Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pacquiao vs. Mayweather will make betting history

Fight fans are practically in dreamland these days with the announcement that negotiations for a Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight are close to being finalized. If all works out, it would give the boxing world perhaps its biggest bout of the modern era.

In Las Vegas, a few sportsbooks have already posted a line on the fight with some oddsmakers differing on the favorite. At the MGM Grand, sportsbook manager Jeff Stoneback hasn’t released numbers for the highly-anticipated bout and is keeping his fingers crossed that his company will land the contract to host the event on March 13.

“For a fight like that, you get a lot of high rollers coming to town plus all the Filipino fans coming to cheer Pacquiao,” says Stoneback. “It would be a huge month for us with March Madness going on as well.”

Oddsmakers are expecting this high profile fight to eclipse all other past bouts in terms of interest and betting volume. It would feature the top two pound-for-pound boxers in the world in a welterweight superbout.

Past events like Mayweather-De La Hoya and Pacquiao-De La Hoya have been huge moneymakers for everyone involved.

“I expect this bout to break records everywhere,” says renowned boxing linesmaker Joey Oddessa. “Pay-Per-Views, live gate and wagering volume. This bout quenches everyone’s thirst for a phenominal global matchup that will determine the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.”

Many offshore and Las Vegas bookmakers posted Pacquiao-Mayweather odds following Pacquiao’s recent TKO victory over Miguel Cotto. Oddessa opened his numbers in November with Mayweather Jr. as a -175 favorite, coming off an impressive decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez in September.

“People say you're as good as your last fight,” says Oddessa. “If Pacquiao didn’t look so impressive against Miguel Cotto, Floyd would belong over -200. Bettors have short memories because Mayweather put a one-sided beatdown on Marquez after a year layoff.”

The early action for offshore books is coming in on Pacquiao, driving the price on Mayweather down as low as -145 at some markets. Pacquiao is sitting around a +115 underdog at most sportsbooks. But while the scales are tipping, Oddessa doesn’t expect the line to flip as fight night draws nearer.

“I dont see the offshore line crossing over and making Pacquiao the favorite,” he says. “Offshore sportsbooks are dealing to a global market rather than a window market of wiseguys and this line has been stable since I opened it.”

The MGM Grand is contending with the brand-new Cowboys Stadium in Texas while the Superdome in New Orleans has also been mentioned as a possible venue. Stoneback says if the fight is held in Las Vegas, it will up the sportsbook’s overall handle on the fight by more than 60 percent.

Stoneback also sees this bout as one of the biggest draws for boxing betting. Boxing accounts for about two percent of the MGM’s total handle but superbouts, like Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, have increased that number in recent years.

“This would be a Top 5 all-time biggest draw, at least,” says Stoneback, “if not the biggest fight we’ve ever taken action on.”

No comments:

Post a Comment