UFC 229: Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov Betting Odds
Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov is a battle of styles the sport of MMA was created for. Maybe the best striker at the match vs the best grappler in the sport is a fantasy fight for UFC fans and Nurmagomedov, the existing UFC lightweight champion, is favored to succeed at -170 with McGregor coming back in +140. The mega-fight will take place tonight in Las Vegas in UFC 229.
From a promotional standpoint, making the fight is a fantasy come true for the UFC since it will definitely be among the most profitable events in their history, and from a gaming perspective, there’s lots of money to be produced also. McGregor fans will be foaming at the mouth to put a bet about the Irishman, especially at plus-money, but is that a wise wager versus the 26-0 Nurmagomedov, whose smothering grappling design has been completely unsolvable?
McGregor’s grappling skills are probably in the average range and that’s a place where he has been cared for before. A much smaller Chad Mendes easily took McGregor into the mat if he wished to UFC 189 (yes, I understand McGregor won the fight), and he had been choked out by Nate Diaz at UFC 196.
He does have a significant disadvantage when it comes to wrestling, but there are different regions where McGregor could have a certain upper hand, most especially with his hands. Eighteen of his 21 professional wins have come via T/KO and he’s got an extremely impressive hit list which includes endings of Jose Aldo, Eddie Alvarez, Dustin Poirier and, of course, Paulie Malignaggi (insert smiley face emoji here).
Line Movement (or lack thereof)
In the event the quantity of betting action McGregor obtained vs Floyd Mayweather is any indication, some bettors certainly do not care how he matches stylistically — following opening at +950 vs Mayweather, McGregor closed at +265 due to an avalanche of stakes placed on him.
Many, such as myself, presumed that we would have seen much more motion on the line due to lots of public cash coming in on McGregor, but that has not been the case yet. On the day Khabib vs McGregor was declared, Nurmagomedov opened -200 with McGregor at +160. Together with the champ currently at -170 and Conor in +140 on the day of the fight, there is still pretty good value on McGregor as a dog and people who are confident in Khabib should feel good about getting him in a far better number than his opening chances.
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