The 2019 Breeders Cup is fast approaching, and the betting opportunities are vast. Everyone is drawn to the Breeders Cup Classic, as always, but there are other races that deserve your attention. We’re going to take you through the most important ones and provide our predictions.
UFC 243 Betting Odds: Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya Are Ready to Wage War
While Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya will be the big draw at UFC 243, the latest fight card promises a few other doozies: Al Iaquinta vs. Dan Hooker, Tai Tuivasa vs. Sergey Spivak, Luke Jumeau vs. Dhiego Lima and Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington. Stick with us as we preview and predict every match on the main card.
- Robert Whittaker (-145)
- Israel Adesanya (+115)
UFC odds always shift in the lead-up to fight night, so make sure you’re double-checking lines with your preferred sportsbook before submitting your UFC 243 picks. In the meantime, we have everything you need to decide which bets to place:
- Complete UFC 243 odds
- In-depth preview for Whittaker vs. Adesanya
- Analysis of the other four co-headlining fights
- UFC picks for the five primetime matches
UFC 243 Betting Breakdown
Robert Whittaker (-145) vs. Israel Adesanya (+115)
UFC 243 has a lot to live up to. was that good. The main event itself seems up to the task.
Robert Whittaker is getting pretty substantial love from the sportsbooks despite spending ample time out of the octagon. That is not unheard of, but it’s a little unusual.
Health issues have sidelined Whittaker for basically the past year. This will be the middleweight champion’s first match since taking down Yoel Romero, which came right before injuries forced him to miss a scheduled title defense against Kelvin Gastelum.
Expect this line to even out in the days leading up to the fight. Whittaker’s hiatus is going to, on some level, work against him. But it shouldn’t deter you from investing in him with some semblance of confidence.
Stamina is Whittaker’s bread and butter. He held up quite well in his two fights with Romero, who has a reputation for absolutely annihilating his foes.
At the same time, Israel Adesanya is a superstar in waiting. He takes a perfect 17-0 record into the Oct. 5 bout and is renowned for his frenetic and exciting style between the ropes.
His attacking stances will be a huge test for Whittaker right off the bat, and if we’re being honest, we don’t particularly love the latter’s chances, even though he’s riding a nine-fight winning streak.
Whittaker’s time off figures to be a problem here, so we’re going with the slight underdog.
OSB Prediction: Israel Adesanya (+115)
Al Iaquinta (-115) vs. Dan Hooker (-105)
Both Al Iaquinta and Dan Hooker will be looking to steady roller coaster years at UFC 243. This promises to be one of the most closely contested fights of the night as a result.
Iaquinta is working off a loss to Donald Cerrone. And though he picked up a victory in his prior match against Kevin Lee, that was preceded by a unanimous-decision letdown versus Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Hooker is coming off a first-round knockout victory over James Vick. The fight before that, however, he fell in the third round against versus Edson Barboza, a loss that ended a four-match winning streak.
We like Iaquinta in this head-to-head battle, if only because he’s a little more versatile. He doesn’t have much of a left hand, but he still gets in some nice lower-body combinations, and he’s difficult to best in wrestling stances.
OSB Prediction: Al Iaquinta (-115)
Holly Holm (-210) vs. Raquel Pennington (+170)
Holly Holm is returning to Australia for the first time after her shocking 2015 victory over Ronda Rousey. Oddsmakers are naturally expecting big things.
Choosing Holm is mostly easy, but there might be cause for some concern. She last fought at UFC 239, where she suffered a technical knockout at the hands of Amanda Nunes, and she’s an uninspiring 2-5 over his last seven fights.
Rolling the dice on Raquel Pennington isn’t much more appealing, though.
She didn’t even open as a +200, and it’s unwise to expect the lines to move much more before the opening bell. Before her split-decision matchup with Irene Aldana last month, she had lost two consecutive fights, and her overall career is littered with inconsistent offensive and defensive performances.
Holm gets an endorsement from us by virtue of her more appealing track record. She can be overaggressive at times, and her grappling often leaves much to be desired. But she’s going up against an inferior opponent in terms of technique. This match is hers to lose.
OSB Prediction: Holly Holm (-210)
Luke Jumeau (-270) vs. Dhiego Lima (+220)
Anyone care for a dark-horse prediction? Because we’ve got one.
Opening lines for the Luke Jumeau–Dhiego Lima bout have fluctuated more than usual. The latest odds have the former out in front. But should we be ready to go that far?
These two are evenly matched on the surface. They both play mostly striking styles, and there is nothing unorthodox about their stances. Even their grappling techniques are similar.
Jumeau would seem to have the edge on the surface. He’s yet to lose a fight by knockout, while Lima has been KO’d four times. Still, Lima’s reach on his kicks is a little bit more impressive, and although he’s been prone to early knockouts, his fight stamina plays quite nicely in later-round scuffles.
OSB Prediction: Dhiego Lima (+220)
Tai Tuivasa (-300) vs. Sergey Spivak (+230)
Could Sergey Spivak perhaps catch a break? UFC seems to be doing nothing but slotting him against powerhouses.
First, in his UFC debut, Spivak needed to face the No. 11 ranked fighter in his division, Walt Harris. Now he’s going up against Tai Tuivasa, the 13th-ranked heavyweight at that moment. Talk about your tough pulls.
On the plus side, Spivak is scrappy. He plays motion defense well, and he was 9-0 for his career before entering UFC. It likewise helps that Tuivasa is on a current two-fight losing streak.
And yet, even with all that on the table, it’s tough to pick against Tuivasa. He generates absurd power on his punches, has the kickboxing background to mix in tough-to-prevent combos and, as an Australian native, will have the whole crowd behind him.
If nothing else, Spivak doesn’t yet have the experience to earn the benefit of the doubt over a fighter with Tuivasa’s track record, peppered with mistakes thought it may be.
OSB Prediction: Tai Tuivasa (-300)
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