August 26 is set as the date where one of the all-time greatest boxers in Floyd Mayweather will box the all-time greatest self-promoter in Mixed Martial Arts, Conor McGregor. On it’s face, this seems like an incredible mismatch. Mayweather has been at the top of the boxing world for well over a decade and trained exclusively in that discipline for near three. Conversely, McGregor, an MMA fighter of supreme confidence and flair, is a former unheralded scrub-boxer that moved to his new sport almost certainly because it was better suited to his talents.
The opening betting line when this fight was confirmed saw Floyd as a -2000 favorite, meaning you would have to bet $2000 on Floyd to win to come out with only $100 in profit. Hype and the dream of a big return saw “public” money move in on Conor to push that line to around -700 which, although better, still shows him to be the massive underdog.
I have followed combat sports for over twenty years, from attending UFC 7 in Buffalo to once owning part of the management contract of a boxer that twice fought for a world title. Seeing it closely and sometimes from behind the scenes, I learned that in the fight game anything can happen (both good and improper). It is with that jaded and experienced eye that I will be betting the fight.
The opening line of -2000 is, in my opinion, a more accurate reflection of how the fight will go. I will watch line movements closely to see if Conor’s ability to inspire drives it lower than it’s current -700. If and when it does, I will be betting on Floyd to win.
Caveat: Because I know that boxing and the judging associated with it is corrupt, the most utilitarian (yet likely crooked) result that would see everyone make money on their bets, their careers going forward, and in a rematch is the contest ending in a Draw. For that reason alone, I will also be betting draw/technical draw in the hopes of a huge leveraged return at +3300 and offsetting that will some money on Money if the odds justify it. Govern yourselves accordingly.
Update: The line has now moved down to -450 on Floyd to win and -4000 on a draw. And with that I bet both Floyd big and doubled my small bet on the Draw.
Update 2: We won. While Conor won the first 5 rounds, Floyd won the rest and ended it with a TKO in the 10th. We lose our small Draw bet, but end up money after betting far more on Floyd at -450 to win and a bit more the day of fight at -400. Apparently, over 80% of all money bet in Vegas was on Conor which means the casinos had one of their most profitable days ever (Contrary to popular belief, casinos usually do not balance bets but make money from their vig coupled with the public usually being wrong).