Bring Back the Noise! UFC 261 Marks Return of Large Crowds in Title-Fight Tripleheader

Posted on April 23, 2021

Dana White does it again & we’re bringing you the best UFC 261 betting odds & sportsbook promotions we could find.

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ufc 261 betting odds fanduel

The UFC President, Dana White, leads the mixed martial arts world and the combat-sports community to another level.

Saturday’s UFC 261 breaks new ground and unfolds before about 15,000 live spectators at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. Here come the ear-splitting roars, the animated entrances, and emotional post-fight speeches to the crowds.  Fans are waiting to cut loose in this latest breakthrough against Covid 19.

White brought the UFC back last May 9 in the midst of the pandemic. He later created Fight Island in Dubai and was light years ahead of most organized sports leagues in operating amid Covid 19.

UFC 261 Betting Odds & Sportsbook Promotions

Here’s Saturday’s card, complete with some of the sport’s biggest names, and DraftKings Sportsbook odds.

Preliminary Card

  • Randy Brown -155 vs Alex Oliveira +125
  • Brandon Allen -155 vs Karl Roberson -125
  • Dwight Grant -240 vs Stefan Sekulic +180
  • Pat Sabatini -230 vs Tristan Connelly +180


  • Saturday, April 24, VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida
    • Main card:10 p.m. ET, PPV
    • Prelims:8 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+
  • Early prelims:6 p.m. ET on ESPN2/ESPN

UFC 261 Title Fights Overview

Kamara Usman -435 vs Jorge Masvidal +325

ufc 261 betting odds draftkings

Usman decisioned Masvidal convincingly last July. He scored repeated takedowns and disrupted Masvidal’s rhythm.

It was an impressive performance for Usman, the UFC’s second pound-for-pound ranked fighter behind Jon Jones. It’s his title to lose here.

Masvidal was given a rematch because the first fight drew a reported 1.3 million pay-per-view buys, which was impressive.

Masvidal also took that challenge on six days’ notice, dropped about 20 pounds to make weight and flew to Dubai to essentially save an event that had fallen apart.

When he used that platform to seek another fight, it was granted.

So far, the sharps don’t agree that a full training camp will help Masvidal. They keep slamming Usman.

Will this be another decision or a more explosive verdict?

Few rematches repeat themselves exactly, if a victory-method prop looks enticing.

Valentina Shevchenko -435  vs Jessica Andrade +325

Shevchenko (2) and Zhang (3) are the UFC’s most talented fighters behind Amanda Nunes in the women’s pound-for-pound rankings.

They are heavily favored to defend titles, but the talent level does not seem to be as large as the board indicates.

Shevchenko defends her title against Andrade, who scored an eyebrow-raising one-round TKO over a solid Katlyn Chookagian in her last bout in October. Four of Andrade’s last five fights have ended inside the distance.

Weili Zhang -200 vs Rose Namajunas +165

Zhang hasn’t fought since an epic shootout with Joanna Jedrzejczyk last March. It is considered one of the most violent and greatest women’s championship bouts ever. She prevailed in a split decision.

Wagering Observations

*First, if it applies, take the gimme.

UFC 261 DraftKings Promos:

New users, make a deposit of $5 or more into your sportsbook account. You’ll then be issued a single-use odd boost to choose either fighter in that event.

The boost is for +2600 (26-1) odds for either side to win that event.

Apply the boost to the fighter you want by adding that fighter’s moneyline to your bet slip and applying the boost. Your FIRST bet with the boost is your qualifying bet. Max bet $5.

DraftKings offers a different type of promo for its “regulars”. There are three potential profit boosts.

  • Following opt-in, you’ll be issued three single-use profit boosts, which can be used to place any bets on UFC 261.
  • Select the boost from your bet slip before placing your get to apply the boosted price.
  • The 26% profit boost applies to the winnings (which exclude the original et).
  • Max bet $50. Max $100 additional winnings.

UFC 261 FanDuel Promos:

But FanDuel Sportsbook has an attractive side menu, providing a smaller payout for an expanded option to cash.

Check its How Fight Ends prop section.

UFC 261 Betting Odds “Finishes” – Usman vs Masvidal

  • K0/TK0 +130
  • Points -160
  • Submission +1100
  • Usman points win -120

UFC 261 Betting Odds “Finishes” – Shevchenko vs Andrade

  • K0/TK0 +120
  • Points +115
  • Submission +400
  • Shevchenko points +155

FanDuel is known to offer promos one night before or the night of the event. Check on it.

*Find a side angle from the favorites moneyline.

Dog bettors will go for the obvious. Moneyline prices on Masvidal, Namajunas and Andrade are sweet. Try props behind them, sure, but the moneyline is a no-brainer.

Chalk players, -435 on Masvidal is untouchable except to those who wager large dollars on a slam.

Shevchenko is a big number too. Zhang’s price also is tough to play on the favorites line.

*Early birds caught the wagering worm here as the points dropped to -160 from +200. Savvy bettors expect a repeat of the first fight, a lopsided Usman decision.

Nonetheless, these values are good compared to the moneyline.

*What you see is what you get here. Tough, durable fighters. Take a stab at one of three victory methods and cash out. Much better than the moneyline and there’s enough incentive to take a crack at a winning method for either fighter.

Two of Shevchenko’s three losses are to Amanda Nunes.

Andrade’s last win, versus Katyln Chookagian, came from a body shot. Expect an aggressive fight here.

How Zhang-Namajunas ends. Covers both fighters:

K0/TK0 +165

Points -135

Submission +500

Zhang pts +155

Zhang K0/TK0 + 260

Value is good on how the fight ends. Both fighters are aggressive and the reward for getting the right fighter with the right methods will be profitable.

There’s a lot for bettors to tap into in for the Hall-Weidman fight.

First, it’s moneyline friendly.  Fair price and a normal degree of difficulty.

But there’s a deeper angle. Hall has been streaky. He has won three in a row, including a four-round stoppage victory over Anderson Silva last October. The streak followed a three-fight losing skein in 2015-16.

Weidman was 13-0, now he’s 15-5. What happened in all five losses? He was stopped.

The power thus has good value on the props.

How the fight ends, both fighters covered:

  • K0/TK0 +145
  • Submission +360
  • Points +105

Each fighter would pay more for K0/TK0 but either way you are betting into strength here. Many of their fights have been ending early.

The fight began as a pick-em and Weidman has become slightly favored.

It’s Live Baby

Fighters haven’t been used to appearing before screaming throngs. This is going to elevate the environment, perhaps make some fighters more aggressive.

It’s natural to feed to the big crowds. These athletes haven’t seen one in a long time.

Some will be bolstered and some bothered.

Good luck with your bets.

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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