UFC 268 Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Analysis, Model Projections for 14 Saturday Fights

UFC 268 Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Analysis, Model Projections for 14 Saturday Fights article feature image
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Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images. Pictured: UFC World Championship belt.

  • UFC 268 odds are on the move Saturday before the 14-fight card kicks off tonight at Madison Square Garden.
  • Compare any new odds to Sean Zerillo's model projections to find value, and read his fight breakdown for every bout below.
  • The pay-per-view card is highlighted by Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington in the main event.

The UFC returns to Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Nov. 6 for a loaded 14-fight card for UFC 268, highlighted by a pair of high-profile rematches; a welterweight title bout between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, and a strawweight title bout between Rose Namajunas and Weili Zhang.

The nine prelims will begin on ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET. The five-fight main card will commence at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

If you are new to this piece, or this sport, note that in addition to moneylines and over/unders, there are numerous ways to bet on an MMA fight — including exact winning methods, winning round props, and whether or not the match will go to a decision or finish inside the distance.

As a result, after examining all of the betting options, your typical UFC card can offer a substantial amount of actionable value.

UFC 268 Moneyline Projections

Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute UFC odds here.

Below, you can find my fair odds moneyline projection for each of Saturday’s 14 bouts. In the next section, you’ll discover forecasts for those fights to finish inside the distance or for each fighter to win by decision, knockout, or submission.

UFC 268 Prop Projections

Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute UFC odds here.

In addition to creating a crowdsourced projection for moneyline plays, I also collect data on each fighter to win by decision, knockout, or submission — which enables us to determine fair odds for each fight to go the distance or for each fighter win inside of the distance.


UFC 268 Odds & Picks

[Click to Skip to Main Card]

Early Prelims

  • ESPN+
  • 6 p.m. ET

CJ Vergara vs. Ode Osbourne

Vergara is making his debut after earning a contract on Contender Series in September. Osbourne is also a contender series alum from 2019, and 11 of his 13 fights have ended inside the distance, including 10 in the first round.

Osbourne is much bigger (a 5-inch reach advantage), and Vergara represents a step down in competition compared to his other UFC fights.

I project slight value on the fight to end inside the distance (projected -216) or the Under 2.5 rounds. I also show small value on Osborne’s moneyline and his odds to win inside the distance (projected +133)


Melsik Baghdasaryan vs. Bruno Souza

Melsik is one of my favorite Featherweight prospects, and he’s a potential handful for a short notice debutant in Souza — a karate specialist who keeps his hands low and appears very hittable.

Baghdasaryan by KO/TKO (+150) is the apparent value play (projected +114). Still, I prefer his odds to win by finish or inside the distance (projected -102, listed +130) because you never know when a fighter will latch onto a club and sub opportunity.

I also project value on this fight to end inside the distance (projected 61%, -153 implied) compared to listed odds (-125). Alternatively, you can play the Under 2.5 rounds.

Lastly, I would look to bet Melsik to win in Round 1; he’s an aggressive starter and his first-round odds may get slashed in the future.


Dustin Jacoby vs. John Allan

Slight value on the Jacoby moneyline, but he’s also taking this fight on short notice. Otherwise, not particularly interested in any totals or props.

Consider Jacoby as a small parlay piece (up to -400). Still, he’s far from a lock.


Gian Villante vs. Chris Barnett

The definition of a sloppy Heavyweight fight. Slight value on the fight to end inside the distance (projected -156) and Barnett to win by finish (projected +203).

However, I have no interest in betting against Hofstra alum Gian Villante in his retirement fight at MSG; and I’m not keen to burn money on the ugliest contest on the card.

Pass.


Ian Garry vs. Jordan Williams

I project slight value on the Garry moneyline; otherwise, I’m not interested in the total or any prop wagers on this fight.

It’s similar to the Jacoby fight, where I show parlay value on a big moneyline favorite with a red flag. This is Garry’s UFC debut, in front of a sold-out arena at MSG and a large opponent in Jordan Williams, who used to compete at Middleweight.

Still, “The Future” should have Williams covered everywhere. Use Garry as a parlay piece, up to -450.

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Prelims

  • ESPN News
  • 8 p.m. ET

Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Nassourdine Imavov

Shahbazyan is an aggressive starter with significant cardio concerns. Still, Imavov has gassed out in his fights, too – I’m expecting an early finish or a sloppy slog to the finish line.

I slightly lean to the Over, or the fight goes the distance props (projected +122, listed +130). I also show slight value on Imavov to win by Decision (projected +308, listed +315), but that would be a small bet if anything.


Phil Hawes vs. Chris Curtis

I will probably continue to lose money fading Hawes against low-level fighters, but I see a massive cardio mismatch in this bout with the “Action-Man” Chris Curtis.

