UFC 296: Edwards vs. Covington Odds and Predictions

UFC 296 Edwards Vs-covington (1)

On Saturday, December 16, the UFC will be live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC 296: Edwards vs. Covington. This final UFC card of the year features two world title fights.

The main event of the night is a UFC welterweight title bout as Leon Edwards puts his belt on the line against Colby Covington. The co-featured bout of the evening is a world flyweight title fight as Alexandre Pantoja defends his belt against Brandon Royval. In total, there are 14 matchups scheduled for UFC 296.

Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine the latest MMA odds from the top UFC betting sites and make our UFC 296 predictions.

UFC 296 Betting Odds

Top-ranked sports betting sites are full of betting markets for the upcoming UFC 296 card. In addition to the moneylines for each combatant, Bovada also has prop bets, parlays, and total wagers for every fight.

The variety of betting options at Bovada gives you more control over your betting experience. Bovada Sportsbook also has a great prop-building tool, too. This makes it easy to combine all of your favorite wagers into one ticket.

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UFC 296 Predictions 

UFC 296 is a stacked card that features two title fights, multiple undefeated athletes and plenty of notable fighters to make this a must-see event. Check out our UFC 296 predictions for the full card in Sin City this Saturday.

(c)Leon Edwards (-155) vs. Colby Covington (+131)

The main event for UFC 296 is a welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington. Edwards (-155) is a slight favorite in his second defense of the 170-lb crown.

Covington’s last fight was in March 2022, when he defeated rival and former teammate, Jorge Masvidal. If nothing else. Covington should be well-rested after nearly two years off. He is just 3-2 in his last five fights, though, with both of his losses during that span coming at the hands of former welterweight champ Kamaru Usman.

Edwards (21-3, 1 NC) has won 11 straight fights, including back-to-back wins over Usman to claim and defend the welterweight title. He has 10 finishes in his career, and his only losses came via decision or DQ.

Covington’s biggest strength has been his cardio. Usman was able to match his cardio, and Covington lost both fights against the former champ. I believe Edwards can also go round-for-round with Covington, and Edwards is my pick to get the win.

The Bet
Leon Edwards

Top Prop Bets for Edwards vs. Covington

  • Over 4.5 rounds (-250)
  • Under 4.5 rounds (+185)

Bovada has the Edwards vs. Covington fight favored to go over 4.5 rounds (-250) in its latest UFC 296 odds. If the Colby of old shows up, then he would be challenging for even a fight as talented as Edwards to put away.

However, Covington has been out of competition for nearly two years. He also has a habit of giving his opponents plenty of motivation to try and knock him out. I would take the under and bet on Edwards to finish Colby in under 4.5 rounds (+185).

The Bet
Under 4.5 rounds

(c)Alexandre Pantoja (-175) vs. Brandon Royval (+145) II

The co-main event for UFC 296 will also have a championship on the line. Alexandre Pantoja (-175) is favored to retain his UFC flyweight title against Brandon Royval (+145). These two squared off in August 2021, and Pantoja won via rear-naked choke in the second round.

Royval has won three fights in a row since his loss to Pantoja, including back-to-back first-round finishes. Pantoja has had two fights since beating Royval, and this will be his first defense of his flyweight belt.

In their first fight, Pantoja was able to neutralize his height and reach disadvantages because the fight went to the ground. I believe he will use a similar game plan this around and find success once again. Pantoja should win this rematch and secure his first successful title defense.

The Bet
Alexandre Pantoja

Top Prop Bets for Pantoja vs. Royval II

  • Over 2.5 rounds (+115)
  • Under 2.5 rounds (-150)

Since this is a championship fight, Pantoja vs. Royval II is scheduled for five rounds. However, the oddsmakers at Bovada are favoring this fight to be under 2.5 rounds (-150).

I think the fight will last at least three full rounds, though. Both fighters have had over two years to improve since their last meeting. Assuming Royval used his training time wisely, he should at least be able to push Pantoja into the championship rounds before being defeated.

