UFC 266 Betting Odds: Sharps On Both Sides Of Volkanovski Vs Ortega

UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski shows off his title belt.
Image Credit: Jeff Bottari-Zuffa LLC

The next high-profile MMA event rolls out Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip. UFC 266 betting odds have percolated for much of the past month, generating interesting action on both the main event and undercard.

Topping the card on the UFC 266 betting board: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega, with Volkanovski’s featherweight (145-pound) belt on the line.

Props.com recently caught up with Nick Kalikas, MMA oddsmaker at Circa Sports, to discuss UFC 266 betting odds and get insights on all the action up and down the Volkanovski vs. Ortega card.

Odds from Circa Sports, updated as of 5 p.m. ET Sept. 25

UFC 266 Betting Odds

Favorite Odds Underdog Odds Weight Class
Volkanovski -190 Ortega +165 Featherweight (145 pounds)
Shevchenko -1410 Murphy +900 Flyweight (125 pounds)
Lawler -155 Diaz +135 Middleweight (185 pounds)
Blaydes -325 Rozenstruik +270 Heavyweight (265 pounds)
Andrade -220 Calvillo +190 Flyweight (125 pounds)
Dvalishvili -270 Moraes +230 Bantamweight (135 pounds)
Medic -125 Turner +105 Lightweight (155 pounds)
Daukaus -215 Abdurakhimov +185 Heavyweight (265 pounds)
Hooker -155 Haqparast +135 Lightweight (155 pounds)
Santos -435 Modafferi +350 Flyweight (125 pounds)
Semelsberger -460 Sano +370 Welterweight (170 pounds)
Morales -145 Pearce +125 Featherweight (145 pounds)
Maximov -120 Brundage +100 Middleweight (185 pounds)

Volkanovski Vs Ortega Betting Action

Image Credit: Hans Gutknecht-Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

UPDATE 10:30 P.M. ET SATURDAY: The SuperBook has featherweight champ Volkanovski a -200 favorite to Ortega’s +175 underdog price. No surprise, the book needs the ‘dog in the main event.

“We’re out to the favorite on both straight bets and parlays,” SuperBook risk manager Rex Beyers said. “Volkanovski is a monster, so I’m not shocked. But I don’t think anyone is stealing anything laying that number against Ortega.”

UPDATE 8:45 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Volkanovski initially dipped at BetMGM Nevada, from -170 to -150, but he’s rebounded to -200, with Ortega a +165 pup. But the ‘dog is drawing dollars. “Tickets 2/1 and money 1.5/1 on Ortega. And there’s quite a bit of money on both guys,” BetMGM Nevada’s Scott Shelton said.

UPDATE 4:30 P.M. ET SATURDAY: PointsBet USA has Volkanovski a -190 chalk, with Ortega a +150 underdog. Ticket count is running 3/1 and money just beyond 2/1 on the favorite.

UPDATE 11:30 AM ET THURSDAY: On Aug. 29, Volkanovski (22-1) went up as a -150 favorite at Circa Sports, with Ortega +130 on the buyback. Now, the moneyline is out to Volkanovski -180/Ortega +155.

“Tickets are fairly even, but we do have more money on the favorite,” Kalikas said. “We’ve seen some sharp action lately on Volkanovski, and I’m expecting more public action to come in on him. But we’ve seen some sharp bites on the ‘dog, too. We’ll need Ortega, especially with parlays.”

Indeed, Kalikas noted the public will fire away with parlay play on Volkanovski. That’s influenced in part by the fact Volkanovski beat Max Holloway in his last two fights in 2019 and 2020, while Holloway handed Ortega (15-1) his lone defeat via TKO in December 2018.

Shevchenko Vs Murphy Betting Action

Image Credit: Alex Menendez-Getty Images

UPDATE 10:30 P.M. ET SATURDAY: As is the case everywhere, Valentina Shevchenko is a massive favorite at The SuperBook, sitting at -1,600 to Lauren Murphy’s +900 ‘dog price. The mismatch isn’t garnering many takers at the counter.

“No interest in the Shevchenko bout, nor should there be at this level,” SuperBook risk manager Rex Beyers said.

UPDATE 8:45 P.M. ET SATURDAY: This bout is for the women’s flyweight title, but judging by the odds, it won’t be championship caliber. Reigning champ Valentina Shevchenko is a -1,500 favorite at BetMGM, up from the -1,200 opening number, while Lauren Murphy has moved from +700 to +850.