Curtis has significant MMA experience (34 fights), including a win on the contender series and four victories in 2021 alone – he’s very active, has experience in five-round fights, and excels at putting away tiring opposition.

Hawes is an absolute terror for the first round, but he doesn’t have much to offer beyond haymakers, his wrestling (2.7 takedowns per 15 minutes, 38% accuracy), physicality, and the cage clinch. And his output drops off substantially after the opening frame.

Perhaps the better entry point is to bet Curtis live after Round 1. However, I took a stab at both his moneyline (projected +186) and odds to win inside the distance (projected +340) pre-fight, and we’ll hope he can survive to spring the upset.


Al Iaquinta vs. Bobby Green

Iaquinta hasn’t fought in two years, while Green has had six fights over that span, so it’s hard not to lean towards the more active fighter.

Still, Green typically fights to the level of his competition and often finds himself in close, split decisions for good or bad. Each of his past 10, and 14 of his past 15 UFC fights, have gone to a decision.

Iaquinta has also turned into a bit of a decision machine late in his career (five of his past six fights) against high-level competition. Green has the advantage in the striking metrics (+1.90 to -0.38 strike differential), but Iaquinta provides better optics.

In a fight listed at -360 to see the judges, it’s hard not to take plus money in what likely amounts to another close decision involving Green. You can use the Over 2.5 Rounds (up to -400) as a parlay piece, and I would also bet Iaquinta to win by decision (projected +243) with the local fans cheering him on.


Alex Pereira vs. Andreas Michailidis

Pereira — a former two-division GLORY champion and the only man to knock out Israel Adesanya — hopes to ascend the UFC rankings quickly.

The Brazilian has limited MMA experience, but he is immediately one of the best strikers in the UFC, and his first opponent might be happy to stand and trade until the fight ends.

Michailidis should look to grapple – he has significantly more MMA experience. His only path to victory is on the mat since Pereira is a much more technical striker and the far larger man (four inches taller, with three inches of reach).

I project slight value on Pereira’s moneyline. Still, I prefer his knockout prop (projected -144) or his odds to win inside the distance (projected -168) against an opponent with minimal offensive grappling and four knockout losses on his record.

Additionally, I see value in betting the fight to end inside the distance (projected -313) and considering Pereira likely loses by finish if he fails to secure one himself, that might be the safest bet.


Main Card

  • ESPN PPV
  • 10 p.m. ET

Lightweight Fight: Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler

Odds
Gaethje odds -210
Chandler odds +175
Over/Under 1.5 rounds -115 / -115

Crowdsourced Projections:  (Gaethje 66.5%)

The main card opener is potentially the most violent fight on Saturday’s card, and oddsmakers consider it the second-likeliest bout to end inside the distance (listed -300, or 75% implied) at UFC 268.

I projected the line higher at 80%, or -400 implied, and I show value on this Lightweight bout to end inside the distance.

Chandler is at his most dangerous in the first round before tailing off. He’s very explosive in the opening exchanges and pressures forward with big hooks and overhands, but he muscles everything and seemingly saps his energy quickly.

Gaethje, who trains in Colorado, has excellent cardio. And he’s become one of the most accurate strikers in UFC history (59%) under the tutelage of Trevor Wittman.

Gaethje fires powerful leg kicks at high volume, and Chandler has been hurt in the past by that technique. Moreover, he’s an extremely dangerous striker in the pocket, and Chandler’s durability is seemingly limited.

Gaethje has been knocked out twice — against Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez — in the later stages of wars where he eventually overextended. Chandler went down from a check left hook to submission specialist Charles Oliveira, his fourth career TKO loss from punches.

It’s entirely possible that Chandler catches Gaethje early and swarms him for a stoppage win. However, suppose this fight extends for any duration. In that case, Gaethje is the far likelier minute winner down the stretch, and he’ll be able to carry his power and accuracy into the second and third round.

You could live bet Gaethje after Round 1:

That said, I don’t see value on either side of this fight – even though I wanted to play Gaethje by knockout (projected -114) or inside the distance (projected -130). Additionally, I considered betting Gaethje to win in Round 1, but I couldn’t justify the play from a projection standpoint.

I would play the Under 1.5 rounds and also bet the fight to end inside the distance. This is an excellent spot for violence.

Bets: 

  • Under 1.5 Rounds (+100, 0.25u)
  • Fight Ends Inside the Distance (-275, 0.5u)
  • Justin Gaethje Live after Round 1

Featherweight Fight: Shane Burgos vs. Billy Quarantillo

Odds
Burgos odds -200
Quarantillo odds +170
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -135 / +105

Crowdsourced Projections: Burgos (65.3%)

This Featherweight scrap between a pair of New York natives has Fight of the Night potential — Burgos and Quarantillo land more than 14 combined strikes per minute.

