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UFC 261 is packing quite a punch with three title bouts tomorrow night.
Among the 13-fight card, who have been the most popular wagers at William Hill to power through to a victory at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida?
“There’s definitely a lot of chalk on this card,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “I have a feeling that the route that many bettors will take today and tomorrow is that they’re going to parlay every one of these two-dollar favorites with one or all of the three main fights. So we’ll probably see plenty of action on these prelim fights too. I think people will start betting the parlays early so that way when the final three fights come around, they’ve potentially got a live ticket going.”
Let’s start with the main event, where welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will square off in a rematch against No. 4-ranked contender Jorge Masvidal. Usman is the second-biggest favorite on the board for UFC 261 at -430, while Masvidal is priced at +350. The opening odds for this showdown when William Hill released them on Mar. 16 were Usman at -360 and Masvidal at +300.
Yet, even though Usman won the first time around by unanimous decision on Jul. 11, 2020, the majority of William Hill bettors are expecting a different result on Saturday.
Masvidal is seizing 64% of the total number of tickets and 73% of the total dollars wagered among all moneyline wagers in his fight against Usman. He’s the only underdog on the entire card to be receiving the majority in both categories.
For the other two title fights, the majority of William Hill bettors are backing the favorite as of now.
Women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko is up to -475 after first being listed at -400 against No. 1-ranked contender Jessica Andrade (+380). Shevchenko leads all UFC 261 fighters by capturing 82% of the total number of tickets in her clash, and has brought in 94% of the total dollars wagered as well. That is highlighted by one Nevada bettor staking $16,000 on Shevchenko -400 for a total potential payout of $20,000.
Shevchenko is one of four fighters to be getting at least 90% of the total dollars wagered along with Danaa Batgerel (-185 vs. Kevin Natividad) at 97%, Brendan Allen (-155 vs. Karl Roberson) at 92% and Zhu Rong (-250 vs. Rodrigo Vargas) at 92%.
In the women’s strawweight title fight, champion Zhang Weili has moved from -185 to -210 against No. 1-ranked contender Rose Namajunas (+180). Weili has drawn 61% of the total number of tickets and 80% of the total dollars wagered in that one.
Check out William Hill’s latest odds and trends for UFC 261 below. Regarding when you can catch the action tomorrow, the early prelims begin at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT on ESPN2, the prelims start at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ESPN and the main card is on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.