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Kamaru Usman of Nigeria looks on as we look at our Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards picks
Kamaru Usman of Nigeria looks on before a welterweight title bout against Leon Edwards of Jamaica during UFC 278 at Vivint Arena on August 20, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images via AFP.

The UFC welterweight title hangs in the balance on Saturday night when former kingpin Kamaru Usman faces his conqueror, Leon Edwards in the main event of UFC 286. Here are our Usman vs. Edwards picks based on the odds from our best sportsbooks

Edwards violently ended one of the most dominant runs in recent memory when his shin collided with Usman’s jaw at UFC 278. Behind on the judges' scorecards, Edwards snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, separating Usman from his senses with under a minute left in a bout that looked destined to be another triumph for the “Nigerian Nightmare.”

For Edwards it was the culmination of an 11-fight unbeaten stretch that started after, you guessed it, a loss to Usman. In what was only his second fight under the UFC umbrella, Usman outworked “Rocky” for 15 minutes en route to a unanimous decision victory way back in 2015.

Who will emerge from the trilogy bout with 10.45 pounds of gold around their waist?

Here are our best Edwards vs. Usman picks for UFC 286 (odds via FanDuel; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Edwards vs. Usman pick

Kamaru Usman ML (-240 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I don’t like calling anything a fluke. Edwards threw a kick, he meant to throw a kick, and that kick dramatically toppled both Usman and his title reign. That said, Usman was winning that fight up until that fateful moment when shin met jaw. Usman outstruck Edwards 83-to-55 in significant strikes, 189-to-64 in total strikes, and had five takedowns to Edwards’ one. He also held a hefty advantage in their first encounter, out-landing Edwards 48-to-26 in significant strikes, 126-to-36 in total strikes, and had six takedowns while Edwards had none.

I expect Usman to outwork Edwards, unleashing his vaunted wrestling whenever things get even remotely hairy. Will the “Nigerian Nightmare” play it safe? Probably. Is it outside the realm of possibility that Edwards lands another devastating, fight-ending killshot? Not at all.

Still, lightning won’t strike twice. Usman is the better fighter, and his waist will be dripping in gold on Saturday night.

Edwards vs. Usman best odds

FanDuel: -240


There isn’t much line variation between the sports betting sites, with your best straight-up “to win” line for Usman coming from FanDuel (-240). With 10 of 19 career wins coming via decision, there might be some value in backing Usman to win by points (+115 via FanDuel).

If you expect Edwards to retain his title in front of his home country, head over to Caesars Sportsbook to snatch him up at +210. 

Edwards vs. Usman fight info

  • Date: Saturday, March 18
  • TV: PPV
  • Location: O2 Arena, London, UK

Edwards-Usman pick made 03/17/2023 at 11:30 p.m. ET

Here are our best sportsbooks:

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* Bonuses not applicable in Ontario.

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