Bulletin: Conor McGregor is an underdog.
That’s the major takeaway for Mountain State bettors surrounding UFC 264, the completion of McGregor’s trilogy against Dustin Poirier on Saturday from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
McGregor has been the underdog throughout the betting for the first time since a 2015 fight versus Jose Aldo. He won that fight in the first round.
McGregor, whose popularity transcends the sport, stumbled badly in January. “Notorious,” as he is known, lost to Poirier as a prohibitive -305 favorite at DraftKings West Virginia via second-round TKO. He had knocked out Poirier in the first round of a 2014 encounter.
The books don’t believe the last McGregor-Poirier bout was a fluke.
Here’s the card with DraftKings odds as of Wednesday afternoon:
- Duston Poirier (-125) vs. Conor McGregor (-103)
- Stephen Thompson (-155) vs. Gilbert Burns (+126)
- Tai Tuivassa (-143) vs. Greg Hardy (+115)
- Irene Aldana (-120) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (-105)
- Sean O’Malley (-835) vs. Kris Moutinho (+525)
- Jennifer Maia (-200) vs. Jessica Eye (+162)
- Max Griffin (-190) vs. Carlos Griffin (+150)
- Michael Pereira (-162) vs. Niki Price (+130)
- Ilia Topuria (-250) vs. Ryan Hall (+195)
- Driscus DuPlessis (-118) vs. Trevin Giles (-106)
How to Watch:
- Early Prelims, 6:15 p.m. (UFC Fight Pass)
- Prelims, 8 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN+)
- Main Card, 10 p.m. (purchase on ESPN+)
UFC 264 Betting At WV Sportsbooks
Watch for promos and odds boosts at the major WV sportsbooks. DraftKings and FanDuel WV have been notorious themselves, for offering sign-up inducements and improved betting odds prior to McGregor fights.
“Notorious,” the human cash register, has headlined five of the six highest-selling UFC pay-per-view events and set the record along with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. He also helped generate 4.3 million buys in losing a boxing match to the legendary Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
McGregor was ranked as the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2021, earning a reported $180 million.
He also featured on the list in 2018, when he was ranked fourth, with a reported income of $99 million.
With that type of money, how hungry is McGregor? Is he an old 32? McGregor will be 33 on July 14.
McGregor nailed Poirier with several solid shots in the first round of their last encounter.
But Poirier softened McGregor with several sharp leg kicks in the second round. That slowed McGregor’s movement, and he looked spent when Poirier began unloading on him halfway through the second round.
The victory was a definitive multipunch burst for Poirier. That’s what fuels optimism for him winning again.
Examining UFC 264 Odds
The main event is a wagering feast.
The moneyline odds are excellent on each fighter. Betting has been going back and forth. Savvy gamblers are waiting for their best values on each fighter and then making their bet.
Whenever McGregor has drifted up near +110, his bettors drive the betting odds down. But even if he has minus odds, McGregor is a longer price than Poirier.
The books say this ends inside the distance. If that assessment plays out (the first two fights have been stoppages) there are lucrative prop-making opportunities if bettors can nail the exact round the fight ends.
FanDuel has a nice How Fight Will End prop.
It has a KO/TKO at -250, a points verdict at +310 and a submission at +650.
FanDuel’s method of victory odds:
- KO/TKO +150
- Points +750
- Submission +2600
- KO/TKO +195
- Points +550
- Submission +750
Narrow the rounds, expand the profit. Here’s a razzle-dazzle option for anyone homed in on the possible finishing round.
If you took round 2, the result of the last fight:
- McGregor KO/TKO in that round is +650
- Poirier KO/TKO in that round is +700
- A KO/TKO by either fighter is +340
Similar odds are available for other rounds.
Adjustments For Each Fighter
McGregor needs to move more on angles to avoid the punitive leg kicks that slowed him.
Poirier needs to build on the confidence gleaned by overcoming the fighter who previously stopped him.
McGregor is 3-3 in his last six fights. He doesn’t have the look of dominance.
The co-main event is a good betting fight, too.
Moneyline odds are fair on Thompson and Burns. Thompson is favored despite being ranked fourth by the UFC in the welterweight class, compared to second for Burns.
Burns was stopped in his last fight by division champion Kamaru Usman in February.