UFC 251, NASCAR And Pro Soccer’s Return: They’re What To Bet On This Weekend

It’s a busy weekend of sports betting in New Jersey this weekend, featuring a packed Saturday night UFC 251 card plus NASCAR’s Quaker State 400 and soccer.

The debut of UFC Fight Island, the resumption of MLS and the continuation of NASCAR mark a stacked weekend wager plate for New Jersey online betting.

It’s quite a package. And there’s an odds boost on tap, too.

So let’s dive in.

UFC: Showcase of elites

Here’s the lineup of Saturday’s fights for UFC 251, which has sparked significance with three title bouts and a couple of rematches.

Below is a closer look at the odds from DraftKings and FanDuel sportsbooks in NJ. Odds are as of Friday (all times are EST).

Main card: DraftKings odds (10 p.m.)

UFC main cardFightersDraftKings Odds
Welterweight titleKamara Usman vs Jorge Masvidal-230 (Usman)
+185 (Masvidal)
Featherweight titleAlexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway-215 (Volkanovski)
+170 (Holloway)
Bantamweight titlePetr Yan vs Jose Aldo-225 (Yan)
+180 (Aldo)
RematchRose Namajunas vs Jessica Andrade-215 (Namajunas)
+175 (Andrade)
Opening boutAmanda Ribas vs Paige Van Zant -775 (Ribas)
+500 (Van Zant)

Top preliminary card bouts: FanDuel odds (8 p.m.)

UFC preliminary cardFightersFanDuel odds
205 lbsVolkan Oezdemir vs Jiri Prochazka-158 (Oezdemir)
+134 (Prochazka)
170 lbsMuslim Salikhov vs Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos-136 (Salikhov)
+116 (dos Santos)
145 lbsMakwan Amirkhani vs Dan Henry-215 (Amirkhani)
+180 (Henry)
155 lbsLeonardo Santos vs Roman Bogatov-178 (Santos)
+150 (Bogatov)

There are more preliminary bouts beginning at 6 p.m.

UFC fight overview

The number 6, 7 and 10 UFC pound-for-pound performers appear in the top two fights on Saturday’s card.

Usman, the number 6 pound-for-pound performer, defends his welterweight title against Masvidal.

The bout originated when Usman’s original opponent, Gilbert Burns, withdrew after testing positive for coronavirus. Masvidal had been lobbying for an Usman fight anyway, and he got it sooner than later.

Volkanovski and Holloway, the respective number 7 and 10 UFC pound-for-pound athletes, clash in a rematch. Volkanovski took away Holloway’s featherweight title with a convincing decision win last December.

Now Holloway wants it back from Volkanovski, a clear favorite.

Andrade vs Namajunas 2 is a rematch of an earlier Andrade victory, yet Andrade is a decided underdog. Both fighters are former strawweight division champions. Andrade is the number one division contender and Namajunas No. 2.

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UFC betting overview and a FanDuel odds boost

It’s been fun to watch the procession of betting all week in the main event.

Usman stood at -265 early in the week at DraftKings Sportsbook. But the money came in on Masvidal. The odds dropped again, to -225, and still more money, 67% of the handle and 57% of the bets, went down on Masvidal.

Odds dropped to -200 and, bingo, here came the Usman money, spiking the wager to -250. By Friday, it was -230.

Bettors have certain floors and ceilings they use to determine when to place a wager. That was showcased here.

Usman is considered a distance fighter, while Masvidal is aggressive and comes off a TKO victory against Nate Diaz in November.

Volkanovski is -110 at DraftKings for a repeat decision win, and Holloway is +275 to turn the tables and regain his title by decision.

The Namajunas–Andrade odds are striking. Andrade won their first encounter with a second-round knockout but remains a sizable underdog. Namajunas has been receiving about two-thirds of the money.

Bettors aren’t convinced that Andrade, who overcame being dominated in the first round before stopping Namajunas, can do it again.

Andrade being overlooked is a gift for her backers. FanDuel Sportsbook opened at Namajunas -200, and it got as low as -178 before jumping up to -190 on Friday. At DraftKings, she jumped to -215 on Friday.

Andrade is +175 at DraftKings and +160 at FanDuel as of Friday.

Both FanDuel and DraftKings have excellent odds boosts and promo enticements. In fact, FanDuel has a huge odds boost that’s worth a look for new sportsbook users. Here are the details:

  • 25/1 odds on any fighter to win their championship bout
  • $5 max bet required
  • Available in-app only

Once the new user registers, they will get a pop-up directing them to download the FanDuel Sportsbook app to claim the odds boost. The offer will appear on the user’s profile once they make a deposit.

There’s no reason not to chip in $5 for a chance at these odds.

MLS kicks into gear with abbreviated tournament

How much did you miss it?

