A Filipino gentleman walks into the Mirage on Friday night and lays down almost half a million dollars on Manny Pacquiao at +150 odds.
Even though it’s the worst Pacquiao odds in town, he doesn’t care. The man knows he can get the large wager accepted with no problem and he also knows the price is going drop – it does to +140 – and may still bet him again later.
The May 2 Welterweight title bout between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand Garden will be the largest wagered fight in Las Vegas history. It’s the bout we all have been waiting to see for a decade and now it’s only three weeks away.
The South Point had opened Mayweather as a -300 favorite months before the fight was actually announced, and they’ve been loaded with Pacquiao money as well which has dropped them to -175/+155.
The Westgate SuperBook is -200/+175. CG Technologies and the Golden Nugget both have it at -180/+160. In every case around town, it’s been all Pacquiao money.
This is typically the case in any major fight held in Las Vegas where the underdog is bet the most feverishly bet option and then the large favorite money shows up on the weekend of the fight. But at what dollar price are those who are waiting to bet Mayweather hoping for? Is it -150, -140 or goodness, -120?
Could Pacquiao actually be driven to be the favorite? We’re three weeks out and it’s been all one sided action and once the date gets closer and books see the severity of their risk with nothing balancing it out, they’re going to be active to attract whatever Mayweather money they can find and if it means EVEN money to get it, that’ll be the case.
The type of action Las Vegas will write for this fight of the century will be similar to the Super Bowl where we could be talking almost $100 million in write with much of those wagers being taken on the strip at MGM Resorts sports books. If Mayweather money doesn’t start showing up in a hurry, we should start seeing some lower prices with books competing to get that money.
Maybe there is no big Floyd money. Maybe we’re all just assuming that the big money will show like it always does. Bettors have a chance to lay the lowest price ever seen on Mayweather over his fantastic career with a 45-0 record, and yet, there’s no one running to bet large money on him yet.
The books have always loved Mayweather because he has made them more money over his career than maybe any other boxer in history. And with the magnitude of this fight, the books will once again be rooting for “Money May” to win again.
The Pacquiao risk is going to only get bigger no matter what the price is. Should Pacquiao pull off the upset, it’s going to be a Black Saturday like Las Vegas has never seen before.
Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, one of The Linemakers on SportingNews.com , and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Follow Micah on Twitter @MicahRoberts7 Contact Micah at [email protected].