Big UFC 257 bets already being placed on McGregor

Most books have Conor McGregor installed as a favorite in the -300 to -325 neighborhood vs. Dustin Poirier in the UFC 257 headliner.

One of the biggest betting events of the year will take place on Saturday when Conor McGregor faces Dustin Poirier in the UFC 257 main event.

McGregor is currently slated as a -315 favorite and is attracting the majority of the action at several sportsbooks, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. FanDuel took a $188,800 wager on McGregor from a New Jersey customer on Tuesday, which would net $65,103.

PointsBet, which says this is “trending to be our biggest UFC event ever,” took a $100,000 bet on McGregor at -277 last Friday. McGregor opened at -180 before the fight was officially announced in December, at which point he was listed at around -260.

Purdum reported that 89% of the money wagered on the fight at William Hill was on McGregor, who has not been in the octagon since January 2020. He knocked out Poirier in the first round of their 2014 meeting when both men were competing at featherweight.

There is one sportsbook that does not expect to have liability on McGregor. Circa Sports will “likely need McGregor to pull out a win for the house,” according to Patrick Everson of Covers.

“It’s clear from all of his interviews that McGregor is in a much better place right now,” MajorWager’s Brian Edwards said. “He’s clearly put the whiskey bottle down for a bit. In fact, for the second fight in a row, he has no bad blood with his opponent.

“He has the look and sounds like the old Conor that took the MMA world by storm. McGregor appears to have learned from his many mistakes a few years ago, and we aren’t going to see the guy that spent Fight Week for the Khabib bout getting drunk every night.

“That’s bad news for the rest of the 155-pound division. With all that said, McGregor is overpriced in this bout. But I believe the number will go higher so if you’re bullish on Dustin, I’d wait it out because I suspect you’ll be able to get him at +300 or better by Saturday afternoon.”

Edwards continued, “Forget the first fight. Since then, Poirier has competed at lightweight and posted a 10-2 record with one no-contest. The Lafayette, LA., product has beaten four former UFC champions – Max Holloway, Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis and Eddie Alvarez – in that stretch, with his only losses coming to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Michael Johnson. McGregor has only fought at 155 twice, beating Alvarez and losing to Nurmagomedov.

“With all of that said, McGregor is rightfully the favorite. I just think he’s too big of a favorite to back. Bettors can shave off some of the price by backing him to win by KO, but even that prop has an expensive -200 price. If you like McGregor to win early, your best options are probably backing ‘under’ 1.5 rounds for a +110 return or taking the prop for McGregor to win in Round 1 for a payout that I’ve seen anywhere from +160 to +200.”

The rematch will take place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and will be broadcast on pay-per-view via ESPN+.

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