Burgos is the longer (5-inch reach advantage) and more technical man, and he has faced a higher level of competition. Still, Billy Q has superior efficiency metrics (+2.75 to +1.18 strike differential) and the grappling upside (1.66 takedowns per 15 minutes, 34% accuracy).

However, Burgos has been tough to take down (89% takedown defense) or keep down once you get him to the mat. He’s one of the most entertaining strikers on the roster, but “Hurricane” has underrated grappling chops too.

Quarantillo typically wins his fights by outworking his opponents and mixing in takedowns; however, Burgos is the perfect opponent to counteract those strengths.

The only concern on Burgos’ side is his chin, following a brutal knockout loss against Edson Barboza in May. Burgos has been through several wars and sustained a ton of damage; the nature of that loss left some lingering questions about his durability moving forward.

A healthy Burgos wins this fight, but I can’t shake the feeling that he might crumble from a punch that he would have previously shaken off, and I no longer trust his ability to survive in a high-volume war.

That said, I’m not interested in playing the over or the fight to go the distance despite projected value (projected -150, listed -120).

However, I also project value on Burgos to win by decision (projected +155), and I’m happy to fire on the likelier minute winner to outpoint a durable opponent.

Bets: 

  • Shane Burgos wins by Decision (+180, 0.3u)

Bantamweight fight: Frankie Edgar vs. Marlon Vera

Odds
Edgar odds +140
Vera odds -160
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -185 / +150

Crowdsourced Projections: Vera (60.3%)

“Chito” Vera typically starts slow — losing the first round on at least one scorecard in each of his past five bouts (the other, his finish against Sean O’Malley) — before picking up the pace.

Falling behind could be a recipe for disaster against Edgar, who has competed for belts at Lightweight and Featherweight and boasts some of the best cardio in UFC history.

Unfortunately, Edgar is on the wrong side of the age curve (recently turned 40) in a smaller weight class. His legendary durability (all three career knockout losses in his past six fights) appears to be fading.

Conversely, Vera looks like one of the most durable fighters on the roster, and he has a very violent style.

Edgar is the more efficient boxer (+0.99 to -0.17 strike differential; -11% accuracy; +15% defense) and the superior grappler (2.28 takedowns per 15 minutes, 31% accuracy). Vera can lose minutes on pure output or get stuck on the bottom (69% takedown defense) and cede control time, which has been an issue in the past.

Edgar can win this fight through volume and control, but all of the finishing equity lies with Vera — Edgar seemingly needs takedowns to see his hand raised.

There’s value on the fight to go the distance (projected -177, listed -150) or the Over 2.5 rounds. However, I prefer the value on Edgar’s odds to win by decision (projected +196, listed +250).

I’m not interested in taking a significant position on a 40-year-old Bantamweight. Nor am I interested in doubling down on his durability by betting the distance prop or the over; we’ll keep our wagering on this fight small.

Bets: 

  • Frankie Edgar wins by Decision (+250, 0.3u)

Check out our free UFC odds page, which automatically surfaces the best moneyline and total round odds for every fight.


Women’s Strawweight fight: Rose Namajunas vs. Zhang Weili

Odds
Namajunas odds +100
Zhang odds -120
Over/Under 4.5 rounds -105 / -125

Crowdsourced Projections: Zhang (55.7%)

When I previewed the first fight in April, Zhang closed as a -200 favorite (66.7% implied), taking money right up until the opening bell.

The first fight didn’t last 90 seconds, and we seemingly learned nothing about the matchup between these two Strawweights, but Namajunas has moved more than 15% in implied probability for the rematch.

I liked Zhang the first time around. I projected her moneyline odds at 67% (-204 implied) and recommended her as a small parlay piece. However, my favorite angle was to wait to play Zhang live after Round 1 and/or Round 2.

Thankfully, I saved myself from eating some chalk, but If I liked Zhang at -150 Live, down a round in April, how could I not like her closer to even money in the rematch?

Namajunas’ output typically falls off after the first five to 10 minutes, and I expect Zhang’s pressure and power to win a war of attrition the longer the fight extends.

Rose’s success should be front loaded. She is the cleaner and more technical striker, but Zhang brings relentless pressure and uses powerful leg kicks to slow her opponents down.

Namajunas has shown questionable cardio in three-round fights, which could lead to a stoppage loss against a relentless pressure fighter in a five-round title fight. Rose’s footwork and movement could give Zhang problems early, but Weili has the power edge, and once Rose starts to wilt, she tends to stop moving and stand in front of her opponents.

The champion could use her grappling (53% takedown accuracy, 1.89 landed per 15 minutes) to win minutes, but Zhang (100% takedown defense) has proven challenging to control. Still, if Rose gets this fight to the mat, she should have the advantage.

MMA is a high-variance sport, but people tend to treat results as definitive. A 90-second victory via head kick — between two championship-level fighters — is utterly sensational. Still, it’s also the product of randomness and generally isn’t predictive.

