Mayweather vs. Guerrero: Latest Betting Lines and Expert Picks

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2013

Mayweather vs. Guerrero: Latest Betting Lines and Expert Picks

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    Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0) and Robert Guerrero (31-1-1) have made plenty of headlines leading up to their fight on Saturday, May 4.

    The pound-for-pound champ always creates a stir when he puts his undefeated record on the line. Guerrero, meanwhile, enters the fight as a worthy adversary after soundly defeating Andre Berto, and he has the tools to make things interesting.

    With the fight drawing so much attention, there's no shortage of predictions for who will come out on top.

    Do oddsmakers think Guerrero has what it takes to unseat the champ? How about boxing experts around the web?

    Read on for the latest odds and predictions surrounding boxing's big main event.

Latest Betting Lines

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    Bovada: Mayweather -700, Guerrero +450

    Sportsbook: Mayweather -625, Guerrero +425

    Vegas Insider: Mayweather -900, Guerrero +650

    Over/Under: 11.5 Rounds

    Bovada: Over (-280), Under (+190)

    Sportsbook: Over (-280), Under (+200)


    Oddsmakers seem to be in agreement on this one. The man they call "Money" will be a big favorite.

    A 364-day layoff and some jail time may have influenced this line a bit, but that's not enough to move the line any closer than it is.

    The really interesting bet to watch will be the over/under. Essentially, this boils down to whether or not the fight will go to a decision. The over is a slight favorite, and that's probably the best bet. Three of Mayweather's last four fights have gone to decision.

Dan Rafael, ESPN

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    Prediction: Mayweather defeats Guerrero via decision 

    Expert Analysis

    ESPN's resident boxing expert believes that Guerrero is a worthy challenger for the pound-for-pound kingpin but not quite good enough to pull off the upset.

    I believe that he has a serious chance. He's in his prime, a lot younger, he's hungry, physical, quick, fearless, he's shown a good chin and he's a southpaw, a style that has—for brief moments—given Mayweather some problems (see the Zab Judah and DeMarcus Corley fights). An upset honestly would not shock me.

    My Take

    Rafael brings up an excellent point. Guerrero's southpaw stance could present issues for Mayweather, especially in the early rounds when he's figuring out his timing. However, no one makes adjustments as well as Mayweather.

    Rafael nails the prediction, too.

    Overall Tally: Mayweather 1-0

Kieran Mulvaney, ESPN

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    Prediction: Mayweather defeats Guerrero via 10th-round knockout

    Expert Analysis

    ESPN's Kieran Mulvaney believes that Guerrero's aggression and power will make this a tough challenge for Mayweather. But he also believes that Money will turn Guererro's aggression against him as the fight progresses to score the knockout in the 10th frame.

    My Take

    Mulvaney's assertion that Mayweather will turn Guerrero's aggression against him is certainly valid. Adjusting to his opponents has been his calling card throughout his career. However, Guerrero is a tough fighter who has never been knocked out in his career.

    If Mayweather really does put away Guerrero, it will be one of the better displays of his power we've seen recently.

    Overall Tally: Mayweather, 2-0

Brian Campbell, ESPN

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    Prediction: Mayweather defeats Guerrero via unanimous decision

    Expert Analysis

    Brian Campbell sees the fight going exactly how oddsmakers have predicted: Mayweather outpointing Guerrero for the decision win. Campbell cites a lack of a standout skill as Guerrero's downfall.

    Guerrero is a prime opponent who does a lot of things well, but there is nothing he does great. And with Mayweather's greatest skill being his ability to make adjustments before picking his opponent apart over the second half, expect another unanimous decision.


    My Take

    Campbell's analysis here is spot-on. Guerrero's best chance to win the fight is as a power puncher. The problem with that is Guerrero isn't an amazing power puncher. He hasn't scored a knockout victory in six fights.

