Best UFC 296 Bets: Colby Covington vs. Leon Edwards Picks

Eric Uribe
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
Best UFC 296 Bets: Colby Covington vs. Leon Edwards Picks

It’s been a banner year for UFC pay-per-views in 2023, but there’s one left — UFC 296. This card is jam-packed with betting opportunities too. We’ve analyzed the card’s top fights and have confidently picked three UFC 296 bets worth making. Keep reading to get our expert betting advice!

  • What: UFC 296
  • When: Saturday, December 16
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada

Colby Covington vs. Leon Edwards Betting Pick

The best UFC betting sites are almost split on who wins the welterweight championship fight. As it stands, Edwards is a very small betting favorite over Covington. Here’s the current betting odds on the moneyline:

Leon Edwards-125-125-125
Colby Covington-105-105-105

There are clear paths to victory for both fighters. Let’s begin with the champion. Edwards is the clear-cut better striker. He famously flash KO’d Kamaru Usman to win the belt, then beat him again to prove it wasn’t a fluke. If you remember, Covington lost twice to Usman before too.

For Covington, he has the upper hand on the ground. Covington’s grappling skills have given the entire division fits. Edwards does have solid takedown defense, which he used to hold off Usman. However, Covington is much more dependent on his wrestling than Usman so we’d expect him to shoot at Edwards's legs even more than Usman did.

Ultimately, here’s our sticking point with this bout: is Covington the same fighter? We haven’t seen him in the UFC in about a year and a half, last beating a washed-up Jorge Masvidal. That type of inactivity makes us comfortable. It doesn’t help that Covington is a few short months away from turning 36 too. It’s fair to wonder whether Covington has declined while away.

That’s a major reason we’re sticking with Edwards to win. He’s younger, bigger, and a far superior striker than Covington. We’re betting that Edward's takedown defense holds up too and he gets this win.

Leon Edwards to beat Colby Covington at UFC 296

Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Royval Betting Pick

This could be the Fight of the Night. Why? Because both fighters are allergic to boring bouts. It also helps the Pantoja-Royval moneyline odds are pretty close — not as much as the main event, but competitive nonetheless. Here’s how the betting lines shake out both ways:

Alexandre Pantoja-200-200-200
Brandon Royval+165+165+165

We can't help but think Royval doesn’t belong here. That’s not rocket science district his skill set, which screams dangerous. In 15 career wins for Royval, 13 ended early — nine by submission and four by KO. He sure brings the entertainment factor too. However, Royval has already lost to Pantoja once, as well as Brandon Moreno, the top-ranked contender.

You have to go back to August 2021 to remember the last time these flyweights met in the octagon. That was on a Fight Night card, which ultimately ended in a second-round finish for Pantoja. Most of the fight was on the ground — as you’d expect with two grapplers — but ultimately, Pantoja got Royval in a rear-naked choke to end it. Has anything changed in the two years since?

Yes, Pantoja has ascended even higher in the octagon. His title win over Moreno was truly a masterclass performance. We’re willing to bet on deja vu at UFC 296, which means Pantoja wins for a second time.

Alexandre Pantoja to beat Brandon Royval at UFC 296

Paddy Pimblett vs. Tony Ferguson Betting Pick

Here’s a fun fight at lightweight. Ferguson remains one of UFC’s most beloved fighters, even when he’s winning. Pimblett has the hype, but fans are also starting to turn on him. Expect a rowdy crowd for this collision. No surprise, the much younger Paddy is a comfortable favorite over Ferguson:

Paddy Pimblett-240-240-240
Tony Ferguson+200+200+200

Both fighters could not be on more different paths. Pimblett has won six in a row, and Dana White seems to see dollar signs with him with the way he’s promoted him. Ferguson has lost six in a row and could be on the chopping block as crazy as that sounds.

But despite this, Paddy isn’t THAT big of a favorite. Not as much as we’d expect given the circumstances. That’s partly because Pimblett is coming off a lowly performance against 34-year-old Jared Gordon. Most would argue that Pimblett lost, but ultimately he got the decision.

Ferguson has shown shades of his old self — famously fighting Michael Chandler tooth and nail for one round. But we don’t believe he can put together three full rounds, not even against an overrated fighter like Paddy.

This is a matchup where you might want to up the bet size. Pimblett at only -240 is a slight bargain given Ferguson’s in-ring decline. We’d advise laying more units on this bet than usual.

Paddy Pimblett to beat Tony Ferguson at UFC 296

How To Bet On UFC 296?

Want every type of sports bet on UFC 296? Check out one of the bookies below. Moneylines, over/unders, props — it’s all there for the taking! Not only do you get a diversity of UFC 296 bets, but you also get them at industry-leading prices too.

If you’re not sure what betting site to place your UFC 296 bets, consider reading our latest sportsbook reviews. This will help you compare and contrast between bookmakers. Once you choose one, you effectively have a one-stop shop for UFC betting even beyond the 296 card.

Meet the author

Eric Uribe

Eric has been passionate about sports since he was 10 years old. He brings over 10 years of sports journalism experience to his expert coverage of sports betting. Hailing from the US, Eric leverages his diverse expertise covering sports at all levels – from high schoo...

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