The Bet
Over 2.5 Rounds

Shavkat Rakhmonov (-600) vs. Stephen Thompson (+430)

One of the two undefeated fighters competing on the main card is Shavkat Rakhmonov. He is listed as a -600 favorite to extend his record to 18-0 this weekend against Stephen Thompson (+430). Thompson is a skilled striker and a UFC veteran, so he should not be counted out.

Rakhmonov and Thompson are ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in the UFC welterweight rankings. The winner of this fight could be in line for the next shot at Edwards’ belt. I believe Rakhmonov will get the win and continue his march toward a UFC title shot.

Thompson will be at a slight height and reach disadvantage, which could be the difference maker in this fight. Rakhmonov has finished all 17 of his opponents, including eight by KO. Thompson should be able to hold his own on the feet, but Rakhmonov’s nine career submissions give him a clear advantage on the ground.

The Bet
Shavkat Rakhmonov

Top Prop Bets for Rakhmonov vs. Thompson

  • Over 1.5 rounds (-190)
  • Under 1.5 rounds (+145)

This showdown of talented welterweights is scheduled for three rounds. Oddsmakers have this fight favored to go over 1.5 rounds (-190).

Both fighters are talented strikers, which could make them hesitant to unleash their skills early on. I do think that Rakhmonov will continue his finishing streak. However, I also believe that this fight will make it to the third round, and I would take the over in this fight.

The Bet
Over 1.5 rounds

Tony Ferguson (+260) vs. Paddy Pimblett (-325)

UFC legend Tony Ferguson is also scheduled to appear on this Saturday’s card. Ferguson is a +260 underdog in the latest UFC 296 odds. He is scheduled to take on Paddy Pimblett (-325), one of the fastest-rising stars in the lightweight division.

Ferguson (25-9) has lost six straight fights heading into this bout. Pimblett (20-3), on the other hand, is riding a six-fight winning streak. I think Pimblett will extend his steak and break into the top 15 of the UFC’s lightweight rankings.

Pimblett’s career is just getting started in the UFC, while Ferguson is likely on his way out. It is hard to imagine him getting another chance in the UFC if he loses a seventh straight fight.

The Bet
Paddy Pimblett (-325)

Top Prop Bets for Ferguson vs. Pimblett

  • Over 1.5 rounds (-230)
  • The fight will not go the distance (-200)

Ferguson’s career has dropped off significantly in recent years, but he is still a talented fighter. Despite his losing streak, this fight is still expected to go over 1.5 rounds (-230). However, Ferguson is not expected to go the distance with Pimblett.

The Bet
Over. 1.5 rounds

I believe Pimblett wins without needing the judges, but I would still take the over on the total rounds bet. Ferguson’s losing streak only includes one fight that lasted under 1.5 rounds.

The Bet
The fight does not go the distance

Vicente Luque (+285) vs. Ian Garry (-375)

Rounding out the fights on the main card for UFC 296 is a welterweight showdown between Vicente Luque and Ian Garry. Garry (-375) is a sizeable favorite in this matchup.

Luque (22-9-1) has lost two of his last three fights heading into this bout. He did win his last appearance though against former lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos. Garry (13-0) is undefeated as a pro and is looking for a seventh straight win to start his UFC career.

Both of these fighters are in the top 10 of the current UFC welterweight rankings. I believe Garry will win and leapfrog Luque in the rankings.

The Bet
Ian Garry

Top Prop Bets for Luque vs Garry

  • Over 1.5 rounds (-220)
  • Under 1.5 rounds (+165)

Luque and Garry have combined for 18 KOs and nine submissions in their careers. Their 27 total finishes are a big reason why people are looking forward to this fight.

However, oddsmakers have this fight favored to go over 1.5 rounds (-220) this weekend. Luque has only been stopped three times in his career, and all three times he lasted until the third round. I believe Garry wins, but Luque should at least get through the first two rounds.

The Bet
Over 1.5 rounds

Josh Emmett (+170) vs. Bryce Mitchell (-210)

The UFC 296 prelims are full of exciting matchups, too. For example, Josh Emmett will take on Bryce Mitchell in the prelims main event. Mitchell (-210) is a moderate favorite in this featherweight fight.

Emmett was scheduled to take on Giga Chikadze this weekend, but Chikadze withdrew due to a groin injury. Mitchell is a late replacement, but he is still favored to win in Las Vegas. I think Mitchell’s submission skills will be too much for Emmett, who will lose his third straight fight.

