56°F
weather icon Clear

Odds climbing on Conor McGregor over Donald Cerrone

Conor McGregor is back, and so are his backers at Las Vegas sportsbooks.

McGregor, who hasn’t fought since 2018 and hasn’t won since 2016, has climbed to a minus 340 favorite over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone after opening as a minus 180 favorite in the main event of UFC 246 on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.

“The price has moved up considerably from where we first opened it. We certainly opened it up too low,” Westgate sportsbook director John Murray said. “We’ve had pretty good action both ways, but my guess is we’ll need Cerrone. We’ve got a lot of parlays going to McGregor.

“They’ll parlay the other favorites on the UFC card and the Chiefs and 49ers on the money line to McGregor.”

The largest wager on the fight at MGM Resorts as of Friday was a $14,000 bet to win $5,000 on McGregor. But The Mirage sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback said he expects to take bigger bets.

The Westgate took a $5,800 wager on McGregor at minus 240 in December and a $3,000 bet Sunday on Cerrone at plus 275.

“It’s setting up to be a great handle fight,” Murray said. “Great ticket count numbers on both fighters. There’s usually a good amount of ’dog support in these fights, too. I’m a little surprised how high the price got.

“I wouldn’t be in any rush to bet on Cowboy. He’s an all-time warrior, but he’s been in so many fights, he’s starting to show his age.”

Longtime MMA handicapper Lou Finocchiaro isn’t in a rush to bet on either fighter.

“Anything involved with McGregor is going to carry a little premium with it already,” said Finocchiaro (@GambLou). “And with that premium price on McGregor there’s a whole bunch of questions.”

Besides the long layoff, McGregor (21-4) is stepping up in weight from 155 pounds to 170, where he’s had two fights, both against Nate Diaz.

Cerrone (36-13, 1 no contest) has had 10 fights at 170 pounds, but has struggled against left-handers such as McGregor.

“Between big guys that bully him and left-handers, Cerrone has a little kryptonite. McGregor isn’t a big guy, but he is going to try to bully Cerrone,” Finocchiaro said. “There’s questions on both sides. How Cerrone is going to handle McGregor’s pressure and left hand and how (the 5-foot-9-inch) McGregor is going to handle the time off and a larger man in (the 6-1) Cerrone.”

Over 1½ rounds (-135)

Instead of choosing a side, Finocchiaro recommends a play on the fight to go over 1½ rounds (-135).

“There’s surely a correlation with McGregor and under and Cerrone and over,” Finocchiaro said. “I really believe Cerrone should not be discounted. McGregor might need a couple minutes to get his feet under him and find himself back. I think there’s great value in over 1½.

“My feeling is it won’t be as easy for McGregor as everybody thinks. This fight will go two rounds before there’s some kind of an outcome.”

Aleksei Oleinik (+110) over Maurice Greene

On the undercard, Finocchiaro likes Aleksei Oleinik (57-13-1), a plus 110 underdog against Maurice Greene (8-3-0) in a heavyweight match.

“A lot of people are on Green because he’s a big, strong knockout artist,” Finocchiaro said. “When you look in the octagon, it’s going to look like a complete mismatch. But the cagey Russian grappler is a more well-rounded fighter.”

Greene, 33, is 6-7, 265 pounds. Oleinik, 42, is 6-2, 240.

“(Oleinik) has a PhD in MMA,” Finocchiaro said. “I do believe he will tire the young kid out in the second or third round and submit him.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Covering The Cage Videos
UFC president says McGregor-Nurmagomedov rematch is the fight to make
After Conor McGregor's first-round demolition of Donald Cerrone at UFC 246, UFC president Dana White said a rematch between "The Notorious" and UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is the fight to make next. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 246 Ceremonial Weigh-In Staredowns - VIDEO
The UFC 246 fight card, featuring a welterweight main event between Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone, is official, minus one planned bout. In place of Claudia Gadelha vs. Alexa Grasso, a bantamweight bout between Brian Kelleher and Ode' Osbourne will move up to the pay-per-view main card. All fighters competing on the card faced off during the ceremonial weigh-ins at The Park Theater.
McGregor: "All their eyes are lighting up when 'The Notorious' name is mentioned" - VIDEO
Conor McGregor says he knows that other fighter's eyes light up at the chance of facing him as it usually means a dramatic increase in pay. Welterweights Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman spoke about why they'd face McGregor next and Donald Cerrone explained how he's affected his payday for UFC 246. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Conor McGregor says he'd be honored to be the first to fight at Allegiant Stadium
;
Maycee Barber Doing All She Can to Become the UFC's Youngest Champion - VIDEO
As 21-year-old Maycee Barber begins her quest to become the youngest champion in the UFC, she must first face a competitor in women's flyweight Roxanne Modafferi - a veteran of the sport who is often regarded as one of the pioneers of women's mixed martial arts. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 246- Media Day Staredowns
With UFC 246 fight week underway, fighters from five featured bouts, including the co-main event women's bantamweight contest between Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington, faced off at media day in Las Vegas. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 246 Press Conference: McGregor vs. Cerrone Highlights and Staredown - VIDEO
Ahead of their welterweight bout at UFC 246 on Jan. 18, Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone were respectful of one another, despite having traded barbs close to four years ago at another press conference. Their bout will serve as the five-round main event at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC Champ Usman "Love and Unity Does Win Sometimes"
Kamaru Usman retained the UFC welterweight title when he knocked out Colby Covington in the fifth round of their title bout at UFC 245. After a heated lead-up to their bout, Usman says sometimes love and unity wins. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 245 Ceremonial Weigh-in Staredowns
Here are the staredowns from the ceremonial weigh-in featuring all fighters competing at the UFC 245 fight card on Dec. 14 at the T-Mobile Arena. There are three title fights on the main card with the main event featuring a middleweight title bout between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal).
Kamaru Usman explains the origin of the Colby Covington rivalry ahead of UFC 245
Ahead of their welterweight title fight, division champion Kamaru Usman explains where the rivalry with his opponent, Colby Covington originated and discusses what he thinks about the challenger's persona. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Covington: I enjoy the boos, that gives me extra inspiration
UFC welterweight title challenger Colby Covington discusses his upcoming fight taking place on Dec. 14 at the T-Mobile Arena against Kamaru Usman and says he is fueled by those who boo him at events. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
THE LATEST
Aces favored to claim WNBA championship

Las Vegas, which lost in the semifinals last season, leads a clear division between the top six teams in the league and the bottom six.