Monday, March 20, 2023  |


Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao from a betting perspective

Photo by Frederic J. Brown / Getty Images

Photo by Frederic J. Brown / Getty Images

The money wagered on the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout is likely going to make the sports books in Vegas very, very pleased, as even those folks who don’t know the ins and outs of the lines and the odds and such are going to be laying some dough down on the May 2 “Super Bowl” of boxing.

I checked in with the guys at, which since 1999 has sought to serve the sports bettor by offering ratings and recommendations based on the evaluations of hundreds of online sportsbooks and betting sites. The website also publishes reports on sportsbook features such as customer service, incentives and wager pricing. I wanted to get a sense of the odds and gain any insights they had about this clash and how bettors are reacting to it.

Here is what SBR analyst Lee Phelps, their boxing analyst, had to say about the fight:

“Pacquiao has advantages in power and age, and he is a southpaw. Speculation suggests Floyd doesn’t like fighting lefties and many believe that is why the fight has never happened. He’s been waiting for Manny to slow down first. Mayweather has reach, speed, and supreme defensive ability – so he is hard to hit, let alone knock down. His age and lack of top level opposition count against him. That is all speculation. What we do know is this fight would generate $300 million and may not live up to the hype, with Pacquiao lunging in with fists flying, but unable to connect with as much as he would like. I see a Mayweather points win and a frustrated Pacquiao.”

Odds are, according to Phelps:

┬À Mayweather – 1/3. That means if you bet $100 on Floyd to win, you will receive $133.33 for your trouble, $33.33 profit.

┬À Pacquiao – 11/4. That means if you bet $100 on PacMan to beat Floyd, then you get paid $375 for a $275 profit.

Lou Moretti, managing editor of SBR, will be keeping an eye on shifts in money coming in on both fighters and might be changing the lines accordingly. The line movement has been crazy on this fight so far, he said. Mayweather was a 3 to 1 favorite when the market open and now he’s a 2 to 1 favorite. The sports books want balanced action and they had a larger amount of volume come in on Pacquiao so they had to adjust the line accordingly, in order to make themselves less vulnerable. They tightened up the line, which means that, in theory, fewer PacMan backers will be laying money on Manny, and maybe more Mayweather backers will take a plunge on their guy.

As far as folks taking the plunge, the volume has been crazy, maybe no surprise considering how long people have been waiting for this clash.

“I can tell you one of the big five sports books already accepted more money on the money line winner market, who’s going to win the fight, than they have on any UFC fight in the history of the UFC,” Moretti said, with the fight still more than two months away.

“If I were wagering I’d wait and see if the market was shortening on Mayweather and then make a wager on him. How low could it go? Under 2, I would be surprisedÔǪ -175 or -180. Two to one I think is as low as you get.”

He’s thinking when we get to around fight week the line in most places will close 2 1/2 to 1 for Floyd. The last time the odds were so tight on a Floyd fight? “Oh, this is somewhat unique,” Moretti continued. He told me that the action on this one, with so many Manny-acs so in love with their guy, it reminds him of how some folks bet their beloved Yankees, even in down seasons, when the Bronx Bombers are subpar. “Yeah, a lot of emotional fans don’t handicap with numbers,” he said, preferring to “think” with their hearts over their minds.

Here are some fun prop bets you can see on – and these are presented just for fun:

Who will accompany Floyd Mayweather for the ring walk?

Which celebrity will be the first to be shown in attendance?

Who will be named the referee of the bout?

Who will sing the national anthem?

How many times will a mouthpiece fall out and hit the canvas?

Who will be first to conduct an in-ring interview of the winner?

Who will the winning fighter thank first?

Will Freddie Roach and Floyd Mayweather Sr. shake hands or physically embrace post-fight?

Which fighter will land more power shots according to CompuBox?

Which fighter will land a higher percentage of power shots according to CompuBox?

Will a point be deducted from either fighter due to penalty?

Will an official knockdown be scored?

If a knockdown is scored, who scores it?

If Pacquiao scores a knockdown, will he win the fight?

If Mayweather scores a knockdown, will he win the fight?

Readers, feel free to toss up your own amusing or interesting “prop bet” in our comment section!

Michael Woods is a New York-based boxing writer who was hooked on the sport forever when Buster Douglas upset the thought-to-be-invincible Mike Tyson.