Even if I don't have any intention of betting on a fight, I always like to check out the odds and see what the book makers' opinion is on the upcoming bout because usually they're pretty much dead on.
So, for the Pacquiao vs. Bradley matchup on June 9, boxing fans should absolutely look at the odds to give them some assistance in guiding who they think will be victorious.
I've looked at all the odds for all the different prop bets, different possible ultimate outcomes, and round by round odds over the past couple of days.
Here is where the smart money should be placed for this fight regarding various different type of bets.
Odds for the fight can be found here (courtesy of oddschecker.com).
In this fight, the safest bet you can make is taking Manny Pacquiao to win at -450.
While that would entail putting down $450 to win $100, it's undoubtedly the smartest and safest. Pacquiao is the clear favorite in this fight, and while Bradley is a very live underdog, Pacquiao is the better overall fighter with advantages in almost every category.
The only thing that makes me uneasy on this pick is that Pacquiao has changed a lot since his last fight, in which he struggled mightily with Juan Manuel Marquez. If Pacquiao no longer has that killer instinct and allows Bradley to stick around, he could have some problems. But, assuming Pacquiao is the same Manny Pacquiao and he's had no training issues, he should win this fight very easily.
I went back and forth on this one, but I think the better bet here is that Pacquiao will ultimately end up stopping Bradley rather than beating him by decision. Pacquiao, for the first time in a while, has a lot to prove in this fight, and stopping the undefeated Bradley would be a big statement to the doubters who don't think he has it anymore.
Pacquiao hasn't recorded a stoppage victory since 2009 against Miguel Cotto, so he's due for a stoppage. I see this fight being close in the beginning with Pacquiao pulling away in Round 5 or 6. Look for Bradley to start to take a beating and due to his heart and conditioning, he won't quit but will be saved by his corner late in the fight.
Which round? Keep reading to find out.
This one is somewhat of a no-brainer. Bradley is a very well conditioned fighter with a good chin, and he won't be easy for Pacquiao to get out of there. While this statement is somewhat contradictory to my prediction on method of victory, I'm thinking Pacquiao will score an eleventh or twelfth round stoppage, so the two bets go hand in hand.
If it works out that way, you'll be in for a solid payday.
The only worry here is that Pacquiao might have a flashback to the Ricky Hatton fight in which he KO'd Hatton in a mere two rounds (see video). While Bradley, in my opinion, is a better fighter and in better condition that Hatton, it's certainly a possibility that this same thing could happen to him.
This must be kept in mind when considering round by round betting, which will come a little later.
While I've spent much of this slideshow praising the abilities of Manny Pacquiao, there are a lot of lingering questions revolving around Manny Pacquiao. He's had an incredible run over the past seven years, but that run has to come to an end sooner or later.
Could this be the fight that Pacquiao finally runs into an opponent he can't figure out and defeat?
Bradley throws a lot of punches and will put a lot of pressure on Pacquiao, and with the way Bradley uses his head, Pacquiao could potentially suffer a cut early in the fight that could make him panic as he has in the past when he's been cut.
While fighting Erik Morales in their first fight and recently against Marquez in November, Pacquiao showed that he can lose focus when cut and is less effective.
Bradley can certainly exploit Pacquiao's vulnerability if he's cut by overwhelming him with pressure and volume. While I think Pacquiao will win, Bradley has a great chance and a 4/1 on your money. It's a good value pick.
I've picked three rounds where the fight could potentially end. The first two, Rounds 11 and 12, seem like the two most likely rounds for there to be a stoppage. Pacquiao likely will just overwhelm Bradley late in the fight and it will end simply to due an accumulation of punishment.
With average odds of 20/1 on your money, it wouldn't be a bad bet to pick Pacquiao in both of those rounds, since if either hits you'll win big.
As for a Pacquiao stoppage in Round 3, this pick is simply due to the fact that there is a chance that Pacquiao might catch Bradley cold early on in the fight and knock him out with one shot.
Against Hatton, a guy with a somewhat similar mauling and pressure style to Bradley, Pacquiao knocked him down twice in the first round and knocked him out in the second round. This could happen to Bradley if he's unable to adjust to Pacquiao's speed once they step into the ring.
The reason I say that this is the best long shot bet you can take in this fight is because of Bradley's head.
It's no secret that Bradley comes in strong with his head when he fights, and has a propensity to cause cuts to his opponents. Four times in his career has a fight ended in a no contest or Technical Decision due to him head butting his opponents, which for a guy with only 29 career fights is a very high amount.
This fight will likely be relatively close early, and if it's stopped in Rounds 4 or 6 due to a headbutt, it could definitely be a draw on the scorecards. While it's an unlikely scenario, at 33/1 on your money, it's a long shot worth considering.
Bradley cuts a lot of his opponents, and there's a good chance he'll do the same early on in the fight to Pacquiao which will make them go to the scorecards.
Hopefully, for the fans sake, this won't be the case, as for a fight that costs upwards of $60 on PPV, it would be an awful way for the fight to end.
This is always one of my favorite bets, and it can be found in Las Vegas and on numerous websites. It's simple: who will HBO judge Harold Lederman have ahead after three rounds of action? I've got to take Pacquiao on this one. Bradley has gone down early in a lot of his fights, and he takes a little bit of time to get rolling. Since Pacquaio to win is -450, this bet provides you with almost double your money compared to that bet and basically makes the fight a three round affair for you.
It's a nice bet to take because if you win it early, you're feeling good and can sit back and enjoy the rest of the fight. Bradley is +200 for this same bet, which isn't really bad odds, but I would definitely favor Pacquiao in this one.
I think he'll look to get off to a fast start and establish himself in order to show Bradley who's boss and set the tone for the rest of the fight.
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