The early money favors the underdog.
Manny Pacquiao, who opened as a 3-1 underdog in his bout with Floyd Mayweather, has closed the gap in the eyes of gamblers. The odds now appear closer to 2-1 in Mayweather’s favor due to heavy money wagered early on the Filipino.
Vegas Insider now lists a $100 Pacquiao bet paying off at $200 and a $100 Mayweather payoff coming off a $240 bet. At the Bovada, a $225 Mayweather wager awards $100 and $100 on Pacquiao scores $175. The MGM Grand similarly shows -$205 for Mayweather and +$175.
Rapper 50 Cent, a onetime-friend-turned-enemy of Mayweather’s, promises to wager $1.6 million on the man he once accompanied on his trot to the ring. But like many Mayweather backers, the rapper may wait until the odds bottom out for the favorite until laying down 50 cents times 3.2 million.
Pacquiao enters the welterweight fight with a 57-5-2 record. Mayweather boasts a perfect 47-0 record. They share several common opponents. While Pac Man destroyed both Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, Mayweather struggled with the former and decisively led on the cards against the latter before putting him away. The underdog scored a technical knockout over Miguel Cotto while the favorite beat him in a close but unanimous decision. Whereas Pacquiao notched a 2-1-1 record against Juan Manuel Marquez. Mayweather defeated the Mexican soundly in a fight that went to the judges.
Mayweather’s undefeated record, rather than how the pair performed against this or that boxer, influences the odds perhaps more than any other factor. On the Vegas Strip as on Wall Street, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. But a 47-fight win streak certainly makes it hard to put money against Money.
The bookies expect the dollars wagered on the superfight to eclipse those gambled on all other sporting events this year save the Super Bowl.