With just a week to go before the historic Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao megafight, betting odds on the world’s top two fighters remain mostly steady. But there is one bet that has seen a significant drop in odds — all because an increasing number of bettors apparently can’t decide whether Mayweather or Pacquiao is going to win this thing.
According to ESPN, odds that the fight will end up in a highly dissatisfying draw have dropped from a longshot 22-1 in February to a relatively narrow 8-1 this week at the MGM Sports Book, the betting shop in the MGM Grand, the same hotel where the May 2 fight will take place.
In fact, the ESPN report noted that about 1,000 bets have come into the MGM picking the fight as a draw. That’s more than twice as many as on any other specific result of the fight.
“That will minimize as we get closer, but right now it’s not good — our worst-case scenario,” Jay Rood, the MGM’s vice-president told ESPN.
If Rood seems worried, he probably shouldn’t be. The chances that the fight will be ruled a draw appear remote, as most boxing experts give Mayweather a clear edge to win a 12-round decision, frustrating Pacquiao with his movement and defense while landing just enough right hand leads and pot shots to pile up points on judges scorecards.
Most bettors are coming around to that point of view as well. After dropping as low as -185 in early April — meaning that bettors would need to wager $185 to win $100 — the money on “Money” Mayweather has surged.
According to sports books whose betting lines are tracked by the site Odds Shark, Mayweather now stands at -210 favorite. Pacquiao hovers at a steady +170, which means that a bet of $100 would pay back $170 on top of the original $100 if the underdog Philippines fighter were to score the upset.
But sports book executives have noticed that smaller bettors are more willing to lay down money on Pacquiao while the high rollers have placed their big money on Mayweather.
“The past week we have finally seen some significant favorite money,” Station Casinos Veep Art Manteris told ESPN. “The frequency of wagers on Pacquiao is still very one-sided. The big bets, however, are now trending on Mayweather. Some very sharp players have already unloaded on Mayweather.”
The MGM has taken about three times as many Manny Pacquiao bets as Mayweather wagers — but the total amount of cash laid down on Floyd Mayweather Jr. remains significantly larger, resulting in the betting odds still showing Mayweather as the heavy favorite.
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