Fri 14/05/2021 - 08:47 EDT

Best Bets For UFC 262

Best Bets For UFC 262

UFC 262 is headlined by a pair of sluggers — Charles Oliveira in the main event and Tony Ferguson in the semi-main event. Here’s a preview to the two big bouts, plus free betting advice. Be sure to read this before you lay a dollar on the big-time event!

In the words of the almighty Bruce Buffer... "IT'S TIME" to make your best bets for UFC 262 card which is right around the corner. The show goes down on May 15 and it's just about that time to lock in your bets.

UFC fight odds for all 12 matches on the card are available online, but here is who's favored in the top-three billed bouts, per the bookmakers

Charles Oliveira-165+115Michael Chandler
Beneil Dariush-145+125Tony Ferguson
Jack Hermansson-171+146Edmen Shahbazyan

There's a lot to break down before we dish out our free UFC picks so let's get right into it!

Vacant Lightweight Belt Up For Grabs

For more than two years, Khabib Nurmagomedov ruled the lightweight division as its title-holder. There's been a championship void ever since his retirement last October — and at last, someone will fill it. That someone will either be Charles Oliviera (30-8-1) or Michael Chandler (22-5).

Oliviera is the betting favorite and he almost has to be given the unprecedented run he's been on. He's won eight in a row, seven of which ended by stoppage. On top of that, Oliviera is the all-time UFC leader in submissions (14). 

At the same time, oddsmakers are barely giving Chandler plus-money odds. He's one of the most accomplished fighters in Bellator history with three separate championship reigns at lightweight. Chandler made his UFC debut earlier this year, TKO'ing Dan Hooker minutes into the first round. 

Both fighters deploy polar-opposite styles. Oliviera, like many of the great Brazilian fighters before him, is a ground-game specialist. Chandler, though, has knockout power, especially on counter-punches. You better believe each fighter will do what it takes to dictate where the fight is contested — Chandler standing up, Oliviera on the mat. 

It wasn't easy, but we're riding with Chandler. His power can change the direction of this fight in an instant, whereas Oliviera will have to methodically wear down Chandler to get the advantage. Oliviera is certainly capable of doing so, but we do respect Chandler's ground game. All one has to do is remember his two wins versus ground technician, Benson Henderson, in Bellator for evidence he can hang with submission specialists.  

Our guess is Chandler finishes Oliviera within the first three rounds. He almost has to in order to win, that or risk a fatigue-induced mistake that leads to his own submission. For prop bettors, take the under and exact method of victory being knockout. 

Betting pick: Michael Chandler (+115)

Is This The End Of El Cucuy?

Tony "El Cucuy" Ferguson is a UFC fan favorite. Here's a guy who has given everything he has to the sport — dazzling knockouts, flying leg kicks off the cage, a never-say-die attitude (even Oliviera couldn't make him tap out) — but suffered the consequences for it along the way.

Simply put, Ferguson's body has broken down on him after such a toll. Following a 12-fight win streak inside the octagon, Ferguson has dropped back-to-back bouts, first to Justin Gaethje and then Oliviera. And even more than that, he didn't look good in either fight. 

Now 37 years old, this fight, more than anything else, is whether Ferguson has anything left in the gas tank. We hate to say it, but we don't think so. This sport takes something out of fighters every time they step into the ring and at this point, it's run Ferguson dry.

Not only that, but his opponent, Dariush is quickly ascending up the UFC lightweight rankings. He's compiled a 14-6 mark inside the octagon, including six consecutive victories. This is classic UFC bookmaking, pitting an up-and-comer against a fading star. These fights usually end the same way — the rising star winning and that's exactly what we expect to play out again.  

Betting pick: Beneil Dariush (-145)

Bonus Betting Pick

Here's a fight where each guy needs to win badly. Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1) had his perfect record snapped by Derek Brunson about a year ago. Jack Hermansson (21-6) also tasted defeat last time out in the octagon, dropping a unanimous decision to Marvin Vettori. 

Our money is on Hermansson to gut out the win. He's proved his mettle in the UFC more than Edmen, who seemed out of whack in his first real test against Brunson. The Edmen hype train ends here with another defeat. 

Betting pick: Jack Hermansson (-171)

For a complete list of betting odds for UFC, head over to one of the sportsbooks listed below. Not only will you find lines for every single fight, but you'll also see a bevy of prop bets for the night of action. Wagers will be available up until bell time on Saturday, May 15 (early prelims begin at 6:15 EST).   

If you've never gambled at one of the sites underneath, then you're in luck — you can register an account right now and earn a sign-up bonus immediately. Bonuses vary from site to site (the table below has exact offer details), but promos can range anywhere between $500 and $2,500 in free play. That's a whole lot of dough that can be wagered on UFC 262 or another sport of your choosing, all free of cost!  

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