The Bet
Bryce Mitchell

Irene Aldana (-200) vs. Karol Rosa (+160)

Irene Aldana (-200) and Karol Rosa (+160) will square off in a women’s bantamweight showdown. Both women are 3-2 in their last five fights, and Aldana is the favorite heading into this matchup of top 10 bantamweights. I believe Aldana will win and put herself back in the conversation for a potential title shot.

The Bet
Irene Aldana

Cody Garbrandt (-210) vs. Brian Kelleher (+170)

Another exciting bantamweight matchup for UFC 296 is the fight between Cody Garbrandt (-210) and Brian Kelleher (+170). Both fighters need a win to move to 3-3 in their last six fights. Garbrandt is the favorite, but I think Kelleher’s submission skills will give him the edge in this fight.

The Bet
Brian Kelleher

Casey O’Neill (-185) vs. Ariane Lipski (+155)

The opening fight on the prelims is a women’s flyweight fight between Casey O’Neill (-185) and Ariane Lipski (+155). O’Neill (9-1) is coming off her first career loss and is looking to get back on track. I think O’Neill will be more aggressive and get the sixth finish of her young career.

The Bet
Casey O'Neill

Alonzo Menifield (+205) vs. Dustin Jacoby (-260)

The early prelim card also has exciting fights, including a light heavyweight matchup pitting Alonzo Menifield vs. Dustin Jacoby. Jacoby (-260) has 11 first-round KOs in his career and is the favorite heading into this fight. I believe Menifield can get the upset, though, and would bet on him to win his weekend.

The Bet
Alonzo Menifield

Tagir Ulanbekov (-168) vs. Cody Durden (+140)

Another exciting bout on the early prelims card is the flyweight fight between Tagir Ulanbekov (14-2) and Cody Durden (16-4-1). Both fighters are 4-1 in their last five fights, and Ulanbekov (-168) is a slight favorite. I believe Ulanbekov’s grappling will be the key in this matchup as he looks for his ninth career win by submission. 

The Bet
Tagir Ulanbekov

Andre Fili (-175) vs. Lucas Almeida (+145)

A long-time UFC veteran will also appear on the early prelims. Andre Fili (22-10, 1 NC) is competing in his 21st UFC fight this weekend against relative newcomer Lucas Almeida (14-2). Almeida is an underdog in his third UFC contest, but I think he will get the win over Fili.

The Bet
Lucas Almeida

Martin Buday (-165) vs. Shamil Gaziev (+138)

Heavyweights Martin Buday (13-1) and Shamil Gaziev (11-0) will square off in the early prelims as well. Gaziev is undefeated, but he is listed at as a +138 underdog in the latest UFC 296 odds. I believe he will pull of the upset, though, and get the win in a heavyweight slugfest.

The Bet
Shamil Gaziev

Randy Brown (-260) vs. Muslim Salikhov (+212)

The early prelims kick off with a welterweight bout between Randy Brown (-260) and Muslim Salikhov. Brown has significant height and reach advantages and is listed as a -260 favorite. I believe his size and grappling skills will be the difference makers as he hands Salikhov a second straight loss.

The Bet
Randy Brown

Best UFC 296 Parlay

Bovada has a lot of features that can help improve your betting experience. For instance, you can use the parlay builder to easily create an exciting betting ticket.

You can combine all of the main card predictions above into a five-leg parlay that looks like this:

  • Leon Edwards (-155)
  • Alexandre Pantoja (-175)
  • Shavkat Rakhmonov (-600)
  • Paddy Pimblett (-325)
  • Ian Garry (-375)
  • Parlay odds +400

Betting on favorites individually can be a grind. But you can wager on all of the favorites with this main card parlay and get +400 payout odds.

About the Author
Shaun Stack profile picture
Shaun Stack
Shaun Stack has authored dozens of casino blogs and joined our team in 2022. He enjoys playing any casino game but is particularly fond of Blackjack and Texas Hold'em. Also, he likes betting on sports, especially the NFL. Shaun is a native of Kansas City, but now lives in Pennsylvania and is an avid PA sports fan.

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