Celtics Odds: What does Kyrie Irving do for Boston Title Chances?

kyrie-isiah-thomas-celticsThe Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off the biggest trade of the 2017 NBA offseason. Kyrie Irving is going to the Boston Celtics, while Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first round pick are going to the Cavaliers.

The deal makes sense for both teams on paper. Crowder and Thomas help the Cavs compete for a championship in what may be LeBron’s final season in Cleveland. And Boston gets a taller point guard who’s somewhat better at defense – all while keeping their core assets.

Boston makes the biggest leap here from an immediate perspective. But is it enough to push the Celtics towards a title? Find out as we analyze the deal from Boston’s perspective. We’ll also cover how the trade affects the Cavaliers.

Boston Accomplishes 2 Things with Irving Trade

While the Celtics have a strong core, the one thing plaguing them is the lack of a true superstar. Thomas was the closest thing, averaging 28.9 PPG and 5.9 APG. However, he’s constantly critiqued for being too small (5’8″) on the defensive end.

They also have Gordon Hayward, Marcus Morris, Al Horford, and Marcus Smart, who are all quite good. But Hayward is a fringe All-Star while the other three are on an even lower tier.

This all changes with Irving, though, who has the ability to take over games with his driving ability. He averaged 25.2 PPG last season while playing alongside fellow All-Stars LeBron James and Kevin Love. Irving has also been to the NBA Finals three straight times, which is invaluable for a group that just made the conference finals last year.

Another thing that the Celtics accomplish is avoiding handing Thomas a max deal. The All-Star point guard has been great on the scoring end.

But it was a necessity to keep shooting guard Avery Bradley (now with Pistons) around to cover up Thomas’ defensive deficiencies. That said, many analysts have questioned whether giving Thomas a 5-year max deal was a smart decision. Now they don’t have to worry about it any longer.

Ainge Pulls the Trigger

jaylen-brown-bostonFour years ago, the Brooklyn Nets gifted Boston with a package of first-round picks that had other teams salivating. But Ainge had been reluctant to unload the picks, even using one this season to trade down to the No. 3 selection.

The result is that the Celtics have accumulated young talent like Jaylen Brown and Duke forward Jayson Tatum. Many wondered when Ainge would finally use these picks and/or young talent to land a superstar.

The good news is that it only took a single Nets pick, a player they didn’t want to re-sign anyways, and Crowder. The latter is a valuable two-way player. However, Crowder became more expendable when Hayward was signed this offseason.

The Celtics have dramatically changed their roster since losing 4-1 to Cleveland in the conference finals. Now, only Brown, Horford, Smart, and Terry Rozier remain from last year’s team.

Overall, Boston is a Better Team

kyrie-vs-jeff-teagueIrving wasn’t cheap, After all, Boston had to give up Crowder, Thomas, and the Nets’ 2018 first pick. But this is a worthy risk when considering what Kyrie can do for their team.

What’s more is that they still have young talent in Rozier, Tatum, and Brown to build around for years to come. If they can re-sign Irving in 2019, then the 25-year-old point guard will also play a pivotal role in their future.

Can they dethrone Cleveland in the East?

It’s not a given. But we can be sure that Boston is much closer than they were last week. Furthermore, they also have the impressive combination of scoring and long-limbed athletes who can compete with the Golden State Warriors.

How does the Trade Impact Cleveland?

jae-crowder-celticsThis has been far from a dream offseason for the Cavs. They started the summer by parting ways with general manager David Griffin. Then came the bombshell that Irving had requested a trade to a handful of successful teams.

Given the trade request, it was clear that Irving wanted to be elsewhere. But it wasn’t clear until now what value they could get from a player with only two years left on his contract.

In the end, things worked out pretty well for Cleveland because they got players that can help them complete now in Thomas and Crowder. Plus they received what figures to be a lottery pick in next summer’s draft.

The Cavs may opt not to sign Thomas to a max deal in the offseason. But Crowder is on a very team-friendly deal for the next three years. And they can either use the pick to build for the future, or trade it for a better chance to win now.

Yet another plus is that they’ll save lots of money in luxury tax payments after dealing Irving’s max contract. Additionally, Cleveland has some flexibility to put together a team, which is something that they just didn’t have entering the offseason as a capped-out franchise.

