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New to Betting? How to Wager on Mayweather/McGregor

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor separated by Dana White at a press conference
Floyd Mayweather (L), UFC President Dana White (C), Conor McGregor (R): the three biggest names in combat sports? Photo by Chris Farina (Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire).

Tomorrow night, Floyd Mayweather (49-0) and Conor McGregor are going to square off at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Mayweather is coming out of a roughly two-year retirement, aiming to run his record to a perfect 50-0, which would set a new record in professional boxing.

Conor McGregor is stepping into a boxing ring for the first time as a pro.

The preposterous reality of this fight initially had Vegas sportsbooks thinking that betting action would be limited. Mayweather would be an overwhelming favorite — meaning there would be little value in wagering on him — while no one in their right mind would back a complete rookie to beat the greatest boxer of his generation, despite Mayweather’s layoff and McGregor’s size advantage.

Sportsbooks make a living off predicting the future, but boy were they wrong on that front. The Mayweather/McGregor superfight … super-spectacle? … has garnered a ton of betting action. The Irishman’s brash personality, unwavering confidence, and uncanny ability to win a press conference evidently convinced a broad swath of the general public that he has a real shot and is worth betting on. Originally a +1100 underdog (meaning you’d win $1,100 on a $100 wager), his odds went down to +300 earlier this month precisely because so much money was bet on him. That, in turn, resulted in Mayweather’s odds going from about -2500 (meaning you’d have to bet $2,500 just to win $100) to -400, which was inevitably followed by an outpouring of wagers on the man they call “Money.”

If you haven’t gotten in on the action yet, there’s still time, even if you’re completely new to online gambling. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

(1) SIGN-UP!

The first thing you’ll need to do is sign-up at an online sportsbook. What a coincidence, we just so happen to keep a handy list of the most trusted sportsbooks. The process is pretty straight-forward, the sportsbooks make sure of it because they want your business!

Remember, however, that as a newcomer, you’ll want to make sure you get the best sign-up bonus, which we can also help you with.


Floyd Mayweather weighing in
Public domain

Once you have an account, you can start thinking (hopefully critically) about the matchup at hand. Chances are you’re not a boxing expert — not many of us are — but you can still become informed by reading what the experts have to say. Learn the “tale of the tape” so to speak, figure out how you think the fight is going to play out, and determine how confident you are in your prediction.


Once you’ve figured out how you believe this fight will end, it’s time to find the wager that makes the most sense. You can always just wager on who is going to win, but there are ample other options, as well, and they might be more worthy of your investment.

For instance, you can bet on …

  • Mayweather winning by (a) decision (+250) or (b) knockout/stoppage/disqualification (-140)
  • McGregor winning by (a) decision (+1400) or (b) knockout/stoppage (+333)
  • the fight ending in a draw (+3300)
  • whether there will be a knockdown (yes: -400; no: +250)
  • the number of rounds the fight will last (odds vary by round)
  • the exact minute the fight will end (odds vary by minute)


Those are just a sampling of the bets available.

While I encourage everyone to do their own analysis and come to their own conclusions about the outcome of the fight and which bet makes the most sense, I also recognize that it can be scary laying your hard-earned money down for the first time and that you might want to know how the experts are playing it. Without tooting our own horn too much, we here at SBD have been in the online gambling game for a minute now; here’s our company consensus on the best bet for May-Mac and a brief rationale.

SBD’s Best Value Bet for Mayweather/McGregor: Mayweather by decision (+250)

Why? Mayweather is the ultimate tactician. He approaches every single fight with a shrewd game-plan and he sticks to it. He doesn’t get overcome by emotion. He is cold, calculating, and plays to his relative strengths. Against McGregor, his relative strength is boxing. That sounds simplistic and naive, but we mean “boxing” in the purest sense vis-a-vis brawling. He knows the only way McGregor wins this fight is if the Irishman tags him with a power shot. That means he’s likely to employ a defensive, counter-punching strategy and pick McGregor apart slowly but ever so surely. It’s a game-plan we’ve seen from him numerous times in the past, and he’s extraordinarily good at it; he may just be the best defensive fighter of all time.

Probable strategy aside, a couple other factors make Mayweather-by-decision the likely outcome: (1) Mayweather hasn’t ended a fight via (T)KO since 2011. His last seven fights have all gone to the cards. That’s partly due to his safe approach and partly due to a lack of sheer power. (2) McGregor is the bigger fighter and can take a punch. Yes, they’ll be wearing eight-ounce gloves, which are lighter than the standard ten-ounce gloves Mayweather is used to, but they’re a lot more cushy than the MMA mitts McGregor (who’s never been knocked out) normally gets tagged by.

Can we guarantee that Mayweather-by-decision will be a winner? Of course not. There’s no such thing as a sure bet. Even the long-suffering Cleveland Browns win every odd Sunday. But we love Mayweather’s chances of winning the fight period — after all Trent Dilfer has more Super Bowl wins than McGregor has boxing wins — and at +250 (bet $100 to win $250), Mayweather-by-decision is better value than Mayweather-by-knockout/stoppage at -140 (bet $140 to win $100) given his likely game-plan, his waning power, and McGregor’s chin.

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Sascha was a hockey player in his youth, a lawyer in his capricious mid-20s, and has been SBD's lead oddsmaker/number cruncher since 2014. He writes about everything you can possibly put odds on. He's happiest when those things are football, baseball, hockey and basketball (in that order).