UFC 300 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill: 2 Keys to Betting Main Event (Saturday, April 13)

UFC 300 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill: 2 Keys to Betting Main Event (Saturday, April 13) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira of Brazil

Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill Odds

Pereira Odds
Hill Odds
1.5 rounds (-210 / +160)
T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
11:59 p.m. ET
UFC 300 odds as of Saturday evening and via DraftKings. Bet on Pereira vs. Hill our DraftKings promo code.

Here's our Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill pick with a UFC 300 prediction for Saturday, April 13

The UFC returns to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this weekend with a 13-fight card for UFC 300, which features light heavyweight champion Alex "Poatan" Pereira and former champion Jamahal "Sweet Dreamz" Hill in the main event.

Pereira, a two-division champion who is just 9-2 in professional MMA, will defend his 205-pound title for the first time and attempt to avenge a loss for his teammate and coach, Glover Teixeira. 

Hill defeated Teixeira at UFC 283 but vacated the belt in July of last year after rupturing his Achilles tendon playing basketball during the UFC's International Fight Week.

Below, I'll provide my analysis and projections for the UFC 300 main event of Hill vs. Pereira and utilize those factors to bet on these light heavyweights, who should make their cage walks no earlier than 11:55 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV (cost: $79.99).

Tale of the Tape

Avg. Fight Time11:129:14
Weight (pounds)205 lbs.205 lbs.
Reach (inches)79"79"
Date of birth7/7/19875/19/1991
Sig Strikes Per Min5.07.3
SS Accuracy62%54%
SS Absorbed Per Min3.653.35
SS Defense50%47%
Take Down Avg0.190.00
TD Acc100%0%
TD Def70%73%
Submission Avg0.40.0

While Pereira is a former middleweight, these fighters have an identical height and reach, though Pereira did seem a touch taller at Thursday's press conference. The current champion also has a more shredded physique.

Hill is four years younger and prefers to fight out of a southpaw stance, but Pereira's left hook is one of the sport's most potent and devastating strikes in combat sports.

But for the Achilles injury, I'd likely favor Hill in this matchup. Still, Hill is returning from that injury just nine months after surgery – the minimum timeline to return to athletic competition after that injury. And it's unlikely that his cardio, which is typically excellent, is as deep as we've seen in his other five-round efforts.

Hill is the better pocket boxer, has quicker hands and retains all the grappling upside in this fight. Still, while Hill has shown excellent defensive grappling skill (73% takedown defense), he's yet to attempt an offensive takedown in the UFC.

As a result, you can expect to see a striking matchup in which Hill has better hands, but Pereira is the superior kickboxer with better footwork and timing.

Given the southpaw vs. orthodox matchup, it will be more difficult for Pereira to land leg kicks than usual. Still, I expect Poatan to aggressively hammer Hill's legs (and Achilles) and throw teep kicks to the body – in place of a jab – to maintain distance.

Hill's footwork is extremely messy, and a world-class kickboxer like Pereira should be able to cut off the cage and pick apart his movement.

Olha esse footwork tenebroso do Jamahal Hill. Se ele vier desse jeito aqui contra o Poatan já pode deixar uma maca de prontidão do lado do cage… pic.twitter.com/HGYbMD6EZx

— Igor Serafini | Canal Punch (@igorserafini_) April 8, 2024

Hill will aim to get in boxing range to land his long, straight and powerful punches. He carries massive power for the division but can also land sustained volume in an extended matchup (he lands 7.6 strikes per minute at distance).

Pereira would prefer to stay at kicking range but will attempt to set up his check left hook as Hill finishes combinations and exits the pocket. And Hill leaves his chin in the air as he exits from exchanges.

Both fighters are highly hittable (50% striking defense for Pereira; 47% for Hill), and either can land a knockout blow.

Hill is likely the more durable fighter against head strikes. Still, given the Achilles injury and Hill's accelerated timeline, the overall durability factor is a relative wash.

I could make a similar argument for the cardio angle; both fighters have gone to the fifth round – and Pereira found a late finish against Israel Adesanya – but I'd generally favor Hill's gas tank and output. However, given his recovery, he's likely to have run less than usual in the lead-up to this bout.

The strength of the schedule certainly favors Poatan, who has wins over three former champions. Hill's run – with knockouts against chinny opponents (Jimmy Crute and Johnny Walker) and wins against a pair of 40-year-olds in Texiera (retired) and Thiago Santos (0-2 in PFL since) – hasn't aged well in hindsight.

Ultimately, I expect Pereira's superior footwork – and Hill's Achilles injury – to affect the outcome significantly.

Pereira vs. Hill Pick

I projected Alex Pereira as a -139 favorite (58.2% implied odds) in this matchup, and I would bet his moneyline price up to around -130 (56.5% implied), at nearly a 2% edge compared to my projection.

Pereira opened closer to a -160 favorite (61.5% implied), and the line has ticked about 5% toward the underdog.

I'd wait until after weigh-ins – or even the ceremonial weigh-ins (7 p.m. ET on Friday) to back the favorite; you may get a better price once the public sees the size parity between the fighters.

I like the fight to end inside the distance around 85% of the time (-567 implied), more often than the betting market suggests; however, I'm not interested in laying significant juice to place that wager.

Additionally, we could see a tepid pace early. In these higher-level bouts, I typically lean toward the Over 1.5 Rounds at playable prices; fighters who reach championship status are typically more durable and measured offensively than the average UFC fighter.

Still, I project value on either fighter to win by KO/TKO. I projected Pereira's knockout line at +115 and Hill's knockout price at +199, and you can find as high as +135 and +215, respectively, in the betting market.

I'll likely use the former as a round-robin piece while I wait for the best number on Pereira's moneyline.

The Pick: Alex Pereira (-130 at DraftKings; wait for best price) 

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