Does Cleveland Win the East in 2018?

Thomas certainly doesn’t help Cleveland’s defensive efforts. After all, he’s already one of the league’s worst defenders at his position. And he doesn’t figure to get any better coming off a surgically repaired hip.

isaiah-thomas-celticsBut Thomas offers plenty from an offensive perspective. He had a true shooting percentage of .625 and is better than anybody at getting to the free throw line.

He should pair well on offense with James, Love, and J.R. Smith. Thomas also shoots the three well (37.9%), which is important when playing with an excellent passer like James.

Crowder is one of the best values in the league for his contract size. He’s due $6.8 million this year, $7.3 million next season, and $7.8 million in the 2019-20 campaign. This is a major bargain when considering that Crowder is a good scorer (13.9 PPG), shooter (39.9% from three), and defender.

The last part is important because Cleveland needs another strong wing defender besides James. Moreover, he could cover Durant while James slides over to Draymond Green and conserves energy against the Warriors.

Many wonder if James will leave Cleveland in free agency after this season. If that happens, at least the Cavs have Brooklyn’s pick and a 2016 first-rounder in Zizic to accelerate their rebuild.

Malignaggi Says Boxing World is Laughing at Conor McGregor

paulie-malignaggi-conor-mcgregorConor McGregor has gained steam at sportsbooks recently, with many bettors picking him to beat the undefeated Floyd Mayweather. But one person who’s not impressed with McGregor’s chances is former sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi.

The 2-time world champion boxer was invited to help McGregor train for his match with Mayweather. But Malignaggi left when he saw social media posts of their sparring sessions. According to the 36-year-old, the posts make it unfairly seem that McGregor was dominating the sparring action.

Now Malignaggi is pissed and bashing any chances that “The Notorious” has of winning this match. Let’s look at what Malignaggi said along with current odds on the fight.

Malignaggi Claims that McGregor is Becoming a Boxing Joke

Conor McGregor has done quite well for himself in the mixed martial arts world, winning the UFC Lightweight and Featherweight title belts. And boxing seems like a natural transition for him, given that MMA includes striking.

But Malignaggi thinks that McGregor’s boastful claims about his boxing abilities are turning him into a big joke.

“McGregor gets angry because boxing has not accepted him, but would an MMA fighter accept a boxer walking into their sport claiming that they are the best when he’s never done it in his life,” he told Sky Sports.

“That’s the situation with McGregor in boxing, he is being laughed at and it is only getting worse as each video of a public workout or him shadow boxing is released.”

The Agenda behind Skewing Sparring Footage

Malignaggi was part of The Notorious’ camp a few weeks ago. But this only lasted a short time as he grew tired of what he felt was a misleading social medial campaign.

“It’s been a wild ride the last couple of weeks and every time I think I’m no longer part of the storm, another photo or video comes out,” the retired boxer said.

“Part of me thinks that he has done this on purpose, maybe he wants to figure out a new opponent after the Mayweather fight if he wants to stay in this sport.”

mcgregor-sparringMalignaggi also discussed his bizarre living situation during the sparring sessions.

“He maybe even planned to make me disgruntled before we even got in the ring, I had situations where I would show up to the gym just to be told I wasn’t allowed to train and I was put in a house that didn’t even have cable TV,” he explained.

“Was it all done to create trash talk, he has been dragging this all along for some reason.”

Malignaggi Dishes on what Really Happened in Sparring

If McGregor’s camp wanted a fair stage, they certainly weren’t offering it up to Malignaggi. He began sparring almost right off the plane after landing in LA. And he wasn’t in the greatest shape either.

That said, people could forgive Malignaggi for getting knocked down, which UFC President Dana White shared in a tweet. However, the boxer claims that the punches thrown prior to the knockdown were edited in.

“They want you to believe this was a knockdown and people can choose to be deceived but then they can only be mad at themselves when they realize the truth,” he said.

Malignaggi went on to explain that the punches right before he goes down were taken from previous rounds in the sparring exchange.

“Nothing landed in that exchange. You can think something landed, but it is clearly not the case, a passing graze is not enough to get a knockdown.

