Conor McGregor takes on Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 257 Saturday night on Fight Island. McGregor scored a TKO of Poirier at UFC 178 in September 2014. McGregor is a -310 favorite Saturday.
Photo By – USA TODAY Sports
UFC betting takes a marquee spot on the odds board this week, thanks to arguably the biggest name in the sport. Conor McGregor returns to the octagon in UFC 257, for a rematch with Dustin Poirier Saturday night in the main event of a 12-bout card on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
Circa Sports MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas talked UFC 257 line movement, sharp money and public betting. Covers will update this action report on UFC 257 betting, with sharp picks vs. public bets and line movement, up through the main card’s 10 p.m. ET Saturday start.
Who Are People Betting to Win Poirier vs McGregor II?
UPDATE 1:45 P.M. ET FRIDAY: BetMGM’s New Jersey hub opened McGregor a -190 favorite and has stretched to -300, with Poirier correspondingly moving from +160 to +240. Interestingly, McGregor is taking just 44 percent of tickets so far, but those tickets represent 79 percent of money. BetMGM New Jersey also has an intriguing prop bet for this bout: Gone in 60 Seconds. The prop asks if either fighter will win in 60 seconds or less, and there’s little faith in Poirier, with McGregor taking 95 percent of tickets and 99 percent of money.
It’s been almost exactly one year since McGregor’s last fight, a 40-second technical-knockout victory over Donald Cerrone in UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It’s been six-plus years since McGregor scored a first-round TKO over Poirier in the first meeting between these two fighters, on Sept. 14, 2014.
Now comes the McGregor-Poirier rematch. Circa Sports first posted this fight on Nov. 10, with McGregor a -270 favorite and Poirier a +230 underdog. The odds are now McGregor -310/Poirier +270.
“I purposely opened us higher, as I knew the market would rise drastically from the numbers that were widely available at the time,” Kalikas said. “As expected, we took a decent amount of Poirier action early on, which has actually put us in a pretty good spot, since the market eventually caught up to our opening number. Currently, we’re seeing both public and sharp money on each side of this one, but when it’s all said and done, we’ll likely need Conor McGregor to pull out a win for the house, and I’m OK with that.”
Covers UFC 257 Betting Analysis
Who Are People Betting to Win Hooker vs Chandler?
UPDATE 5 P.M. ET FRIDAY: Dan Hooker is currently -134 to Michael Chandler’s +105 at DraftKings, with the favorite taking 54 percent of bets and 61 percent of money in the co-main event. Among the winning method splits, Hooker by knockout/technical knockout/disqualification is the most popular play, landing 28 percent of bets and 35 percent of money.
Dan Hooker opened -145 to Michael Chandler’s +125 on Dec. 28 at Circa Sports, and the odds are now approaching a pick ’em at Hooker -115/Chandler -105 for this key lightweight bout.
“Early action came in on the well-respected UFC veteran Hooker over the debuting former Bellator champ Chandler,” Kalikas said. “An extremely important fight for both gentlemen, as a win will get them one step closer to a title shot. As we currently stand, enough sharp action has come in on the underdog Chandler that we’ve adjusted our line accordingly. I’m expecting us to be fairly even on this fight by fight time.”
Who Are People Betting to Win Eye vs Calderwood?
UPDATE 5 P.M. ET FRIDAY: Joanne Calderwood is a slim -117 favorite against Jessica Eye (-105) at DraftKings. Calderwood barely has the edge in ticket count, at 51 percent, while Eye is getting 65 percent of money.
Jessica Eye and Joanne Calderwood collide in a women’s flyweight bout Saturday night, just ahead of the co-main and main events. Circa Sports opened at Calderwood -130/Eye +110 and on Thursday night was slightly shorter at Calderwood -120/Eye even money.
“Very well-matched fight here, as we’re getting two of the best fighters in the women’s flyweight division squaring up,” Kalikas said. “This one should be a very competitive back-and-forth type of battle. We’re seeing lot’s of two-way action, and I don’t really expect that to change much by fight time. As of right now, the house needs Calderwood for a small amount.”
Other UFC 257 Betting Action
UPDATE 5 P.M. ET FRIDAY: The top fight on the preliminary card, pitting Arman Tsarukyan against Nasrat Haqparast, won’t take place after Haqparast withdrew due to illness earlier today. The bout was among UFC 257’s most anticipated matchups beyond, of course, the McGregor-Poirier main event.
Kalikas pointed to the top of the top of the four-bout preliminary card for another fight generating interest at Circa Sports. Arman Tsarukyan opened -185 in a lightweight bout against Nasrat Haqparast (+160), and those odds have now reached Tsarukyan -265/Haqparast +225.
“This is one of the most anticipated fights on this card, slotted in as the prelims main event, and it should deliver,” Kalikas said. “Both are very talented young fighters who have already shown they can compete at the highest level in the UFC. Since our line went up (Dec. 28), we’ve seen mostly sharp action backing the favorite Tsarukyan, causing the line to rise to our current price. As we get closer to fight time, I anticipate we’ll have plenty of buyback on Haqparast and the line should come back down some by post. The winner of this one will take a huge step forward and potentially get in the title mix.”
Where Can I Bet UFC Odds?
Many online books and casinos offer bets on UFC odds and props. Check out the best sportsbooks available where you live.