Betting odds on Manny Pacquiao are on the rise and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is seeing his heavy favorite status shrink as the May 2 date of their long-awaited megafight now stands less than one month away.
Not only is the fight at the MGM Grand projected to be the biggest moneymaker in boxing history, possibly topping $400 million in gross revenue, the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather clash is shaping up as one of the biggest betting events as well.
The MGM sportsbook alone reports a “handle” of more than a million bucks already wagered on the fight with a month to go before the two welterweights finally step into the ring.
“For a month away, the handle is astronomical,” Jeff Stoneback, an official at the MGM Mirage sportsbook told ESPN.com.
But perhaps what is even more extraordinary is that while most boxing experts predict that Mayweather’s slick boxing skills, quick hands, and seemingly flawless defensive technique will win him the 48th fight of his career against zero losses, bettors are starting to feel differently.
Bets on Pacquiao are reportedly three times as heavy as on Mayweather at the MGM — with overall wagering on the Philippines legend outweighing Mayweather bets by a factor of six.
The betting public remains attracted to the underdog Pacquiao despite reports coming out of Pacquiao’s camp that the 36-year-old veteran of 64 professional fights has suffered from recurring leg cramps that have put a crimp in his training schedule — and that he may be distracted by Philippines government tax collectors who say that Pacquiao owes an incredible $50 million in unpaid taxes.
But that didn’t stop one high roller last week from slapping down two separate bets of $50,000 each on Pacquiao.
Those two bets alone prompted the MGM Mirage to lower the odds favoring Mayweather to -180 — meaning that to win $100, a bettor must wager $180. The odds in favor of Mayweather just a few weeks ago were as high as -275.
Another way of looking at those odds is that Mayweather was at one time nearly a 3-1 favorite. Now, the betting odds in his favor are not quite at 2-1.
Not everyone is willing to take the underdog, however. Both the Westgate and Wynn sportsbooks reported taking bets in the six-figure range on Mayweather over recent days.
If you have placed a bet on the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight, and you’re not in Vegas, it’ll cost you just to see how your wager turns out. Fight organizers announced this week that to purchase the fight on pay-per-view will cost fans a record $99.95 for the high-definition broadcast. Knock 10 bucks off that price for standard definition.
Betting odds on Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are sure to change at least a few more times as May 2 draws closer, but a wager placed now locks in the current odds.
[Images: Elsa/David Becker/Getty Images]