By Ivan G. Goldman
When it comes to scoring a knockout, Floyd Mayweather is a longer shot at the sports books than Manny Pacquiao.
At the Bovada offshore betting site, a bet on Mayweather winning before the bell rings to end the 12th round at is set at +550 in their May 2 mega-match in Las Vegas. An early Pacquiao victory is +400. That means $100 will win you $550 on Mayweather but only $400 on Pacquiao.
Yet Mayweather remains the overall favorite. Odds have settled in at +170 Pacquiao, -210 Mayweather, a fight that will almost certainly attract record action before it’s over.
The line reflects everything that’s known about these two fighters, and it’s no secret that Mayweather has been more likely to settle for a points victory while Pacquiao more likely to take risks in order to put his opponent on the canvas.
Yet on the over-under, a distance fight is still favored by -300 to +230 over a stoppage by either fighter. That’s to be expected when you have two welters who’ve scored only three stoppages in their last 20 outings.
Talk to ten people in the know and you’ll get ten answers on where the odds will end up, but Mayweather was a 3-1 favorite before the fight was actually signed, and the number slimmed down in reported heavy action.
Looking for a close fight and can’t decide who will pull out the victory? You’re not alone. Well, you could look for a draw. It pays 16-1.
In other interesting situations that pop up on the Bovada offshore site, look at light heavyweights Adonis Stevenson versus Sakio Bika Saturday in Quebec City. Not surprisingly, it’s -1600 Stevenson and +800 Bika. But a stoppage by Stevenson, the hometown favorite, is favored at -150. A Stevenson win by decision actually pays a premium at +140. That’s how certain bettors are that Bika, 32-6-3 (21 KOs), won’t make it to the final bell against a knockout artist who’s 25-1 (21 KOs).
But over on 5Dimes, another offshore site, you can get +150 betting the bout won’t make it past 7 and 1/2 rounds. I find that an intriguing bet. The over is -170.
On April 11, gamblers give Irish southpaw Andy Lee only a puncher’s chance against Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin in Brooklyn, -325 Quillin, to +250 Lee.
Lots of bettors can’t make up their minds on what promises to be an action-filled tussle April 18 between junior welter powerhouses Lucas Matthyse, -140, and Ruslan Provodnkiov, +110 in Verona, New York.
Look at Vasyl Lomachenko, a staggering -2500 versus Gamalier Rodriguez, +1000 on the Mayweather-Pacquiao undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. At 5dimes it’s +1900, -3800. When the spread is that wide it indicates the house doesn’t really want the action but will grudgingly book your bet. Within those odds is one of the looniest bets on the board. Would you really be willing to risk $3,800 just to win $100 on Lomachenko? But if you do want to bet Rodriguez, clearly 5dimes is the place to do it.
Finally we come to the 5dimes view of Willie Monroe versus crushing middleweight phenom Gennady Golovkin May 16 in Inglewood, California. It’s +2500 Monroe versus -7500 Golovkin. Now there’s a site that doesn’t want to bet against Triple G. A crazier wager you can’t find. Yes, Triple G is a lock, but you’ve still got to be nuts to risk $7,500 to win a mere $100.
Ivan G. Goldman’s 5th novel The Debtor Class is a ‘gripping …triumphant read,’ says Publishers Weekly. A future cult classic with ‘howlingly funny dialogue,’ says Booklist. Available in April from Permanent Press wherever fine books are sold. Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.
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