UFC 274 On May 7 is absolutely stacked with star power AND betting opportunities. For a complete betting guide to UFC 274, you need to read this entire article. We’re giving you three betting picks on the night. The best part? Our advice is completely free!
Charles Oliviera vs. Justin Gaethje Pick
What an absolute doozy we’re getting in the main event. No one’s stopped more fighters in UFC history than the reigning lightweight champion, Oliviera. But despite that historic feat, the best UFC betting sites are giving the challenger, Gaethje, a good chance at winning. Here are the current Oliviera vs. Gaethje moneyline betting odds:
Oliviera keeps winning (10 straight victories now), but that hasn’t stopped the doubts from naysayers (and bettors). That’s likely for two reasons. One is because most still associate Oliviera with his early-day UFC struggles (he went 4-4-1 in the promotion when he started). Spoiler alert: fighters can improve and that’s exactly what Oliviera has done.
But reason number two fueling Oliviera’s doubts is that he’s looked susceptible in recent fights. Each of his two championship defenses, and strikes almost put him down before he stormed back for a comeback win. We mention that because Gaethje is a striker, and in fact, he’s likely the heaviest-handed hitter Oliviera has ever faced. Seriously. Will the champ’s chin be enough to survive a barrage from Gaethje?
The answer to that question ultimately decides how this fight goes. Gaethje can realistically only win this fight if he keeps it standing up (Oliviera, a submission specialist, would annihilate him on the ground) and finishes the champion. We’re betting that indeed happens. Gaethje hits like a truck and Oliviera’s chin has finally met his match. Take the underdog at plus-money odds here!
Rose Namajunas vs. Carla Esparza Pick
Here we have another title fight, this time for the women’s strawweight championship. Akin to the main event, the most popular online sportsbooks have pegged the betting lines relatively close. The title-holder, Namajunas, is the betting favorite, but not by a huge amount:
We need to start by saying these two women have fought once before. Back in 2014 — which feels like a millennium ago — the pair ended up in the Ultimate Fighter finals. But this wasn’t just a TV show finale; it was also the start of the women's strawweight division with the championship on the line. Esparza won that night, making Namajunas tap out in the third round with a rear-naked choke (even then, it was considered an upset).
But both their careers have gone largely in opposite directions since then. Esparza lost the title next time out and has accumulated a 6-4 mark since the inaugural championship reign. During that same period, Rose is 9-2 with two separate championship reigns in the division.
The X-factor in this bout is Namajunas leg kicks vs. Esparza’s wrestling. Rose can kick opponents’ heads off (just ask Zhang Weili), but that style also leaves her vulnerable to a takedown, which is Esparza’s strong suit. We’re favoring Namajunas ever slightly. The current champion is just more proven and more improved between the two since the 2014 showdown.
Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson Pick
We’re going to be as blunt as possible with our Chandler vs. Ferguson pick and say that “El Cucuy” is washed. Really washed up. We hate to say that about Ferguson — an absolute warrior of the octagon — but there’s no disputing it. He’s been absolutely decimated for three fights in a row against the aforementioned Gaethje and Oliviera, plus Beneil Dariush. Oddsmakers seem to agree cause El Cucuy is a big underdog:
As you can see above, there’s not that much money to be made from betting Chandler straight up to win, which we’re fully of the belief happens. Like Ferguson, he’s also lost two fights recently to the main eventers of the night. But to his credit, at least Chandler was competitive in those bouts. In fact, he almost finished Oliviera to win the title when they met.
With this fight, you’re better off waiting for the props to be posted. Once that happens, an exact method of victory will likely be worthwhile. While we think Ferguson is washed, that doesn’t mean he’s still not one of the toughest fighters in the business. He’s only been stopped twice in his career (one of which was a questionable ref decision vs. Gaethje). Ferguson is going the full three rounds, but the judges will rule it for Chandler. Take a Chandler decision victory in the prop market to earn much better betting value than the moneyline.
How To Bet UFC 274
The three fights we covered above might be the UFC 274 headliners, but they are far from the lone betting opportunities that night. For a one-stop-shop for betting UFC 274, you’ll need to visit one of the top-rated betting sites for sports listed underneath. All 14 fights happening at UFC 274 will have lines available to bet on at these bookmakers. You can see for yourself right now by clicking one of the links in the table!