Mayweather the betting favourite for showdown with McGregor

Ariel Helwani joins Tim Micallef and Donnovan Bennett to preview the fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather and go over the storylines as the fight draws near.

Judging from the latest line movement, Floyd Mayweather Jr. backers should probably get a bet down quickly, while Conor McGregor converts should wait until close to fight time on Saturday.

Mayweather is pegged as a -450 favorite against the +325 underdog McGregor in the betting matchup for their fight on Saturday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. That line for the boxing match between the 15-time world boxing champion and two-division UFC champion is slightly wider than it was on Wednesday, when Mayweather was -400 with McGregor coming back at +300.

Clearly, there’s been a reversal in which fighter is getting the most backing, which was also why the line has moved so drastically in the first place. At one point, Mayweather was -2250 and McGregor was +950.

There are several ways to bet on McGregor, who is leaving his comfort zone in the UFC Octagon to try his big left hand at boxing. He is younger than Mayweather by 14 years and hasn’t been out of competition for two years like “Money” has been. His two-inch reach advantage (74 inches vis-à-vis Mayweather’s 72) could help with breaking through early against Mayweather’s defence.

If the +325 moneyline on McGregor doesn’t seem like enough juice, he pays +700 in round betting for a victory in rounds 1-2 on the prop options for Saturday’s fight. He has the same price for a victory in rounds 3-4. There’s a separate prop where one can split that and still get +500 on him wrapping up the win in round 1-4.

The +300 on the fight lasting no longer than three rounds also presents value.

Mayweather, who of course is 49-0 in his career, is better than even money to win by knockout, technical knockout or disqualification (-135 compared to +325 for McGregor on the same prop). Mayweather’s more conventional bouts have typically gone the distance and he pays +250 for a win by decision.

That prop might actually represent a bet on McGregor’s cardio, since it would require him hanging in for 12 three-minute rounds, which is far longer than most of his mixed martial arts bouts (UFC fights are a maximum of five five-minute rounds).

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Boxing purists who believe Mayweather could prey on McGregor’s high chin and lack of boxing fundamentals might also want to look at the +1000 price on Mayweather winning in rounds 1-2, or the identical +1000 on him winning in rounds 3-4.

Such is the nature of this spectacle; the athlete who’s actually performing in his chosen sport is being given longer odds of scoring a quick victory. Mayweather also offers a +400 payout on a victory within rounds 1-4.