A late weight miss from Michel Pereira has taken a bit of excitement from the card, but UFC 291 still promises high octane violence from Salt Lake City.

The BMF title is on the line once again with Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje scrapping for the belt in the main event. In the co-main, Alex Pereira is looking to earn a title shot in his second division in the UFC, trying overcome Jan Blachowicz. Some of the UFC’s biggest veterans will take the stage as well, including Tony Ferguson, Bobby Green, Derrick Lewis and Michael Chiesa. There’s also some younger names too with Gabriel Bonfim, CJ Vergara, Matthew Semelsberger and Miranda Maverick looking to make statements. BLÜ provides his best bets for all of these matchups (plus more) below along with the Bet99 Sportsbook Odds.

To follow BLÜ’s Best Betting System, simply put 1.00 Units on each of the bets below unless otherwise specified. When these bets are combined with the Sniper Pick and the parlays below, profits can be maximized and losses can be minimized. Nothing is ever a guarantee, but BLÜ’s goal is to bring consistent profit to the viewers over the long term and constantly refine his system.

Due to the unpredictable nature of betting sites like Bet99 and the sport of MMA, odds will likely change throughout the week and may be unavailable for some of these bets at the time this article is posted. This also means that BLÜ may opt to swap a couple of these bets out on Friday night for others in order to maximize profit. The results of BLÜ’s Best Bets will be covered on ‘BLÜ’s Best Bets’, live on BLÜ’s Twitter (BLBEARD2), the Area 51 Sports Network Twitter (Area51SportsNet) and on YouTube (BLU-FC) next Wednesday at 4:00 PM (PST).

BLU’s Prelim Picks (Prelims begin at 4:00 PM PST)

Miranda Maverick vs. Priscila Cachoeira

BET99 Odds

Maverick:  -300    Cachoeira:  +233

Over 2.5:  -106    Under 2.5:   -120

Maverick had a rough showing in Vancouver against Jasudavicius that worried me a little bit going into this one on such short notice. Her problem there was Jasmine’s Canadian momentum and her size/strength in the grappling scenarios. Cachoeira doesn’t have the grappling and her cardio has been questionable in the past. With this fight being at altitude in Salt Lake and Maverick’s grappling and chin being pretty strong, you have to side with the one who trained at altitude: Miranda Maverick.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Miranda Maverick by Decision at +171

Under 2.5 Rounds at -120

Matthew Semelsberger vs. Uros Medic

BET99 Odds

Semelsberger:  -217    Medic:  +171

Over 1.5:  -125    Under 1.5:   +100

Semelsberger has been extremely dangerous, large and quick in all of his fights so far. Meanwhile, Medic is looking pretty small, just coming up from 155 pounds. With Medic already looking like an underdog on paper, the size difference will likely be way too much to overcome.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Matthew Semelsberger by Finish at -138

Under 1.5 Rounds at +100

CJ Vergara vs. Vinicius Salvador

BET99 Odds

Vergara:  -163    Salvador:  +133

Over 2.5:  +114    Under 2.5:   -148

Originally I was going to give Salvador the nod here with his finishing ability. Sadly, based on what we saw on the weigh-ins, I’m favouring Vergara. Salvador came in, extremely drained, near the time deadline and missed weight by over 2 pounds while Vergara was flexing and smiling. With his skillset, the clear advantage on the weight cut and the altitude in Salt Lake, I have to go with Vergara and the Under 2.5.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

CJ Vergara at -163

Under 2.5 Rounds at -148

Jake Matthews vs. Darrius Flowers

BET99 Odds

Matthews:  -275    Flowers:  +214

Over 1.5:  -116    Under 1.5:   -110

On paper, Jake Matthews should definitely win this fight. The only problem is that we haven’t seen much of Flowers yet and we’ve also seen some inconsistency with Matthews. With so many questions on both sides, I have to go with the underdog and balance it out with the Under 1.5.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Darrius Flowers (The Underdog) at +214

Under 1.5 Rounds at -110

Roman Kopylov vs. Claudio Ribeiro

BET99 Odds

Kopylov:  -217    Ribeiro:  +175

Over 1.5:  -148    Under 1.5:   +114

This is simply just a mismatch. Kopylov seems to be trending up to the top 20 with his well-rounded skillset and cardio. On the other side, Ribeiro has been exciting… but hasn’t looked as polished. Especially with the altitude, I’m leaning towards Kopylov continuing his finishing streak.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Roman Kopylov by Finish at -123

