Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Boxing Odds: Pac-Man Gaining Steam

Jason Lake

Saturday, May 2, 2015 2:22 PM GMT

Saturday, May. 2, 2015 2:22 PM GMT

The boxing odds were moving in Manny Pacquiao's direction the day before his big fight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Will they pick up even more steam by Saturday night?

So here we are on the doorstep of what could be one of the greatest sporting events in history. We won't know until it's all over whether the “Fight of the Century” lived up to the hype, but for now, everyone is sitting on pins and needles, waiting for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. to touch gloves Saturday night (9:00 p.m. ET) at the MGM Grand.

Some people are still waiting to make their boxing picks, too. Business has picked up since we last checked in; Pacquiao has moved as low as +152 on the boxing odds board at press time, clearly the fan favorite up to this point, while Mayweather is available at –167. But this is still a drop in the bucket. By the time you read this on Saturday, there could be some serious movement in one direction or the other – or perhaps none at all, if the action stays as relatively balanced as it has thus far.

 

Free Candy
The two fighters had their official weigh-in on Friday, with no surprises. Pacquiao came in at 145 pounds, after enjoying a tasty Butterfinger; he doesn't have to worry about counting his calories to keep under the welterweight limit. Mayweather tipped the scales at 146 pounds. Over 11,000 fans were at the MGM Grand to bear witness, and the electricity shot through the arena when the two fighters finally came face-to-face.

Pacquiao appears to be the more relaxed of the two. It helps when you've got supporters like Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who sent a handwritten letter wishing Pac-Man the best of luck. “The way you conduct yourself speaks volumes about your character! I'm so proud of you – you are very special,” Jones wrote in all-caps. Mayweather was more intense at the weigh-in, and had a few choice words for Pacquiao when they faced off. No fisticuffs, though, so tough luck if you had the prop asking if the two rival camps would come to blows.

 

The Answer
As we get closer to the Big Fight – Manny and Money should be in the ring by about 11:15 p.m. Eastern – more insiders are coming out in support of Mayweather. Ring Magazine polled 50 experts, a collection of fighters, trainers and journalists, and 42 of them sided with the favorite. That's in stark contrast to the near 50/50 split we saw in the collective wisdom heading into the weekend.

Among those who put Pacquiao in their boxing picks: former three-time champion Julio Cesar Chavez, and current welterweight contenders Mauricio Herrera and Viktor Postol. We don't have the space to run through all of Money's supporters, but the list includes Marvin Hagler, Ricky Hatton, Larry Holmes and “Boom Boom” Mancini. This gives evidence to those who believed the sharp money would be on Mayweather.

 

The Left Bank
As for our boxing picks here at the home office, we're sticking with our original recommendation of Pacquiao, although we'd obviously be less inclined to bet him at anything lower than, say, +150. Our rationale was that Pac-Man had value as an underdog in a fight where the experts appeared to be torn between the two sides. That Ring Magazine poll has definitely shaken our snow globe, though. As they say, where there's smoke, there's fire.

We still like the logic of this pick. Assuming the boxing odds don't swing even further toward Pacquiao, he's the one carrying all the value in this fight, while Mayweather is the one who has to live up to his own reputation. The underdog presents so many challenges, as a southpaw and as a power puncher with volume, that we don't mind fading the undefeated favorite. But whatever happens on Saturday, let's hope for a good, clean fight. Nothing below the belt, no biting anyone's ear off, and no fans trying to parachute into the ring. We can only hope.

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