UFC 263 predictions, odds, best bets: Leon Edwards, Chase Hooper among top picks to consider

On Saturday, UFC 263 goes down from Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, featuring a stacked card headlined by a pair of title fights and plenty of action from top to bottom. In the main event, Israel Adesanya defends his middleweight championship against old foe Marvin Vettori, while the co-main event sees a rematch of the greatest flyweight fight in history as Deiveson Figueiredo defends his belt against Brandon Moreno.

Big fight cards set up interesting action at the betting window and UFC 263 is no exception. As with any such card, there are some heavy favorites, some interesting underdog picks and good parlay opportunities. We are here to help you identify some of those opportunities, looking through the card to find some intriguing plays to make to enhance your enjoyment of Saturday’s event.

William Hill Sportsbook has you covered with every angle of UFC 263 to get in on the action. We’re going to give you a few options to consider with this card from our favorite moneyline play, prop play and parlay play. Let’s take a closer look at those picks now.

Best moneyline pick

Chase Hooper +100 vs. Steven Peterson

The hype on Hooper has been checked a bit over his past two fights, losing to Alex Caceres and needing a comeback to beat Peter Barrett. Hooper made the right decision in going to train with Stephen Thompson and Upstate Karate earlier in 2021, which should help him pick up some skills in utilizing his striking and really taking advantage of his range. Peterson is the kind of aggressive fighter that could put Hooper behind early again, or who could leave himself open to counters.

What really sticks out here is Hooper’s cardio, which has proven very solid. Peterson has not fought since his incredible spinning backfist KO of Martin Bravo in September 2019, as he dealt with surgeries, a bout with COVID-19 and more injuries. Peterson also hasn’t been overly impressive in his UFC career, setting aside the one highlight reel knockout. It feels like this line is an overreaction to Hooper’s hype getting checked a bit and Peterson having scored a knockout that got some buzz. But with nearly two years out of the cage and the various health issues for Peterson, Hooper seems like a value bet here.

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Best prop pick

Leon Edwards via KO, TKO or DQ +100

Edwards has been on a roll, with his biggest opponent being UFC scheduling and matchmaking. Finally given the opportunity to get back in the Octagon, Edwards was heating up when he poked Belal Muhammad in the eye in their March clash, resulting in a no contest. He now gets a big name in Nate Diaz, but maybe not the stiffest test. The two will meet in a five-round fight on the main card, the first non-title UFC fight outside of a main event to be scheduled for five rounds.

Those extra two rounds are what gives Edwards via KO its value. Diaz cuts easily and that — along with Jorge Masvidal simply being better — is why Diaz lost his last outing. Giving Edwards 10 more minutes to beat up — and cut up — Diaz gives him a very high chance of getting the stoppage, well higher than the +100 odds imply.

Best parlay pick

Chase Hooper, Belal Muhammad, Drew Dober +373

We include Hooper here because we’ve already accepted that he’s a good value pick, but he could be swapped out for Israel Adesanya or Matt Frevola, lowering the parlay line to around +225 with slightly lower risk.

Muhammad looked good at times against Edwards before the eye poke and is a solid fighter. Muhammad sort of straddles the line between fighters Maia beats and loses to in this late part of his career, but is good enough to avoid the kind of bad positional mistakes that allow Maia to thrive. Keeping the fight standing should let Muhammad manage to score the win by simply outworking Maia.

Dober has been very solid over the past few years, only losing to Beneil Dariush and Islam Makhachev since 2017. Those are two men who are among the elite of the current lightweight crop. Riddell has a shiny record, but Dober is a different kind of opponent for him and the kind of guy who gives a strong reality check to a guy like Riddell.

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