“The added footage of punches landed were edited in from the previous round and I always told people that he had a good couple of rounds before.”

McGregor may be Insecure about the Fight

The Notorious can be proud of his boxing skills if the video footage above is real. After all, he may have knocked down an experienced boxer who’s held title belts.

But Malignaggi doesn’t believe that McGregor should be bragging about any successes he had during the sparring session.

“I was tired and out of shape, the fact that he’s not ashamed that a guy came in off the couch and done twelve rounds shows you where his confidence levels are really at,” Malignaggi said.

“I had done the bare minimum beforehand just to show up in a little bit of shape as I assumed the training camp would be like mine or other boxers where each sparring partner does four to six rounds, not twelve.”

Malignaggi again went back to the claims that the video footage was edited, saying that McGregor didn’t pull off the near-impossible.

“Edit this video how you want, you’re trying too hard to prove what. I’ve sparred with hundreds of champions and very rarely does a knockdown happen, especially with the bigger gloves and headgear.”

He added, “[McGregor] is living in this alternate reality where he can punch and hurt people and sometimes I ask myself is he really that stupid, is it an act, why try to prove something that didn’t happen.

“Between me and him, we know the truth. Joe Cortez instantly said no knockdown and look at the people ringside, they would surely react differently at something so rare in a gym. Is McGregor that insecure?”

McGregor Mayweather Odds Have Shifted Recently

When the McGregor vs. Mayweather betting line first came out, Mayweather was a huge favorite. However, media sessions and McGregor’s brash talk have gained him favor with fans.

Here’s a look at our current GTBets line on the match:

  • Conor McGregor +335
  • Floyd Mayweather -455
  • Fight at 10:30pm EST on August 26

This is a far cry from when we had Mayweather at -800 or better. The fans are skewing the line recently by laying money on McGregor.

And while “Money” is still a big favorite at -455, this perhaps doesn’t reflect his lopsided chances of winning.

One thing’s for sure, and it’s that Malignaggi doesn’t think McGregor can beat him. If this is the case, then we can be sure that he has almost no shot against a boxer who’s 49-0 in Mayweather.

Jaguars Odds: Bortles and Henne Now in Quarterback Battle

blake-bortles-chad-henne-competitionBlake Bortles has been the Jacksonville Jaguars’ starting quarterback for the past three seasons. However, new head coach Doug Marrone announced that Bortles and presumed backup Chad Henne are now in a quarterback competition.

Marrone appeared frustrated after his team lost to Tampa Bay 12-8 in a preseason game.

“I’m looking for someone that’s going to lead this offense,” said Marrone. “I’m not happy with the performance today. I’m not going to sit here and B.S. anyone. Everyone saw it out there. Whatever you want to call it, I’m still trying to evaluate who the best person is at that position.”

Bortles and Henne will now share first-team reps until Marrone can decide on a starter. Henne was Jacksonville’s starter in 2013, before Bortles was drafted third overall in the 2014 NFL draft.

Henne began the 2014 campaign as the first-team QB, but was replaced by Bortles four games into the season. The latter hasn’t looked back since then.

Bortles Struggled to Move the Chains

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Jacksonville JaguarsMany see this as a make-or-break season for the fourth-year man. And Bortles hasn’t started this season on the right foot.

He was an uninspiring 8-for-13 for 65 yards in four drives against the Buccaneers. All four drives ended in punts, and Bortles was also sacked once. He was just 2-for-5 passing in the team’s first preseason contest.

Henne took some snaps with the first team against Tampa Bay. The 10-year veteran threw two first-half passes, both of which were dropped in the end zone. He came back out with the first team in the second half and went 6-for-10 for 44 yards during two drives.

Marrone wasn’t Happy with the Entire Offense

Marrone spoke with ESPN about his team’s lack of success on the offensive end. And he felt that this was a problem with the entire team, not just Bortles.

doug-marrone-jaguarsNevertheless, it looks like he’s trying to find a spark with Henne. The latter has only worked with the second-team offense throughout the preseason. It’s only lately that he’s begun getting some work with the first team.

“I always took it as I’m always competing and never really said I’m the backup, even though that’s the way it was,” Henne explained. “I still study hard and try to prove in practice what I can do. All I can do is to try to get myself better prepared each week.”

