Sports books need Mayweather despite taking two $1M bets on him

Updated August 24, 2017 - 9:16 pm

As the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor action heated up this week in Las Vegas, William Hill sports book director Nick Bogdanovich said the betting handle for Saturday’s boxing match at T-Mobile Arena would be eclipsed only by the Super Bowl.

“It’s going to be the biggest fight handle ever. Period,” he said. “Whether it’s boxing, gladiators or ‘Game of Thrones.’ ”

Bogdanovich uttered his classic quote before a bettor walked into a William Hill sports book Thursday and placed a $1.2 million wager on Mayweather at minus-500. Around the same time at the Bellagio, a bettor made a $1 million wager on Mayweather at minus-550, and MGM Resorts sports book director Jay Rood said he had an inquiry for another $1 million wager.

The $1.2 million wager would pay $240,000, and the $1 million bet would pay $182,000.

Despite the seven-figure bets on Mayweather, Nevada sports books still stand to lose millions and could suffer their largest event loss ever if McGregor upsets Mayweather (49-0, 26 knockouts) in the UFC star’s pro boxing debut.

The vast majority of the money is on Mayweather, but the books still need him to win as more than 90 percent of the tickets are on McGregor.

“We certainly don’t need McGregor to win in the first four rounds,” Westgate sports book director Jay Kornegay said.

As expected, the big money on Mayweather started to show at the books a few days before the fight. Before Thursday’s flash flood of cash — which included a $300,000 wager at MGM Resorts — an MGM Resorts bettor made a $500,000 wager and a William Hill bettor made a $300,000 wager Wednesday on his mobile phone app.

Rood said he expects 80 to 90 percent of the handle to show in the final 36 to 48 hours before the fight.

Mayweather opened as a 27-1 favorite at South Point and McGregor a 12-1 underdog when the odds were first posted Feb. 16 for a possible fight. Heavy action on the underdog dropped Mayweather’s price to as low as minus-475 before it climbed back to a consensus of minus-550.

“I firmly believe that even at (minus) 550, that’s still historic value, from a wagering perspective, on Mayweather,” Rood said. “That is extremely cheap.”

Mayweather was a 30-1 favorite over Andre Berto, a two-time former world champion, in his last fight. Bogdanovich and Matthew Holt, vice president of CG Technology sports books, said the true odds on the fight are Mayweather as a 70-1 favorite.

“Conor’s never been in a true boxing match in his life and Floyd’s the best there’s ever been,” Bogdanovich said.

Said Holt: “It may end up being the most mispriced event in sports history.”

The biggest bets on McGregor have been $150,000 at William Hill, $75,000 at MGM Resorts and $50,000 at South Point on Thursday, but none was placed by sharp bettors, who are backing Mayweather en masse.

For those unwilling to lay minus-550, fight handicapper Lou Finocchiaro (@GambLou) recommends a play on Mayweather to win by KO/TKO/DQ (minus-160).

“I feel Conor has more of a shot than people in Las Vegas are giving him. But I do think, at the end of the day, that Floyd’s going to find a way to outslick Conor in the early rounds and make McGregor chase him,” Finocchiaro said. “When this gets to round six or seven, I can see Conor gassed.”

Bogdanovich also sees Mayweather stopping McGregor.

“McGregor is going to try to hit him with everything he can. That takes a lot of energy when you’re swinging for the fences every round,” he said. “Eventually it will add up and Floyd will stop him late in the fight.

“Twelve rounds is a long way to go when you’ve never gone it before. Floyd’s done it many times.”

McGregor has fought 37 five-minute rounds to 387 three-minute rounds for Mayweather.

Longtime boxing promoter and publicist Jim Hunter also envisions McGregor tiring but sees Mayweather winning by decision (plus-250).

“He’ll have to know how to cut off the ring against Mayweather or he’ll be chasing him all night and it will be a dreary match,” Hunter said. “Also, he’ll be throwing more punches than he does in MMA, and you expend a lot more energy missing punches, which most people do against Mayweather, than landing one.

“I, frankly, don’t see any way Mayweather is going to lose this fight.”

The most popular prop at William Hill is on Mayweather to win by disqualification (plus-500), a scenario that reportedly could cost McGregor 90 percent of his $75 million purse. Finocchiaro can still see it happening.

“If those Irish droves show up on Saturday and Floyd’s starting to tag him, I believe there’s a real chance that the young, proud McGregor — in front of those Irish who’ve had 20 Guinness Stouts — can snap,” he said. “I don’t put it past either his pride or his instinct taking over and saying ‘The hell with it’ and kicking Floyd or using some type of UFC move.

“If McGregor were to go rogue and elbow Floyd and put him out, it’s a DQ, Floyd’s 50-0 and has his money and McGregor walks away a winner because he kicked Floyd’s ass.”

More betting: Follow all of our sports betting coverage online at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0354. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Covering The Cage Videos
Las Vegas MMA fighter Joey Ruquet joins Copa Combate tournament
When Combate Americas' Copa Combate tournament takes place on Dec. 7, Las Vegas-based MMA fighter Joey Ruquet will step in for Gaston Reyno and compete for the $100,000 prize money in the 8-man, one night featherweight tournament.
Espino, Chiasson claim UFC contracts with wins at TUF 28 Finale
Juan Espino was crowned as the TUF heavyweight winner when he submitted Justin Frazier at the finale in Las Vegas and Macy Chiasson submitted Pannie Kianzad to become the TUF 28 women's featherweight winner.
Kamaru Usman excited for what's next after TUF 28 win
After taking a win over Rafael dos Anjos at the TUF 28 Finale, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman says he can be ready for anything that comes next or a quick turnaround if it gets him closer to a title shot.
Dana White on what's next for Usman and the flyweight division
UFC president Dana White spoke with media after the TUF 28 Finale to discuss what's next for the flyweight division and the main event winner, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman.
Dos Anjos and Usman TUF 28 media day
Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman talk about facing each other at the TUF 28 Finale at a media day leading up to the Nov. 30 contest. Their welterweight bout will serve as the main event.
Covering The Cage: UFC 229 Press Conference Wraps Up
Covering the Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang go over what happened during the UFC 229 press conference between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 13
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for College Football Week 13
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for NFL Week 12
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for College Football Week 12.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for NFL Week 11.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 10
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik break down the NFL Week 10 slate.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik break down college football week 11 match ups.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 9
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 9 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 10
Description: Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 10 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 8
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 8 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 9
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 9 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 8
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 8 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 7 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 7 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 6 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 5 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 5
Todd Dewey and John Lukasik go over their picks for week five of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 4
Todd Dewey and John Lukasik go over their picks for week four of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Cromwell sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week four of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Cromwell sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week three of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Canelo vs. GGG
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Linq Hotel sports book director, John Lukasik go over the lines and their picks for Canelo vs. GGG 2.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Linq Hotel sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week three of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 2
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Linq Hotel sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week two of the NFL.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like