Rory MacDonald vs. Ray Cooper Odds, Pick & Preview: How to Bet the PFL Main Event (Friday, Aug. 13)

Rory MacDonald vs. Ray Cooper Odds, Pick & Preview: How to Bet the PFL Main Event (Friday, Aug. 13) article feature image
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Andre Ringuette/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: MMA fighter Rory MacDonald.

  • Former UFC champion Rory MacDonald faces off against reigning PFL Champion Ray Cooper III in Friday's main event.
  • MacDonald opened as a -210 favorite but has since seen his odds shrink to just -120.
  • Erich Richter breaks down the betting value in this fight, below.

Rory MacDonald vs.  Ray Cooper Odds

MacDonald Odds -120
Cooper Odds +100
Over/Under 2.5 (-155 / +125)
Venue Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Time 10:30 p.m. ET
Channel ESPN
Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings.

The PFL welterweight playoff is nearly here. Former UFC champion and fan-favorite, Rory MacDonald, faces off against reigning PFL Champion Ray Cooper III in the semifinal matchup Friday night with a chance at a seven figure prize on the line.

Cooper won the PFL title in 2019 and was awarded the coveted $1 million in bonus money. Can he take down his toughest competition to date to move onto the final?

Below I take a look at both sides of this matchup to find the best betting value.

Tale of the Tape

Cooper III MacDonald
Record 22-7-1 22-7-1
Height 5’7″ 6’0″
Weight (pounds) 170 lbs. 170 lbs.
Reach (inches) 70″ 76″
Leg Reach 40″ 42″
Date of Birth 2/7/93 7/22/89

For those unfamiliar with Cooper, he is 22-7-1 in his career and he stands at just 5-foot-8. Coincidentally, MacDonald is also 22-7-1 with an even distribution between finishes and decisions. Notably, Rory should be much bigger on Friday. He stands at 6-feet with a 6-inch reach advantage.

Rory is an excellent overall fighter. He uses his volume to his advantage to win close decisions and has really strong submission grappling. He nearly submitted Gleison Tibau at the end of round one and did submit Curtis Millender in his PFL debut.

This will be just MacDonald’s third fight under the PFL banner. His last fight could come as a wake-up call. Rory was slapped with a shocking split-decision loss against Tibau.

Tibau projects as the same size as Cooper, but the reigning champion figures to be a much better wrestler and striker. Cooper leads the PFL in takedowns and has thrown the second-fastest strike in the welterweight division this year, per PFL MMA.

MacDonald is a phenomenal grappler as well, but he prefers to be off of his back. Cooper is going to do everything in his power to make that happen. If Cooper is able to put MacDonald on his back, it will be a rough night in the office for Rory.

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MacDonald vs. Cooper Pick

MacDonald opened as a -210 favorite, but has seen a drastic change in the odds. Rather than sit around -200, he is now -120 on DraftKings.

MMAfighting.com did a poll asking about that controversial decision against Tibau and out of 401 votes, 95% of fans said MacDonald won the fight. Moreover, 55% did not give Gleison a single round.

That loss could be the reason that Rory’s odds have dropped so far, but I am not buying it. MacDonald is such an impressive grappler and striker that I think he could easily push his way to victory this weekend.

I don’t see much value in Rory’s method of victory props. MacDonald is currently +600 to win via submission. Cooper has been submitted just four times in his career. MacDonald prefers to submit his opponents when he controls their back. He then looks for the rear-naked choke.

The most value on this fight is with the moneyline on MacDonald. He typically does not lean one way or the other when it comes to his method of victory props. Four of MacDonald’s past five fights have gone to decision, which justifies the +175 decision prop-bet.

Instead, I will take the moneyline, which has been bet down nearly 14%. While that is unusual, he is the best all around fighter on their roster and should be able to win the title in October.

The Pick: Rory MacDonald ML -120 (up to -130)

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