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UFC 291: Poirier v Gaethje Predictions, Picks and Betting Odds July 29

UFC Fight Night Picks and Predictions

UFC Fight Night Betting Preview

UFC WagerTalk handicapper Andy Lang gives his UFC 291 predictions and picks for July 29 with Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje headlining the event. The main card starts up at 10:00pm ET from O2 Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Dustin Poirier vs Justin Gaethje: UFC 291 Main Event

Saturday, July 22UFC Fight Night Betting Notes (Courtesy of Caesars)
Moneyline:Dustin Porier -150 v Justin Gaethje +130
Rounds:4.5 Rounds (Over +140 / Under -175)
Fight Time:Main Card Starts at 10:00pm ET / 07:00pm PT
Arena:O2 Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah

UFC Fight Night Expert Predictions

Matthew Semelsberger -165 v Uros Medic +140

I don’t see a lot of upside in any of these fighters as they both do a couple things well, and more than a couple things wrong. Semelsberger has a ceiling of the caliber of fighter he can beat, as his striking is ok, but his striking and take downs defense isn’t great. His last three wins aren’t against great opponents, and he’s lost to Jeremiah Wells and Alex Morono, two steps up in competition.

Medic has one loss. And that’s to Jalin Turner, but his UFC wins are over Aaron Cruz and Omar Morales, not great competition. His striking is decent, but I won’t be picking a winner in this fight. This will be in a To Start Round Two parlay as these two are pretty evenly matched and I don’t see an early finish.

UFC 291 Dustin Poirier vs Justin Gaethje | Best Bets, Predictions for All Fights and Preview
Andy breaks down the fights and betting opportunities for UFC 291!!! Lang is coming off a profitable 2-1 weekend in the UFC, and all official plays can be found here:

Miranda Maverick -325 v Priscila Cachoeira +270

Cachoeira will want this to be a stand up striking battle at distance while Maverick will want to clinch, dirty box and take it to the ground. The odds suggest she’ll be able to do that, and when we look at here UFC career she’s beaten the fighters she should beat, and lost to the ones she should lose to, but the odds are just crazy.

She was a huge favorite over Jasudavicius last fight and she got dominated. I like the grappling edge Miranda has over Cachoeira, but there’s no way I’m laying this juice on Maverick, not even in parlays. I might be tempted to take an over on this fight, but even then it’s a bit risky. Betting wise, this fight is a pass for me.

Jake Matthews -185 v Darrius Flowers +150

Tough fight to handicap as Darrius Flowers fights don’t last very long. He hasn’t fought good competition, and he tends to end fights quick, but I’m not sure if he ends fights quick because he’s so good or because his opponents are so bad.

He’s very strong, has knockout power and can wrestle, and in his Contender Series fight he won when his opponent had a shoulder injury so we didn’t get to see a proper fight to make a read on him. He’s fighting Jake Matthews who finally showed off striking against Andre Fialho, but then lost his next fight against Semelsberger.

His striking has been his weak spot, and the Knockout against Fialho doesn’t look as great now as Fialho keeps getting knocked out. I would expect some wrestling and grappling from Matthews here which should give us a good indication if Flowers is UFC ready, but there are too many unknowns in this fight to bet anything on.

CJ Vergara -170 v Vinicius Salvador +150

Not a great fight here, but there’s no way I’m betting on Vinicius Salvador. He got the win over Shannon Ross on Contender Series which doesn’t look like a great win now, and in his UFC debut he fought ultra sloppy and with very little fight IQ.

Vergara is a decent fighter who is 2-2 in the UFC with his losses being to great competition, and his wins against not great competition. I actually think Salvador has the tools on the feet to piece up Vergara pretty good, but on the ground Salvador struggles. I don’t have a strong opinion on this fight, but I would take this to start round two as all of Vergara’s UFC fights have started round two, and Salvador’s lone UFC fight went the distance. .

