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MAYWEATHER vs McGREGOR – PREVIEW, ANALYSIS, & BEST BET

IT’S TIME

We are now only a few days away from one of the most captivating fights of all time between reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Conor “The Notorious” McGregor (0-0) and Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. (49-0, 26 KO’s), who captured 15 world titles throughout his Hall of Fame career. All of the theater which helped fuel the promotion will come to an end as both sides make their way to the ring inside T-Mobile Arena this coming Saturday night.

 

As we go to print even those books who cater to sharp bettors have been forced to adjust their odds, with Pinnacle currently listing Mayweather as a -430 favorite. That means the take-back on the underdog McGregor is now as low as +350, which implies a win probability of 22%.

 

When you take into consideration the fact that odds makers initially installed Mayweather as high as a -2500 favorite (96% win probability), it’s easy to see just how much perception has changed. Even here in Las Vegas, where most books didn’t offer a betting line until after the fight was made official, had opened Mayweather at -1200 (92% win probability).

 

Therefore it’s obvious the betting market believes McGregor’s chances of victory exceed the 2%-8% which odds makers had first insinuated with their opening line. Always remember that once sports books offer a betting line, we “the betting market” influence it’s movement. In the case of Mayweather vs McGregor, every bookmaker I’ve spoken to said the betting action has been extremely one-sided.

 

It’s no secret the exposure sports books have on Conor McGregor has continued to increase since the betting opened, but books anticipate late money on Floyd Mayweather will help limit some of that risk. Regardless of whether or not it comes to fruition, rest assured when the bell sounds for round 1, bookmakers both here in Las Vegas and around the globe will all be huge Mayweather fans.

 

Now that we’ve set the table, let’s talk stakes…

 

Bottom line, I’ve never been shy to share my opinion and I’ll always tell you whether or not I’m backing up that opinion with my cash. For this particular bout I’ve got such a strong opinion that it warrants taking one of my biggest positions ever, believing that win or lose, I undoubtedly got the best of it.

 

Let me explain…

 

In my 30+ years of working in the sports betting industry in one capacity or another, I can state with confidence that I don’t remember being offered so much line value. Without even handicapping the actual fight itself, we know that many of the most respected odds makers estimated the “true line” to be at least -2500, with some stating as high as -5000.

 

Already knowing the majority of casual bettors would be backing McGregor regardless of price, they opted to lower the take-back which is the ONLY reason we did not see such a high opening line. This makes it tough to argue that there isn’t at least line value on Mayweather at -500 or less. Keep in mind that against former “boxing” world champions like Andre Berto (-3000), Marcos Maidana (-900), and Miguel Cotto (-700), he was listed as a much bigger favorite to emerge victorious.

 

As far as how they match-up, I’m surprised to see so many “experts” supporting the McGregor side. Their arguments aren’t based on sound reasoning and the data has been completely distorted to fit the narrative. I keep hearing how he’s younger, bigger, and stronger than Mayweather. How he hits harder and has a better chin. How all he has to do is land that big left hand once. Blah, blah, blah.

 

Those are all many of the same reasons Floyd Mayweather was already supposed to have a loss, yet he stands at 49-0 after facing his generation’s toughest opponents. Let’s not forget the majority of these opponents were undefeated and also current or former world champions. Mayweather made them all look ordinary on the night they stepped into the ring against him. But somehow a mixed martial artist without even 1 professional boxing match is going to beat Floyd, inside a boxing ring.

 

Don’t get me wrong, the promotion behind this bout has been nothing short of masterful. Painting a picture that suggests a competitive fight should be expected. In fact, they’ve done such an amazing job of marketing that the question is no longer whether or not McGregor can challenge or even hang with Mayweather. Instead, the debate has now moved to whether he can actually win.

 

The reasoning seems to be the “unpredictability” of Conor McGregor and the fact he will be so unorthodox, his style will create opportunities that other world class boxers couldn’t.

 

That somehow Conor will be able to land his long-range hooks and uppercuts, which amateurs are taught to abandon due to the fact they do NOT work in boxing. The premise is that since Mayweather isn’t accustomed to encountering such low percentage shots, he’ll somehow be confused and vulnerable. As if after 49 professional fights, the Olympics, and 100’s of amateur bouts, Mayweather is going to panic and leave himself wide open to big shots because he’s baffled at McGregor’s lack of efficiency.

