UFC 274 Odds, Picks & Predictions for Oliveira vs Gaethje
Adam Martin | 11 mins
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The UFC returns this weekend with a stacked pay-per-view card when UFC 274 goes down Saturday night at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The card features two title fights at the top of the card, as well as 13 other bouts.
In our preview, we'll take a closer look at both title fights, as well as one other bout. Now, let’s cash in on these UFC betting picks for the card!
Odds via DraftKings sportsbook and current as of publication. Check out our DraftKings promo code page.
Charles Oliveira (-140) vs. Justin Gaethje (+120)
The main event of UFC 274 features UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira against challenger Justin Gaethje. There was some enormous news late Friday afternoon that has moved betting markets, however. Oliveira missed weight for this fight, which is unprecedented in UFC history. It's the first time a champion has ever lost the title due to missing weight.
Naturally, the line movement has been swift. Oliveira was a -165 favorite at betting sites prior to the news, but he's down to -140, while Gaethje is now a +120 underdog. It should be a great fight to watch. I will be picking Oliveira to win this fight as the short favorite, though the missed weight has certainly made me much less confident in this pick.
Since Oliveira lost his title on the scale, only Gaethje will be eligible to win the belt now. As I mentioned, after seeing Oliveira miss weight, it does make it more difficult to place a bet on him.
But at this point, it’s just more difficult to bet against Oliveira. The 32-year-old Brazilian has won his last 10 fights in a row and he’s 11-1 overall at 155lbs in the UFC. Oliveira is also the UFC’s all-time leader in finishes and submission wins. After beating Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson in his last three fights, Oliveira has proven beyond a doubt he is the best lightweight in the world. He’s always been amazing at submitting his opponents, but now he can also knock them out, which makes him incredibly dangerous anywhere the fight goes.
Gaethje is a great fighter in his own right. He is coming off of an incredible win over the aforementioned Chandler, and he has finished so many big-name opponents throughout his UFC career. That being said, he has beaten mostly strikers. The one grappler he faced, UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov, submitted him quite easily once the fight hit the mat. Nurmagomedov is an absolute legend, but seeing how easily he tapped Gaethje out, it’s hard not to think that Oliveira will be able to do the same if the fight hits the mat.
This fight comes down to whether or not Oliveira can get the fight to the mat. If it stays on the feet, then Gaethje will have the edge in terms of power and durability. But if it goes to the ground, then you would have to give Oliveira a huge advantage. It really does appear to be a two-outcome fight, with either Gaethje winning by knockout or Oliveira winning by sub.
I’m a huge Gaethje fan, but I have to go with Oliveira to defend his belt as a -140 favorite. I believe he will win by submission, and you can get +140 odds on that prop hitting. That being said, considering he missed weight, it does add another extra variable to this matchup that makes it even more difficult to pick now. I'll stand by my original Oliveira pick, but it is certainly not as confident of a pick as it was earlier in the week before he missed weight.
The pick: Charles Oliveira at -140 with DraftKings ➜
Alternative pick: Charles Oliveira wins by submission at +160 with FanDuel ➜
Other UFC 274 Best Bets
Rose Namajunas (-195) vs. Carla Esparza (+165)
The co-main event of UFC 274 is a rematch between UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas and challenger Carla Esparza. Namajunas is a -195 favorite to win, with the comeback on Esparza at +165. Despite Esparza winning their first meeting back in 2014, I’m going with Namajunas to defend her belt as the favorite on UFC betting sites here.
In their first meeting back in December 2018, it was Esparza who won the inaugural UFC 115lbs belt when she submitted Namajunas. I actually picked Esparza to win their first fight, but it was a different situation back then, as Namajunas didn’t have the experience nor the takedown defense to combat Esparza. In 2022, nearly eight years later, I believe the rematch will go much differently, as I expect Namajunas to make the adjustments and win this fight.
After their first fight, Esparza lost the belt to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, then Namajunas beat Jedrzejczyk twice to prove she was the best women’s strawweight in the sport. She did lose her belt against Jessica Andrade, but she beat Andrade in a rematch, and then she beat Weili Zhang to win the belt back and then beat her again in a rematch. What Namajunas has been doing has been incredibly impressive to watch, and at age 29, she can get even better.
At age 34, Esparza is still fighting at a high level, having won her last five fights in a row. She has looked fantastic, but she has relied on her wrestling to win those fights. While Esparza’s pure wrestling is still better than Namajunas’, her opponent has really improved her overall grappling skills. If Namajunas is able to at least counter Esparza’s grappling, she should have a big advantage as far as striking goes, and she should be able to win this fight.
I’m going with Namajunas to defend her title against Esparaza as a -195 favorite. That being said, I’m expecting a competitive fight, so look for it to go the distance, and you can take a look at Namajunas to win by decision at +170 odds.
The pick: Rose Namajunas at -195 with DraftKings ➜
Alternative pick: Rose Namajunas wins by decision at +170 with FanDuel ➜
Donald Cerrone (-170) vs. Joe Lauzon (+150)
Opening up the UFC 274 pay-per-view card is a lightweight fight between veterans Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon. Cerrone is a -170 favorite at betting app with Lauzon as a +150 underdog, and I’m backing the underdog Lauzon to win this fight.
This is both a pure fade on Cerrone as well as taking advantage of a spot that I’ve seen Lauzon win in the past. Cerrone was a great fighter for so many years, but at age 39, he has seen better days. Cerrone is winless over his last six fights, and he was knocked out in four of those contests. Fading Cerrone has been very lucrative the last few years, and I can’t help but take advantage of another spot to fade him as a favorite and bet on an underdog foe.
Lauzon is no spring chicken at age 37, but he is coming off of a KO win over Jonathan Pearce in 2019, a win that looks great in hindsight considering how well Pearce has performed in the UFC. I generally don’t bet on fighters coming off of long layoffs – Lauzon hasn’t fought since October 2019 – but I can’t pass up Lauzon here as the underdog. We have seen the man blitz several opponents during his career right out of the gate and finish them in the first round, including Pearce, Diego Sanchez, Takanori Gomi and Jens Pulver. In fact, Lauzon has eight finishes in the first round during his UFC career, and I think he can do it again vs. Cerrone.
Give me Lauzon to upset Cerrone here as a +150 dog. And if you want to get frisky, consider taking the prop on him winning at +600 odds.
The pick: Joe Lauzon at +150 with DraftKings ➜
Alternative pick: Joe Lauzon wins by TKO at +600 with FanDuel ➜