Money Mayweather a bankroll machine for this gambler
August 22, 2017 3:02 AM
by Vegas Runner
We are now only a few days away from one of the most captivating fights of all time between reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor (0-0) and Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. (49-0, 26 KO’s), who captured 15 world titles throughout his Hall of Fame career.
All of the theater that helped fuel the promotion will come to an end as both sides make their way to the ring inside T-Mobile Arena this coming Saturday night.
When you take into consideration the fact that oddsmakers initially installed Mayweather as high as a -2500 favorite (96% win probability), it’s easy to see just how much perception has changed. South Point has Mayweather at -500 for now. Even here in Las Vegas, where most books didn’t offer a betting line until after the fight was made official, Mayweather opened -1200 (92% win probability).
It’s no secret the exposure sportsbooks have on Conor McGregor has continued to grow since the betting opened, and they anticipate late money on Floyd Mayweather to help limit some of that risk. Regardless of whether or not that comes to fruition, rest assured when the bell sounds for round 1, bookmakers both here in Las Vegas and around the globe will all be huge Mayweather fans.
For this particular bout I’ve got such a strong opinion it warrants taking one of my biggest positions ever, believing that win or lose, I undoubtedly got the best of it. In my 30-plus years of working in the sports betting industry in one capacity or another, I can state with confidence that I don’t remember being offered so much line value. Without even handicapping the actual fight we know many of the most respected oddsmakers estimated the “true line” to be at least -2500, with some going as high as -5000.
Already knowing the majority of casual bettors would be backing McGregor regardless of price, they opted to lower the take-back, which is the only reason we didn’t see such a high opening line. That makes it tough to argue there isn’t at least line value on Mayweather at -500 or less. Keep in mind that against former “boxing” world champions like Andre Berto (-3000), Marcos Maidana (-900), and Miguel Cotto (-700), he was listed as a much bigger favorite.
I keep hearing how McGregor is younger, bigger, and stronger than Mayweather. How he hits harder and has a better chin. How all he has to do is land that one big left hand. Blah, blah, blah.
Those are many of the same reasons Mayweather was supposed to already have a loss, yet he stands at 49-0 after facing his generation’s toughest opponents. Let’s not forget the majority of these opponents were undefeated and also current or former world champions. Mayweather made them all look ordinary on the night they stepped into the ring against him. But somehow a mixed martial artist without even one professional boxing match is going to beat Floyd, at boxing.
Don’t get me wrong, the promotion behind this bout has been nothing short of masterful. Painting a picture that suggests a competitive fight should be expected. In fact, they’ve done such an amazing job of marketing that it now goes beyond whether or not McGregor can challenge Mayweather. Now the perception created is he can actually win the fight.
I’m the first to admit McGregor has the power to beat Mayweather, but unfortunately he just doesn’t possess the skill-set. At this elite level, landing a lucky punch is very rare, they’re almost always set up well in advance. If McGregor truly is the bigger puncher, which in a boxing ring I’m not convinced that’s going to be the case, then he’ll still need to land the big punch.
That’s where the biggest problems will be for McGregor.
Make no mistake about it, Mayweather will be unorthodox for McGregor also. He’s accustomed to having a mixed martial artist standing across from him, not a boxer. So rest assured Floyd’s movement and angles will not be anything he’s seen before. Mayweather has been able to easily outbox opponents who have trained their entire lives in boxing. Those former boxing champions weren’t able to land even 20% of their punches, while absorbing close to 50% of Mayweather’s.
Missing punches is what tires out most boxers more than anything else and McGregor will be doing a lot of missing against Mayweather. That will lead to frustration as the fight progresses and the more wild McGregor gets, the more success Mayweather will have. Statistically, Conor has a very low out-put and he won’t be able to load up on every shot like he can in MMA. The gaps to land are much smaller in boxing and the targets are even different, since you can only hit the body and head.
I’m a fan of both men and have backed them plenty at the betting window over the years with much success. So I’m hoping you believe me when I say I have absolutely no bias going into this fight. When betting, my loyalty is to my bankroll alone and by no means do I intend any disrespect toward either fighter or sport.
Unlike Mayweather who has had to make himself appear susceptible due to his age and inactivity in order to sell the fight, I truly believe nothing could be further from the truth. In all my years covering Mayweather Jr., I’ve learned he’s as skilled in the business of boxing as he is in boxing, and he has proven to be one of the most efficient match makers for his career.
He’s guided it pretty much from the very start and I am certain this is not a fight he would have taken had he thought it was as risky as he’s made it out to be. Just the opposite, I am of the opinion he chose an opponent that offers up the least risk with the most reward… meaning the biggest pay day, for what he saw as the easiest fight.
Sure, as a producer of the show All-Access on Showtime he’s done a great job making himself appear like he isn’t even training, coupled with making McGregor look invincible and laser focused on winning. But I can tell you with certainty, not only has Mayweather trained as hard for this fight as all the others, but according to a sparring partner I spoke to he’s sharper for McGregor than he was for Manny Pacquiao. Believe me, with 50-0 and his legacy on the line, Mayweather is taking his opponent on Saturday very seriously.
When it’s all said and done, I expect McGregor will have his moments, especially early on, as we know Mayweather is never in any rush to engage until he decides. The crowd, who will be pro-McGregor will ooh and ahh with every punch he throws even though the majority will hit glove or miss Mayweather completely. Within a few rounds Mayweather will download all necessary data, access the risk, and begin the systematic break down of his opponent.
Eventually McGregor will start to tire, and I truly believe Mayweather will begin to walk him down and make it look as easy as the previous 49 have looked. I would not be at all surprised to see Mayweather get the finish or the referee to step in and call a stop to the fight. But rather than try to predict and bet on “how” the fight ends, I’ll make it easy and simply unload on “who” wins.
Best bet: Mayweather