UFC 286 Sleeper Picks
It’s only been two weeks since we last witnessed a premium UFC pay-per-view event, and now we’re gearing up for another amazing spectacle in the Octagon as UFC 286: Edwards vs. Usman 3 takes center stage in the United Kingdom. Who are the underdogs worth placing stakes on this weekend as a handful of the promotion’s best fighters go toe-to-toe across the pond?
Nitrobetting is here to train bettors in the realm of combat sports with in-depth coverage of the latest UFC events. This time, let’s take a closer look at the three best sleeper candidates to win their respective bouts in UFC 286: Edwards vs. Usman 3 and their corresponding MMA odds to win the latest premium live MMA event set to take place in the O2 Arena in London.
Top UFC 286 Sleeper Picks
THE TRILOGY FOR THE TITLE!! @Leon_EdwardsMMA and @Usman84kg go again Saturday night at #UFC286!— UFC (@ufc) March 16, 2023
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READ MORE: Edwards vs. Usman 3 UFC 286 Odds and Preview
Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman 3 // UFC Welterweight Championship
- UFC 286 Odds: Leon Edwards (+185) // Kamaru Usman (-222)
It’s rare to see a reigning UFC champion be an underdog for a title defense, let alone one that has a virtual home-field advantage in front of his fellow Brits. Birmingham’s very own Leon Edwards is currently seen as the dog in his rubber match against Kamaru Usman, whom many experts still regard as one of the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighters.
Lest we forget, though, it was Edwards who dethroned Usman in UFC 278 last August with a fifth-round knockout. Edwards does not have the imposing stature that “The Nigerian Nightmare” has, but his well-rounded game plan and superb stamina did not let him down during his title-clinching victory, either.
UFC 286 Betting Pick: Leon Edwards
Gunnar Nelson vs. Bryan Barbarena
- UFC 286 Odds: Gunnar Nelson (-370) // Bryan Barbarena (+285)
On one side Iceland’s very own Gunnar Nelson is hot off a win over Takashi Sato almost a year ago to the date. On the other, Bryan Barberena is coming off a tough loss to Rafal dos Anjos last December. Differentiating momentum by these two welterweight contenders has the former as the favorite to win over the latter.
However, it’s worth noting that Nelson has only one fight under his belt since 2019 and six of his last seven fights in the UFC have only taken place on European soil. That being said, Barberena has been the more active competitor while also winning three straight fights before his latest defeat. Gunni, on the other hand, is merely 2-3 in his last five bouts and has not had a winning streak in over half a decade.
UFC 286 Betting Pick: Geoff Neal
Marvin Vettori vs. Roman Dolidze
- UFC 286 Odds: Marvin Vettori (-270) // Roman Dolidze (+225)
Based on name value alone, it’s understandable that Marvin Vettori is projected to win UFC 286’s opening bout on the main card. Then again, Vettori has dropped two of his last three fights, with his lone win dating back to October 2021 in his Light Heavyweight debut against Paulo Costa. Even then, “The Italian Dream” also benefitted from an illegal eye poke from Costa during their match that might’ve changed the outcome of the final decision.
Meanwhile, 34-year-old Roman Dolidze is a late bloomer for his age that shouldn’t be underestimated. The Georgian fighter is 12-1 lifetime and 6-1 in the UFC with a streak of four consecutive wins going for him. The last three were all by TKO and all fights were held just the previous year, making Dolidze a solid sleeper pick to pull off the first big upset on Saturday night.
UFC 286 Betting Pick: Jalin Turner
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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice