As the betting list for the Fight of the Century keeps growing in size, people don’t just want to bet on the outcome – they want to make boxing picks on how quickly the fight will end, or if it’ll be a last-round thriller.
Want to get a ticket for the biggest sporting event in recent memory? Too bad – as we go to press, they still aren’t selling tickets for the May 2 superfight at the MGM Grand between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. In theory, you could buy some “tickets” through a re-seller, but after some of the high-profile fiascos with people paying for expensive Super Bowl ducats that never materialized, that might not be the best way for you to risk upwards of $5,000 on the Fight of the Century.
Let’s turn our attention instead to the specials market, where the fine folks at William Hill are among the first on the scene with their offerings on how quickly – or late – the Big Fight will end. As we go to press, there are four Pacquiao-Mayweather specials up on the boxing odds board at Will Hill; we’ll break each one down for you from a value perspective.
Early Finish: Fight to end in the first three rounds (+1400)
It’s widely expected that the Fight of the Century will go the distance; the best line at press time for that prop was –300 at Bovada. Mayweather is one of the greatest defensive fighters the sport has ever produced. The last time one of his fights ended in the first three rounds was in 1998, when he beat Angel Manfredy in the second via TKO. That was 29 fights ago. Pacquiao, who packs a little more punching power, floored Ricky Hatton in the second back in 2009 – that was 11 fights ago. Pacquiao also knocked out Erik Morales in the third in 2006. Intriguing, but Mayweather should be a lot harder to put down than either of those two gentleman.
Late Show: Fight ends during the 12th Round (+3300)
This is a very interesting bet, but if you look at the Round Betting Props, there’s more value to be had by betting on both individuals to win in the 12th and final frame. Pacquiao is priced at +7000 at Bookmaker, while Mayweather is pegged at +8000 at 5Dimes. So instead of putting, say, $100 down on the Late Show special to win $3300, you could put $50 down on Pacquiao and another $50 on Mayweather; if Pac-Man pulls it off, you win $3500, minus the $50 on Mayweather. If Money gets the duke in the 12th, you win $4000, minus the $50 on Pacquiao.
Floyd Mayweather to win in the first 60 Seconds (+20000)
The more exotic the bets get, the more of a premium you can expect to pay. This wager will attract Mayweather fans who would love to see him earn a flash knockout over Pacquiao. Again, these might not be the right two fighters to throw out a bet like this; as a pro, Mayweather has never put down an opponent in the first 60 seconds, and Pacquiao hasn’t lost a fight any earlier than the third round. But if you’re looking to make a small wager for entertainment purposes only, this prop is for you.
Manny Pacquiao to win in the first 60 Seconds (+20000)
If both these 60 Second specials are going to have the same odds, we recommend Pacquiao for your boxing betting instead. Of course, Mayweather has yet to lose a fight as a pro, but if someone’s going to go down in the first minute, Pacquiao's got the punching power, while Mayweather’s mindset leaves him more prone to an early letdown. Marcos Maidana did manage to put some early heat on Mayweather in their first fight in May 2014. Think of this bet like the Super Bowl prop where you bet on a safety to be the first score of the game. It could happen (ask the Denver Broncos), but don’t bet the farm on it.