Betting Bullets: McGregor injury creates brief confusion for bettors following loss to Poirier

Favorites, including Dustin Poirier over Conor McGregor, went 11-1 on Saturday at UFC 264. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Conor McGregor's leg injury claimed the headline, but UFC 264's main event did create betting confusion and capped off a unique card.

McGregor's inability to begin the second round qualified the result as a Dustin Poirier TKO in the first round, cashing proposition bets in the neighborhood of 9-1 odds. That also means the fight went under 1.5 rounds (first 7:30 of the clock).

"Initially, maybe for about 30 seconds or so, a lot of guests were unsure, but then they realized the ruling of the unusual situation. It was also mentioned on the broadcast," Stations Casino sportsbook director Chuck Esposito told ESPN. McGregor closed as an underdog (+110) for just the third time in his UFC career, losing in each of the past two situations.

"Late in the week, we were high on Poirier. But then from Thursday on, it was fairly one-sided in favor of Conor. We also had some huge bets come in on the over and parlays tied to the over," Esposito said.

After McGregor closed as a -333 favorite in January's second fight, the trilogy bout opened as a pick 'em, but respected sharp wagers moved the odds in favor of Poirier. Those odds essentially did not move throughout fight week, even though the public backed McGregor like it usually does. However, perhaps with the pandemic limiting international travel, the Ireland native only received a modest ratio of wagers rather than the typical onslaught.

Chalk has held firm in trilogy bouts, with the favorite winning nine of the last 10. Plus, the lone loss was only a slight favorite (-115), with Stipe Miocic defeating Daniel Cormier.

Poirier's victory ended an unusual night for the UFC, which often captivates fans with upsets. However, favorites went 11-1 on Saturday night (or 10-2, depending on the sportsbook). The lone upset came in the co-main event with Gilbert Burns (+140) winning a decision over Stephen Thompson.

Betting bullets

• The United States men's basketball team was a 28.5-point favorite over Nigeria in a tune-up for the Summer Olympics on Saturday. Nigeria won 90-87. A bettor with William Hill in Nevada put $200 on Nigeria to win straight up at 25-1 odds.

The U.S. is a -500 odds-on favorite to win the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics, according to the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas.

• Only two more months until the NFL season kicks off. Here are the point spreads and totals on the Week 1 games via Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill:

Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5, 52)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (-6.5, 50.5)
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers (-4, 43.5)
Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5, 45.5) at Houston Texans
Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans (-3, 52)
Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5, 44.5) at Washington
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (-4, 48)
Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5, 52)
Minnesota Vikings (-3, 48) at Cincinnati Bengals
San Francisco 49ers (-7.5, 46) at Detroit Lions
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs (-6, 53.5)
Denver Broncos (-1, 42.5) at New York Giants
Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints (-2.5, 50.5)
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams (-7, 45)
Baltimore Ravens (-4, 51) at Las Vegas Raiders

Italy defeated England in penalty kicks to win Euro 2020 on Sunday. Italy was 8-1 to win it all entering the tournament at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill. France entered the tournament as the favorite at +450. England was +600.