Major League Soccer, aka MLS, returned this week, and here’s a game to get New Jersey sports betting fans back in the groove.

Saturday’s New York Red Bulls–Atlanta United game will draw interest, and DraftKings offers a packed slate of odds.

The Red Bulls are +255 on the moneyline against Atlanta, which is -104.

If the Red Bulls don’t produce the most goals, how about the most corners? That would be +190 for them and -175 for Atlanta. A tie in that department is +650.

The first goal? Atlanta is -175, the Red Bulls are +123.

Over 2.5 goals combined for the contest is -167.

There is a litany of correct score projections. A scoreless tie is +1400.

From the Atlanta perspective, a 2-1 loss is 10-1. A 2-1 win is +700.

There are numerous goal-scoring props for individual players, too. We won’t go into detail on that here, but suffice it to say, there are plenty of betting opportunities on MLS this weekend.

The MLS is Back Tournament is the first time the league is slated to play since the season was suspended due to COVID-19 on March 12. It kicked off July 8 and will run until Aug. 11.

The entirety of this tournament will be held at ESPN Wide World of Sports, where 54 matches (39 group stage, 15 knockout round) will be played.

All 26 MLS teams will be participating in the event, where the minimum of matches per club is set at three and the maximum is seven per finalist.

NASCAR betting: Are props where it’s at?

Kevin Harvick is doing something unusual with NASCAR. He’s moving the line.

The red-hot driver has captured two of the last three events, and his odds are dropping before the Quaker State 400 on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Harvick is +375 at FanDuel and +400 at DraftKings to win. He started the week at +575. Bettors who booked that early will be happy they got a deal.

Shoppers for Chase Elliott will see him at +800 at DraftKings, +550 at FanDuel. Denny Hamlin is +650 at DraftKings, +550 at Fan Duel.

Most of the top drivers are in negative numbers for a Top 10 finish (you are laying money on them and getting less than even money), so props may be a good source to bet.

Top manufacturers and top finishes in a group of four also provide betting allure by producing several races within the race.

With that in mind, Harvick’s hot streak propelled him to the top of the NASCAR driver standings. They look like this:

Kevin Harvick637
Chase Elliott552
Brad Keselowski549
Ryan Blaney534
Denny Hamlin528

And here are the manufacturers’ standings:


Some associations: Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney drive for Ford. Elliott is the top driver for Chevrolet. Hamlin is Toyota’s top threat.

Two of these sports — NASCAR and UFC — have thrived on repeated exposure and betting interest since their returns in May. MLS has a solid foundation with bettors and is enjoying its return to play.

And there’s more to come, with MLB and NBA planning late July resumptions.

Sports betting in NJ is finally on an upswing.

What Are The Odds? New Jersey Sportsbooks Gear Up For The Return Of MLS

The odds are on the board at New Jersey sportsbooks for the MLS is Back Tournament. Who are the favorites? Depends on which book you look at.

Major League Soccer was just two weeks into its 25th season when the decision was made to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

League and team officials have been working to come up with a plan that would bring the season back in a way that is safe for players and exciting for fans.

The result of this is the MLS is Back Tournament, which will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando from July 8 to Aug. 11.

And NJ sports betting apps have the odds up and ready to roll.

How the MLS is Back Tournament works

The World Cup-style tournament will have all 26 MLS teams split into six groups, three per conference.

It features a continuous schedule of matches nearly every day, with games beginning at 9 a.m., 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. EST. The majority of the matches are played in the evening.

The Eastern Conference will have one group of six and two groups of four. The Western Conference consists of three groups of four teams.

Each team will play three games. The top three teams from Group A and the top two teams from Groups B–F, plus the next three teams with the overall highest point totals, will advance to the Round of 16.

The winning team will get a slot in the CONCACAF Champions League. Each tournament game counts as a regular-season game, so the stakes are very high in this tournament.

MLS odds at NJ sportsbooks

Most New Jersey sportsbook apps have future odds for potential winners of the MLS is Back tournament.

We included odds from four NJ apps:

Here are a few of the teams that oddsmakers in NJ are predicting to be major players in the MLS tournament. All odds as of June 30.

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Los Angeles Football Club

Coming off of the best regular season in MLS history, the LAFC was poised to build off of that in 2020.

Led by reigning MVP Carlos Vela, the team was 1-0-1 before the shutdown and are the favorites.

The only real challenge in their group is their crosstown rivals LA Galaxy. With their depth plus having an experienced coach in Bob Bradley, it’s win or bust for the LAFC.

NJ sportsbooks have the LAFC winning the MLS is Back Tournament at:


Toronto Football Club

The Toronto FC are the defending Eastern Conference champions. They had a bit of luck during the break, as they got back midfielder Michael Bradley from injury with only two games missed.

