UFC 249 odds, picks, prop bets: Finding the best values on a star-studded fight card in Jacksonville


The action will be aplenty this Saturday night in Jacksonville, Florida, as the UFC makes its ong-awaited return with its UFC 249 pay-per-view event. A plethora of notable fights are scheduled up and down the card, but none are bigger than the main event of the evening that pits Tony Ferguson against Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title. 

It’s arguably one of the best matchups on paper that UFC could make, regardless of division. Ferguson and Gaethje are among the best in the crowded 155-pound division and hoping to secure a shot at unifying with Khabib Nurmagomedov later on this year.

Up and down this fight card, you will find so many interesting and important matchups. Starting on the early prelims with Bryce Mitchell vs. Charles Rosa all the way up to bantamweight champ Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz, every fight on this card carries some weight for divisional races.

The biggest benefit to many sports-starved fans across the country to UFC returning is the ability to gamble on live sports again. And with 11 fights on the board, gamblers can find many ways to scratch that itch on Saturday night with straight “who will win” bets all the way down to “what round the fight will end in” props. With that in mind, our experts took a closer look at the main card and preliminary main event to find the best values on prop bets with odds coming via William Hill Sportsbook

Can’t get enough UFC? Subscribe to our podcast State of Combat with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon, including a complete preview of UFC 249 with ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans below.

Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje

Gaethje via KO/TKO/DQ

+200

Gaethje via submission +2500

Gaethje via decision

+1400

Ferguson via KO/TKO/DQ

+250

Ferguson via submission

+250

Ferguson via decision

+600

Draw

+5000

Fight goes the distance: YES

+300

Fight goes the distance: NO

-450

Pick: Tony Ferguson by submission (+250) — Asking any fighter to go the five-round championship distance following a short training camp amid the rollercoaster reality of how this fight card was eventually secured is not an easy task. Then, add in the fact that Ferguson and Gaethje fight at such a violent and frenetic pace and this interim lightweight title bout doesn’t have great potential to go the distance. That doesn’t mean it will end early, however, which is why the over of 2.5 total rounds only gives +110 odds. But given Ferguson’s advantages on the ground, the idea of a late submission isn’t out of the question. Ferguson has both the chin and determination to survive Gaethje’s powerful attack. He’s also the more skilled fighter with more ways to win. Should you pair this with a round prop, Ferguson winning in Rounds 3 (+600), 4 (+800) or 5 (+1200) offer tremendous value.

Henry Cejudo (c) vs. Dominick Cruz

Cejudo via KO/TKO/DQ

+275

Cejudo via submission

+1000

Cejudo via decision

+130

Cruz via KO/TKO/DQ

+1000

Cruz via submission

+1400

Cruz via decision

+275

Draw +5000

Fight goes the distance: YES

-163

Fight goes the distance: NO

+120

Pick: Dominick Cruz via decision (+275) — There are a number of factors at play in this fight. Cruz is entering the fight after three years on the sidelines, yes, but he has stayed in shape and has one of the more unique styles in the sport. Cejudo was preparing to face a completely different type of striker in Jose Aldo. With limited training camp options during the pandemic, Cejudo doesn’t have the option of bringing in someone who can perfectly — or even poorly — mirror Cruz’s combination of length and footwork. It’s a risky bet to throw money on Cruz, but the reward if he can use his best assets to come out on top is worth it over the safer choice of simply placing a bet on the fight going the distance at -163. — Brookhouse

Francis Ngannou vs. Jair Rozenstruik

Ngannou via KO/TKO/DQ

-120

Ngannou via submission

+900

Ngannou via decision

+500

Rozenstruik via KO/TKO/DQ

+350

Rozenstruik via submission

+2200

Rozenstruik via decision

+700

Fight goes the distance: YES

+250

Fight goes the distance: NO

-350

Pick: Francis Ngannou via KO/TKO/DQ (-120) — This simply comes down to using all available information. Ngannou has been in with some heavy hitters in the past and has not suffered a knockout loss. While Rozenstruik is a dangerous striker, he has not had to prove himself in the same fire as Ngannou. In his most recent fight, Rozenstruik looked entirely human before catching Alistair Overeem with stopping shots in the final moments of the fight. I don’t think he can pull that off against Ngannou. The first round may be slow-paced as both men try to figure each other out, but Ngannou finding Rozenstruik’s chin in the second or third round seems likely. Ngannou winning in Round 2 (+400) or Round 3 (+800) feel like great value bets. — Brookhouse

Calvin Kattar vs. Jeremy Stephens

Kattar via KO/TKO/DQ

+300

Kattar via submission

+1100

Kattar via decision

+120

Stephens via KO/TKO/DQ

+400

Stephens via submission

+1600

Stephens via decision

+550

Fight goes the distance: YES

-163

Fight goes the distance: NO

+120

Pick: Fight goes the distance: YES (-163) — It’s not the sexiest pick, but sometimes looking at a fight and seeing two guys who are likely to gut out three rounds means that is your best play. Stephens pulling off an upset is a strong possibility, he’s a diamond-tough fighter, but also prone to getting dragged down in his worst performances. Kattar isn’t likely to score a submission and Stephens can probably withstand his striking to get to the scorecards. — Brookhouse

Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro

De Castro via KO/TKO/DQ

+200

De Castro via submission

+2000

De Castro via decision

+900

Hardy via KO/TKO/DQ

+125

Hardy via submission

+1600

Hardy via decision

+275

Fight goes the distance: YES

+175

Fight goes the distance: NO

-250

Pick: Yorgan De Castro by decision (+900) — It’s typically not a good bet to wager that two super heavyweights, who have seen the final horn just three times combined in their pro careers, will do so after a short training camp. But former NFL All-Pro Greg Hardy remains so raw from the standpoint of technique and stamina that the possibility of a sloppy affair that crawls to the finish line remains decent. So is the idea that Hardy, despite going the distance in a step-up loss to Alexander Volkov last November, can lose again. De Castro is far from a world beater, but the 33-year-old is unbeaten in six fights and scored stoppage wins in both his Dana White’s Contender Series appearance and official UFC debut last year. Picking heavyweight bouts is always a crapshoot given the power and uncertain nature. But this is a low-risk, high-reward opportunity should you believe Hardy still has a long room to grow. You could also parlay it with the “will the fight go the distance” for some extra value. — Campbell

Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis

Pettis via KO/TKO/DQ

+225

Pettis via submission

+800

Pettis via decision

+275

Cerrone via KO/TKO/DQ

+500

Cerrone via submission

+700

Cerrone via decision

+333

Fight goes the distance: YES

+110

Fight goes the distance: NO

-150

Pick: Pettis via KO/TKO/DQ (+250) — Both Pettis and his opponent are badly in need of a win entering this welterweight bout between well-known action stars on losing streaks. On the surface, Cerrone has much more to prove given he has been knocked out in two rounds or less on three occasions over the past 11 months. “Cowboy” is also fresh off an incredibly disappointing January loss to Conor McGregor in which he was decimated in 40 seconds and later admitted to being overwhelmed by the moment in his first pay-per-view headlining role. But will the 37-year-old’s ambition to prove he isn’t finished ultimately lead to his exit? Desperation has a way of leaving one vulnerable and Pettis, 33, is still explosive enough to finish this fight with one strike. Not only is Cerrone a notoriously late starter with a flash chin, Pettis has the confidence of having brutally stopped Cerrone via body kicks in Round 1 of their 2013 meeting. — Campbell

Who will win Ferguson vs. Gaethje, and how exactly will each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every UFC 249 fight, all from the accomplished expert who’s up almost $19,000.





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