Best UFC 298 Bets: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Ilia Topuria Picks

Eric Uribe
By , Updated on: Feb 17, 2024 12:00 AM
Best Picks UFC 298

The betting chances on UFC 298 are vast, maybe so vast that bettors are stuck on where to put their money. Well, not anymore. That’s because we’ve analyzed the card and confidently plucked out three UFC 298 bets most worth taking! You’re going to want to stick with us to get our full betting advice!

  • What: UFC 298
  • When: Saturday, February 17
  • Where: Honda Center in Anaheim, California

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Ilia Topuria Betting Pick

The UFC 298 main event is an absolute barnburner. So much so that the best UFC betting sites are completely split on who wins the featherweight title matchup. Have a look-see at the Volkanovski-Topuria odds right now, it’s as even as can be:

FighterBovadaBetUSMyBookie
Alexander Volkanovski-110-110-110
Ilia Topuria-110-110-110

Volkanovski is the defending champion, and some would argue he’s the greatest champion this weight class has ever seen. That’s no shade to Jose Also or Conor McGregor, but Volk has run through the entire division, and done so quite easily. But in this fight, he gets a fresh matchup against the fastest-rising featherweight contender in Topuria.

By most measures, this fight deserves the pick ‘em betting line it’s currently at. Volkanovski is undefeated fighting at featherweight (his two UFC losses were at lightweight, not his natural weight class). At the same time, Topuria has a zero in his career loss column. The two also have strikingly similar fighting styles. Neither is big (even for featherweight) but make up for that size with skills elsewhere — clean striking, strong grappling, durable chins, and extreme cardio.

If there is one difference, it’s the age. Seven years separates them with Topuria being the younger one at 28 years old. Many bettors are wondering how much gas is left in the tank of the 35-year-old Volk — especially after two losses in the last year to Islam Makhachev, including the last by KO. It’s fair to wonder, but our belief is Volk still has “it.” Makhachev was a bad matchup, especially the second time when Volkanovski took the bout on a week’s notice.

Let us not forget Volkanovski demolishing Yair Rodriguez last summer, another featherweight that had hype like Topuria does right now. We do think Topuria is a tougher matchup for Volk so don’t expect a KO finish like the Rodriguez bout. It’ll go to the scorecards, but in the end, Volkanovski wins. His big-fight experience will help him edge Topuria, who, if we’re being honest, has never fought anyone near Volk’s caliber.

Alexander Volkanovski to beat Ilia Topuria at UFC 298
-110
BetUS

Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa Betting Pick

If bettors are worried whether Volkanovski is in decline, they might want to stay away from the co-main event. Here we have a middleweight clash between Whittaker and Costa, two guys desperate for a rebound win, albeit for different reasons. Before we get to that, here’s how oddsmakers have set the Costa-Whittaker moneyline at:

FighterBovadaBetUSMyBookie
Robert Whittaker-190-190-190
Paulo Costa+160+160+160

Why the desperation, you ask? Well, let’s begin with Whittaker. The last time we saw him in the octagon, he was finished rather easily by Dricus du Plessis. We hadn’t seen Whittaker lose to anyone not named Israel Adesanya in nearly a decade so it was shocking to see Whittaker get mauled so easily. He’s also 33 years old with a lot of miles on his odometer so here again, talk of Whittaker being washed up is atop bettor’s minds.

Then there’s Costa, who is even a bigger question mark. In the summer of 2020, he was undefeated and the top challenger at middleweight. Costa proceeded to lose to Adesanya that summer, and has only fought two more times in the three and a half years since (going 1-1). In between those bouts has been one canceled fight after another involving Costa. Maybe it’s bad luck, but it sure feels like Costa isn’t taking his fight career all that seriously as of late.

We’re agreeing with the bookmakers here and taking Whittaker to win. Let’s just assume both fighters enter the octagon like their usual selves (big if, but it’s worth pondering). Whittaker is a far more balanced fighter, whereas Costa is a one-trick pony. If Costa isn’t hitting with power, he doesn’t have much else to fall back on. This makes us confident in Whittaker. Sure, he’s older, but his fight IQ remains high. That IQ helps give Whittaker the outright win.

Robert Whittaker to beat Paulo Costa at UFC 298
-190
BetUS

Merab Dvalishvili vs. Henry Cejudo Betting Pick

This bout is most likely a number-one contenders match for the bantamweight championship, currently held by Sean O’Malley. Once again, the odds are quite close. Still, Dvalishvili is the slight odds-on favorite to beat ex-champion, Cejudo. Check out the moneyline:

FighterBovadaBetUSMyBookie
Merab Dvalishvili-190-190-190
Henry Cejudo+160+160+160

Expect this fight to be fought mostly on the ground. Cejudo is a wrestler through and through, while Dvalishvili is arguably the best grappler in the division right now. Honestly, it’s rather even on the ground too. For all of Dvalishvili’s talents, he’s not all that great at actually getting takedowns to begin with.

If Cejudo wasn’t about to turn 37 years old, we might very well take him to win. However, he’s long past his prime nowadays. Merab is our pick here. His 9-fight win streak is no fluke and we expect him to probably take O’Malley’s belt sooner rather than later. Merab is the real deal, folks!

Merab Dvalishvili to beat Henry Cejudo at UFC 298
-190
BetUS

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Meet the author

Eric Uribe

Eric was born and raised in Nevada — the center of gambling in the United States. Throw in his natural interest in sports, and Eric was destined to be a sports bettor. This came to a head once Eric turned 21. Already a working sports journalist while in college, Er...

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