With just four days to go, sports betters everywhere are getting in their final bets on who will come out on top in this weekend's bout between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
While boxing fans everywhere certainly wished that by this point we would finally get to see Pacquiao fight Floyd Mayweather, it is still unclear if that matchup will ever happen. Instead, the two boxers turn to other competition to prove they are still the two best in the world. Just over a month ago, Mayweather defeated Miguel Cotto in an amazing bout, and now it is Pacquiao's turn to take center stage.
The 33-year-old Pacquiao is coming off of a questionable (to say the least) victory in his last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in November. Many people thought that Marquez was ripped off of a victory and denied the bragging rights to be the first man to defeat Pacquiao since 2005.
Maybe that title will go to 25-year-old Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley instead. Bradley is unbeaten in 28 professional fights, and he currently ranks eighth on The Ring's top pound-for-pound list. The question is, is he ready for a battle with the legend Manny Pacquiao?
That will be what sports betters everywhere ask when they decide who to bet on in Saturday's fight. Betting on Pac-man may seem like a sure thing, but it is obviously a much lower risk/reward as Pacquiao is a huge favorite going into the bout.
However, coming off one of his weakest victories to date, plus his growing age, his newfound interest in other parts of his life such as politics (Pacquiao is a Filipino congressman) and his reported tax problems that could land him in jail, the question that needs to be asked is: Does Pacquiao still have it in him to be considered the best (or second best, depending on who you talk to) fighter in the world?
A loss to Bradley would be shocking to many, but it is certainly not out of the question. Bradley will come out swinging, looking to push Pacquiao around and establish himself early. However, one mistake and an opening for Pac-man to deliver one of his devastating blows could end this fight quickly.
Most experts I have read predict this match going the distance with Pacquiao taking it by decision. But, if Bradley pulls off the upset, those who took the chance on him will see a massive payout.
So just what are the odds with less than a week remaining till the big fight? Here are the lines from some of the biggest sports gambling sites on the web.
Intertops has Bradley at 4.33, Pacquiao at 1.20 and a draw at 26.00. This means if you bet on Bradley and win, they will multiply your money by 4.33, and if Pacquiao wins, they will multiply it by 1.20.
Again, Pacquiao is the safer bet, but the payout is much greater for the underdog as is to be expected. For those brave enough to bet on the draw, if a miracle occurs, they will be swimming in cash with a 26-times multiplier.
Meanwhile, Online Sportsbook and Bovada both have the odds at -450 for Pacquiao and +325 for Bradley. For this type of line, a $450 bet on Pacquiao would pay just $100 if he wins, but a $100 bet on Bradley would pay $325 if he scores the upset.
Wagerweb has the odds even higher for Pacquiao, putting him at -500, with Bradley at +350.
Meanwhile, Bet 365 sees the bout being a little bit closer with Pacquiao clocking in at 2/9 odds (approximately -450) while Bradley shows a 7/2 line (approximately +350).
So, as you can see, Pacquiao is the heavy favorite everywhere you look, but if you are willing to take a chance on Timothy Bradley, you could see yourself have a huge pay day.