UFC 303 Odds: 3 Picks & Predictions for Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler (Saturday, June 29)

UFC 303 Odds: 3 Picks & Predictions for Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler (Saturday, June 29) article feature image

Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: UFC fighter Conor McGregor of Ireland at UFC 264

Check out the latest UFC 303 odds and expert picks and predictions for Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler.

We're just weeks away from the big UFC 303: McGregor vs. Chandler pay-per-view, which takes place June 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Earlier this month, UFC officials announced the last-minute cancellation of a planned UFC 303 press conference in Dublin. Despite assurances the fight was still a go, MMA reporter Ariel Helwani reported on June 11 that the fight could still fall apart.

Is all of this a sign that the hard-partying McGregor isn't taking the fight seriously? It's certainly possible – and that possibility has affected the UFC 303 odds for the fight.

On May 27, McGregor was a very slight -112 favorite (bet $112 to win $100) over -108 underdog Michael Chandler. However, as of June 12, Chandler has flipped to the favorite. His odds are -118 while McGregor is now -102.

That gives Chandler an implied win probability of 54.1%.

The total for the five-round fight has been set at 1.5 rounds with -135 for the over and +105 for the under.

The UFC 303 odds had been slowly trickling in Chandler's direction even before the recent developments.

Assuming it happens, McGregor vs. Chandler will be one of the biggest fights of 2024. Prior to the speculation, our MMA crew combed the UFC 303 odds board for picks and bets, which you can find below. Our experts favored Chandler before the rumors, and now, they have no reason to feel differently.

Below, check out the UFC 303 picks that our MMA experts have already made.

(UFC 303 odds as of June 12 and via DraftKings. Bet on McGregor vs. Chandler with our DraftKings promo code.)

UFC 303 Odds, Picks & Predictions

Billy Ward: Fade the Fading Star

Staff Writer at The Action Network

It's been nearly eight years since Conor McGregor beat anyone other than a completely washed Donald Cerrone, yet hope springs eternal – at least in the eyes of the public.

Michael Chandler is an extremely well-rounded mixed martial artist. He's a former Division I All-American wrestler from Mizzou with a black belt in 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. Those skills should serve him well against McGregor, who – even at his best – was a fairly one-dimensional puncher.

The time away from the cage certainly won’t help McGregor overcome those deficiencies, even if his supplement routine has further increased his power. That increased size and strength also come at a cost to his notoriously (pun intended) suspect cardio, as does his time away from training.

Oddsmakers have had this fight available since well before it was made official, with the prevailing line holding McGregor as a slight favorite. Since becoming official at UFC 300, money has started to trickle in on Chandler, but he can still be had at around even money at some shops.

I'm fairly confident this line is heavily based on the star power of McGregor; Chandler should be a far heavier favorite here. Oddsmakers correctly assume that casual fans will want to bet McGregor at any price – so why offer plus money?

So, that makes taking an early bet on Chandler the smart move here. Sharp money will eventually inflate Chandler’s line, and we can still get as good as -105 at the time of this writing.
At the time of UFC 300, I was hesitant to tie up too much of my money, but now just over a month away, I’d be comfortable betting up to a full unit or two.

The Pick: Michael Chandler (-105 at ESPN BET & BetMGM)

Tony Sartori: Postering My Poster

Staff Writer at The Action Network

"Alexa, play 'Return of the Mack' by Mark Morrison."

I'm as excited as anyone else about Conor McGregor's long-awaited return to the octagon in UFC 303's main event. As I am typing this article in late May, a McGregor poster is staring back at me from across the room as "Notorious" holds up both belts on the top of the cage following his win over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205.

However, my profession calls for me to put bias aside and analyze everything through an objective lens. And, unfortunately for someone who (like many) look to McGregor as the one who made them fall in love with MMA, my objective analysis is telling me betting on Chandler is the +EV play.

I don't think this fight is a pick'em if McGregor weren't going to be one of the most publicly popular bets of the MMA calendar year. As Mick says in Rocky III: "Three years ago you was supernatural … and you had this cast-iron jaw. But then, the worst thing happened to you that could happen to any fighter. You got civilized."

If that is not the perfect quote for McGregor at UFC 205, then I don't know what is. We need him far more than he needs us: He's a businessman, an actor, an entrepreneur, a father.

He is simply here because he loves the sport; winning this fight does not do anything for him either financially or in terms of legacy. Because of those things, McGregor is just 1-3 since that historic moment at UFC 205, with his lone win coming against a near-retired Donald Cerrone who has been on record saying he was only there for the moment and the payday.

Khabib Nurmagomedov dominated McGregor, Dustin Poirier slept him, and then the former double-champ broke his leg in the subsequent trilogy against Poirier. Those reading can clearly tell I am a McGregor fan, so take my word for it that the win over Cerrone virtually means nothing.

If you take that 40-second win in a fight that shouldn't have even been made out of the equation, McGregor is a guy who has not won a meaningful fight in a UFC octagon in nearly eight years and is now coming off a three-year layoff due to a broken leg. That is simply a recipe for disaster, and I unfortunately think Chandler puts him down just like Poirier did in their 2021 rematch.

The Pick: Michael Chandler by KO/TKO (+180 at FanDuel)

Dann Stupp: Mac? Chandler? Doesn't Matter

Senior Editor at The Action Network

Conor McGregor is back, baby! Our man is shredded, crazed and as unpredictable as ever for his welterweight return at UFC 303! Red panties for everyone!

Actually, scratch that.

Conor McGregor is washed, baby! He's been out of the cage for three years. He hasn't won in 4.5 years! The sport has passed him by. Is he even training for this fight? His leg is shot. McGregor is shot!

So, what's the actual truth? Who the hell really knows.

I lean toward the latter, but I can't discount the possibility that Magic Mac has at least one showstopper left in his bag of tricks.

However, when it comes to my early bet for UFC 303, I can get the best of both worlds: I'm betting that this fight does not start Round 3 (essentially, "Under 2.0 rounds"). DraftKings has the bet available at -150 (60% implied win probability) at the time of this writing. I think the chances are closer to 70% (-233).

Here's how I see it: Chandler, who's been solely focused on McGregor since early 2023, blitzes through a distracted and partied-out playboy – or a super-sized Mac tees up the hittable Chandler, who's been finished in five of his eight career losses.

I don't expect a strategic chess match with McGregor and Chandler, who are both on the wrong side of 35 and likely facing durability issues. Instead, I expect two jacked-up lightweights to settle this beef in quick order.

This isn't a war. It's not even a battle or skirmish.

Instead, it's a showdown.

And showdowns don't last long.

The Pick: Fight Doesn't Start Round 3 (-150 at DraftKings)

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