When: May 9, 2020
Where: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
It looks like we are going to get sports this weekend (combat sports!), with a wonderfully interesting UFC card from the sports haven of Jacksonville Florida for UFC 249. We should have plenty of entertaining matches as we still continue as a nation to try to find some solace in some type of sport as we continue to battle the coronavirus.
The UFC is stepping it up and doing just that for sports fans all over the world. So, everyone, hang in there as sports start to come back, enjoy the matches and hopefully I can help by putting a little extra cash in your wallet.
UFC 249 Betting Picks: The Main Event Odds
-180 Tony Ferguson
+150 Justin Gaethje
This number is inflated due to the reputation of Ferguson while they both have experience taking on the same fighter in Michael Johnson. Ferguson lost to him while Gaethje TKO’d him in the 2nd round a little over two years ago in one of the best fights in UFC history. Gaethje is a strong, reckless fighter who could pull a shocker here as a +150 underdog. Ferguson has had to endure plenty of cancellations lately and has had to switch his focus, which could throw the 36-year-old off and play right into Gaethje’s hands.
Harry Gagnon’s UFC 249 Best Bet: +150 Gaethje
-145 Anthony Pettis
+115 Donald Cerrone
Cerrone was embarrassed in less than 45 seconds the last time he fought against Conor McGregor. He has suffered three straight TKO losses and lost to Pettis in the first round when the two faced off against one another seven years ago. Can the Cowboy come back or is he just about ready to ride off into the sunset after admitting his head wasn’t right for the McGregor matchup? It’s the final ride for the Cowboy and UFC legend.
Harry’s UFC 249 Pick: -145 Pettis
-275 Vincente Luque
+225 Niko Price
“The Silent Assassin” Vincente Luque has won six of his last seven matches. I’m looking for the Brazilian to make it seven of eight against Price.
Harry’s UFC 249 Pick: -275 Luque
-260 Calvin Kattar
+210 Jeremy Stephens
Kattar has 20 wins with his last three coming way of TKO. Stephens has 17 losses and has lost his last four matches. What was once one of the most formidable fighters in the UFC is now more of a shell of his former self. Expect Kattar to keep the wins coming by dispatching of Stephens in this one.
Harry’s UFC 249 Pick: -260 Kattar
Harry’s Best Underdog Picks for UFC 249 and UFC 249’s Longest Odds Picks
-155 Carla Esparza
+125 Michelle Waterson
Carla “The Cookie Monster” is looking for three wins in a row and I look for her to wear Waterson down late in the second round. Plus, how can you not go with somebody who has one of the best nicknames in all of sports?
Harry Gagnon’s UFC 249 Betting Pick: -155 Esparza (and if you want to get really juicy: Esparza by Second Round win: +2400).
-130 Jacare Souza
+100 Uriah Hall
Hall has had a whirlwind of an UFC career as right when you think he is going to hit the big time he suffers a loss and right when you think his career is over, he starts piling up W’s. With that history, Hall’s 16-9 career record might not seem that impressive, but always expect the unexpected with him. From the technical standpoint, he has an extra 7.5 inch reach over Jacare Souza and, at even money, he’s worth the play here.
Harry’s Pick: +100 Hall
-230 Henry Cejudo
+185 Domenik Cruz
Cruz has won 13 of his last 14 matches (although he hasn’t fought in more than two years because of a slew of injuries) and has a 4-inch reach on Cejudo. Cejudo has only two career losses and those were to Demetrious Johnson (one of the best UFC fighters ever) and Joseph Benavidez. Cruz has happened to beat both of them and that includes taking Benavidez twice in a year.
Ring rust (or Octagon rust I guess) would normally be something to watch out for and I’d tell you to shy away from any fighter like Cruz. However, Cruz is always battling rust so it’s not like this is going to be anything new for him. I’ve always liked Cruz and expect him to look fresh and bring his A-game that helped him compile a 22-2 lifetime record. The price is right for this one and is one of my biggest upset picks on the card at +185.
Harry’s Upset Pick for UFC 249: +185 Cruz
-280 Francis Ngannou
+230 Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Speaking of upset picks, the Suriname native is getting a solid price considering he is undefeated in 10 career fights. “Bigi Boy,” the man whose hands are human version of bomber jets, leaving nothing but devastation in their wake, has ended all 10 of his career fights in the first round. He is the reason Alistair Overeem’s lip became a viral sensation in his last fight. Meanwhile, Ngannou is only 3-2 in his last five fights, so give me the +230 on the guy who has yet to lose.
Harry’s Biggest Underdog Pick for UFC 249: +230 Rozenstrik
-210 Greg Hardy
+175 Yorgan DeCastro
DeCastro is 6-0, but unproven and oversized in this battle. Hardy has a 6.5-inch reach, plus he’s five inches taller and weighs fifteen pounds more. Hardy will prove to be too much and probably finish this fight early, much to the dismay of everyone who likes to see bad men get punched in the face and dropped on national television.
Harry’s UFC 249 Heavyweight Betting Pick: -210 Hardy
Over/Under 2.5 Rounds Pettis/Cerrone
+100 Over 2.5 Rounds
-140 Under 2.5 Rounds
This is a spot where you just can’t have faith in Cerrone to deliver a smart fight. He is careless with his actions and his chin is seemingly getting weaker with every fight. If he tries to go toe-to-toe with Pettis early, this could mark another early round loss for “The Cowboy.” If Cerrone losses badly here, he really should consider retiring even though he has the most knockouts by leg kick in UFC history and is undeniably a legend always willing to step into the cage.
Well, that’s my 10 plays for UFC 249 in Jacksonville on Saturday night. I hope I can make everyone some money and look, we at least got some type of sport here. Hopefully this starts some good sports momentum and karma as we know NASCAR/the PGA are both hoping to dust off their cars and clubs and follow suit in the near future.