Just before dinner (Eastern Time) on Tax Day, the boxing odds for the Fight of the Century moved toward Floyd Mayweather. Is this the beginning of the massive public push we’ve been expecting?
This is going to get really expensive. The May 2 pay-per-view broadcast (9:00 p.m. ET) for the welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a suggested retail price of $89.95. If you want the fight in HD, and of course you do, be prepared to pay another $10 bucks on top of that. Good thing the title sponsor, Tecate, is offering a rebate of up to $50 – if you buy enough of their beer.
News of this record-setting price tag makes us even happier we recommended the UNDER on how many households will buy the PPV. The boxing odds for that prop haven’t changed yet as we go to press, but looking at the fight itself, Mayweather moved from –210 to –225 at 5Dimes just before 5:00 p.m. ET on April 15 – that’s Tax Day in the United States, for all our international readers. Other books show similar movement, and though it’s not consistent across the boxing odds board, everyone here at the home office can’t help but wonder: Is this the beginning of the flood?
‘Cause I’m the Pac-Man
You know the story by now: The early money on the Fight of the Century was heavily on Pacquiao, who opened at around +250 before stabilizing somewhere in the neighborhood of +180. Even though Mayweather might be wearing the black hat in this fight, we still expect him to pull in a ton of public money at some point. For that matter, even though we’ve been recommending Pacquiao as a value bet, there are plenty of sharps who feel otherwise, and have been waiting to see how much chalk Mayweather will unload before jumping in at the right time.
This could be that time. The aforementioned uptick in Mayweather’s price on Tax Day was 15 cents, bigger than any of the back-and-forth wobble we’ve seen this past week. And this is pure speculation on our part, but this line move did happen on April 15 – perhaps some of those Mayweather bettors had just filed their taxes and were finally ready to turn their attention to more important financial matters.
Perhaps. It’s not like business has been slow up to this point; reports have some books bringing in more early action on the Fight of the Century than any other fight, ever. As much as $50 million in (legal) handle is being predicted in some parts – with some of that already thrown down by bettors who were visiting Las Vegas for March Madness.
As for the sharps jumping in at this point, that’s up for debate, too. Let’s not forget that way, way back in time, back in December before this fight was officially announced, books in Vegas started publishing lines with Mayweather at –260, and even that wasn’t chalky enough for handicapper and analyst Dave Cokin, who told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that –500 was more like it. Maybe this 15-cent move is just another wobble compared to where these boxing odds could land.
We should stress at this point that reading the line moves is not an exact science. There are certain established rules of thumb for exploiting market imbalances before making your boxing picks, but when it comes to betting psychology, things get a little fuzzy. Consider the way we’ve compared the line movements in this fight to those for Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya. We’re casting Mayweather in the role of De La Hoya, who was the top dog in the business when they fought in 2007. But as we said, Mayweather is playing the heel in this matchup, so perhaps it’ll be Pacquiao who scoops up all that public money and turns into the betting favorite by the time the bell rings – just like De La Hoya did eight years ago. We shall see.