UFC San Diego Odds, Picks & Betting Predictions for Vera vs Cruz
Adam Martin | 9 mins
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The Octagon travels to sunny San Diego, California this Saturday for UFC San Diego. The card features a number of exciting matchups, including two California natives in Marlon Vera and San Diego’s own Dominick Cruz going at it in the five-round main event.
As well, there are several other undercard fights that are also intriguing from a betting perspective. Let's cover the main event and two other bouts, and give our best UFC picks for UFC San Diego.
UFC San Diego: Vera vs Cruz Odds
UFC San Diego Main Event Best Bet
Marlon Vera (-225) vs. Dominick Cruz (+195)
The main event of UFC San Diego is a five-round bantamweight bout between Marlon Vera and Dominick Cruz. Vera is a -225 favorite on betting apps, and I believe he will defeat Cruz for the biggest victory of his career to date.
Vera is one of the best bantamweights in the world and he is coming off the biggest win of his career so far over Rob Font. At just 29, Vera is right in his athletic prime. He has won his last three fights in very impressive fashion and keeps improving every time we see him fight.
His striking is on point and his ground game is getting better, plus he has great cardio and an iron chin. There is a lot to like about Vera, who has an impressive 13-6 record in the UFC. He is closing in on a title shot, and if he can beat Cruz in this fight, there is a very good chance Vera could be fighting for the belt sometime next year.
Cruz, of course, is the former two-time UFC bantamweight champion. At age 36, he has certainly seen better days, but he is still one of the best fighters in his division, having won his last two fights. Cruz is a legend of the sport and has some of the most well-rounded skills in the entire division.
However, his one big flaw is he’s been super inactive. Ever since joining the UFC in 2011, Cruz is just 7-2, having missed huge chunks of his career due to injuries. He is still very talented and you can’t count him out of making one last title run, but he has a very tough matchup against Vera.
Cruz has looked good as of late, but Vera has looked even better, and considering how young he is, Vera has more potential to make improvements. I have to go with Vera to win the fight as a -225 favorite on betting sites, although I believe he will win by decision since Cruz is so tough to finish.
The Pick: Marlon Vera wins at -225 with DraftKings Sportsbook ➜
Alternative Pick: Marlon Vera wins by decision
Other UFC San Diego Best Bets
David Onama (-255) vs. Nate Landwehr (+215)
Also on the main card, we have David Onama taking on Nate Landwehr. Onama is a -255 favorite to win, and I expect him to get the job done in impressive fashion, likely by knockout.
Just 28, Onama made his UFC debut last October and since then is 2-1. He lost a close decision to Mason Jones in his promotional debut at 155lbs, but since dropping down to his natural weight class of 145lbs, Onama is 2-0 with stoppage wins over Garrett Armfield and Gabriel Benitez (who we coincidentally discuss below).
Onama has fantastic striking, improved grappling, great cardio, a solid chin, and is very aggressive. There is a lot to like about Onama, and I believe this main-card push by the UFC could help him explode in popularity.
Landwehr surprised a lot of people, including myself, when he submitted Ludovit Klein as a +300 underdog in his last fight. Given that he had lost two of his three UFC fights by knockout coming into that bout, it was surprising to see him win the fight, and by his first career submission.
Landwehr has always been a brawler by nature, though perhaps his ground game will be utilized more going forward. However, I can’t count on that happening just based on how Landwehr typically fights, and this bout will more than likely be a standup fight. Landwehr has some power himself, but going toe-to-toe with Onama will be too much to handle.
I like Onama to win this fight, and I believe he will stop Landwehr with strikes for the TKO win. Give me Onama at -255, and for a prop consider Onama winning the fight by knockout.
The Pick: David Onama wins at -255 with DraftKings Sportsbook ➜
Alternative Pick: David Onama wins by TKO
Gabriel Benitez (-350) vs. Charlie Ontiveros (+290)
On the preliminary card is a lightweight bout between Gabriel Benitez and Charlie Ontiveros. Benitez is one of the bigger favorites on the card at -350 odds, but I believe this is good juice as I think he wins this fight comfortably.
The first thing I want to note here is that Benitez is moving back up to 155lbs after struggling at 145lbs in his last few fights. The 34-year-old Mexican lost his last two fights at featherweight (one fight was actually a catch weight as he missed weight) and he has lost four of his last five fights overall.
That being said, he is still a very talented fighter who is incredibly dangerous. From 22 career wins, 18 have come by stoppage. He has a ton of experience in the UFC at this point with a 6-6 record, too. Benitez is never going to be a UFC champion, but he is a very exciting fighter to watch, and I believe moving back to lightweight will be a good career move.
I’m going to try and be nice about Ontiveros here. I say this all the time, but I respect anyone who steps into the Octagon, because it is a very dangerous place and not every person has what it takes to do the job. That being said, I just don’t think Ontiveros is good enough to be in the UFC.
His career record is 11-8, and all eight of his losses have come by stoppage, including both of his UFC defeats. He does have some power himself, but that’s a bad record and one that’s made all the worse by the number of stoppage defeats. At 31 and having fought as a pro for a decade, Ontiveros seems like a finished product, and not a great one at that.
There is a reason why Benitez is a big favorite to win this fight, and that’s because the most likely outcome for this bout is Benitez knocking Ontiveros out. Give me Benitez at -350 and if you want to play a prop on him, take him by TKO.
The Pick: Gabriel Benitez to win at -350 with DraftKings Sportsbook ➜
Alternative Pick: Gabriel Benitez wins by TKO