Dustin Poirier emerges as betting favorite over Conor McGregor ahead of UFC 264

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Dustin Poirier is a growing favorite over Conor McGregor, even as money from the betting public starts to show up for the underdog from Ireland at U.S. sportsbooks ahead of UFC 264 tonight in Las Vegas.

Poirier was a -130 favorite Saturday afternoon at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, a dramatic change from when the two UFC veterans met in January. McGregor went off as a -333 favorite in that bout and lost by TKO in the second round. In their first meeting, McGregor was also a big favorite and knocked out Poirier in the first round in September 2014.

This spring, oddsmakers opened McGregor as a small favorite for the third meeting, but money from influential bettors came in on Poirier recently, moving him into the role of favorite.

The SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas had the fight at pick 'em for several months until this week, when the odds began to shift in Poirier's favor.

"A lot of action came in on Poirier this week and the market started to drift toward him," John Murray, executive director for the SuperBook, said. "That has surprised me."

As the fight nears, the betting public is siding with McGregor. Sportsbooks PointsBet and BetMGM reported Saturday that approximately twice as much money had been bet on McGregor as on Poirier. The action was much more even at Caesars/William Hill, where 51% of the money was on McGregor. The largest bet William Hill had taken on the fight as of Friday was $52,500 on Poirier.

"There will be McGregor money this weekend for sure," Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill U.S., said in a company release. "I don't think the masses have quit him completely. At one point, McGregor money was unstoppable. But since he has just one win over the past few years, it's slowed down some. Poirier is no chump. Conor is going to have to have a serious camp and have his A-game to beat him."

If the odds hold, McGregor would be an underdog for only the third time in his UFC career. He beat Jose Aldo in 2015 and lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018 as an underdog.