Gennady Golovkin v.s. David Lemieux Fight Odds: Vegas Dreams of a Public Fleecing

By now we all know the name Gennady Golovkin. A 33 year old super star with 33 fights and 30 knockouts. This Saturday he will face arguably one of his best opponents, David Lemieux and as with any hyped fight, Vegas is looking to cash in on public opinion; That opinion seems to be heavily manifesting itself on Gennady Golovkin’s betting line.

As it stands right now, Gennady is (depending on where you wager) anywhere from -1900 to -2000 and Lemieux seems to be hovering around +800 to +900. Gennady is a 20:1 favorite right now. This means if you were to correctly wager $100 on a GGG victory you’d be rewarded with a paltry $5. Now odds like this happen often in boxing, typically on undercards and in lesser known fights where you can see up-and-comers steamroll unworthy opponents. In a main event however, to be this favored is actually quite rare.

Mayweather, as many like to berate him for, is the champion of mismatches easily being favored in all of his match-ups… at least that’s what we all remember.  Vegas paints a slightly different picture however.  This chart is a summary of Mayweather’s last 17 bouts and the Vegas odds to go along with them.

In 17 fights in the span of a decade, Mayweather has been a 20:1 favorite twice.  Of all the hate that gets slung his way for taking ‘past prime’ opponents, coupled with his undeniable talent, Mayweather only twice tipped the scales that far.  4 of those opponents listed are shoe in HoF’ers and still Mayweather has only been such a large favorite twice.  Regardless of any personal opinions of either fighter, or the quality of their opponents, 20:1 favorites are no joke when it comes to Vegas book making.  It offers enormous cash flow in with very low risk money going out.  For every million that comes in for Gennady you only need to account for a possible 50k loss; wagers on Lemieux will easily cover that spread.

In summary:

  • A 49-0 unified champ who is arguably one of the greatest boxing talents to come around has been 20:1 twice.
  • A 33-0 champion who has faced very average talent, despite looking excellent against them, is 20:1 against potentially one of his best fights to date.

I am no expert on boxing wagers (I bet on Berto) but I find it very peculiar that a fighter like GGG would face such favoritism against a very legitimate opponent.  GGG has rightfully turned into a fan favorite and has even now starred in an apple commercial; but it seems as if Vegas is looking to exploit the hype on some wildly favorited odds.  As the saying goes “The house always wins” and I think Vegas will be laughing their way all the way to the bank on the GGG Hype Express.