It looks like the betting public is overwhelmingly on the side of Conor McGregor with just a few days left before their fight. For now.
While it is hard to collect hard, verifiable data on sports betting across the many vendors that accept wagers, all signs are pointing to Conor McGregor being the fighter that people are putting their money on right now. With his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. just a few days away, the line continues to move in McGregor’s direction since people keep putting money on him.
An example is an ABC News article about the $880,000 bet that the Maloof brothers put on Floyd (going against the grain). In the post, they say that “roughly 95 percent of the tickets and 85 percent of the money has been bet on McGregor in recent weeks”. This is backed up by ESPN sports gambling writer David Perdum, who gave the numbers from the MGM Grand:
As of today, there have been 277 bets on Floyd Mayweather @MGMRaceSports. There have been over 6,000 bets on Conor McGregor.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) August 21, 2017
That again shows that at least 95% of the bets are coming in on McGregor. Another ESPN article shows the alarm that sportsbooks are feeling with such lopsided betting. The numbers are almost absurd:
“This is like hanging -3 on the Super Bowl and seeing the line move to -8,” Jay Rood, vice president of MGM Resorts race and sports, told ESPN, revealing his company’s current ticket ratio of 25-1. Last month it was 50-1. “This could be the worst loss in the history of MGM Resorts.”
“Ultimately, we want to be in a position where we win a significant amount on Mayweather, but we don’t want to be destroyed if McGregor wins,” John Murray, a manager and oddsmaker at the Las Vegas Westgate Superbook, said. “We don’t want this fight to cost us our whole year.”
The fact that one fight could swing a whole year for a book is absolutely crazy. But with that being said, don’t expect it to stay this way. Very few people are betting on Mayweather right now because of precisely what is happening in the market – all the bets on McGregor are dropping the odds on Floyd. It made little sense to bet on him at -700 or -800. But at the current line of around -400 to -450? There’s a lot more money to be made there.
In other words, expect an avalanche of bets on Mayweather on fight night, which could send the line moving back in the other direction a bit. And bringing much-needed relief to a sports betting industry that much prefers 50% of betting on either side so they can guarantee a profit.
Mayweather and McGregor meet in a 12-round, 154-pound boxing match in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 26th.