UFC 229: McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov
Those unfamiliar to MMA should understand why Nurmagomedov is the -170 (risk $170 to win $100) favorite at most online sportsbooks to Connor McGregor’s +140 (risk $100 to win $140) as of the writing of this piece.
Why Nurmagomedov is favored at a glance:
- He’s a perfect 26 for 26 in MMA fights over his ten-year career
- He is a highly-skilled fighter with expertise in multiple disciplines
- McGregor’s lack of recent experience in the octagon
- Nurmagomedov presents stylistic problems for McGregor according to fight experts
- McGregor’s “bus-crashing” incident makes the star look unhinged
Inside the bet
Anyone who likes a bet can see what’s happeing with this line from a mile away. Those who really, really know and understand MMA are the ones setting the line in favor of Nurmagomedov. They perceive him as the better and more prepared fighter.
McGregor is a name that resonates with so many people outside the inner-circles of MMA, you’re going to see a lot of uninformed money landing on the name they know instead of the name they have trouble pronouncing. Inherently, this means that McGregor will be a much shorter price than he should be – especially as the fight draws closer.
Not to oversimplify a betting line, but consider this: If Nurmagomedov is favored despite the crush of uninformed money sure to rain down on the side of McGregor, how sure are the sharps that Nurmagomedov is the winner? Pretty darn sure to say the least.
Waiting may be the key
In this situation, waiting for the day of the fight may be the best approach if you plan on taking Nurmagomedov. He might not have the name, but he’s certainly got the game. Let the rubes play McGregor and toss their money in the garbage can while Nurmagomedov’s odds tilt sharply in your favor.
As if it’s not already painfully obvious, I’ll be playing Khabib Nurmagomedov in this fight and not just because I keenly dislike McGregor. Opportunities where one side is sure to be overbet based on nothing more than popularity and presumption only happen a few times a year. It’s the same phenomenon that happens in the NFL futures market with the New England Patriots. Always bet the other side. It’s not that McGregor can’t win this fight; it’s that he’s unlikely to win and represents nothing close to fair wagering value.
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