). There are in the neighborhood of five draws reported every year, among literally hundreds of fights.
- Favorites did well in UFC 249 Saturday, but there were two noted exceptions. Aleksei Oleinik prevailed at +265 (PlaySugarHouse.com) via a split decision against Fabricio Werdum and Justin Gaethje (+150 BetMGM.com) triumphed in the main event against Tony Ferguson.
- There’s always a place for the underdog.
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(Thursday, May 14, PlaySugarHouse.com)
As mentioned above, Saturday’s headliners are heavyweights Overeem and Harris. Overeem, a former UFC heavyweight championship contender, enters as the betting underdog at +135 on the moneyline, while Harris, who’s won three of his last four fights, is a -159 moneyline favorite.
UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris: Main Card*
- Walt Harris (13-7, -159) vs. Allistair Overeem (45-18, +135)
- Claudia Gadelha (17-4, -190) vs. Angela Hill (12-7, +150)
- Edson Barboza (20-8, -137) vs. Dan Ige (13-2, +110)
- Krzysztof Jotko (21-4, -165) vs. Eryk Anders (13-4, +130)
- Yadong Song (15-4-1, -200) vs. Marlon Vera (15-5-1, +160)
UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris: Preliminary Card*
- Miguel Baeza (8-0, -200) vs. Matt Brown (22-16, +160)
- Kevin Holland (16-5, -114) vs. Anthony Hernandez (7-1, -109)
- Mike Davis (8-2, -225) vs. Giga Chikadze (9-2, +175)
- Cortney Casey (8-7, -165) vs. Mara Romero Borella (12-7, +138)
- Darren Elkins (24-8, -121) vs. Nate Landwehr (13-3, -104)
- Don’Tale Mayes (7-3, -121) vs. Rodrigo Nascimento Ferreira (7-0, -106)
Source: Rush Street Interactive