I saw Zhang as the better minute winner (+1.96 to +0.14 strike differential) before the first fight, and we have no new information to suggest that that wouldn’t be the case half a year later.

Perhaps you can upgrade Rose’s finishing upside to a degree, and I boosted her moneyline projection by more than 10% – but I still show value on the Zhang side.

I would bet Zhang Weili on the moneyline up to -115 (available at William Hill). I also bet on her odds to win inside the distance (projected +260) before the moneyline moved towards her side. Unfortunately, those odds have dropped closed to +200, but I would sprinkle her finish prop at +250 or better.

Additionally, I would look to bet Zhang live after Round 1 and/or Round 2, when Rose’s output should start to wane.

Bets: 

  • Zhang Weili (-115, 0.5u)
  • Zhang Weili wins Inside the Distance (+285, 0.1u)
  • Zhang Weili Live after Round 1 and/or Round 2


Welterweight fight: Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington

Odds
Usman odds -320
Covington odds +250
Over/Under 3.5 rounds -150 / +120

Crowdsourced Projections: Usman (71.5%)

For additional information on Saturday’s main event, including a full statistical breakdown, make sure to check out my full fight preview.

Usman defeated Covington by fifth-round TKO at UFC 245 in December 2019. However, heading into the fifth round, the scorecards were a dead heat; one judge scored the fight 3-1 for Usman, another 3-1 for Covington, and the third had the fight tied two rounds apiece with five minutes to go.

Both welterweights are tremendous wrestlers, but neither man attempted a takedown in their first fight. On the feet, Usman is the far more accurate (+16%), efficient (+2.23 to +1.26 strike differential), and defensively sound (+2%) striker.

Usman out-struck Covington by 12% (48% to 36%) in their first matchup, with a +32 strike differential (175-143) thanks to a ton of work to the body (landed 53 of 74 body strikes).

And in his recent fights, Usman has made dramatic improvements to his striking with crisp and powerful straight punches down the pipe while fighting behind his jab. Trevor Whitman’s influence is apparent, and the development is frightening for the rest of the division — who knocks out Jorge Masvidal LIKE THAT?!
“Chaos” may have made improvements to his own game since the first fight, but we haven’t been able to see those improvements in the Octagon since he has competed so sparsely.

Like the first fight, I expect Covington to have moments of success in the rematch and potentially win one or two rounds against the champion, purely off of activity and output. However, I struggle to see a path to victory for Covington beyond a close, volume-based decision.

Covington by decision (projected +401, listed +400) isn’t a bad bet

More of the finish equity lies with the champion, and I project value on Usman’s KO/TKO prop (projected +133, listed +150) but prefer his odds to win inside the distance or by finish (projected +100, listed -120).

Bets: 

  • Kamaru Usman wins Inside the Distance (+120, 0.5u)


Zerillo’s UFC 268 Betting Card

Distance or Decision Props and Totals

  • Nassourdine Imavov wins by Decision (+315, 0.1u)
  • Al Iaquinta wins by Decision (+300, 0.25u)
  • Shane Burgos wins by Decision (+180, 0.3u)
  • Frankie Edgar wins by Decision (+250, 0.3u)

Inside the Distance Props

  • Vergara/Osbourne, Under 2.5 Rounds (-150, 0.5u)
  • Baghdasaryan wins Inside the Distance (+150, 0.5u)
  • Baghdasaryan wins in Round 1 (+250, 0.2u)
  • Baghdasaryan/Souza, Under 2.5 Rounds (+100, 0.25u)
  • Baghdasaryan/Souza, Fight Ends Inside the Distance (-120, 0.25u)
  • Chris Curtis wins Inside the Distance (+500, 0.1u)
  • Alex Pereira wins Inside the Distance (-150, 0.25u)
  • Michailidis/Pereira, Fight Ends Inside the Distance (-225, 0.5u)
  • Chandler/Gaethje, Under 1.5 Rounds (+100, 0.25u)
  • Chandler/Gaethje, Fight Ends Inside the Distance (-275, 0.5u)
  • Zhang Weili wins Inside the Distance (+285, 0.1u)
  • Kamaru Usman wins Inside the Distance (+120, 0.5u)

Moneylines

  • Chris Curtis (+261, 0.25u)
  • Zhang Weili (-115, 0.5u)

Parlays

  • Parlay (+100, 0.5u): Dustin Jacoby (-390) / Ian Garry (-385) /  Iaquinta vs. Green, Over 2.5 Rounds (-390)

Live Betting Notes

  • Chris Curtis Live after Round 1
  • Justin Gaethje Live after Round 1
  • Zhang Weili Live after Round 1 and/or Round 2

Don’t forget to follow my picks in the Action Network App.

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