MMA Betting Advice: UFC 278 Picks and Tips

MMA Betting Advice: UFC 278 Picks and Tips
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UFC 278 is this Saturday night and the welterweight title goes on the line with a rematch five years in the making as Kamaru Usman meets Leon Edwards in Utah. Luke Rockhold also returns to action after three years out and faces the threatening title contender, Paulo Costa.

With so much on the line and history to be made in the main event, we’ve put together UFC betting advice for this week's event.

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Tyson Pedro vs. Harry Hunucker

The main card kicks off with the biggest favorite of the night as Tyson Pedro (-740) and Harry Hunsucker (+540) meet in the cage. It's clear to see why Pedro is such a favorite, as Hunsucker has won only seven of his 12 fights, losing the other five. 

He's also coming off brutal finishes against, ironically enough, fellow Oceanic fighters like Pedro. What’s more, the Australian also finished Ike Villanueva in April with a sensational leg kick and punches KO and he's one of the few people to beat the rising star, Paul Craig, by TKO.

Although it’s easy to back such a favorite like Pedro in this fight, there's a reason why he is so heavily favored by the sportsbooks. We think he’ll get the win in this fight and get the finish.

Tyson Pedro to win by TKO/KO/DQ is -220 with DraftKings.

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Yanan Wu vs. Lucie Pudilova

From one fight where there's a clear winner to a bout where it could go either way. Wu is the narrow underdog against Lucie Pudilova, but her run into the UFC is questionable, despite the hype behind her UFC debut. 

Carol Yariwaki was Pudilova's last victim with a unanimous decision, but the split decision win over Marta Waliczek and a decision loss to Talita Bernardo within her last three fights do not read well for her heading into this fight. What’s more, these wins and the defeat came in the Czech Republic MMA organization, OKTAGON, where the standard is significantly weaker than the UFC.

Wu is also coming off of three losses on the spin, however, and given how all these have ended with the judges' decisions, we can see this fight heading to the scorecards once again.

Fight to go the distance is -330 with DraftKings.

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Jose Aldo vs. Merab Dvalishvili

Jose Aldo is back in the UFC octagon for the 20th time, and he does so once again as the underdog, despite putting together an impressive three-fight win streak. Ultimately, should Aldo manage to beat Merab Dvalishvili in this one, he could put himself in contention for a title shot at bantamweight.

Marlon Vera was the first victory of this winning run, and considering he just KO'd the former champion Dominick Cruz last weekend, it shows how impressive Aldo was that night in getting the unanimous decision win. Pedro Munhoz was up next, as the former featherweight king put on another clinic, before Aldo schooled Rob Font in arguably his most impressive win since losing the 145 lbs. title in 2015.

Dvalishvili is no gimmick, however, and he is making just as much noise as Aldo down at 135 lbs. The judo black belt has won 14 of his 18 fights in MMA, 10 of which have come via decision, which does not bode well for the striking expert, Aldo. Dvalishvili did TKO Marlon Moraes in stunning style in a Performance of the Night display, and he is now on a seven-fight win streak.

Aldo has been sensational at bantamweight, but his run may come to an end here.

Merab Dvalishvili to win by decision is +130 with DraftKings

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Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold

What a fight we have here. Paulo Costa has everything to prove if he wants a shot at the title, and the former champion Luke Rockhold has not fought in three years. He is, however, the legendary figure of Rockhold, and if he can turn back the years, absolutely anything can happen.

On the other hand, with two incredibly devastating KO losses to Yoel Romero and Jan Blachowicz in his last two fights, plus a three-year layoff, we find it impossible to consider him worthy to bet on in this fight. Throw into that equation Costa’s extraordinary knockout power, and there really is only one winner here.

From Costa's 13 wins, 11 have come via TKO/KO, and we think Rockhold will be number 12 on his record.

Costa to win via TKOKO/DQ is -150 with DraftKings.

Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards

A main event many, many years in the making. It has been five years since Kamaru Usman first beat Leon Edwards, while the challenger’s chance to fight for the title is at least two years overdue. After running through the entire division and some fighters twice, Usman, without question, has his biggest test to date with the belt around his waist.

In fact, with the champion beating everyone so convincingly, you have to go back to the first fight with Edwards to see him get seriously challenged. Now, five years on, Edwards is even better, put together a stunning nine-fight win streak, and turned into the best striker in the division.

Usman is, however, arguing his case as the greatest fighter of all time in the welterweight ranks. Should he beat Edwards, he may take Georges St-Pierre’s mantle in being just that, but this is not going to be an easy one for the Nigerian by any means.

The champion has developed from his wrestling nature into a threatening striker, but that’s still not enough to battle with Edwards in the striking department. He needs to go for the wrestling here, but we think this will likely be enough to beat the Brit once again.

Usman to win on points is -120 with DraftKings.

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Jabs

These are some other bets worth a look on this week’s schedule:

  • Alexandr Romanov to win by TKO/KO/DQ against Marcin Tybura is +160 with Caesars.
  • Jared Gordon to beat Leonardo Santos is -310 with FanDuel.
  • Sean Woodson to win by decision against Luis Saldana is +120 with DraftKings.
  • Miranda Maverick to beat Shanna Young is -600 with PointsBet.
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