Friday, June 2, 2023

UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards 2 odds, predictions, lines: MMA expert makes surprising fight card picks, best bets

Kamaru Usman will make the sixth defense of his welterweight title on Saturday in the main event of UFC 278 against No. 2-ranked contender Leon Edwards. Their title fight tops the main UFC 278 fight card (10 p.m. ET) from Vivint Arena in Utah. The combatants met nearly seven years ago, with Usman winning by unanimous decision while both fighters were still prospects. Usman has since emerged as one of the sport’s dominant champions, while Edwards hasn’t lost since, but the challenger needed the strength of a 10-fight unbeaten streak to get his rematch, this time with the title on the line.

Usman is a -360 favorite (risk $360 to win $100), while Edwards is a +300 underdog in the latest Usman vs. Edwards odds from Caesars Sportsbook. In the co-main event, middleweight contenders take the spotlight when No. 6-ranked Paulo Costa (-280) faces former champion Luke Rockhold (+240), who returns to the cage following a three-year absence. Before settling any UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards 2 picks, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine expert Andrew Gombas.

Gombas is a former NCAA wrestler who taps into his experience on the mat to help understand and dissect the X’s and O’s of MMA matchups in a manner that sets him apart from other MMA analysts. He started the MMA handicapping service MMA Knockout Bets in 2018 and has shown a profit every year since.

With more than 1,400 selections tracked by the third-party monitoring service Bet MMA, he has shown a 6 percent return on investment for his followers. Over the past two years, his followers have netted a profit of more than $10,000.

At UFC 275 in June, Gombas swept his main-card picks and the 5-0 mark included telling SportsLine members to back Jake Matthews (+125) against Andre Fialho (-145) in a matchup of welterweight prospects. Matthews dominated and scored a second-round stoppage to give Gombas’ backers another easy winner. Anyone who has followed Gombas already has seen massive returns.

Now, with UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards in sight, Gombas has studied the UFC 278 card from every angle and released his top MMA picks. You can only see Gombas’ UFC 278 picks at SportsLine.  

UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards preview 

Usman (20-1) has never lost a fight in the UFC, and his first matchup with Edwards marked his official debut with the promotion after he won a roster spot on the promotion’s recruiting program, “The Ultimate Fighter.” The victory ignited his journey towards becoming a dominant champion and while his fighting style evolved, so did perceptions of him among MMA observers.

The Nigeria-born fighter relied on his athleticism and wrestling early in his career to engineer solid but unspectacular victories that rarely resonated with fans. In fact, eight of his first nine UFC wins came by decision.

But Usman, 35, has added a devastating striking game to his repertoire and two of his last three wins have been highlight-reel knockouts of contenders Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal. Even UFC president Dana White, who was once outwardly critical of Usman’s conservative approach, recently told the media that Usman deserves to be considered among the promotion’s greatest champions.

Edwards (19-3-1) has a similar wrestling base and explosive movements that have led to six of his past seven wins coming by decision. But the 30-year-old British fighter also has an 8-second knockout on his resume, which came against Seth Baczynski in April 2015. You can only see who to back at UFC 278 at SportsLine.

UFC 278 predictions

One of the UFC 278 picks from Gombas: He is backing Amir Albazi (-380) to get his hand raised against Francisco Figueiredo (+310) in a flyweight battle.

Albazi (14-1) is a versatile prospect who spent time in the Bellator and Brave FC promotions before joining the UFC. The 28-year-old Swedish fighter has won his first two bouts with the promotion, including a decision against Zhalgas Zhumagulov last January.

Figueiredo (13-4-1) is a Brazilian grappling specialist who has gone 2-1 in three UFC appearances. He earned a performance bonus for his submission of Daniel Lacerda in April.

“Albazi is more skilled than Figueiredo and has a better process in his fights. I expect Albazi to make a statement,” Gombas told SportsLine. See who else to pick right here.

How to make UFC 278 picks

Gombas also has strong picks for UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards and other fights on the UFC 278 card. He’s picking a fighter who has “great boxing skills and serious power” to emerge with a dominant victory. Those UFC 278 picks are only available at SportsLine.

Who wins UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards 2? And which fighter is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed top picks on UFC 278, all from the insider who’s up more than $10,000 on MMA picks the past two years, and find out.

UFC 278 odds, fight card

See full UFC 278 picks, predictions, and best bets here.

Kamaru Usman (-360) vs. Leon Edwards (+300)

Paulo Costa (-280) vs. Luke Rockhold (+240)

Merab Dvalishvili (-130) vs. Jose Aldo (+110)

Alexander Romanov (-400) vs. Marcin Tybura (+320)

Tyson Pedro (-800) vs. Harry Hunsucker (+550)

Jared Gordon (-320) vs. Leonardo Santos (+260)

Lucie Pudilova (-145) vs. Yanan Wu (+125)

Sean Woodson (-340) vs. Luis Saldana (+280)

Miranda Maverick (-475) vs. Shanna Young (+380)

A.J. Fletcher (-160) vs. Ange Loosa (+140)

Amir Albazi (-380) vs. Francisco Figueiredo (+310)

Aori Qileng (-155) vs. Jay Perrin (+135)

Victor Altamirano (-200) vs. Daniel Da Silva (+175)

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