How Low Can Mayweather’s Odds Go?

Floyd Mayweather

Jason Lake

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 8:36 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 8:36 PM UTC

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is still favored to beat Conor McGregor this Saturday, but the boxing odds have been moving toward McGregor since they first hit the board.

This should be the greatest event in the history of betting on sports. But you can excuse the sportsbooks themselves if they’re feeling a bit antsy right now. Saturday’s boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC Lightweight champion Conor McGregor has drawn several boatloads of betting action, and almost all of it has been on McGregor. The Irish superstar was a +1100 underdog in Vegas back in February, when this bout was still in its flotation phase; McGregor can be found at +250 on our boxing odds board as we go to press.

It’s a fantastic development for the books – if Mayweather wins. But what if he doesn’t? It’ll be a catastrophe, that’s what. The money bet thus far has been so lopsided on McGregor, it’s left many offshore books completely exposed. Don’t look, Ethel! Unless all that large, late money comes in on Mayweather as expected, August 26 could end up being a very dark day for our industry.

Octagonal Thinking

Which brings us to the inevitable question: How short can Mayweather’s odds get? Generally speaking, the answer is simple: As short as it takes to get enough action on Mayweather to balance the books, or at least get close enough for comfort. Having your odds shaded a bit towards the sharp side is fine, even common practice for some sportsbooks. Having your entire business riding on Saturday’s outcome is not fine.

While the general answer is easy enough, nailing down a specific target to jump on and put Mayweather in your boxing picks is virtually impossible. We’re through the looking-glass here, people. Veteran oddsmakers in Nevada think McGregor should be something like a 50-1 shot, yet the money keeps pouring in on the Lightweight champ, a few dollars here and there from each of the millions (and millions!) of McGregor fans out there.

Mayweather is now the same odds to beat McGregor as Hilary was to beat Trump #narratives

— Jonathan Aguiar (@JonAguiar) August 21, 2017

If you’re picking Mayweather for Saturday’s fight, instead of trying to project a floor price, you’re probably better off just keeping a patient eye on our boxing odds and waiting for the lines to start moving in the other direction before pouncing. Or you could just take some arbitrage now while it’s available; at press time, you can get McGregor at +525 and Mayweather at –333. Strange days indeed.

Free Boxing Pick: McGregor +525; Mayweather –333
Best Line Offered: at bet365

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