Floyd Mayweather is no longer the massive favorite to beat Conor McGregor one month prior to their August 26 fight in Las Vegas, yet betting and boxing experts still consider him a lock.
It’s not that the general public has confidence in McGregor, a UFC fighter, to defeat Floyd, a lifetime boxer, in a boxing match. But the odds were so enticing after the fight was announced in February that many gamblers placed bets on luck of the Irishman.
The money line at William Hill sportsbooks on June 14 had Mayweather at -1100 and McGregor at +700 (down from the February 16 open of -2500/+1100). There wasn’t much value betting on Mayweather with a $100 profit on an $1100 bet up for grabs.
William Hill reported that since June 14, 96 percent of the money line bets and 85 percent of total money wagered since has been on McGregor.
Big Bet Boxing
Sportsbooks typically want even action on both sides, or close to it. That way they have a guaranteed win regardless of the outcome of the fight. Since the bettors wouldn’t bite on Mayweather at -1100 or -2500, the betting line has taken a dramatic shift in the opposite direction.
As of July 25, at any William Hill sportsbook, you can get Mayweather at -550 and McGregor at +425. On online site Bovada, McGregor is running at +375.
The Westgate casino in Las Vegas took some heavy wagers on Monday, causing a few shifts in the money line.
In the afternoon, a few “low five-figure” wagers came in on McGregor, forcing the sportsbook to shift the money line on the UFC fighter from +500 to +425 (-550 on Mayweather). That sparked Mayweather bettors to pounce with bets on the boxing champion, and the line again shifted to -600/+450 where it was at day’s end.
The money line will certainly continue to fluctuate over the next month. And these types of numbers leave the new betting game determining just how much more favorable the odds can get before they shift again as more money is wagered.
Experts Scoff at McGregor’s Chances
Conor McGregor has a 21-3 record as a mixed martial artist. When he steps into the ring at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 26, he’ll be facing an opponent who has a 49-0 boxing record.
Could a 29-year-old inexperienced boxer defeat an undefeated boxer at the sport he’s dominated the past two decades? The experts don’t think so. Even Mayweather’s former prize fight rival Manny Pacquiao has no confidence in the Irishman.
“McGregor has no chance in this fight,” Pacquiao told Yahoo Sports. “In fact, it could be very boring. There is no way he will be able to land a meaningful punch on Floyd. He has no professional experience in boxing.”
Legendary boxing coach Angelo Reyes agrees with Pacquiao and made a bold prediction: “Mayweather will knock him out in three rounds or less,” Reyes told the MMA Junkie blog.
He pointed to the MMA fighter’s struggles against UFC opponent Nate Diaz, one of the sport’s top boxers, as to why he’ll struggle against Mayweather. McGregor lost by submission in the first match and defeated him by a controversial decision the second time around.