After an early run on the underdog, the boxing odds for the May 2 superfight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have leveled off. But this could just be the calm before the betting storm.
The early money is in for the Fight of the Century. It’s been nearly a month since Floyd Mayweather confirmed that he’d be fighting Manny Pacquiao on May 2 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. In that time, we’ve seen Mayweather’s boxing odds slip from around –330 at the open to as low as –193 as we go to press. Makes sense. Boxing experts are split down the middle over who will win this fight, which makes Pacquiao valuable for our Boxing Picks at these prices. We’re definitely on board.
But now that we’ve had that initial burst of Pac-Man fever, the betting market appears to have stabilized. Our Lines History shows Mayweather’s odds getting longer and longer all the way up until this past weekend, when they took a turn in the other direction before settling down around the –200 mark. We saw similar movement on the Boxing Odds for the total number of rounds, as well. Has peace and harmony been restored to the marketplace?
Maybe for the moment. We’ll be back later this week to talk about how the boxing odds could shift again toward Mayweather, with all that public money expected to come in on the favorite. In the meantime, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that today’s odds for the Fight of the Century look a lot closer to the projected odds from when this matchup was floated way back in 2009, when Mayweather was available at –160.
We should also take note that the recent bump in Mayweather’s odds came just after he and Pacquiao were delivering their press conference in Los Angeles to hype up their prizefight. Putting the two men side-by-side helps illustrate the size difference between them. It also shows how much “bigger” Mayweather’s personality is, which definitely resonates with the betting public. The favorite is indeed a cool customer.
Going the Distance
You may have already noticed that Mayweather’s odds moved on Sunday in lock-step with the total, which fell back from its peak of 11.5 (OVER –340) at 5Dimes to 11.5 (OVER –335). The boxing odds at IslandCasino and Sportbet did the same. We often like to say “not coincidentally” here at the home office; in this case, we could speculate that the betting public, which we expect to prefer Mayweather, also prefers to see a knockout and is betting accordingly.
There’s some logic to that, but we’d like to see some more line movement before we marry these two betting patterns. After all, Mayweather is the more defensive fighter of the two, while Pacquiao is the one with the punching power. If you were inclined to make a combo bet of it, pairing Pacquiao with the UNDER makes at least some sense. Tennis star and boxing aficionado Andy Murray did bring up a good point when he said Pacquiao might have a hard time earning a decision from the judges on what is basically Mayweather’s home turf.
Round and Round
While we count down the days until May 2, the fine folks at Bovada have expanded their list of boxing props for the Fight of the Century. Round betting is now available for both fighters, and you can see from these boxing odds that Pacquiao is expected to have the advantage early. His odds of winning via stoppage peak at 33/1 by Round 4 and stay there all the way through Round 10. Mayweather doesn’t reach 33/1 until Round 7.
Ultimately, Mayweather is still –130 to win by a decision, so chances are we won’t get to see a knockout either way. But let’s pay attention to how the boxing odds move over the next few weeks anyway. There is such a thing as smart money, even in fights like this.