Mayweather vs McGregor: Biggest Sports Betting Payout Ever?
On To A Bookie Bloodbath
Ever heard of buyer's remorse? Well, right now we have what we might say is "Bookie's Remorse". When Conor McGregor challenged Floyd Mayweather to a boxing fight, the majority of people laughed at the idea. Almost every boxing fan and pundit didn't give him a shot.
Even most UFC and MMA fans balked. After all, how could a fighter, not a boxer, who just rose to the scene four years ago, defeat the greatest boxer of his time? It's ludicrous. It's preposterous. It's insanity! But it might just happen. And this is exactly what sportsbooks fear. Mayweather might have the "Money" moniker but it's McGregor who has been attracting the money.
The UFC's first dual-division champion opened as a +1100 underdog but with 90% of the money coming his way, he's dropped to +350. Even if money comes in late on Mayweather, bookmakers like Bet365 are projecting massive losses should McGregor pull the seemingly impossible.
“McGregor is no longer the 9/1 longshot he was when we opened the market with an early victory for the Irishman already touching liabilities of several million pounds.”
Bet365's Steve Freeth said in the previous week, "We lost over £1 million when outsiders Bellew and Fury beat Haye and Klitschko, respectively but we're already well past those figures with a week to go until the bout in Las Vegas."
Bookmakers didn't just underestimate McGregor. They underestimated the public's faith in the Irishman particularly his legions of fans. Wherever McGregor goes, they go and whatever he says or does, they all believe in it. McGregor is a "cult of personality" and it's hard to argue with a fighter who's starched all but one of his UFC opponents including the fastest championship victory in UFC history over Jose Aldo, the man pundits claimed to be the best featherweight before McGregor.
The "house always wins" is a common saying in the world of gambling so a McGregor victory may just further grow his legend and endear him to his rapidly growing popularity. Anything is possible with McGregor and oddsmakers may pay a heavy price for making the same mistakes McGregor's foes did: underestimating him. For their sake, Mayweather better not do the same.
Other Times Sportsbooks Got Wrecked
A McGregor win will be an amazing result for both his fans and the people who bet on him but it'll feel like the night of an execution for bookmakers. To say the least, not many of them have been getting a good night's rest as of late. But should McGregor win, this won't be the first time sportsbooks get roasted on the betting lines. In fact, it's happened in the last few years.
A year ago, Leicester City pulled off quite possibly the greatest underdog story in sports history. The longshots became just the second non-big five team to capture the Premiere League Championship. The club was lined at a whopping 5000-1, the same odds some bookies gave Kim Kardashian to win the US Presidency! Wall Street Journal's Joshua Robinson reported UK sportsbooks lost up to $15 million with one book alone and serves as a cautionary tale for future linemakers.
It was a different scenario two years ago when a small UFC Fight Night event saw an unprecedented 10 of 11 underdogs win. A sportsbook reported losing up to a million dollars with a piece of that going to a single $1 parlay bet that cashed $48,000. The loss was so significant the book was reportedly pessimistic about profiting for the entire year and it was only February.
Canadians are huge McGregor supporters and make up a solid portion of bettors who caved McGregor's line. With great online sportsbooks that cater to Canadians, which also offer signup bonuses of up to $200, it's no wonder so many are ditching the costly provincial lotteries for this better option. It feels great being the only person in the room to pick an underdog but it'll feel much better if that came with a fat paycheck. Now's the best time to get in on the action.
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