So how do we all feel about last week’s announcement that Floyd Mayweather and MMA fighter Conor McGregor will finally square off using boxing rules for a bout on Aug. 26 at the T-Mobile Center? They’ve been creating a beef – WWE style – through social media with each other doing a bunch of blah-blah-blah back and forth.
Fans from both sides of the aisle seem to be buying it and want to support their guy. Mayweather’s supporters say his skills will treat McGregor’s head like a speed bag. McGregor’s fans say Mayweather has been beating tomato cans and has-beens to stay undefeated and Conor’s toughness will be the difference.
I find myself torn on how to feel. I love the idea of a big event happening in Las Vegas and am always up for seeing Ireland invade the city when McGregor fights – it’s electric. Both fighters certainly create the biggest buzz in town for their respective sports. This is a real fight, but I’d rather see Mayweather face the No. 1 contender. However, more than $400 million is on the line for these guys. Who could pass that up?
It’s not as gimmicky as the Rocky Balboa and Thunderlips battle in Rocky III, or Bobby Riggs vs. Billie Jean King in the Battle of Sexes, but it is attractive with the most polarizing characters in MMA and boxing going toe-to-toe. This really does have tremendous intrigue and should sell well.
“I think this is going to be good for boxing because it’ll expose the millennials to the boxing world a bit more,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook hub manager Jeff Stoneback. “However, I don’t expect the handle to reach the heights of our record handle from the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight. For one, we’re not going to have that Filipino money firing non-stop and the other main reason is the price is too high, which makes it difficult to get two way action.”
Bettors are funny people. On a plane ride to Las Vegas a fight-goer will be talking all flight long about how Mayweather is going to destroy his opponent. He goes to the bet window and asks what the -800 next to his name means and figures out the $800 he set aside to bet is only going to win him $100. The bettor then asks what the +550 means for the other fighter. “Okay, I’ll take that guy.”
It goes like that often.
“All the bets at $1,000 or less are going to be on McGregor,” Stoneback said, “So far we have 277 tickets on McGregor and just seven tickets bet on Mayweather, which has made us drop the price from -1200 to -750 (+500 on McGregor).”
That’s what a big price does in boxing. Mayweather supporters aren’t going to bet until the price is at its lowest point – likely fight night. Sharp money knows they can let all the small money add up large with McGregor and force the books into dropping Mayweather lower to attract favorite money.
Expect this number to drop more over the next few weeks, which gives great value to Mayweather. To give perspective on what the price should probably be, consider the Westgate SuperBook opened Mayweather -2500 weeks before the announcement these two would agree to a fight.
One thing I know to be true is Las Vegas sportsbooks have made more money with Floyd Mayweather than any other boxer in its history because bettors always take the underdog side against him. The books will win again with him here in this exhibition match. Remember, McGregor can’t kick or grapple with Mayweather on the ground. Think of how good a scorpion would fare in a battle royal with other critters if you cut its stinger off.
NL West best to bet
The three best records in the National League all hail from the NL West. The trio of teams that are one-upping nightly have essentially made my baseball summer as best it could be. Okay, maybe if the Pirates showed some life in a winnable NL Central that might rate higher, but the quality of play from the Rockies (46-26), Dodgers (44-26) and Diamondbacks (44-26) has been a treat as we head toward the halfway point.
How about we just bet those three teams to win every game? How about we put those three teams in a parlay every day? Well, the three-teamer cashed the past four days following Sunday’s results where all three closed out series sweeps in dramatic fashion. Arizona and Colorado are still considered not trustworthy yet by a few skeptical bettors, but they should be worthy because they’re the two most profitable teams. Colorado has an MLB-leading +23 units of profit if betting daily on them and Arizona is No. 2 at +18.2.
The Dodgers (+7.4) always get bet by the local community in Las Vegas whether they’re great or not. I’m beginning to believe this Dodgers squad is a great one and will erase their World Series drought that’s been going on since 1988. But it’s June, and they can’t catch the Rockies.