Tony Ferguson is favored to run his winning streak to 13 fights dating back seven years when he takes on Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 249 on Saturday night.
Ferguson (25-3) originally was slated to meet current lightweight titleholder Khabib Nurmagomedov, but the latter had to withdraw due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions in his native Russia. So Ferguson will fight Gaethje, 31, for the interim championship in the first live major sporting event since the pandemic began.
“This may be the most significant sporting event taking place since the quarantine began in March,” said Mattias Stetz, the COO of Rush Street Interactive, which operates BetRivers.com and PlaySugarHouse.com. “We took action on it right away.”
The Rush Street properties have seen prop bets account for more than 20 percent of the action for some of the bouts involving prohibitive favorites, and sportsbooks are offering a wide variety of props from fight length to specific round stoppage and method of victory.
In the co-main event, 33-year-old Henry Cejudo (15-2) meets 35-year-old Dominick Cruz (22-2), a two-time former champ widely considered the best 135-pounder in the sport’s history.
However, it is Cejudo who is heavily favored by all three books: -225 at PointsBet and -220 at William Hill and PlaySugarHouse. Cejudo is the UFC’s third-ranked pound-for-pound fighter, while Cruz has (+175, +180, +183) has not fought since 2016.
DraftKings is offering “Tale of the Tape” props on Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone, expected to be one of the night’s best fights.
Pettis (-143) has been responsible for 64 percent of the handle and 62 percent of all bets to beat Cerrone (+118). Pettis (9-9 in UFC) is a former UFC and WEC lightweight champion, while Cerrone (23-11) has the most knockdowns and wins in UFC history.
Pettis is +210 and responsible for 56 percent of the handle and total bets to win by knockout, TKO or disqualification at DraftKings, compared to Cerrone at +450 for the same bet.
Pettis is being offered at -145 by PointsBet, -150 by William Hill and -143 by PlaySugarHouse, with Cerrone’s odds at +116, +125 and +118.
“UFC is already a powerful draw for our players and I think they are even more delighted this time because the card generated a lot of attention,” Stetz said.
Other UFC 249 Odds (PlaySugarHouse)
- Greg Hardy -200 vs Yorgan DeCastro, +165
- Calvin Kattar -250 vs. Jeremy Stephens, + 206
- Ronaldo Souza -125 vs. Uriah Hall, +106
- Bryce Mitchell -162 vs Charles Rosa, +136
- Carla Esparza -150 vs Michelle Waterson, +125
- Vicente Luque, -265, vs Nike Price, +216
- Ryan Spann -420 vs Sam Alvey,+325
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)