The first big title fight of the year has drawn big betting action on the underdog, Diego Corrales, who challenges Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the WBC Super Featherweight Title at the MGM Grand Saturday night.
At The Mirage, the fight opened up with Mayweather the favorite at —160, and Corrales at +140. At press time Monday, Mayweather had plummeted to —120, with a take back of even money on Corrales.
The two will meet in a much-anticipated contest, which is billed as the "War" because of all the pre-fight banter. Mayweather Jr., the WBC champion, comes in at 24-0, 18 knockouts and Corrales, the No. 1 contender is 33-0 with 27 knockouts.
"It’s been going back and forth," The Mirage sports book manager Robert Walker said. "It’s rare we get a solid two-way on a boxing match."
At one point, Walker said Corrales was a slight favorite.
"The early money was on Corrales and now it’s a pick," he said. "It’s going to be a great fight. It has all the makings of the best fight (of the year)."
At The Mirage, the only prop bet is if the fight will go 12 rounds. As of Monday, the odds were at -155 for it go 12 rounds and +135 for it to be under 12.
The two have had a verbal sparing match in recent weeks.
"By him saying that he’s got my picture up in the gym and he wants to kill me, I don’t have hatred towards no man like that," Mayweather said. "But any man who wants to kill me, or tell me how they want to hurt me and do this and do that to me, then we got a problem."
Corrales responded: "I definitely have a true resentment towards him. There was always little comments through the office that he made towards me. Training is going great. I’m having a blast and I’m looking forward to the fight."
Favorites, players topple on Sunday
The sports books did just fine Sunday, according to two sports books managers.
Both underdogs won on the field. In the NFC Championship, the New York Giants defeated the Minnesota Vikings 41-0, while in the AFC Championship, the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Oakland Raiders 16-3.
"It was a good day," said Rob Terry, Palace Station sports manager. "We got beat up on some four-team parlays. They came in heavy on the Giants late. I went to (Giants +3) and had to stay there."
However, Terry said most of the action was on the Vikings and the Raiders. With over-unders at Palace Station, the Giants game closed at 42.5 from 40, with most of the action falling on the over, according to Terry. The Giants built that 41-0 lead with 12:13 left in the third quarter and it appeared the over bet was a cinch.
Said Don Williams, The Orleans sports manager. "I couldn’t believe it didn’t go over. That was a surprising game. We had a good day. Most people had the Vikings and the over."
Terry said that the under was heavy play in the Ravens’ win.
Terry added that a few folks cashed in heavy on a four-team money-line parlays since the two underdogs won on the field.
"We had a great amount of parlays, but mostly Raiders and Vikings money," Terry said.
In the AFC Championship game at The Orleans, "Most people had the Raiders and most people had the over," Williams said.
At the MGM Grand, the lines closed at Vikings —3 and the Raiders —6.5. The line with the Raiders —6.5 closed as well at the Monte Carlo, Bellagio and Bally’s, which may have had the loudest crowd of the day. The Vikings closed a 2.5-point favorite at the Monte Carlo and Bally’s, while the Vikings closed a 3-point favorite at the Bellagio.
As for first half bets at the MGM, Vikings-Giants was a pick, while the Raiders were —3. At Bally’s for the second half, the Vikings were —6 and Raiders —4.
Sports bettors will have to wait two weeks to see how Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa on Jan. 28 will turn out. The Ravens opened as a favorite anywhere between —1 and —3 Sunday evening. The over/under opened at 34 or 33.5 depending on where you were Sunday.