This Saturday’s bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Paqcuiao is being billed as the Fight of the Century, and if betting action is any indication, it may live up to that hype.
According to reports from online and land-based sportsbooks, action on Mayweather-Paquiao is reaching a fever pitch in the days ahead of the big event.
Jimmy Vaccaro, a sportsbook manager at Las Vegas’ South Point Casino, summed up the situation at land-based and online bookmakers when he told the Las Vegas Journal-Review:
There’s been a constant betting on the fight, even after the announcement was made, that you very, very rarely ever see. I’ve never seen as much action as this on a major fight with eight days to go. This will be crazy. I’ve witnessed this for a long time and I’ve never seen the interest in anything like this.
Vaccaro, and gambling news sites like CalvinAyre.com, all seem to agree that Mayweather-Pacquiao action is approaching Super Bowl-like levels of sports betting action.
One of the big factors increasing the bookmakers’ handle is the fact that Pacquiao is both a crowd favorite and a pretty good-sized underdog.
Most sportsbooks are offering odds in the neighborhood of Mayweather -220 and Pacquiao +185.
That means that if Pac-Man takes the prize, sportsbooks will be on the hook for $1.85 for dollar wagered on the dog. If Mayweather wins, they’ll only payout $1 for $2.20 wagered on him.
Because marquee boxing events like this tend to draw casual bettors with an eye for the underdog, this could make things very interesting for bookmakers.
Most sportsbooks are also offering a dizzying array of side bets, know as prop bets, that cover everything from how many rounds the fight will last, to an over under on how many pay-per-view tickets will be sold. These types of wagers are very appealing to casual bettors and are money in the bank for bookmakers.
All told, Mayweather-Pacquiao is a major event for sports betting affiliates that should pay off big in terms of boosted revenue.