“It’s all Murphy on straight bets. Tickets are over 10/1 and money 30/1,” BetMGM Nevada’s Scott Shelton said, noting standard moneyline bettors are just looking for the big plus money on the huge underdog. “But it’s flip-flopped on parlays, all Shevchenko. Right now, we’d definitely rather have the favorite win.”

UPDATE 11:30 AM ET THURSDAY: The co-main event is a lopsided one on the UFC 266 odds board. Kalikas opened women’s flyweight champ, Valentina Shevchenko, as a massive -1,500 chalk to Lauren Murphy’s +945 price in the 125-pound clash.

“The market opened Shevchenko around -700,” Kalikas said, noting a significant difference of opinion, and Circa is now even further out at -1,520/+955. “We’re not seeing a lot of straight bets on either side, because the price is so high. A lot of steam will come in on the ‘dog. I’m expecting that, but haven’t seen it yet on Murphy.”

But that’s generally public bettors taking fliers on the big plus-money price. Parlays running to Shevchenko (21-3) are more daunting, even at the heavy premium on the favorite. That means Kalikas will be rooting heavily for Murphy (15-4).

“We’re seeing lots of parlays that include Shevchenko—multisport parlays with college football, NFL, everything. It’s a blind parlay spot for everybody,” Kalikas said. “That factored into my opening line because I knew we were gonna get piled on with parlays. The line will probably go back down, but we’ll need the favorite to lose because of the parlays.”

Diaz Vs Lawler Betting Action

Image Credit: Jeff Bottari-Zuffa LLC

UPDATE 10:50 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Shortly before fight time, The SuperBook has this bout at Robbie Lawler -155/Nick Diaz +135 on what risk manager Rex Beyers termed good two-way action.

“But it seems more of a curiosity than anything else. I mean, I started following and watching and betting the UFC in 2006-07, and these dudes fought for the first time like 2.5 years before that,” Beyers said. “It’s a total crap shoot. Diaz looked like trash the other day in that video, and that prompted a swarm of money on the favorite. But I’ve seen that guy’s brother not look too good before a fight and then go in there and handle his biz, so nothing would surprise me there.”

UPDATE 8:45 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Robbie Lawler moved from a -115 opener to the current -155 at BetMGM, with Nick Diaz now a +130 underdog. But the pup is getting the play. “Ticket count about 2.5/1 and money 2/1 Diaz,” BetMGM Nevada’s Scott Shelton said. “Diaz is our biggest liability of the night on this card.”

UPDATE 4:30 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Robbie Lawler opened as a -140 favorite at PointsBet USA and is now up to -182, with Nick Diaz correspondingly shifting from +120 to +140. But ticket count and money are running almost dead even for the middle fight on tonight’s five-bout main card.

UPDATE 11:30 AM ET THURSDAY: This matchup in the middle of the five-bout main card was supposed to be at the 170-pound welterweight limit. But Nick Diaz (26-9) this week asked to go up to the 185-pound middleweight class, and Robbie Lawler (28-15) agreed. After opening at -110 pick ’em and staying steady there the past three weeks, that shift in weight class led to favorite money and a price adjustment to Lawler -135/Diaz +115.

“We were getting two-way action, but now a lot of people think Diaz is out of shape, so there’s money coming in on Lawler,” Kalikas said. “I would be surprised if we don’t need Diaz. If we break even or make a small profit on this fight, we’ll be happy.”

Other UFC 266 Betting Action

Image Credit: Jeff Bottari-Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

UPDATE 8:45 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Shortly before this bout begins, Dan Hooker is down to -145 at BetMGM Nevada, after opening -145, while Nasrat Haqparast shifted from +150 to +120. “Tickets and money are roughly 3/1 Hooker, even though that line has come down,” BetMGM Nevada’s Scott Shelton said.

UPDATE 4:30 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Curtis Blaydes is out to a -325 favorite at PointsBet USA, after opening -300 against Jair Rozenstruik, who’s now a +240 underdog. It’s all Blaydes, who is taking 78% of bets and 87% of money.

UPDATE 11:30 AM ET THURSDAY: Kalikas pointed to a preliminary-card bout that he said could–and probably should–be on the five-bout main card: Dan Hooker (20-10) vs. Nasrat Haqparast (13-3) in a lightweight (155-pound) battle.

“This is a high-caliber fight for a prelim,” Kalikas said, noting he opened the bout at Hooker -170/Haqparast +150 and it’s now Hooker -140/Haqparast +120. Much of the price drop was because of concerns over rumors the fight might be canceled. But it’s on, and Haqparast is the professional play.

“We took some sharp action on the ‘dog, so I was glad we lowered the price,” Kalikas said. “There are more tickets on Hooker, but there’s more money on Haqparast.”