As the hours tick down before the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor showdown on Saturday night, the only thing more exciting than debating why McGregor has a chance to win is the list of prop bets available to choose from.
Every major sporting event comes with its share of prop bets. The Super Bowl is must-see television in this country for many reasons, though the weird gambling propositions like how long it will take to perform the national anthem or what color Gatorade each team will drink certainly adds to the suspense.
Mayweather vs. McGregor is, in itself, a prop bet because it pits the biggest star in boxing against the biggest star in mixed martial arts. Granted, they will be competing in a straight boxing match, which would seem to give Mayweather a huge advantage.
Looking at the actual prop bets listed for the year's biggest combat sports event, here are predictions for what to expect when Mayweather and McGregor finally lock horns.
Will Conor McGregor Win Within the First Four Rounds?
Yes: +500 (bet $100 to win $500)
No: -1000 (bet $1000 to win $100)
This feels like a good place to start since McGregor has already declared he's going to end the fight inside of four rounds.
"He (Mayweather) is f--ked. There's no other way about it," McGregor said on July 12, via Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News. "His little legs, his little core, his little head—I'm gonna knock him out inside four rounds, mark my words."
It's hard to fault McGregor for having the confidence to say he can stop Mayweather, who has never lost in 49 professional fights, inside of four rounds. The two-division UFC champion owns 18 wins by knockout in mixed martial arts.
The obvious difference here is that McGregor is using different equipment in the ring than he would in the Octagon.
The four-ounce gloves used in the UFC have less padding, making it easier to land a knockout punch with a clean shot than the traditional eight-ounce boxing gloves that were approved by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
There's also the matter of Mayweather's defense. Manny Pacquiao only hit Mayweather on 19 percent of his attempted punches in their matchup two years ago, for instance.
Even if you believe McGregor is going to give Mayweather a real fight and has a strong chance to win, the odds of him doing something no other professionally trained boxer was able to do, and do it inside of four rounds, are not good.
How Many PPV Buys Will Mayweather-McGregor Have?
Over 4.99 Million: -210
Under 4.99 Million: +150
One of the reasons McGregor pushed for this fight for nearly two years and Mayweather ended his two-year retirement is because both of these athletes are also brilliant businessmen.
When the fight was agreed to in June, Keith Idec of Boxing Scene noted one condition of the contract was neither Mayweather nor McGregor could discuss the final financial agreement.
A key source of revenue for the bout will come from pay-per-view buys. The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in May 2015 set the all-time pay-per-view record with 4.4 million buys, which generated more than $400 million in revenue, per ESPN's Dan Rafael.
Even though the aftermath of the fight was about how boring and uneventful it was, what helped sell that fight was the anticipation. Pacquiao and Mayweather had negotiations to fight dating back to 2009, and they were the biggest stars in boxing up to the point they finally squared off six years later.
Another factor to consider is the Mayweather-Pacquiao buyrate nearly doubled the previous boxing record of 2.4 million buys set by Mayweather's 2007 matchup against Oscar De La Hoya.
McGregor is the X-factor in this equation. His three fights from July 2015-March 2016 drew a combined 3.5 million buys, per Bloody Elbow's Iain Kidd, which averages out to just under 1.2 million per show.
If we figure that's the baseline for a McGregor-only show, putting him with Mayweather has to make up the remaining 3.7 million buys to hit the over.
That's asking for a lot of fans, some of whom may already be skeptical about McGregor's chances and who were burned from the hype of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, to approach five million pay-per-view buys.
There's no denying this will do huge business for all parties involved, but it's not going to hit the five-million-buy mark.
Will Mayweather and McGregor Have a Rematch Before the End of 2018?
Boxing Rematch: +450
MMA Rematch: +2500
No Rematch: -600
Let's get one thing out of the way: The only way there is a rematch between Mayweather and McGregor is if McGregor pulls off the upset. There is nothing to gain for anyone in a rematch if Mayweather wins, especially if it's a one-sided affair.
On the list of choices for this particular bet, scratch a rematch under mixed martial arts rules off the books. As lopsided as a boxing match between Mayweather and McGregor appears to be, an MMA battle between the two would be even more one sided in favor of McGregor.
Mayweather controls all the cards in this situation, and there is no way he would agree to anything resembling an MMA fight.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports wrote on Aug. 8 why a rematch between Mayweather and McGregor is not going to happen:
"But there is no rematch clause. If McGregor defeats Mayweather, he is under no legal or contractual obligation to face Mayweather again. If Mayweather pulls out a disputed decision, McGregor has no way to legally force Mayweather's hand to do it again.
"Though the UFC will, as all participants will, make a lot of money, it's thrown White's company into chaos. He's been promoting a boxing match for the last two months, and was negotiating a boxing match for the three months prior to that.
"McGregor, his biggest star, has never defended either of the titles he's won and he will have had exactly one MMA fight in 371 days prior to his match with Mayweather.
"The UFC needs McGregor to get back into the cage, defend his title and get back on its regular rhythm. If McGregor chooses to retire after the fight, a bout for the vacant championship can be put together and the division will move on."
Iole also included comments that UFC President Dana White made from the kickoff press conference for the fight about why he wanted no part of a rematch.
"To even talk about a rematch or even think about a rematch, we have to see what the fight is like first," White said. "Listen, if Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor is one of the greatest fights you've seen in your life, you know it would probably be something you'd have to consider. Otherwise … I want to go back to my world after this."
UFC's pay-per-view business has been a mess in 2017. According to MMA Mania's Ryan Harkness, no event from January through August sold more than 300,000 buys.
ESPN's Darren Rovell reported UFC 214, headlined by Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier, drew 850,000 buys. The UFC needs its pay-per-view business to perform well after its new ownership group paid $4 billion for the promotion in 2016.
McGregor hasn't fought in the UFC since last November—and likely wouldn't have to again based on his potential payoff for fighting Mayweather. Ronda Rousey has given no indication she wants to fight anymore since losing to Amanda Nunes in December.
Georges St-Pierre could be returning to the Octagon in November after a four-year absence, but at 36 years old, it's fair to wonder how much longer he wants to keep fighting.
The point is the UFC doesn't have a lot of drawing cards right now, and there's no way it's going to make anything close to what Mayweather's camp and Showtime get as the main promoters for the fight, so what significant benefit is there for the company to loan out its biggest star for another fight?
Betting and odds information via OddsShark.