[toc]Las Vegas sports books like boxing. This Saturday though, they loved Floyd Mayweather.
The now 50-0 Mayweather spared the Nevada gaming industry from what could have been crippling multi-million dollar losses this weekend. Had his opponent, Conor McGregor won, Business Insider reported Nevada books stood to lose $48 million.
Instead, Mayweather prevailed, as expected. Even though the conclusion was not surprising, the weekend wagering did not fail to shock and awe Sin City.
More bets placed than the Super Bowl?
The Mayweather / McGregor fight was a unique situation many professional bettors claimed was free money. One of the best boxers in history versus an MMA fighter who only recently even took up the sport. With such heaving odds on Mayweather, it took big bets in order to profit any meaningful money.
“There has never been an event quite like this,” Westgate Las Vegas Superbook oddsmaker and manager John Murray told ESPN Chalk. “You have total novices that would never normally bet boxing. We had lines for 13 hours on Saturday.”
ESPN estimates bettors wagered around $85 million on the match in sports books and on sports betting apps. The bulk of the money was on Mayweather, including at least six million-dollar wagers. The bulk of the tickets, on the other hand, were small bets on McGregor.
Thing is, even at his peak odds of -700, Mayweather was actually still a bargain according to sharps. The Against All Odds podcast suggested Mayweather was more like -5,000. However, because of the unique nature of the match-up, much more money than expected came in on the underdog.
ESPN’s sports business reporter Darren Rovell provided an interesting comparison the day of the fight:
MGM Race & Sports Book Director Jay Rood: Take away prop bets, tonight’s fight has larger betting volume than this year’s Super Bowl.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 26, 2017
Westgate told ESPN it thinks this was the most profitable boxing match in the storied book’s history.
Mayweather himself tried to get in on the action
One bet drew quite a bit more attention than the rest. Mayweather showed up at the M Resort to place a $400,000 wager in their CG Technology-run sports book. He wanted to bet he would win in under 9.5 rounds. The management checked with state gaming officials, who said Mayweather could only bet on whether they won or lost.
Mayweather told ESPN he gave money to a friend to place the under 9.5 rounds bet elsewhere. He said the person only managed to bet $87,000 on the action, getting -200 on the wager.
Important to note that Mayweather went on to win after nine rounds and one second of the match, which means that $87,000 bet is good.
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