Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett Odds, Date, How to Watch, and Predictions for UFC 285

The main card opener is a highly-anticipated banger featuring Bo Nickal acquiring off against Jamie Pickett. Trent Pruitt breaks down the fight and offers his best bet.
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Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett Odds, Date, How to Watch, and Predictions for UFC 285

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Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett Start Time and Where to Watch

  • When: March 4, 2023
  • Time: 10:00 PM ET
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
  • Where to Watch: PPV Through ESPN+

Two belts are on the line this weekend as UFC 285 makes its return to the Fight Capital of the World. It’s an absolutely stacked card, featuring the two title fights with four additional ranked bouts sprinkled in. But first, the main card opens up with the decorated Bo Nickal taking on Jamie Pickett in a middleweight tilt.

Let’s dive into the odds and each fighter’s recent form and get a bet locked in. 

Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett Odds

This main card opener sees the event’s biggest discrepancy in terms of odds, as DraftKings Sportsbook is offering Bo Nickal as a -1650 betting favorite. Jamie Pickett comes back at +1000 to get his hand raised. 

Click here for Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett Odds

Bo Nickal(-1650)
Jamie Pickett(+1000)

Bo Nickal

Just now entering the prime of his physical career, Bo Nickal is already one of the most accomplished combat sports athletes in the country. After collecting three state titles at the high school level, “The Allen Assassin” went on to win three Division I National Championships as a member of the Penn State Nittany Lions.

As for his professional fighting career, Nickal is a perfect 3-0, including two submission victories in the Dana White Contender Series. Interestingly, the 27-year-old didn’t absorb a single strike in those two bouts, and it only took a combined 114 seconds to finish them.

Stylistically, Nickal leans heavily on his wrestling background. The American has also rounded out his grappling game with his current blue belt status in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He shouldn’t be mistaken for simply being a grappler, though, as Nickal’s third professional win was a knockout. He also went 2-0 as an amateur with an additional knockout and a submission. 

Jamie Pickett

Most people have already written off Jamie Pickett in this one. And while there’s always a puncher’s chance, the 34-year-old has been trending in the wrong direction since the first time he stepped into the cage. He’s just 3-6 over nine UFC bouts, including his current two-fight losing streak. Most recently, it was a knockout loss at the hands of Denis Tiuliulin in September 2022.

Statistically, Pickett is issuing 3.25 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 4.36 strikes – another negative indicator for the veteran fighter. As for his grappling, the American does boast a brown belt in BJJ, and he’s been training in the art for 15 years. “The Night Wolf” is averaging 1.39 takedowns per 15 minutes and landing at a 36% clip. On the defense, he’s fending off 65% of opposing takedown attempts. 

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Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett Prediction

There doesn’t seem to be a surplus of paths to victory for Jamie Pickett. But, I feel the most attractive route is to use the discrepancy in reach (82” to Nickal’s 76”) to his advantage. You would assume that he spent all camp drilling takedown defense, as once Nickal gets an opponent to the canvas, it’s only a matter of time before he finishes the job. If the 34-year-old can offset Nickal’s takedown offerings and turn this into a standup affair, he’ll have an opportunity to throw kicks and utilize his reach advantage.

However, I don’t see that happening on Saturday night. I’m with the oddsmakers and, basically, all of the betting public in saying Bo Nickal secures his first official UFC victory. 

The only issue is that he’s a -1650 betting favorite, so there’s absolutely no value at all. Even if you add Nickal to a parlay, you’re not boosting your payout by much. So, we’ll have to take an alternate approach to this fight, and it seems like the under 1.5 rounds is the smart play.

Nickal has been the aggressor in his two recent DWCS victories, putting an emphasis on securing a takedown and going to work with submissions. He finished each of those fights within 70 seconds. Considering Pickett’s takedown defense rate is just 65%, it’s not necessarily a question of “if,” but rather “when” Nickal will get him to the ground. I say it happens early, and the rising star finishes the fight before the 7:30-minute mark of the fight. 

Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett Pick

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Trent is a Chicago native who has been an avid sports fan since he could walk. He played sports throughout his youth and played collegiate rugby at Arizona State University. Trent still resides in Arizona, where he spends his days covering sports from a sports betting perspective. He fell in love with the analytical side of sports in his late teens and has been following the sports betting industry for 10+ years now! You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram for all of his sports betting picks at @Trentbets.

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