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Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon Odds, UFC 274 Pick & Prediction: How to Bet the Opener (May 7)

Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon Odds, UFC 274 Pick & Prediction: How to Bet the Opener (May 7) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC opponents Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Joe Lauzon.

  • Two UFC veterans in need of a win -- Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone and Joe Lauzon -- go head to head at UFC 274.
  • Cowboy is the favorite in the matchup despite losing five fights in a row. Can he get back in the win column against the inactive Lauzon?
  • Sean Zerillo breaks it all down, including his betting picks.

Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon Odds

Cerrone Odds
Lauzon Odds
1.5 (-140 / +100)
Footprint Center, Phoenix
Approx. 10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday and via BetMGM.

Two established veterans, Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone and Joe Lauzon, will go head-to-head Saturday to open up the Pay-Per-View portion of the UFC 274 card. Cerrone is winless in his last six fights dating back to 2019, while Lauzon hasn't seen action at any point over that same span.

How will this matchup play out tonight? Below, I’ll provide my analysis and projections for Saturday’s opening Pay-Per-View matchup.

For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.

Editor's Note: Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone is out for UFC 274

Tale of the Tape

Record36-16 (2 NC)28-16
Avg. Fight Time9:447:53
Weight (pounds)155.5 lbs.155.5 lbs.
Reach (inches)73"71"
Date of birth3/29/835/22/84
Sig Strikes Per Min4.432.84
SS Accuracy46%39%
SS Absorbed Per Min4.495.39
SS Defense53%54%
Take Down Avg.1.182.39
TD Acc33%45%
TD Def74%54%
Submission Avg1.22.0

Lauzon is fighting for the first time since October 2019 (a 2.5-year layoff) against a potentially shot Donald Cerrone, who is 0-5-1 in his past six bouts and coming off of a bad knockout loss to a point fighter in Alex Morono.

While it's difficult to know what to expect from Lauzon off of a long layoff in his late thirties, it's been a while since Cowboy looked like the best version of himself, and if anything, the layoff might have provided Lauzon both with time to heal and improve his cardio.

The latter seems unlikely: Lauzon is a fast starter who only has five to seven minutes of gas in his tank, and I suspect that "Cowboy" can take over in the second half of this fight, even at this advanced stage of his career.

Still, Cerrone typically takes a minute to get going, and Lauzon should be able to back him up early and capitalize on a chance to finish.

Ultimately, I'm expecting to see a finish on either side of this scrap, and it may come down to which fighter is more shot at this point in their respective careers. (That is to be expected for a bout between combatants with 98 career MMA fights between them.)

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Cerrone vs. Lauzon Pick

I projected this fight closer to a pick'em and had to place a bet on Lauzon's moneyline relative to my projection.

Still, given Lauzon's penchant for starting fast, I also bet his props to win in Round 1 (+720 at WynnBet) or win inside the distance (projected +230, listed +300 at BetMGM).

You could look to roll those bets into a Live bet on Cowboy after Round 1, but I'm unconvinced that he has anything left at this stage of his career.

The Pick: Joe Lauzon (+160, 0.25u) | Joe Lauzon wins in Round 1 (+720, 0.1u) | Joe Lauzon wins Inside the Distance (+300, 0.25u)

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