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Thread: How to bet Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 229

  1. #1 How to bet Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 229 
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    How to bet Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 229


    Reed Kuhn
    ESPN PLUS ($ MATERIAL)


    The long-awaited return to MMA of the sport's most transcendent star, Conor McGregor, is upon us, and the buildup to Saturday's showdown with unbeaten lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has been personal, vitriolic and violent. The UFC hopes these ingredients will make UFC 229 the biggest pay-per-view event in the company's history.


    The betting lines for this fight have been floating for many weeks, in some cases seeing significant movement. We've already explored how Nurmagomedov has produced a more profitable betting return than McGregor through his UFC career, and even a loss on Saturday won't change that. But is there any value in taking a side in the main event? Let's take a look.


    Khabib Nurmagomedov (-160) vs. Conor McGregor (+150)


    They say styles make fights, and this classic pairing of striker vs. grappler will offer a stark contrast of styles. We've sliced and diced data in many ways to show that these two fighters are excellent in very different ways. Conor is the accurate and powerful striker, while Khabib is the relentless and dominant wrestler.


    <offer style="box-sizing: border-box;"></offer>
    <aside class="inline inline-table" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, Roboto, Arial, &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, Helvetica, sans-serif; height: 475px; border: 1px solid rgb(220, 221, 223); clear: both; margin: 6px 0px 18px; padding: 15px; width: 565px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 16px;">Fightnomics: Uber Tale Of The Tape

    MCGREGOR NURMAGOMEDOV
    Knockdown ratio (for:against) 12:0 2:0
    Distance knockdown rate 5.9% 2.2%
    Head jab accuracy 27% 32%
    Head power accuracy 42% 27%
    Total standup strike ratio 1.2 1.1
    Total head strike defense 71% 80%
    Distance knockdown defense 100% 100%
    Takedown att. per minute standing 0.12 1.37
    Takedown accuracy 63% 45%
    Advances per TD/top control 1.3 0.9
    Opponent takedown attempts 23 13
    Takedown defense 74% 85%
    Share of ground time in control 65% 97%
    Sub attempts per trip to ground 0.00 0.10
    </aside>







    The fight will boil down to whether (and for how long) McGregor can defend takedowns in order to force striking exchanges. Some argue that Nurmagomedov's lackluster striking and willingness to come forward is a vulnerable combination that McGregor is perfectly suited to exploit. However, McGregor has only once faced an aggressive wrestler, and that 2015 featherweight bout with Chad Mendes saw mixed results. McGregor spent the early part of the fight underneath the top game of Mendes, but then he came back to KO the clearly gassed wrestler, who had take the fight on short notice.


    This time, the question is whether McGregor will be in peak form. The nine-figure payday from his Floyd Mayweather boxing match certainly has changed his life. How has it changed his motivation to fight? He demonstrated at last week's news conference that he hasn't lost a step in his trash-talking game, but a five-round fight in a cage with a grappler of Nurmagomedov's pedigree could be brutally revealing if McGregor hasn't kept up his conditioning. And the swing from a boxing match to an MMA title fight against a champion grappler is as extreme as it gets in combat sports.


    Pick: Theoretically, the numbers lean us toward playing McGregor as a clear underdog for the first time, and that's from models that have never picked against Nurmagomedov. However, there are several caveats that prevent us from recommending this pick.


    First, the performance metrics earned by McGregor are primarily from his days facing true featherweights, while Nurmagomedov is an infamously heavy lightweight (and formerly a successful welterweight) who has a history of sapping the strength of his opponents under his mass. Second, the long layoff and questions about fighting freshness and endurance for McGregor have us worried, should the fight get to the later rounds. If McGregor wins, it's likely by TKO, a prop hedge worth looking for.


    Overall, we're left with a pass on the winner but an expectation that McGregor will put up a decent fight. We'll take the over 2.5 rounds at nearly even money, then sit back and see whose world gets shattered in disappointment. While the focus will be on the striker-versus-grappler contrast, each fighter is still competent in the other skill set, and the early rounds will be closely contested. So sit back and enjoy the human chess match and the spectacle, as either fighter winning will have a significant impact on the lightweight division and MMA as a whole.


    Odds and ends


    Justifiable favorites: There's plenty more action at UFC 229 than just the main event. Ranked fighters plus potential (and former) title contenders are scattered throughout the card. Among the current betting favorites, Alan Patrick and Nik Lentz stick out as still worth backing even with odds north of 2-1. They both should be in tough fights, but the numbers lean their way.


    Live underdogs: Finding underdog diamonds in the rough is the angle bettors enjoy most. At UFC 229, Michelle Waterson is an ever-so-slight underdog to Felice Herrig, but we'd be willing to support Waterson for the upset. For a longshot 'dog, consider former champ Anthony Pettis, who has finishing potential all over the cage. While his opponent, Tony Ferguson, is among the division's best, and on the cusp (again) of challenging for the title, he's occasionally been prone to getting caught or put in a bad spot. If Pettis gets the upset, it could be inside the distance.


    In moneyline odds presented here, favorites are negative values -- e.g., a moneyline of -300 means you must risk $300 to win $100. Underdogs are positive values -- e.g., a moneyline of +250 means you win $250 by risking $100. Prop bets follow the same rules. The analysis offered here does not include unit-based bet recommendations or account for final closing lines. Raw data is provided by Fight Metric, with analysis by Reed Kuhn, author of "Fightnomics: the Hidden Numbers and Science in Mixed Martial Arts."
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  2. #2  
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    No opinion on this material guys, just posting for others to read...
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