Mark Wahlberg is so confident that Manny Pacquiao will beat Floyd Mayweather that he has wagered Diddy $250,000 on the fight with the bet winner donating to the other's favorite charity. The amount is hardly chump change, but it is just a speck when compared to the amount of action Nevada sports books are expected to handle Saturday.
In addition to Mayweather-Pacquiao, the most anticipated championship bout in decades, Saturday is also the day of the Kentucky Derby, an NHL playoff game, a Red Sox-Yankees game and a Game 7 in the NBA playoffs. That could make it the biggest non-Super Bowl sports betting day ever.
Projections vary, depending on who is being asked, but the consensus is clear: There will be a ton of money flooding into the sports books Saturday, and the record for betting on a boxing match will be set.
MGM Resorts' race book director Jay Rood told Los Angeles Times reporter Lance Pugmire that he estimates the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will produce around $80 million in betting.
But Jay Kornegay, sports book director of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, told the Times that there is talk of the fight alone topping the state record of $119 million bet on the 2014 Super Bowl between the Seahawks and Broncos.
Terry Cox, director of the race and sports book at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, wrote in the Reno Journal-Gazette that betting on horse racing has declined in recent years but $10 million is expected to be wagered on the sport in Nevada on Saturday.
Because the Derby and the fight are on the same day, the MGM plans to create some bets linking them as a way of generating additional interest.
"I think we'll get good crossover," Rood told the Washington Post. "We'll have a lot of Derby people who'll bet the fight, and the fight crowd, people who will come out a little early, and get their night started with an exciting Derby race."
In recent years with the Super Bowl, it has been an increasingly popular bet for a safety to occur in the game. A rough equivalent to that with the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is for the result to be a draw. Reports are that the odds of a draw are down to 6-1 after opening at 22-1. If there is a draw, it will not be favorable for the casinos.
"We're very close to a seven-figure loss on the draw," Rood told the Post.
Odds may continue to shift based on money being bet in the last few days before the fight, but the general line has been Mayweather as the favorite at minus-200 and Pacquiao at plus-170. This means a bettor must put up $200 to win $100 with Mayweather or $100 to win $170 with Pacquiao.