    Overall Tally: Mayweather, 3-0

Chris Mannix, Sports Illustrated

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    Prediction: Mayweather defeats Guerrero via 8th-round knockout

    Expert Analysis

    Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated views this as a solely one-sided affair, with Mayweather taking Guerrero out relatively early.

    Think about critical physical attributes: Speed, power, defense. Mayweather has the edge in all of them. I think Guerrero gets hit early and often, and I think Mayweather’s underrated power finishes him off before the final bell. 

    My Take

    This appears to be an underestimation of Guerrero's skills. While Mannix did recognize that Guerrero earned his shot, he doesn't give him much of a chance.

    After Miguel Cotto challenged Mayweather by utilizing power shots to the body, it's easier to see Guerrero having his moments in the fight. If it's as one-sided as Mannix predicts, it would be a great performance for Money—even by his lofty standards.

    Overall Tally: Mayweather, 4-0

Bryan Armen Graham, Sports Illustrated

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    Prediction: Mayweather defeats Guerrero via majority decision

    Expert Analysis

    Bryan Armen Graham of Sports Illustrated believes that Mayweather's stint in prison will have a noticeable effect on his in-ring performance. He also believes that won't stop Mayweather from remaining unbeaten.

    You consider Floyd’s advanced age (36), the documented history of fighters not being the same after prison, and the idea that no athlete — however gifted — is immune from the proverbial bad day at the office: whether it’s a broken hand in the first round or the performance of a lifetime from an opponent. It’s as if I’m more prone to pick nature, rather than Guerrero (a taller, primer two-division champion who is no walkover), to end Floyd’s undefeated run. But in the end I must walk by sight and not by faith.

    My Take

    The long layoff and aging shouldn't be an issue; this isn't Mayweather's first long absence from the ring, and he's a young 36. However, Armen Graham makes a good observation on the history of pugilists returning from jail. That remains one of the biggest questions surrounding the bout.

    Overall Tally: Mayweather, 5-0

Larry Merchant, HBO

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    Prediction: Mayweather defeats Guerrero (method unspecified)

    Expert Analysis

    HBO's Larry Merchant told's Michael Woods that he thinks Guerrero's Vegas odds are a realistic reflection of his chances. Specifically, he believes that the size difference puts Guerrero at a distinct disadvantage.

    He's basically smaller than Mayweather in terms of strength and power and I think the burden of proof is on him to really prove that he's a real welterweight... He's a gutsy little guy who will try to intelligently fight Mayweather on the inside, try to out-busy him and stay away otherwise. We'll see if he can execute that ... or if he gets executed.

    My Take

    Merchant is right. Guerrero's size is a huge disadvantage for the challenger. It's not that Mayweather will bully him; that's not his game. But it will be more difficult for Guerrero to get inside and do damage when he's the smaller man.

    Overall Tally: Mayweather, 6-0

Michael Woods,

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    Prediction: Mayweather defeats Guerrero via unanimous decision

    Expert Analysis

    Michael Woods believes that Guerrero has the tools to let Mayweather know he's in a fight, predicting that Mayweather will take some punishment. But ultimately, Mayweather will take advantage of Guerrero's limitations to win.

    Floyd gets the W, same as last time, and the time before, and the time before that. Guerrero is willing and skilled, but limited. Floyd gets the unanimous decision, but his face will tell you after that he's been in a fight.

    My Take

    If Guerrero does ding up Mayweather's face and loses, he didn't have the right strategy. If Guerrero has a chance at beating Mayweather, it will be by bruising his ribs, not his face. Guerrero must go to the body early and often if he wants a shot at winning the late rounds and taking a decision.

    Overall Tally: Mayweather, 7-0

    That's a clean sweep for the defending WBC welterweight champion. Both Vegas and analysts seem to be giving Guerrero his due as a respectable challenger but think Mayweather will run up his winning streak to 44.

    What do you think? Are the experts and oddsmakers in for a shocker? Or will this be just another day at the office for Floyd Mayweather Jr.?