UFC 249 Betting Plays and Predictions

May 5, 2020

Oh my word, at long last, we finally have the return of a real sporting event!!! The last time we had an event of any kind was the UFC Brasilia card on March 14th. We, nearly two months later, are finally back to sports with three UFC cards through May 16th. To that we say, thank you, Uncle Dana!!

Of the three cards created, this UFC 249 pay per view card is extremely high end and well put together. The card leads off with three quality fights on UFC Fight Pass at 630PM EST. The card shifts to ESPN and ESPN+ at 8 PM EST for four fights headlined by Anthony Pettis vs Cowboy Cerrone. Finally, we get the pay per view portion at 10 PM EST featuring two title fights and headlined by what could shape up to be an all-timer in Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight championship.

I’ll work my way down the full fight card bottom to top and discuss each fight even if there’s no betting play just from sheer excitement to have fighting return and have it return with this level of the fight card.

Betting Play Rundown

🔥 Rosa +135
🔥 Luque ITD -130
🔥Jacare -125
🔥Oleinik via KO +695

🔥Cowboy +120
🔥Cruz +195 (best play and value)
🔥Gaethje +165

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Fight Pass Prelims

Ryan Spann -415 vs Sam Alvey

The fight is at 205 lbs and is -205 to end inside the distance.

This fight, on paper, is every bit as lopsided as the line would suggest. Alvey remains a seasoned vet that will remain somewhat inactive in the striking in search of the perfect shot. His once granite chin has shown signs of cracking recently and will need to be busier in this fight and find an upset or risk being cut from the promotion. Alvey’s defensive grappling is top-notch and he would likely have an advantage was this fight to hit the floor. The most likely outcome, however, is the extent of the grappling to take place in this fight being perhaps some clinching with either fighter attacking front chokes, which both have shown an ability to finish. More so on the Spann side.

Spann is the larger and more athletic fighter and will have a 3” height and 5.5” reach advantage. He has won all three fights since entering the UFC, two of which via finish and additionally secured a submission on Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) in just 26 seconds to initially secure a spot on the roster. Spann is the quicker, longer, and more athletic fighter and will be able to back up Alvey seemingly at will. He will win this fight so long as he remains technical on exchange exits and doesn’t allow Alvey to catch him with the perfect shot he attempts to set up.

With the line being as wide as it is, we have to fade this kickoff fight from a betting perspective, but if you must have action, the lean goes heavily to the Spann side to win or via finish.

No Plays

Charles Rosa vs Bryce Mitchell -160

The fight is at 145 lbs and is +145 to end inside the distance.

This fight is fairly easily identifiable as the top candidate to be the second-worst on the card. More on the worst late. Bryce Mitchell is quite frankly a poor striker who is absent power who exclusively looks to grapple or set up grappling at this point in his career. He will even allow takedowns and be put on his back to allow for setting up grappling on the floor and attempting to sweep.

While Mitchell might have a grappling edge, Rosa is not at all incapable and is very sound with submission defense. He has eight submissions to his name, including his last fight, and has never been submitted. While neither fighter is a technical or high-end striker, Rosa has an advantage in this department and perhaps even more importantly, will have a massive cardio advantage. Rosa has a long-lasting motor while Mitchell has faded in fights and this is likely the determining factor in this fight. Rosa could run away with this one late, either securing a late finish or locking up a decision victory.

There is value in the underdog here and Rosa will be our first play of the night.

Betting Play: Charles Rosa +135
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Vincente Luque -290 vs Niko Price

The fight is at 170 lbs and is -310 to end inside the distance.

This fight is a rematch from 2017 in which Luque finished Price with a D’Arce late in the second round. The only potential difference I see in the rematch is a potentially quicker finish for Luque.

Price owns some spectacular finishes to be sure, but there is a real argument to be made he’s been one of the luckier fighters on the roster to get the finishes he’s gotten, and seemingly finds himself in a horrific spot in every single fight. Luque is tough as nails with an iron chin so Price’s Hail Mary approach is one that stands little chance of success and he will once again find himself being finished by a superior fighter in all facets.

Despite the wide line, Luque will be our second play on the card, but we vastly improve our odds by taking him inside the distance (ITD) at just -130.

Betting Play: Luque ITD -130
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