Mayweather vs. McGregor set for more handle than Super Bowl

Mayweather vs. McGregor set for more handle than Super Bowl

August 15, 2017 3:08 AM


We are now less than 2 weeks away from what will ultimately become the most heavily bet fight of all time. In fact, the mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. (49-0, 26 KO’s) and Conor McGregor (0-0) is expected to eclipse the amount of money bet on last year’s Super Bowl ($138 million).

Now to put that in perspective, the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, which was arguably the most highly anticipated prize fight of all time, attracted around $70 million. That more than doubled the prior record set for the amount of money wagered on a fight in the state of Nevada.

Therefore, based on the money anticipated to reach the betting windows for this bout, “Money Mayweather” is on the verge of doubling the previous record for the second straight time. It’s another perfect example of just how invested people are in the outcome of this fight. In fact, even with so much coverage from every angle throughout the promotion, fans continue to thirst for anything and everything “Mayweather vs. McGregor.” Rest assured as we come down the stretch, the enthusiasm and excitement will only intensify.

To date, the ratio of bet tickets (volume) has been greatly in Conor McGregor’s favor. As I touched on when the fight was made official, money was immediately wagered on the underdog and that hasn’t changed. Although an $880,000 bet was placed on Mayweather last week at South Point Hotel & Casino to win $120,000, the money bet (risk) is still extremely one-sided on McGregor. The expectation of sportsbooks both here in Nevada and around the globe, is that the “big” money will come in late on Mayweather to help limit their exposure.

If you’ve been following the fight promotion via television, radio, and social media, then you’re already well aware that sportsbooks expect “sharp” and “big” money to be wagered on Mayweather late. The reasoning is Mayweather backers have been in no rush to place their wagers since the betting line continues to drop. Also, those who place 6 and 7 figure bets are usually sharp enough not to let their money sit in a non-interest bearing account for any length of time. Those are all legitimate reasons for sure, and it’s become obvious from listening to sportsbook operators that they’re rather confident it’ll come to fruition before the bell sounds for round 1.

It’s a well established fact oddsmakers believe the true probability of a Mayweather victory is much greater than the current betting line reflects. According to one of the most respected bookmakers in our city’s history, Jimmy Vaccaro told ESPN, “This should be the easiest fight that any bookmaker’s ever booked. The general public is much more involved these days, and you know their hole cards. They’re going to bet the big dog, and you’ll know closer to the fight what number the big guys are salivating to lay.”

That goes to show why even though there is comfort in knowing the book has the best of it, the goal is still to limit exposure.

I believe one of the greatest differences between a recreational bettor and a professional bettor is the casual one only cares about cashing that particular ticket, while a winning one is focused on the process. What I mean is a profitable bettor is focused on finding value and repeating the process over and over, trusting they are a mathematical certainty to be ahead after enough wagers are placed.

That logic coupled with the law of large numbers show us why a bet on Mayweather represents the “value side.” The only problem is the value side does not guarantee a winning bet, instead it guarantees a long term result, profit. This doesn’t help the person who may not bet regularly, since all they want to do is cash their bet on this particular fight.

For them, I believe they should simply wager on the fighter they believe is going to win on Saturday, Aug. 26 and tune out all of the noise.

I can promise you the majority of so called “sharps” who can recite all kinds of betting facts and stats, don’t turn a profit betting on sports. The truth is less than 1% of bettors are up on the books long-term, and though information is more readily available, that low percentage hasn’t changed much through the years.

In next week’s column I’ll be sharing my own wagers for Mayweather vs. McGregor, along with my analysis and reasons. I’ve had the privilege of visiting both camps, speaking to many involved in the fight, and gathering as much pertinent information as possible.