Three of Vegas' top sports-book bosses tell us who they would bet on during the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.
World-class boxing matches invariably generate lots of excitement. In Las Vegas, though, it’s all enhanced via myriad opportunities for fans to put money where their mouths are. Boxing betting creates a unique kind of energy and provides cash-earning opportunities for the astute. We check in with three of Vegas’ top sports-book bosses to get some opinions on the big match and to find out where the smart money is going.
Johnny Avello, Executive Director of Race and Sports Operations for Wynn Las Vegas
“Usually, you put up the fight and get a little action; then it sits like that until close to fight weekend. This one has seen continuous action on both sides and big bets early. I can see it doing half of the Super Bowl [Nevada’s largest sports betting event] in terms of total wagering. Mayweather is undefeated and, as a defensive fighter, he’s one of the all-time best. But the Philippine contingent gives Pacquiao a lot of support in terms of betting. I remember fights where they came in with bags of dollars to bet. Over the years, Pacquiao has made his countrymen a lot of money.”
David Pemberton, Director of Specialty Games for Caesars Entertainment
“One unique thing about this fight is that they have been trying to put it together for five years. In 2012, while they were still talking, we put out a line, took bets, and had to give everybody their money back. The fight didn’t happen that time and we have been waiting a while for it. Right now, I like Mayweather. But Pacquiao is quick. If he can catch Mayweather, he might give him some trouble or even knock him out. It is what everybody has been waiting for: To see if somebody can break through Mayweather’s defenses and get him. Whatever the outcome, though, it’s going to be a good night to be staying in Vegas.”
Jay Rood, Vice President of Race and Sports for MGM Resorts
“This is a great wagering matchup. If you like Mayweather, you have the shortest price you have ever seen on him. For Pacquiao, it’s the biggest price. Personally, I think Mayweather will win, though I think Pacquiao will have a shot if he can cut the ring and get Mayweather to engage. Whoever you’re rooting for, though, this fight will be a throwback to the days when the air in the arena was electric. You’ll see people who don’t normally go to fights. You’ll see fans front and center. The sports books will be doing brisk business all day long. We’re the fight capital for a reason!”
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