UFC Fight Night premium plays from Andy

Roman Kopylov -250 v Claudio Ribeiro +210

Ribeiro has a lot of weaknesses in his game and Kopylov will exploit them. The biggest weakness is Ribeiro’s cardio, and Kopylov will have no problem making him tired. Roman moves around a ton on the feet, has a really nice jab, and then keeps moving around.

Roman is hard to hit and Ribeiro isn’t the most nimble guy. He’s a big guy who is looking for the big KO, but if he doesn’t get it he’s in trouble. Abdul Razor Alhassan wore him down and KO’d him in the second round, and although Ribeiro won against Joseph Holmes, Holmes is terrible and Claudio was gassed.

Kopylov will jab and move and do damage on the feet, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he got finish like he has in his last two fights. His last opponent, Punahele Soriano, reminds me of Ribeiro as both are strong and powerful, but lack cardio and movement. Kopylov won easily against Soriano, I think he wins again.

Gabriel Bonfim -315 v Trevin Giles +260n

I’m really high on Gabriel Bonfim, and he hasn’t disappointed his fans and backers. He’s 14-0 and can finish opponents any way he wants whether it’s striking or submissions, but submissions seem to be his specialty. His boxing and hand speed is so much faster than Giles so he’ll have the striking advantage, and I’m not impressed with Giles on the ground.

Pogues isn’t the most exciting fighter in the world, but he’s really tough and has a good gas tank. He won his UFC debut against Josh Parisian in a fairly boring fight, but I’ve seen plenty of fighters making their UFC debut get too excited and gas out early so I thought his game plan was solid and played it smart.

He almost got submitted by Preston Parsons in his last fight, and barely squeaked out a split decision win, and before that beat Louis Cosce who has lost both his UFC fights, and then another one in Urija Faber’s A1 Combat.

So Giles has struggled with bad competition, and Bonfim is great. Bonfim wrapped up a submission less than one minute into his UFC debut, and while I don’t think he gets another finish that quick, I do think he’s better everywhere and should roll here. e.

Marcos Rogerio de Lima -175 v Derrick Lewis +150

If you believe that Derrick Lewis is done, then taking de Lima is a steal. Lewis has shown pretty much nothing encouraging recently as he’s 1-4 in his last five with his win being over Chris Daukaus. Spivak was able to take Lewis down and submit him in round one, and Lima might have a similar plan to push him forward against the fence and try and get him down.

De Lima fights are boring, and if Lewis doesn’t get the KO early, he’ll probably get tired and put up no fight after the first round.

I do think Lewis is probably done as a UFC fighter if he loses this one, and the interesting thing about De Lima is that in his last seven losses, six have been by submission, and one by decision. He doesn’t get knocked out so that’s another bad sign for Lewis. I like De Lima in this one. .

Stephen Thompson -170 v Michel Pereira +145

This will be another fight I will put in my To Start Round 2 parlay as Pereira has seven straight fights that have started round two, and Thompson has 11 straight.

Thompson uses that Karate stance to keep the distance which will keep Michel away from him, and Pereira has struggled with cardio in the past so we’ve seen him take a cautious approach early on so he doesn’t gas himself. Pereira has a unique offensive approach as we’ve seen some crazy strikes, and even a flip into top position on the ground.

It’s just going to be hard to do that against the style of Thompson who sticks and moves around constantly. It should be a close fight which is why I won’t bet on a winner, but overs in this fight is where I’ll be looking, especially To Start Round two. .


Kevin Holland -145 v Michael Chiesa +125

Kevin Holland fights can be tricky to handicap as we don’t know what we’re going to get sometimes as evident by his fight against Steven Thompson where he vowed to not wrestle when that was his big advantage. He lost the fight, but didn’t seem to care. He came back with a win over Ponzinibbio in April, and I believe he has some advantages here against Chiesa who we haven’t seen since November of 2021.

Murphy is undefeated in his last four fights, but he’s only had one fight since 2021, and that was a razor close split decision win against Gabriel Santos where Edwards looked pretty tired in the third round.

