UFC 291 Poirier vs. Gaethje Main Event Betting Preview

Alex Murray
By:
Alex Murray
27 Jul 23
Betting Magazine
News - UFC
UFC 291 Poirier vs. Gaethje Main Event Betting Preview

One of the most highly anticipated cards of the year is finally here. UFC 291 will be taking place at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah and the crowd is sure to be a raucous one for the lineup of high profile fights on offer. The main event sees two of the most explosive fighters on the UFC roster going head to head in a rematch of a 2018 bout. Justin Gaethje will be looking for revenge, but Dustin Poirier is the higher ranked fighter and will also be coming into this one as the very slight moneyline favorite on most UFC betting sites and betting apps.

Highlights

  • Dustin Poirier won the first matchup via fourth round TKO in 2018
  • Poirier also comes in as the very slight -150 odds favorite to win on Saturday
  • Gaethje is offering bettors +150 odds as the underdog in the main event

UFC 291 Main Event: Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje Betting Odds - July 29th

We’ve got two of the most well-known and ruthless fighters in one of the best divisions in the UFC going toe to toe in what promises to be an all out war. With Poirier, the No. 2 lightweight contender, facing off against Gaethje, No. 3, this could very well be a title eliminator fight. All odds provided by Sports Interaction.

Fighter

Moneyline

Win by KO/TKO/DQ

Win by Submission

Win by Decision

Total Rounds

Dustin Poirier

-150

+120

+560

+350

O2.5 (-140)

Justin Gaethje

+120

+210

+1,800

+355

U2.5 (+110)

Dustin Poirier Betting Odds Analysis

The man they call ‘The Diamond’ comes in as a very small betting favorite, but a favorite nonetheless at -150 odds. It’s rare to see such an evenly matched main event, which means Poirier’s odds are still very playable if you want to play the favorite.

As can be gleaned from the odds, the most likely result of this fight is one of these two fighters getting laid out on the canvas before the final bell, with Poirier to win by KO/TKO the method of victory offering the shortest odds at +120. Nearly half of Poirier’s 29 wins have come via knockout, including four of his last seven. Poirier is also one of just two fighters to knock Gaethje out, so he’s clearly got enough power.

While Poirier sits at +560 to win by submission, Gaethje is way up at +1,800, representing a pretty glaring gap. Poirier is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, something which Gaethje has not yet achieved. Poirier has been submitted just twice in the last 10 years, and those came against two of the best grapplers of all time in Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira.

He’s also submitted eight opponents while his opponent’s lone win via submission came all the way back in 2012. While both of these guys are known to be assassins when they fight on the feet, Poirier clearly has an edge on the mat, which is something the Louisiana native should try to use to his advantage, though we doubt he will.

Justin Gaethje Betting Odds Analysis

Gaethje comes into this fight as an underdog, which is rare for him but understandable. ‘The Highlight’ is not a jiu-jitsu black belt, but he is a former All-American wrestler, which means he’s not as much of a slouch on the mat as his +1,800 odds to win by submission would have you think. He prefers to fight on the feet and has solid 75 percent takedown defense to help him do that.

Because of this and the fact that Poirier likes to give the people what they want, we expect this to be an all-out war in the stand up. Gaethje is an aggressive striker, earning 11 performance bonuses in the UFC, but Poirier is the more technically sound and powerful boxer, which makes for a great matchup.

Both 34-year-old fighters have gone 6-2 since their last meeting, with both losing in nearly identical title fight submission defeats to Nurmagomedov and Oliveira. While Poirier has the 2.5 inch reach advantage, Gaethje has the two-inch height advantage. Poirier is just as tough as he was in 2018 when he beat Gaethje, but it would seem that the Highlight is the one who has made much bigger strides in the five years since then.

Gaethje is a much more patient and experienced fighter now. He doesn’t leave himself open as much as he did back in 2018, and his footwork has improved by leaps and bounds as well. This one is a true pick ‘em, so if you want value on the moneyline, Gaethje is the way to go at +120, though we’re leaning slightly towards the Poirier camp. However, because of the magnitude of this fight, a bet on one of the two to win via decision could be the best value bet you can find for this fight.

Total Rounds Odds

Perhaps the best bet of all for the main event is for this fight to go more than 2.5 rounds. At -140, you’re getting great odds, and while these guys don’t often go the distance, the stage and the hype around this fight could very well lead to a more patient and measured approach from them. Not to mention that Gaethje trains in Denver, so he’s already used to the high altitude of Salt Lake City, and Poirier’s calling card has always been elite cardio.

Alex is a recent graduate of Ryerson's Sport Media program in 2019 and has been contributing to BettingTop10 since 2020. He has worked in the field of sports and sports betting for several years, including stops writing for theScore and daily fantasy sports website FantasyPros as one of the lead NBA news writers. A dedicated sports fan and experienced sports bettor, Alex has the knowledge to provide you with the best betting advice and the sneakiest props no matter what the sport may be.