 

I’m the first to admit McGregor has the power to beat Mayweather, but unfortunately he just doesn’t possess the skill-set. At this elite level landing a lucky punch is very rare, they’re almost always set up well in advance. If McGregor truly is the bigger puncher, which in a boxing ring I’m not convinced that’s going to be the case, then he’ll still need to land the big punch. And what happens if McGregor does land flush and realizes his power doesn’t phase or stop Mayweather in his tracks.

 

I truly have my doubts that McGregor is as big of a puncher as he’s being made out to be, especially inside a boxing ring. Just looking at his training and sparring videos it’s obvious he doesn’t turn his punches over like skilled boxers have learned to do. So what’s Conor’s plan B once Floyd realizes the man standing across the ring doesn’t hit like Canelo Alvarez or Marco Maidana ??

 

That’s where the biggest problems will be for McGregor…

 

Make no mistake about it, Mayweather will also be unorthodox for McGregor. He’s accustomed to having a mixed martial artist standing across from him, not a boxer. So it’s safe to assume Floyd’s movement and angles will not be anything he’s seen before. Mayweather has been able to easily outbox opponents who have trained their entire lives in boxing. Those former boxing world champions weren’t able to land even 20% of their punches, while absorbing close to 50% of Mayweather’s shots.

 

Missing punches is what tires out most boxers more than anything else and McGregor will be doing a lot of missing against Mayweather. This will lead to frustration as the fight progresses and the more wild McGregor gets, the more success Mayweather will have. Statistically, Conor has a very low out-put and he won’t be able to load up on every shot like he can in mma. The gaps to land are much smaller in boxing and the targets are even different, since you can only hit the body and head.

 

Plus when forced to throw a lot more punches than he does when competing in mma, it will begin taking it’s toll on McGregor. Mayweather won’t have much trouble at all landing on him, I believe McGregor will be surprised at just how hard he’s being tagged and how easily it’s happening.

 

Finally, most of you already know that I’m a fan of both men and have backed them plenty at the betting window over the years with much success. So I’m hoping you believe me when I say that I have absolutely no bias going into this fight. When betting, my loyalty is to my bankroll alone and by no means do I intend any disrespect towards either fighter or sport.

 

When writing, my obligation is to be 100% truthful and that’s exactly what I’m trying to be here.

 

Unlike Mayweather who has had to make himself appear susceptible due to his age and inactivity in order to sell the fight, I truly believe nothing could be further from the truth. In all my years covering Floyd Mayweather Jr I’ve learned that he’s as skilled in the business of boxing as he is inside the boxing ring, and he has proven to be one of the most efficient match makers throughout his career.

 

He’s guided it pretty much from the very start and I’m quite certain this is not a fight he would have taken if he thought it was as risky as he’s making it out to be. Just the opposite, I am of the opinion he chose an opponent that offers up the least amount of risk with the greatest reward…meaning the biggest pay day, for what he saw as the easiest fight.

 

Sure as a producer of the show All-Access on Showtime he’s done a great job of making himself appear like he isn’t even training, while making McGregor look invincible and laser focused on winning.

 

But I can tell you with certainty that not only has Floyd Mayweather Jr trained as hard for this fight as all the others, but according to a sparring partner I spoke to, he’s sharper for McGregor than he was for Manny Pacquiao. Believe me, with 50-0 and his legacy on the line, Mayweather is taking his opponent on Saturday night very seriously. This is nothing new and yet I continue to hear some in the media claim Conor’s outworking and out-training Floyd. That’s nonsense.

 

When it’s all said and done I expect McGregor will have his moments especially early on, as we know Mayweather is never in any rush to engage until he decides it’s time. The crowd, who will be pro-McGregor will ohh and ahh with every punch he throws even though most will hit glove or miss Mayweather completely. Within a few rounds Mayweather will download all necessary data, access the risk, and begin the systematic break down of his opponent.

 

Eventually McGregor will start to tire and barring a disqualification, I believe Mayweather will begin to walk him down, cut off the ring, and make it look as easy as the previous 49 have. I would not be at all surprised to see Mayweather get the finish or the referee step in and call a stop to the fight. But rather than try to predict and bet on “how” the fight ends, I’ll make it easy and simply unload on “who” wins.

 

BEST BET (9-1 on L/10) =

FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR….till I run out of money.