Holland advantage could be in the wrestling and jiu jitsu as we saw Chiesa struggle a bit in that department against Sean Brady, and before that he lost in round one to a choke from Vincente Luque. Chiesa has good stamina, but so does Holland so I foresee a really good fight for as long as it goes.

Holland with have the height and reach advantage so Chiesa is going to have to get crafty to land his strikes. I lean Holland in this fight as I think he can use his lengthy punches and kicks to keep the distance like he did against Ponzinibiio, but I don’t think I’ll be betting this one as there enough unknowns for me to be cautious and pass on a bet on this fight.

Bobby Green -360 v Tony Ferguson +280

Ferguson is in the same category as Derrick Lewis on this fight card in my opinion. If you think Ferguson is done, then this price on Green is a steal. If you think he still has top level skills and a decent enough chin, this underdog price is incredible value.

Before the Diaz fight, he had lost four in a row to the best of the best so I wanted to see how he looked against Nate Diaz, and when watching the fight I thought he just looked old and slow. After the first round, he was retreating, he was having to lunge into this punches and Diaz was landing lots of jabs. Feels like that’s what Bobby green is going to do and that’s why this line is so big. Ferguson got tired by round four and went for a takedown and immediately got submitted.

He had great grappling and takedowns, and without the point taken away it was a clear Herbert win. Ziam is coming off a much needed win against Michael Figlak, and he looked a lot better than in previous fights.

I just don’t see the path to victory for Ferguson. Green has great takedown defense, and his jab should be spot on against a slow Ferguson. If you’re playing Green, it would have to be part of a parlay, and I do think Green takes this one as he’s coming off of two losses and a no contest and he should have plenty of motivation to get back in the win column.

Jan Blachowicz -120 v Alex Pereira -110

This is a stay away fight for me just because I have no clue what Pereira’s mindset and motivation is for this fight. Losing his last fight by getting slept by Izzy could have put him in a funk or maybe it made him more motivated than ever, but I just can’t tell. .

He’s fighting Andre Muniz, another grappler and submission fighter, who is coming off a submission loss to Branden Allen, but Muniz showed really good striking in that fight.

If Alex is on point, I think he could overwhelm Jan on the feet as his strikes are a bit more creative and they come from different angles. Jan is battle tested, and has some nice leg kicks that can bust up Pereira, but he kind of needs his opponent to stand in front of him, and even then we’ve seen him get hit.

Paul Craig isn’t going to compete on the feet like Allen did against Muniz, and Muniz isn’t going to put himself in position to get into a triangle or arm bar from Craig.

We saw Rakic do damage with striking against him, then he took him down in round two and held him there the entire round. I though Rakic was on his way to winning before his knee went out and the Ankalaev fight was a draw so Jan could have really been on a three fight losing streak. The odds are telling us this is a tossup fight, and it’s a definite stay away. .

Dustin Porier -150 v Justin Gaethje +130

Only way to bet this game is to take the underdog as we know this is going to be a war. I thought the movement of Gaethje was really good against Fiziev, and he was methodical with his striking early which opened it up for him going forward, and I think he’ll want to look at the Chandler fight against Porier as I thought Chandler did good work when he pressured Porier against the fence.

He tired himself out, but he landed shots and he was able to capitalize by getting Porier on the mat and almost finishing in the second. You can poke some holes in Porier’s record as he won against Chandler, but he was really close to being finished in round 2. He lost to Oliveira, and beat Connor McGregor twice before that, but that was nowhere close to prime McGregor.

I actually think a sneaky way to bet this fight is to take overs. I think these guy respect each other so much they’ll try and read each other in the first round at least before really getting into a brawl. These guys have a lot of finishes to their name, but the way Justin Gaethje fought Fiziev was so patient that if he fights in a similar style, this fight could go a long ways. This fight To Start Round 2 is a great addition to our other To Start Round 2 pieces.

UFC Fight Night Main Event Prediction: Dustin Porier -150 v Justin Gaethje +130

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