The hotly-anticipated battle between welterweight champions Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. (47-0) and Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (57-5-2) that will unify their title belts on May 2 in Las Vegas is expected to be the most heavily bet boxing match in history at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
And the worst possible result for sportsbooks could be the underdog Pacquiao winning by knockout, something he has done to 38 previous opponents.
“Ideally we will need Mayweather by decision which is currently priced at -140,” said Kevin Bradley, sportsbook manager at Bovada. “A first-round knockout by Manny would be a disaster. With Pacquiao paying out almost 2/1 the risk is growing on him and no question we will need Mayweather.”
Bettors would need to wager $140 to win $100 on Bradley’s preferred result, which has occurred in 21 of Mayweather’s previous wins, including each of his past five. Mayweather is a -210 favorite (bet $210 to win $100) to simply win the championship bout compared to +170 (bet $100 to win $170) for the underdog Pacquiao.
However, you could win even more on Pacquiao if you are able to pick the exact outcome of the fight on a pair of props, with a KO paying 4/1 and a first-round win worth 33/1. Mayweather has knocked out 26 opponents during his illustrious career, but the last one came nearly four years ago when he scored a fourth-round KO of Victor Ortiz for the WBC welterweight title.
You can also get 11/2 odds on Mayweather winning by KO, TKO or disqualification while a draw or technical draw is 14/1.
Because most props offer a much higher rate of return than just wagering on the winner, many often choose them instead of or in addition to a straight bet even though they are much tougher to cash. Regardless, Bradley knows the possibility of one or more popular props hitting may ultimately decide if his book ends up winning or losing.
“Props will determine a big part of how we do on the fight,” Bradley said. “Since I have been in the business, no match has come close to the amount we have taken already on the fight. There is no doubt it will be the biggest ever, just hard to tell how big since there has not been a fight of this magnitude in ages."