There are boatloads of money involved any time Floyd Mayweather hits the ring, but things are a bit different this time around as he preps to dance with Marcos Maidana on May 3 in Las Vegas.
Unlike his last fight, which was an overhyped bout with Canelo Alvarez, this one doesn't have an appealing tagline. It doesn't have a good backstory. It doesn't even truly have a good opponent for Mayweather.
Of course, this has been perfectly reflected in the odds department—for better or worse.
Date: Saturday, May 3, 2014
Time: 9 p.m. ET; main event after 11 p.m. ET.
Venue: MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada
Odds: Mayweather (-1429), Maidana (+800), via Odds Shark.
Yeah, those aren't exactly great odds to roll with. That's a hefty investment just to make some decent coin on Mayweather, which has caused many bettors to roll with Maidana.
Oddsmaker John Avello doesn't think the usual bets in favor of the favorite will roll in on Saturday night, per Marcus DiNitto of Sporting News. “I don’t know,” Avello said on Thursday. “Not many people are that interested in laying 10-to-1. I think most people will try to take a shot on the dog here. I’m not sure that Mayweather money’s out there.”
Others, such as ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, have taken a more humorous approach to the lines:
Bob Arum—who has a fighter in Manny Pacquiao who wouldn't be a Vegas favorite in the ring with Mayweather, either—can beat his chest all he wants about the odds, but it's not like Money had a ton of other choices.
Maidana is at least somewhat credible in that he can hit a home run. That's what he does—overwhelm the opposition with power punches. It's why 31 of his 35 victories have come via knockout.
It's also why the odds are so lopsided. Mayweather rarely gets hit. His speed, anticipation and overall skill set have not regressed with age, and barring a big hit that actually connects, Maidana is going to spend most of Saturday night swinging at air and getting gassed by the middle rounds.
By all accounts, Mayweather has prepped for this fight the same way he has for any other, as he told Josh Slagter of MLive.com: "He's done something right if he's world champion. I try to prepare all around the board for anything that's coming my way. He's a special talent guy … with 31 knockouts. It's obvious he's doing damage with both hands. I'm not trying to be in the way of those shots."
Coming from anybody else, that may be hard to believe, but Mayweather has earned the trust of bettors. Despite the look of an easy win, Mayweather desperately wants to get past Maidana and has every reason to prepare like Maidana is a major opponent. A win will get him one step closer to that coveted 50-0 mark.
It's going to be an ugly fight, but those who don't want to waste cash on Maidana can give themselves better odds riding with Mayweather by parlaying his outright win with a victory by decision. The majority of his wins go to the cards, so a decision parlay is likely and boosts the potential payout.
For those feeling extra confident, prop bets can also be had, including decisions by rounds and other such conditions.
Regardless, Vegas has this one right. It's up to bettors to play the cards right and maximize each bet.