Although the long-awaited fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao was just announced on Friday (Feb. 20), Las Vegas sportsbooks have had odds posted on the fight for several weeks.
On Friday morning, Mayweather was listed as high as a minus-275 favorite at the Westgate SuperBook and as low as minus-240 at William Hill, while Pacquiao was at plus-235 underdog. The Wynn had Pac-Man at a plus-220 underdog.
So far, betting action has been light, but almost entirely for the Filipino boxing star. According to ESPN.com, the books said that 94 percent of the money that had been bet at William Hill was on Pacquiao with the largest bet, so far, being $1,000… as of Friday.
Most others were smaller bets from recreational bettors who were in town for other events like the Super Bowl.
Despite the slow early action, with the fight officially set for May 2nd, a slew of bets are expected… both large and small. “This is the kind of fight that we’ll take a lot of big bets, seven figures,” Jay Rood, MGM vice president of race of sports, told ESPN.
John Avello, sportsbook director at Wynn and 20+ year vet, tells ESPN it will be the biggest fight of his bookmaking career. “Both fighters have attracted quite of bit of money through their careers; Pacquiao even more so,” Avello said. “At one time, his following, the Filipino community was coming in and betting his fights for a lot of money. I think there will certainly be underdog money here. There’s no question about that.”
In addition to betting, Las Vegas has been receiving an influx of hotel reservations.
Already, a reservations website for the MGM Grand, where the fight will take place, is showing that rooms are sold out, although a rep said some standard rooms were still available by phone. On Friday night, a room at the MGM Grand that usually costs $190 on a Saturday night was available for the night of May 2 for $705.
A room at Circus Circus, which can usually be booked for $99 on a given Saturday, will cost $199 for the night of May 2.