The hype has built to a crescendo with UFC 264 set for Saturday. Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will settle their rivalry, with each man previously finishing the other by strikes. Just as the fighters anxiously await the action, so do UFC bettors. TheLines reached out to several sportsbooks to see how UFC 264 betting has shaken out in the weeks leading up to the big fight.
UFC 264 Bettors Confident In McGregor
If UFC fans are torn on the outcome of Poirier vs. McGregor 3, a hint may lie in UFC history. According to Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie, winners of the second fight have a 9-3 record in the rubber match.
If bettors are aware of this fact, they have largely ignored it in the lead-up to Saturday. Nearly all of the sportsbooks that got back to The Lines with stats and info about their handle said most of the tickets have come in on McGregor.
Given the Irishman’s incredible worldwide popularity, that may come as little surprise to most readers.
Of the shops that responded, only DraftKings Sportsbook has taken evenly split action. They reported 50/50 handle with Poirier actually commanding 51% of the tickets.
Other books have taken action much more slanted toward McGregor. At BetMGM Sportsbook, McGregor has received 72% of the ticket count and 61.9% of the handle. At PointsBet Sportsbook, those numbers are 73% and 66%.
A BetMGM trader said these trends will likely grow even stronger the closer we get to fight time.
“BetMGM has seen strong interest from bettors on McGregor-Poirier 3 and expects the action to increase dramatically as we get closer to the fight,” Alex Rella said. “In the last fight back in January, the sportsbook took over three times more money on McGregor and that was when he was a heavy favorite at -310. If bettors still have faith in the Irishman, there could be even more money on McGregor as an underdog in Saturday’s fight.”
All of the shops said they expect bigger UFC 264 betting action as the fight draws nearer, although DraftKings did share one large play: a $5,000 bet on McGregor to win $4,450, booked back in late June.
McGregor Vs. Poirier Props Action
Props give bettors a different angle to bet on MMA. Even in a perceived lopsided matchup, props can offer a path to a larger payout. Both BetMGM and DraftKings shared how the action has shaken out on some of their prop markets.
Unsurprisingly, DraftKings shared that all of their biggest prop action has come on McGregor vs. Poirier. Here are their most played props in terms of money wagered, in order:
- McGregor by KO, TKO or DQ (+140)
- Dustin Poirier by KO, TKO or DQ (+175)
- Under 2.5 rounds (-150)
- Over 1.5 rounds (-182)
- Fight goes the distance – No (-400)
- McGregor to win by finish – Yes (+135)
Given that both men have won by knockout in their previous matchups, it’s no shock bettors are expecting someone to be finished. McGregor in particular has scored knockdowns at a high rate over his career. Neither man is known for stellar defense. An early finish could certainly happen, but note that prices reflect this with under 2.5 rounds at -150.
BetMGM reported much the same story as far in terms of exact result. Bettors flocked to a McGregor finish in one of the first two rounds, with those bets leading ticket count and handle.
However, BetMGM’s customers have diverged on whether the fight will go the distance. A full 60% have bet that it will, although they represent just 25.4% of the handle.
One interesting wrinkle at BetMGM: bettors have shown more interest in the possibility of a submission finish. Poirier by submission leads the seven-way method of victory market in both tickets and handle.
Other Bouts And Line Moves
While McGregor vs. Poirier dominates the headlines and the UFC 264 betting market, other fights also populate the card, and they’ll get some action as well.
As for the remaining fights on the main card, Stephen Thompson vs. Gilbert Burns and Tai Tuivasa vs. Greg Hardy have seen evenly split action in terms of count and handle at DraftKings. Yana Kunitskaya has dominated handle over Irene Aldana, though ticket count’s been split. Fan favorite Sean O’Malley has gotten lopsided action against journeyman Kris Moutinho, likely in the form of parlay betting.
On the undercard, favorites Jennifer Maia and Zhalgas Zhumagulov have garnered notably lopsided action as well.
Finally, here’s how a few lines have shifted at DraftKings:
- Conor McGregor: -110 to
- Yana Kunitskaya +100 to
- Ryan Hall +180 to
- Alen Amedovski -177 to
Be sure to shop around and look for the best UFC 264 lines before you lock in your action for Saturday.