PFL 5 Odds, Picks and Betting Preview

PFL 5 odds - Rory MacDonald vs Gleison Tibau

PFL 5 goes down on Thursday, June 17th from Atlantic City, New Jersey. Can MacDonald take out Tibau as a massive favorite?

  • Welterweights and light heavyweights have their second and final regular-season fight on Thursday
  • UFC veterans in Rory MacDonald and Gleison Tibau headline the card
  • See the odds, picks, and betting preview for the full 2021 PFL 5 main card, below

The Professional Fighters League is back on Thursday, June 17, for their fifth event of 2021. The promotion sees one of their marquee signings in former UFC title challenger and Bellator champion Rory MacDonald fight after a successful debut. Heโ€™s heavily favored to defeat fellow UFC veteran Gleison Tibau in the main event.

For those that might not know, PFL is a regular-season and playoff format like stick and ball sports. A decision win nets you three points, a first-round finish gets you six, a second-round finish gets you five, and a third-round finish nets you four. The winner of the tournament also gets $1 million at the end of the year.

PFL 5 main card airs live on ESPN2 at 9 PM EST on Thursday, June 17th, 2021, from Atlantic City, New Jersey. The table below shows odds for the main card at DraftKings followed by best bets.

PFL 5 Odds

Fighter Odds at DraftKings
Rory MacDonald -560
Gleison Tibau +350
Fighter Odds
Ray Cooper III -106
Nikolay Aleksakhin -125
Fighter Odds
Emiliano Sordi -400
Dan Spohn +275
Fighter Odds
Cezar Ferreira -345
Chris Camozzi +245

Odds as of June 15

Can Tibau Pull Off The Upset?

Rory MacDonald earned a first-round submission over Curtis Millender and can lock in a playoff spot with a win. Gleison Tibau, meanwhile, lost a decision to Joao Zeferino and will likely need a first or second-round finish to advance to the playoffs.

MacDonald & Tibau Recent Fights

Curtis Millender, win by submission Fight 1 Joao Zeferino, loss by decision
Douglas Lima, loss by decision Fight 2 Will Brooks, win by submission
Neiman Gracie, loss by decision Fight 3 Efrain Escudero, win by decision
Jon Fitch, majority decision Fight 4 Des Green, loss by decision

When this fight was announced many were confused as to why it was booked, as it is a unique one. Tibau is a natural lightweight who moved up to welterweight for the tournament. MacDonald, meanwhile, was considered the favorite to win the entire tournament, and if he can get past a grinder like Tibau, he would likely clinch the number one seed for the playoffs.

MacDonald & Tibau Stats

31 Age 37
6โ€™0โ€ณ Height 5โ€™8
79โ€ณ Reach 69โ€ณ
15 Career finishes 18

At the beginning of the fight, it will be interesting to see how Tibau will deal with a 10โ€ณ reach disadvantage. He is known for trying to get inside and use his wrestling to take his opponents down. However, if MacDonald just uses his jab and uses footwork it will make it hard for Tibau to have success. MacDonald should also be the faster fighter.

Ultimately, I expect MacDonald to just pick apart Tibau, and not let him get inside and when he does, I do think the Canadian will be able to stuff the takedowns and keep it upright. This fight really comes down to whether or not MacDonald gets the finish. For me, Tibau proved his chin was better at welterweight, and MacDonald isnโ€™t known for his power, so I expect the Canadian to win a clear-cut decision in a rather dominating performance.

Pick: Rory MacDonald (-560)

Can Cooper III Go Back-To-Back?

Ray Cooper III made good of his first regular-season fight as he submitted Jason Ponet in the first round. Now, however, the reigning champ has a much tougher test in Nikolay Aleksakhin, who likely needs a stoppage win as he only has one point after his first fight ended in a No Contest.

Cooper III & Aleksakhin Recent Fights

Jason Ponet, win by submission Fight 1 Sadibou Sy, No Contest (Eye Poke_
David Michaud, win by TKO Fight 2 Jesse Ronson, win by TKO
Chris Curtis, win by KO Fight 3 Jonavin Webb, win by decision
Sadibou Sy, majority draw Fight 4 Rodrigio Cavalheiro, win by TKO

This is a phenomenal fight as both Cooper III and Aleksakhin are great strikers with legit one-punch KO power.

Early on in the fight, I expect Aleksakhin to come out aggressive as he looks to get an early finish to try and punch his ticket to the playoffs. I do have my concerns about Cooper IIIโ€™s chin as we have seen him be rocked in a couple of fights. However, I do think he will be able to mix in the wrestling to control the fight and earn a decision in a very back-and-forth scrap.

Pick: Ray Cooper III (-106)

Other PFL 5 Picks:

  1. Emiliano Sordi (-400): Sordi should be able to land something big and get the KO/TKO win in the first round.
  2. Chris Camozzi (+245): Ferreira is too small at light heavyweight as heโ€™s a former welterweight and middleweight. I donโ€™t think heโ€™ll be able to get Camozzi down who will be able to piece him up on the feet and possibly get a late stoppage. Camozzi offers great value at +245 in the PFL 5 odds.

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Cole Shelton

Sports Writer