Moneyline Magic:Great Betting Value Marks Tightly-Contested UFC 262

Posted on May 14, 2021

The moneyline shines for UFC 262 in one of the most competitive up-and-down cards it has ever assembled.

On Thursday, every betting favorite was less than -200 and most under -150 prior to Saturday’s Parity Party from Houston. The hottest betting trend occurred in the co-feature

Here’s the card New Jersey online bettors wager into, with DraftKings odds.


  • Charles Oliveira, -134, vs Michael Chandler, +110 – Lightweight Title Bout
  • *Beneil Dariush -165 vs Tony Ferguson +125
  • Katlyn Chookagian -139 vs Viviane Araujo +115
  • Shane Burgos -141 vs Edson Barboza +114
  • Matt Schnell -159 vs Rogerio Bontorin +130


  • Ronaldo Souza -115 vs Andre Muniz -108
  • Mike Grundy -124 vs Lando Vannata +100
  • Antonina Shevchenko -129 vs Andrea Lee +105
  • Jamie Pickett -118 vs Jordan Wright -106

UFC 262 – How to Watch:

Early Prelims: 6:30 ET UFC Fight Pass

Prelims: 8 p.m., ESPN or ESPN+

Main Card:10 p.m. Purchase on ESPN +

*Betting Bullet: Thursday afternoon developments indicated the Dariush moneyline train was leaving the station. He’s made the most definitive run of any fighter this week.

Dariush slowly moved to -170 at William Hill, -175 at PointsBet and -184 at FanDuel. Dariush trended like a hot stock that received good earnings news in the middle of the trading day.

It will be interesting to see if this continues or whether the price will then get high enough to attract Ferguson play. Ferguson was up to +148 by mid-afternoon, the highest he’s been.

Wagering Observations

So competitive is this card that even the no-brainer promo for first-time users became a brain-teaser. But gamblers love a challenge.

  1. Pick Your Brain Promo

You’ve seen the classic offer: Put $ 1 on any fighter, if a punch is connected, you win $100.

This one has a unique twist, given the well-matched main event.

But it still represents a bonus.

Here it is: make a deposit of $5 or more into your Sportsbook account. You will be issued one single-use odds boost on either fighter to win.

Remember to select the boost from your betslip BEFORE placing the bet to apply the boosted price. Maximum bet $1.

This one is more difficult to collect on than others, but a correct selection, followed by a couple others with the bonus money, still provides the chance for a quick bankroll.

  1. Main event odds are deservedly tight

Oliveira and Chandler observe the opportunity of a lifetime. They vie for the belt left vacant by the retirement of Khabib Nurmagomedov and they reside in a hot financial pipeline.

This bout should propel winner into a megabout against Dustin Poirier or Conor McGregor. They both know what that means. McGregor is MMA’s human cash register, responsible for many pay-per-view blockbusters.

Poirier shocked “Notorious “by stopping him in January. The rematch is July 10 and their individual series is 1-1.

It’s logical for the winner of this fight to oppose the winner of that one.

Logic doesn’t always follow through in sports, but does so more in UFC than in many others.

  1. Handicapping the main event

Oliveira has won eight straight, including an impressive decision victory over former lightweight champion Tony Ferguson last December. Ground fighting has been his forte.

During one stretch, eight of his nine fights ended via submission, many via chokeouts or chokeholds. When Oliveira is on, he’s a threat to win by submission.  Even three of his losses occurred that way.

For one of the rare times, the FanDuel board has a submission at a lower price than other victory methods.

Victory Methods


  • Submission +220
  • K0/TK0 +460
  • Points +600


  • K0/TK0 +200
  • Points +600
  • Submission +1700

Chandler has thrived as a stand-up striker.  He notched an impressive UFC debut by stopping Dan Hooker in the first round. Chandler, ironically, dropped a hook on Hooker, flooring him with a thunderous left hook. The fight ended moments later.

  1. Wagering angles

Logic bet: win line is fair on both sides.

Pragmatic bet: submission win for Olilveira, K0/TK0 for Chandler

Reach bet: Deciding that neither can impose his will on the other and taking + 280 that it ends by points (FanDuel)

  1. Dariush gains betting love.

Bettors are riding the Dariush Express, which hit full steam Thursday.

He’s been drifting up all week and becoming close to unplayable on the moneyline.  Suddenly, the -165 at DraftKings seems like a deal for him, if it lasts.

He has moved the needle more than any other fighter this week.

Dariush has been recently consistent, splitting the last six between evenly between K0/TK0, submission and points.

What a difference a year makes. Ferguson, who had the title in 2017, had a rough 2020. He was a beaten favorite, stopped by Justin Gaethje last May, and then was decisioned by Oliveira.

Remember the matchup with Gaethje last year? UFC was trying to make Ferguson-Khabib for the sixth time. But that went south.

Dariush is favored despite being ranked ninth in the division. Ferguson is fifth.

  1. Other bouts

Barboza is 2-5 in his last seven fights but against world-class opposition. Burgos comes off a defeat to sixth-ranked featherweight Josh Emmett. One fighter is sliding down, another can’t get over the top.

The board screams “decision” for Chookagian-Arauzo. If you agree and want to drill down to select either fighter that way, odds will substantially improve.

But at these prices, it can still be a second pick.  The win line is attractive for Araujo, borderline for Chookagian.

Dave Bontempo Avatar
Written by
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a national multi-award-winning writer, and broadcaster, writes extensively on the evolving legalized sports-wagering world. Over the past four decades, he has called fights for all major networks, authored columns for the Associated Press, Atlantic City Press, and iGaming Player. He is in the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and a Sam Taub Award for broadcast excellence, given by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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