Having Bradley back and a very easy group draw puts the Toronto FC in the driver’s seat.

NJ sportsbooks have the Toronto FC winning the MLS is Back Tournament at:


Seattle Sounders

The Seattle Sounders are the reigning MLS Cup champions, so they have recent experience with tournament play.

They will be playing in a weak group with FC Dallas, San Jose and Vancouver. They should cruise to the knockout stage.

It will be there where Seattle’s offense, led by Jordan Morris, will be needed for any chance to bring home the title.

NJ sports betting sites have the Seattle Sounders winning the MLS is Back Tournament at:


Atlanta United

Since its inception just four years ago, Atlanta United has made an impact on the league and will be looking to continue the trend in this tournament.

However, they will be without star forward Josef Martinez, as he suffered a torn ACL during the early part of the season.

If they can get past a group that includes Eastern Conference mainstays Columbus and the New York Red Bulls, ATL can make a splash in the Round of 16.

Sportsbooks have Atlanta United winning the MLS is Back Tournament at:


MLS Betting Preview: NJ Sportsbooks Have Favorites To Win MLS Cup 2020

New Jersey sports betting apps have futures on which teams are more likely to win the MLS Cup as Majore League Soccer kicks off its silver anniversary.

Over the past 25 years, Major League Soccer has seen its ups and downs.

However, as it kicks off its silver anniversary season this upcoming weekend, the future is looking bright for the league.

Two teams are joining the league this year, Inter Miami and Nashville SC, with more teams to come over the next couple of seasons.

While the league is growing year by year, the list of teams vying for the MLS Cup 2020 is a short one. Some are perennial contenders and some whose stock is on the rise.

New Jersey sports betting apps have futures on which teams are more likely to win the MLS Cup. We have included odds from:

NJ sports betting customers can check out these teams when it comes to laying down your future bets.

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Los Angeles Football Club

LAFC: +300 (DraftKings), +340 (FanDuel), +350 (William Hill)

The consensus favorite, Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), will look to continue to build upon last season’s loss in the Western Conference Finals.

LAFC was led by Carlos Vela, who had 34 goals and 15 assists, leading LAFC to the best regular-season record in MLS history.

This offensive prowess, along with a stout midfield led by Latif Blessing and the addition of Dutch keeper Kenneth Vermeer will once again see LAFC in the hunt for both the Supporters’ Shield and the MLS Cup.

NJ Sportsbooks have LAFC winning the MLS Cup 2020 at:

  • +300 (DraftKings)
  • +340 (FanDuel)
  • +350 (William Hill)

Atlanta United

Atlanta United has made a lot of noise during its short time in MLS, including a 2018 MLS Cup.

The vast majority of that team is still there, most notably forward Josef Martinez and goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Despite losing midfielder Pity Martinez, Atlanta, led by long-time European coach Frank de Boer, is the favorite in the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta United winning the MLS Cup:

  • +350 (DraftKings)
  • +600 (William Hill)
  • +750 (FanDuel)

New York City Football Club

New York City Football Club (NYCFC) is coming off of their best season ever in their short history. It is bringing back the vast majority of last year’s team, including Maxi Moralez, Héber Araujo dos Santos, and Alexander Ring.

With the addition of new coach, former Celtic manager Ronny Deila and former Arsenal midfield prospect Gedion Zelalem, NYCFC is looking to build off of last year’s success.

NYCFC to win the MLS Cup:

  • +700 (DraftKings)
  • +800 (William Hill)
  • +850 (FanDuel)

Seattle Sounders

Last season’s MLS Cup champions, Seattle Sounders, bring back the majority of its team.  Most notably, its three-pronged attack of Jordan Morris, Nicolas Lodeiro and Raul Ruidiaz and long-time goalkeeper Stefan Frei are back in 2020.

The only real concern that MLS experts have about the Sounders’ chances to repeat is the packed early-season schedule, which includes games in the CONCACAF Champions League. Besides that, the Sounders are expected to make it far.

Seattle Sounders chances to win the MLS Cup:

  • +700 (William Hill)
  • +800 (DraftKings)
  • +1100 (FanDuel)

Toronto Football Club

Toronto Football Club’s (Toronto FC) season ended with a loss in the MLS Cup Final to the Seattle Sounders but will once again be one of the top teams in the East.

Despite not having Michael Bradley until the summer due to ankle surgery, Toronto FC still has Jozy Altidore and Jonathan Osorio on offense and Laurent Ciman and Omar Gonzalez in the back. Knowing that a return to the MLS Cup playoffs and a run to the final is more than a possibility.

Toronto FC on winning the MLS Cup:

  • +750 (FanDuel)
  • +900 (William Hill)
  • +1100 (DraftKings)