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Paul Craig vs. Jamahal Hill UFC 263 Odds, Pick & Prediction: Expect Uptempo Fight With Early Finish (Saturday, June 12)

Paul Craig vs. Jamahal Hill UFC 263 Odds, Pick & Prediction: Expect Uptempo Fight With Early Finish (Saturday, June 12) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC fighter Jamahal Hill.

  • Paul Craig and Jamahal Hill open up the UFC 263 Pay-Per-View main card with an awesome matchup between two noted finishers.
  • Hill (-300 odds) is the favorite, coming off a KO win in his last fight and Craig's six wins in the UFC are all by stoppage.
  • Sean Zerillo details how he's betting this highly anticipated fight.

Paul Craig vs. Jamahal Hill Odds

Craig Odds
Hill Odds
1.5 (-124 / -104)
Gila River Arena
Approx. 10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday and via PointsBet.

No. 14-ranked light heavyweight Paul Craig and No. 15-ranked Jamahal Hill kick off the Pay-Per-View portion of Saturday’s UFC 263 card in a fight that was rescheduled from March due to a positive COVID result for Hill. The two men have been going back and forth on social media and during fight week, which should make for an exciting contest.

Craig is unbeaten in his MMA career (three wins and one draw) while Hill hasn’t lost in his four UFC fights, but has one no contest from his bout with Klidson Abreu.

Below I preview the matchup and odds for Saturday’s fight. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate.

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Tale of the Tape

Craig Hill
Record 14-4-1 8-0 (1 NC)
Avg. Fight Time 8:25 8:44
Height 6’3″ 6’4″
Weight (pounds) 205 lbs. 205 lbs.
Reach (inches) 76″ 79″
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Date of birth 11/27/87 5/19/1991
Sig Strikes Per Min 2.40 7.90
SS Accuracy 49% 52%
SS Absorbed Per Min 2.43 3.15
SS Defense 49% 49%
Take Down Avg 2.11 0.00
TD Acc 26% 0%
TD Def 55% 53%
Submission Avg 1.5 0.0

“Sweet Dreams” is one of the most exciting prospects in the light heavyweight division, and his size, physicality, and speed should pose problems for Craig on the feet.

But there’s a path for “BearJew” on the mat, and Hill has been taken down as many as six times in one fight by Darko Stosic (Jan. 2020) — so there’s some concern that he may not dictate where this fight takes place, particularly in the early stages.

However, Hill has shown a good getup game, and still managed to throw more than 100 significant strikes in that Stostic fight. He has averaged nearly eight significant strikes per minute (7.9) in the UFC.

Craig also doesn’t maintain his level beyond the opening 7.5 minutes, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hill survive until he finds a late finish.

Hill is the less experienced fighter, but he appears to be improving at a more rapid pace. Provided that Craig doesn’t suffocate him with top time or find a quick submission, I do think that he’ll be the more dangerous man for the majority of the contest.

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Craig vs. Hill Pick

I show value on this fight to end inside the distance (projected -606, listed -304), Hill to win by KO/TKO (projected -157, listed -125), and Hill to win inside the distance (projected -184, listed -139.)

Jamahal Hill (-196) with a HUGE win over OSP to remain undefeated 💪

(via @ufc) | #UFCVegas16

— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) December 6, 2020

Alternatively, I considered betting on the under 1.5 rounds, or on Hill to win in Round 1 (+210).

I ultimately landed on HIll’s inside the distance prop, which I would bet to -165; I don’t want to bet against the clock in this fight.

The Pick: Jamahal Hill wins Inside the Distance (-139, 0.5 units)

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