By Charles Jay
Floyd Mayweather may bet on himself – for a change?
That’s a story circulating around that is supposed to be a surprise.
We’re not sure that Mayweather has never bet on himself, or on something that is related to one of his fights; frankly, it does not sound too plausible. Not for a guy who literally advertises himself as having an unquenchable thirst to put himself into action in sportsbooks, and who flaunts the idea that he can buddy up with NBA players, for example, and then turn around and bet heavily on their games.
But even if it was true, there is currently nothing in the rules and regulations of the Nevada State Athletic Commission that bans a fighter from bellying up to the window and placing a wager on one of his fights.
And that opens up something of a can of worms as far as the fight odds and what you – part of the general public – can do to take advantage of them.
Of course, you would have to know which way Floyd was betting first.
We’re speaking to what is, apparently, a minority of people (judging from the way the dollars are being wagered) who have a concept of the difference between being a professional boxer and being a “striker” in the mixed martial arts world who is facing the prospect of having to last twelve rounds in the ring against a master of his trade, regardless of whether he is 40 years old and hasn’t boxed in two years.
Yes, we’re basically addressing those people who know that, after we see a couple of “feeling out” rounds, Floyd Mayweather will pretty much be able to take this fight in whatever direction he wants it to go, which means that he will be able to end it at his discretion.
That Mayweather is going to win the fight is a foregone conclusion for those of you who are truly paying attention. But then we get into the murky part; that portion of the wagering which involves who long the fight will go.
Among other things, there is an over/under proposition – or rather, various over/under propositions, depending on where you look – and then there is “round betting,” where one could wager on what round the fight will end.
Without getting into a lot of esoterica, let’s offer an example of this, taken from an online sportsbook that has taken a rather aggressive posture when it comes to this fight. At this destination, you could literally pick your own total; so if you wanted to bet that it would go under a round and a half, you could get a price of +2500 (which means that you get 25-to-1), and everything in between, all the way up to a straight bet that it will go the entire distance, for which you would get +245.
And there is a price for every round, on both sides. Mayweather is at 12/1 to end it in the sixth round, while McGregoir is 70/1 for the same round, and so on.
But the purposes of this piece is not to offer a primer on how to bet on boxing. We want to illustrate something that is fundamentally flawed here.
Many of you would agree that any competitor could control the actual winning-losing outcome of a fight simply by taking a “dive,” although despite what you hear from some of the conspiracy theorists, that isn’t what anyone should expect Mayweather to do here. That he will win is a foregone conclusion, but he can certainly manipulate the result in these other betting outcomes, in a way that has rarely been seen before in an event with an extremely high profile.
That is to say, he can affect an “over” or “under” result, at his whim. And he may even be able to do that when it comes to the specific round in which he puts McGregor away.
We know various things about Mayweather. One is that he is a fanatic about betting, which means he is going to do it, even if he stands to win what amounts to tip money compared to his take-home pay that evening. Another is that he is not likely to walk up to the betting window at a sportsbook and do it himself. Well, at least not entirely. And some of his wagering might not even take place in Las Vegas. So there will be “confederates” or “agents” involved.
We can operate on the assumption that he would not put a wager down without any intention of doing something to affect the outcome, so it would then be safe to say that there are some people who are going to have inside information about the outcome of a sporting event sanctioned by and taking place in the state of Nevada, and that they are betting on that event at an establishment licensed by the state of Nevada.
For that reason, over/under and round betting should not have even been allowed. To a certain extent it isn’t a legitimate event to offer to the public, because some bettors will – materially speaking – know something others don’t, and the exact outcome of the event may depend on which way those unsuspecting members of the public are wagering (e.g., inasmuch as that can produce more favorable odds). Once the “insider” bets are coordinated and placed, it is too late to go into “self-correction” mode other than to adjust the numbers after the fact, so in effect, the sportsbooks may be in a position where they put themselves at much more risk than usual.
We hope we articulated that correctly.
Of course, the Nevada Gaming Commission would never step in with such a bold move, because that would undermine their regulatory brethren with the athletic commission. Do they work hand in hand? Well, according to one former member of the commission (who requested anonymity for himself, naturally), “If you are asking whether one would look the other way on something connected to the other if it was in either of their best interests, the answer is a definitive yes.”
You see, for the gaming commission to have disallowed over/unders or exact rounds to be available for wagering, they would have to be operating under the same premise we are in this piece – that the fight is so non-competitive that Mayweather could actually exercise an unusual amount of control over when and how it ends (An opinion, yes, but one that is educated). And they aren’t going to do that, are they?
Because if they did, they would be admitting, in effect, that this matchup, which involved bending rules and departing dramatically from standards any reasonable person might normally expect – that is, allowing a legendary 49-0 fighter to box someone making their professional debut – is indeed a farce and should never have been sanctioned at all.
As if you didn’t know already, there’s an explanation for the whole thread running through this – one that’s pretty simple.
There’s simply too much money involved.
But when sportsbook execs finally get to sleep that night, we’ll see if there was too much “Money” involved, if you know what we mean.