UFC 274: Oliveira vs Gaethje Best Bets, Odds, and Predictions

UFC 274: Oliveira vs Gaethje Best Bets, Odds, and Predictions
Image © Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Frank Weber
Frank Weber
December 23rd 2022

We’re just a few sleeps away from one of the biggest UFC events of the year, so it’s time to familiarize yourself with the card and get your bets in place. Headlined by two championship fights, UFC 274 is set to be an absolute banger of a card. Not only do we have two championship fights, but we’ll see the return of four of the biggest legends in the sport: Tony Ferguson, Shogun Rua, Donald Cerrone, and Joe Lauzon.

The best part about this card though is its depth. Even the most casual of fans should recognize at least one fighter's name throughout the prelims and main card, and the early prelims are full of top prospects and potential crazy fights as well. All in all, it should be a fun Saturday night.

And if you want to maximize that fun, you should place a couple of bets and really see what kind of UFC fan you are. If you want to place some bets this Saturday night, you should check out this list of the best sportsbooks in the country. I’ll be using the odds provided by BetMGM Sportsbook, which is one of the best sportsbooks on the market.

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So, without further to do, here are my best bets for UFC 274.

Blagoy Ivanov (-160) vs Marcos Rogerio de Lima (+130)

My first pick comes during the prelims, and if you know me you know one things for sure: I LOVE Heavyweight fights. Just 500 pounds of man beating the snot out of each other for 15 minutes, with the potential of the fight ending found in literally every second.

Marcos Rogerio de Lima has been the more active fighter, fighting (and winning) twice in 2021, picking up a TKO win over Ben Rothwell and a decision win over Mo Green. Ivanov is currently on a two-fight losing skid, dropping consecutive fights to Derrick Lewis and Augusto Sakai. However, what you have to remember, is that both fights were decided via split decision, so they were a lot closer than the record books show.

Ivanov has had five fights in the UFC, and has been in there with some killers–Junior Dos Santos, Ben Rothwell, Tai Tuivasa, Derrick Lewis, and Augusto Sakai. While he hasn't fought in two years, each of his five UFC fights have gone the distance–so that’s where I’m going to start with this pick. If you go watch his fight against Derrick Lewis, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say–Blagoy Ivanov is a damage sponge. He just gets beat up and swallows it, pushing forward completely unfazed no matter what the strike that landed.

While De Lima is a bit of a knockout artist himself, I can’t imagine this fight ending within the time allotted. This is going to decision, and Ivanov will likely be the one with his hand raised.

Prediction: Blagoy Ivanov (-160), Fight to go the Distance (+100)

Donald Cerrone (-165) vs Joe Lauzon (+135)

We’ve got the geezers taking the octagon here. Cerrone and Lauzon have combined for 64 fights in the UFC octagon, and are taking center stage for what should be their last times here at UFC 274. Lauzon hasn’t fought since 2019, but did win via TKO over Jonathan Pearce in his last UFC appearance. Cerrone hasn’t been so lucky, losing each of his last six fights (well, the fight against Niko Price was an overturned draw but come on, there’s no winner there).

In his last outing against Alex Morono, Cerrone looked like a shell of his old self. I’ve been calling for Cerrone’s retirement for years now, but the old man just has to learn his lesson one more time.

Prediction: Joe Lauzon (+135), Lauzon via KO/TKO or DQ (+450)

MAIN EVENT: Charles Oliveira (-175) vs Justin Gaethje (+145)

Charles Oliveira is proving to be the rightful heir to Khabib’s throne. Currently sitting on a 10 fight win streak, Oliveira will look to grab his second successful championship defense, but will have to take on one of the most dangerous men in the entire sport to do so. Justin Gaethje has proven his ability to not only take a punch, but to dish one back out, too. His most recent fight against Michael Chandler is one of the best fights in UFC history and will for sure find itself in the UFC hall of fame.

While I think Gaethje definitely has an advantage on the feet in this fight, he’ll have to do his best to avoid the ground while fighting someone as skilled as Charles Oliveira. Oliveira has won two of his last four fights via submission, and is always looking to apply a choke whenever necessary. His hands are nothing to be forgotten though, as he’s also finished his opponent via TKO/KO in three of his last six.

There is no way this fight goes the distance, and if you’re feeling risky you could even bet on a first-round finish if you so please. For who will win, it’s a tough call. If I were the oddsmaker I’d make this more of a pick ‘em, but I still have to give the slight edge to Oliveira.

Prediction: Charles Oliveira (-175), Under 1.5 Rounds (+125), Oliveira to win via TKO/KO/DQ (+650)

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