weather icon Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Manny Pacquiao loses punch with bettors for Saturday’s bout

In his prime, and even when he started to decline, Manny Pacquiao was a major attraction. But 11 months after he was involved in the most hyped event in boxing history, the thrill is gone.

Pacquiao is set to fight Timothy Bradley for the third time Saturday night and, using the wagering handle as a barometer, there is little buzz.

MGM Resorts sports book director Jay Rood described betting action as “fairly light to this point.”

Pacquiao is a minus-220 favorite in the main event at the MGM Grand Garden. A majority of bettors are siding with Bradley at plus-175.

“Pacquiao has been a hard sell in his last three or four fights. We used to draw sick money to him,” Rood said. “The money we have been taking has been mostly on Bradley.”

In May, Pacquiao barely put up a fight in a lackluster 12-round unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mayweather coasted as a 2-1 favorite, and Pacquiao angered fans by blaming his poor performance on an undisclosed torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

Mayweather-Pacquiao was a huge hit at the betting windows, drawing about $25 million in handle at MGM Resorts books and an estimated $80 million in the state. Rood said Pacquiao-Bradley might bring in 10 percent of that amount.

Bradley defeated Pacquiao by split decision in June 2012. Pacquiao evened the score in the April 2014 rematch with a unanimous decision win.

For their third meeting, Pacquiao is posted at 3-1 odds to win by knockout, and Bradley is 11-2 to win by knockout. A draw is offered at 30-1 odds. The price on the fight going 11 full rounds is minus-260.

“Manny is not really an exciting fighter anymore,” said Dave Cokin, a Las Vegas handicapper (SmokinCokin.com). “This fight is going to go the distance.”

Rood said he anticipates much more entertainment than in Pacquiao’s pillow fight with Mayweather.

“I would be surprised if it’s an early, dominating knockout by either guy,” Rood said. “But if Pacquiao is healthy now, and he does think this is going to be his last fight, he’s not going to leave anything in the tank. If he’s 70 percent of what he used to be, I think he should win this fight.”

Pacquiao has announced plans to follow Mayweather into retirement. However, boxers have been known to return for a big payday, so do not count out a Mayweather-Pacquiao sequel.

“If Pacquiao loses, how much more interest can there be? If he wins in dominant fashion and looks great, there might be talk of a rematch,” Rood said.

“If I was in jail and someone said I had to pick the winner to get out, I would probably pick Pacquiao.”

Contact sports betting reporter Matt Youmans at myoumans@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2907. Follow on Twitter: @mattyoumans247

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Packers can run table behind red-hot Aaron Rodgers

After five consecutive wins, the Green Bay Packers (9-6) are headed for Detroit to knock on the door in search of the NFC North title.

Anti-Alabama action surprises oddsmakers

It’s seldom wise to bet against Nick Saban in a big game. But the line on the Peach Bowl has dipped to Alabama minus-13½ against Washington.

Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott in running for MVP

Dallas (12-2) has clinched the top seed in the NFC. Detroit (9-5) can lock up at least a wild-card spot by beating the Cowboys on Monday night.

NBA betting: Warriors, Cavaliers reunited on Christmas Day

A rematch of the past two NBA Finals highlights Sunday’s five-game schedule. Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors are 2½-point favorites at Cleveland.

Future brighter for Steve Alford, UCLA basketball

UCLA, 13-0 and ranked No. 2, represents the biggest surprise of the college basketball season. The Bruins’ odds to win the national championship were posted at 50-1 in early November.

Patriots help punch Las Vegas books for another loss

Three popular favorites (New England, Oakland and Pittsburgh) and one trendy underdog (Tampa Bay) paid off the betting public in NFL Week 15.

Most factors favor Derek Carr, Raiders in Relocation Bowl

The Raiders, 10-3 and smelling a playoff spot for the first time in 14 years, are 3-point favorites at San Diego. Philip Rivers and the Chargers (5-8) are fading again.

Baltimore defense will be tough test for Tom Brady

Joe Flacco and the Ravens are 7-point underdogs at New England on Monday. Baltimore has won and covered four of its past five games.