LAS VEGAS – Saturday’s fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is supposed to be a one-sided affair between a great pitchman versus the best boxer of all-time.
Numerous boxing and combat sports experts have laughed at the idea that an MMA fighter could ever defeat the best defensive boxer in the history of the sport.
While Mayweather has a great shot of getting to 50-0, there is a big storyline developing with the sportsbooks worldwide. The overwhelming amount of money coming in on the Irishman is starting change opinions on the outcome.
Where it was expected to be a record take for the books with a Mayweather win, the closer we get to fighters walking to the ring inside T-Mobile Arena, more and more like McGregor to shock the world.
“I think there has been a little bit of doubt begin to creep in to some of these sportsbook operators," Holt said. "I think we were all happy to have $500,000 to $1.5 million dollars in liability on McGregor about a month ago but like anything else, doubt creeps in. What we are seeing now is a lot of operators taking down that risk.”
McGregor is right now anywhere from +350 to +400 on this fight, down from +1000 when the fight was announced a few months ago. While the value on the underdog has attracted around 95% of the bets, the McGregor money has really impacted the line for Mayweather. CG Technology now has Floyd at -485 and they expect that to drop as this week progresses.
If the early betting today is any indicator, then our run of 8 straight days with McGregor liability dropping will end today
— Matthew Holt (@MatthewHoltVP) August 22, 2017
Betonline.ag is also concerned with the action they are seeing on the fight. Dave Mason, the sportsbook brand manager for BetOnline, said that if McGregor wins this fight, it could be one of their biggest losses ever.
“It was -2000 on Mayweather when this fight opened and now it’s down to -465”, Mason said during a phone interview. “I never thought in my wildest dreams it would get down that low. Conor McGregor is now +365. I never imagined it would get close to that. It’s all based on liability. Vegas, offshore, we are all exposed on McGregor.”
What has the operators really puzzled is that the money for McGregor hasn’t stopped while the sharp bettors haven’t come in as heavy on Mayweather as expected. Sure, the public loves “Mystic Mac’s” prediction of a knockout of “Money” but there was a lot of confidence in the 6-figure bettors to hammer Mayweather.
At least right now, that hasn’t happened enough to offset the public’s love of Conor.
“The action went according to script early on,” Holt said. “We took nothing but McGregor bets as he was the underdog and people wanted to see him win. The problem was, I don’t think anyone expected this much Conor McGregor action right out of the gate, with about 95% of the bets, including some really big bets on McGregor.”
McGregor winning in RD 1 (+2000) already the biggest exposure of any prop in history of BetOnline. Would be bigger loss than any 2017 MLB gm
— Dave Mason (@DaveMasonBOL) August 21, 2017
The lack of big action on Mayweather has kept the line at a price assumed to be out of the realm of possibility this close to fight night. In fact, when both operators were asked about the chances of the line dropping below -400 at some point soon, both seemingly expect that to happen.
“If you asked me two weeks ago, I would have said no way (to going below -400 on Floyd),” Mason said. “Now, I say there is a definite chance and most of the action has yet to come on this fight.”
Matt Holt agreed.
“I thought it was (the greatest bet in Vegas history) at -500. If you could have gotten anything less than -500, it would have been the best single statistically projected bet in the history of sports. Yet, it continues to drop. But the difference now is that it’s not dropping because we are getting an influx of Conor McGregor money. It’s not dropping because these sportsbook operators, including ourselves, are asking why hasn’t this influx of Floyd Mayweather money come in? If it’s such a lock, why aren’t these bets coming in like they are supposed to? Where I thought the number on Mayweather would have bottomed out at -600, when I left the office (on Monday night) we were at -485.”
For those who are backing McGregor, that’s music to their ears.
Some prop bets could create massive losses as well
Betonline opened the prop of a 1st round KO at 25/1 but now have been forced to drop the line to 20/1 after gamblers hammered the long shot.
“Our exposure to a round 1 knockout of Floyd is massive,” Mason said. “We would lose more on that one prop than we have lost on any MLB game this entire season. It would be, by far, the biggest loss on a prop in our history.”
Same goes for CG Technology as the public has caused their liability to enter into uncomfortable territory.
“If McGregor was to win by knockout in the first, fourth or six rounds, we would lose massive amounts of money,” Holt said. “McGregor to win by decision, we started out at at 25/1. We’ve taken so much action for McGregor to win by decision, which seems unfathomable, we’ve had to drop it to 14/1.”
CG Technology, one of the biggest sports wagering companies in Las Vegas, could see something they haven’t ever seen before for a fight.
Matt Holt says that his company is preparing for some large 6 and 7-figure bets, combined with Irish money that will hit Vegas at some point this week, to push their handle into territory that will shock some people.
“We are already well over $3.9 million and we did $4 million for Mayweather vs. Pacquiao,” Holt said. “We are going to blow Mayweather vs. Pacquiao right out of the water in terms of bets taken and dollars wagered. We could easily double or triple the action we did on Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.”
And the fight is still 4 days away.