The UFC continues to draw record betting action as it prepares for its third card in eight days since being the first major sport to return to action.
With a dearth of other sports to wager on, bettors are flocking to the UFC. Wednesday’s Fight Night 171 lacked household names, but still topped all sports leagues in the amount wagered at both BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse.
Rush Street Interactive, which owns both properties, said the Wednesday UFC handle was one-and-a-half times an average NFL regular-season game.
UFC on ESPN on Saturday night (6 p.m. ET) promises to drive even more action with a card headlined by heavyweights Alistar Overeem (45-18) of the Netherlands and up-and-comer Walt Harris (13-7) out of Birmingham, Ala.
Harris, 36, is favored at -159 by PlaySugarHouse and -150 by William Hill, with Overeem +135 and +125 by the two books. Harris is receiving 51 percent of the handle and 52 percent of bets from DraftKings bettors.
Harris will be fighting with a heavy heart. The bout, originally scheduled for Dec. 6, was canceled after his 19-year-old stepdaughter was shot to death. Overeem remainded on the card and was knocked out by Jairzinho Rozenstruik with only four second remaining in a fight Overeem appeared to be winning.
Saturday’s fight will take place a day before Overeem turns 40, while Harris has not lost since 2017 and has knocked out his past two opponents in a combined 1 minute, 2 seconds.
William Hill is offering Harris at +100 to win by knockout, technical knockout or disqualification, +550 to win by decision and +3300 to win by submission. The same bets on Overeem are being offered at +240, +700 and +1000. William Hill has a +6600 moneyline on a draw bet.
William Hill is also offering total round bets of 1.5 (Over -150, Under +110) and 2.5 (Over +125, Under -175). The lowest odds on a specific round bet is +300 on Harris winning in Round 1, with the longest odds being +2500 for Overeem winning in five rounds.
In the Claudia Gadelha-Angela Hill bout, 76 percent of bets are on Gadelha at DraftKings. He’s also getting 59 percent of the handle.
Main Card Odds (PlaySugarHouse)
–Walt Harris (13-7, -159) vs. Allistair Overeem (45-18, +135)
–Claudia Gadelha (17-4, -190) vs. Angela Hill (12-7, +150)
–Edson Barboza (20-8, -137) vs. Dan Ige (13-2, +110)
–Krzysztof Jotko (21-4, -165) vs. Eryk Anders (13-4, +130)
–Yadong Song (15-4-1, -200) vs. Marlon Vera (15-5-1, +160)
Preliminary Card Odds*
–Miguel Baeza (8-0, -200) vs. Matt Brown (22-16, +160)
–Kevin Holland (16-5, -114) vs. Anthony Hernandez (7-1, -109)
–Mike Davis (8-2, -225) vs. Giga Chikadze (9-2, +175)
–Cortney Casey (8-7, -165) vs. Mara Romero Borella (12-7, +138)
–Darren Elkins (24-8, -121) vs. Nate Landwehr (13-3, -104)
–Don’Tale Mayes (7-3, -121) vs. Rodrigo Nascimento Ferreira (7-0, -106)
–Field Level Media