UFC 290 is a stacked card featuring not one, but two championship matches and a number-one contender bout too. All three of those fights are worth putting money on so keep reading to get our UFC 290 betting picks!
- What: UFC 290
- When: Saturday, July 8
- Where: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Yair Rodriguez Betting Pick
We unify the featherweight belt in the UFC 290 main event as the title holder (Volkanovski) faces off against the interim champ (Rodriguez). Volkanovski is a big, big favorite on the moneyline at -400, which might be appropriate given his dominance. But we’re not in love with the line so instead we’re betting on the Volkanovski-Rodriguez over/under, which is set to 4.5 rounds. Per the best betting sites for UFC, odds are as follows:
|Over 4.5 rounds
|Under 4.5 rounds
The only way we see Rodriguez nabbing this upset is if he knocks out Volkanovski, which is not completely unreasonable. Rodriguez’s kickboxing background not only makes him wildly entertaining to watch, but brutally dangerous in the octagon. He’ll throw kicks from all angles at the head or body all fight long. In theory, Rodriguez needs just one to land to put Volkanovski in a precarious position. So under is the clear bet IF you favor the underdog to win.
We are not in that camp, however. Volkanovski is on another level — not only at featherweight, but pound for pound in general. Of course, he’s coming off a close loss to Islam Makhachev where he moved up to lightweight. Many thought Islam would bully the much smaller Volkanovski but that was far from the case. Not only did Volkanovski match Makhachev at wrestling, but he stood there and outstriked him more times than once.
Volkanovski is a high IQ fighter and you have to believe he’ll fully respect Rodriguez’s unpredictability and KO ability. That’s why we expect Volkanovski to lean heavily on his wrestling to win this fight. After all, Rodriguez’s kicks could leave him vulnerable to a takedown. If this fight becomes a wrestlefest, it should end with a Volkanovski decision. Therefore, bet over 4.5 rounds.
Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja Betting Pick
On to the flyweight title fight, which oddsmakers believe will be much closer. As you can see underneath, the champion, Moreno, is a smaller favorite to win over Pantoja:
This is not the first time these two are going 1-on-1 in the octagon. They battled it out way back in 2018 in a UFC Fight Night card. The winner of that fight? Pantoja by unanimous decision. But wait, there’s another previous match too at The Ultimate Fighter. This one Pantoja actually made Moreno submit with a chokehold. It was an exhibition (so not in the record books), but it happened. So why is Pantoja the underdog here?
Welp, Moreno isn’t nearly the same fighter he was then. No, no, this guy is truly deserving of the title after an epic four-fight series against Deiveson Figueiredo. He’s improved in just about every facet inside the octagon, especially at takedowns. Still, Pantoja isn’t much of a step down in completion from Figueiredo.
If anything, we favor Pantoja on the feet. The Brazilian loves stepping forward and throwing 1-2 combinations — so much that it becomes almost predictable. Nonetheless, it’s effective because Pantoja rarely leaves himself vulnerable to an open strike. This is where Moreno’s improved takedown ability can be the difference-maker — it’s a skill he lacked in the previous two encounters with Pantoja.
We’re picking Moreno, but we’ll be honest, it would not shock us if Pantoja scores the upset. Our advice is to not risk a big stake on this bout given the closeness, but do sit back and enjoy watching it because it’ll likely be a barn burner.
Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus Du Plessis Betting Pick
The winner of this middleweight fight earns a title shot against Israel Adesnya. Whittaker has lost twice to Izzy, though the last one was a close fight. Du Plessis vs. Adesnya would be an all-Africa dream match of sorts. However, bookies believe Whittaker-Adesanya III is likely given the -410 moneyline assigned to Robert. Here again, those lopsided moneyline odds force us to take the Whittaker-Du Plessis over/under instead.
|Over 2.5 rounds
|Under 2.5 rounds
We’ll be upfront and say we have a tough time seeing Du Plessis winning this one. If not for Adesnya, Whittaker would be the champion right now. He’s truly one of the best middleweights in UFC history and fully expect to see Whittaker outclass Du Plessis. Our money says Whittaker wins an easy decision here.
How To Bet On UFC 290?
All your UFC 290 betting can be done at one of the sportsbook featured in the table. A bevy of fight odds will be available beyond just the three we covered above too. The sites listed are truly the best of the best for UFC gambling, as measured in our newest sportsbook reviews.
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