Under 1.5 Rounds at +114

Derrick Lewis vs. Marcos Rogério de Lima

BET99 Odds

Lewis:  +183    de Lima:  -234

Over 1.5:  +160    Under 1.5:   -209

I’ve said it before; when you have two heavyweights with a lot of power… especially when you’re at altitude, anybody can win. That aside, you can’t forget Lewis’ KO record. I also find his weight transformation very intriguing and hope it means a win.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Derrick Lewis (The Underdog) at +183

Under 1.5 Rounds at -209

Trevin Giles vs. Gabriel Bonfim

BET99 Odds

Giles:  +250    Bonfim:  -325

Over 1.5:  +114    Under 1.5:   -145

Even though his brother lost recently, I’m still fully convinced Gabriel Bonfim can compete in the top 15. Giles hasn’t shown that same ability when given the shot and he’s shown issues with submission artists. With Bonfim’s grappling ability and pace, as well as his size, he should be able to win quickly and/or with a submission.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Gabriel Bonfim by Submission at +128

Under 1.5 Rounds at -145

Main Card (7:00 PM PST)

Michael Chiesa vs. Kevin Holland

BET99 Odds

Chiesa:  +120    Holland:  -148

Over 2.5:  +145    Under 2.5:   -189

Chiesa hasn’t looked like an elite contender since about 2020 and hasn’t fought for about 2 years. He’s also shown some glaring weaknesses in his striking. With Holland in his prime, also being that he’s a knockout artist with a huge reach advantage, it would be somewhat surprising if Holland didn’t get a KO. We’ll balance that out with the Over 2.5, just in case Chiesa shows his toughness and uses his grappling well.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Kevin Holland by KO at +157

Over 2.5 Rounds at +145

Tony Ferguson vs. Bobby Green

BET99 Odds

Ferguson:  +280    Green:  -375

Over 2.5:  -143    Under 2.5:   +112

I’m not going to count Ferguson out completely, but I think his only chance is a wild submission that Green doesn’t see coming. To cover all the bases, we’ll take a Green decision at +116 and balance it out with the Under 2.5 at +112.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Bobby Green by Decision at +116

Under 2.5 Rounds at +112

Co-Main Event

Jan Blachowicz vs. Alex Pereira

BET99 Odds

Blachowicz:  -119    Pereira:  -105

Over 1.5:  -143    Under 1.5:   +112

We already know what Jan is going to try and do because he did it against Adesanya. He’s going to have to avoid the power and skill of Pereira on the feet and grapple him to a decision win. It worked on Izzy because he’s much smaller and wasn’t as skilled at getting back up off the ground. With Pereira’s size and Glover’s grappling influence (his coach), this will be much harder to achieve now. Even Pereira gets out-grappled, he still holds a chance to grab a KO in all 3 rounds. With all that said, there’s really two pretty clear, likely outcomes: Alex Pereira gets a KO or Jan grinds Alex down with a decision.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Alex Pereira by KO at +157

Jan Blachowicz by Decision at +300

Main Event

Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje

BET99 Odds

Poirier:  -150    Gaethje:  +122

Over 2.5:  -134    Under 2.5:   +105

At the start of the week, before watching the tape, I agreed with the masses that Poirier had the best chance in this situation. Then, especially after watching Gaethje’s last fight with Fiziev, I remembered how clean and quick of a striker he can be. Poirier has been rocked in all of his last few fights; I think that with this being a 5 round fight at altitude, you can’t get hit like that consistently. Gaethje trains at altitude and will not let up the pace at all over 25 minutes. That pushes me to take a stab at the underdog. Finally, we also have to take a shot at the Over 2.5 line. With both men being so durable, I would actually be a bit surprised if there was an earlier finish.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Justin Gaethje (The Underdog) at +122

Over 2.5 Rounds at -134

Parlay Opportunities

The Triple Play

Gabriel Bonfim + Roman Kopylov + Matthew Semelsberger (1.00 Units at +179)

The Grand Slam

Gabriel Bonfim + Roman Kopylov + Matthew Semelsberger + Kevin Holland (0.50 Units at +369)

The Sniper Pick

Gabriel Bonfim at -325 for 4.00 Units