Bortles is Accepting the Challenge

The good news is that Bortles doesn’t seem dejected by the open competition. Instead, he’s look at this as a challenge to earn the respect of his teammates.

blake-bortles-jacksonville“I’ll approach it the same way. I’ll approach tomorrow as I treated yesterday and as I treated today,” he said.

“I don’t think anything changes from my mindset or anything there. I think it’s my job to go out there and earn the respect and trust of those guys as well as the coaching staff, and that’s what I’m kind of on a mission to do.”

It’s a good thing that the former University of Central Florida star aims to earn his teammates’ respect. After all, he has some work to do in order to become a great quarterback.

His training camp has been up and down so far. This includes a 5-interception practice on the first day with full pads.

Bortles also leads the league in turnovers (63) over the past three years, and has the second-most interceptions (51). Making matters worse is that he’s won just 11 games as a starter in 44 tries.

Jacksonville will Rely on the Running Game

leonard-fournette-jaguarsMany are wondering why Jacksonville didn’t bring in another QB to compete with Bortles and Henne this offseason. And the reason why is because they’re not overly focused on the passing game.

Sure, the Jaguars would love to have an elite quarterback. But Marrone’s offense will take an old-school approach that involves focusing on the running game above all.

This is why they drafted LSU’s Leonard Fournette with the fourth-overall pick in the 2017 Draft. They also have T.J. Yeldon, Chris Ivory, and DeJuan Harris on the roster right now. But Fournette is the key because he’s built for power at 6’0″, 230 pounds, yet still has solid speed (4.5 forty).

Last Chance for Bortles

Jacksonville picked up Bortles’ fifth-year option for 2018. But this in no way binds them to anything because the option is only guaranteed in the event of an injury.

Assuming he doesn’t show anything this year, then Jacksonville can cut ties with Bortles in the offseason. The downside is that they don’t have anybody waiting in the wings. But chances are that they’ll probably draft a QB within the first or second round if things don’t pan out.

Jaguars 2017 Odds

Our current GTBets odds have the Jacksonville Jaguars futures as follows:

  • Odds to win Super Bowl: Jacksonville +8000
  • Odds to win AFC: Jacksonville +4000
  • Odds to win AFC South: Jacksonville +700

The Jaguars open the regular season at Houston on September 7. And we have them at +3.5 against the Texans.

The first game could tell a lot about how Jacksonville will fare this season. It’ll also give us more info on how the chosen starter performs.

Chances are that Bortles will be starting the first regular season contest. But there are no guarantees in an open QB competition.

Cowboys Odds with Ezekiel Elliott 6-game Suspension

The Dallas Cowboys have high hopes entering the 2017 NFL season after going 13-3 last year. But their hopes are diminished with the recent 6-game suspension of running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Earlier reports suggested that Elliott might be looking at a 1-2 game suspension. After all, he was never charged in the domestic violence dispute at the heart of the matter. However, Dallas received the unpleasant news that their star will miss over 30% of the regular season.

Can Dallas survive without their Pro Bowl running back? Will the suspension be reduced? Let’s answer these questions and look at who the Cowboys play in their first six contests.

Dallas Faces Gauntlet to Open the Year

The Cowboys could easily argue that they have the toughest schedule in 2017. They face the Raiders twice, the Falcons in Atlanta, the Packers, the Chiefs, the Broncos in Denver, and a tough NFC East crowd. So it doesn’t help matters that they’re facing six games without Elliott.

Here’s a brief look at what they’ll deal with when Elliott can’t suit up:

derek-carrWeek 1 vs. Raiders

Oakland had a breakthrough year in 2016, going 12-4 and making the playoffs. Derek Carr will be ready to start the season after breaking his fibula to end last year’s campaign. This game could be a toss-up. But we give Dallas a slight edge at home.

Week 2 @ Houston

The Texans won the AFC South by default last season thanks to a weak division. But they have an elite defense that only needs to move the chains on offense to compete. Perhaps Clemson rookie Deshaun Watson is the answer at quarterback. This is another tough call that could go either way.

Week 3 vs. NY Giants

New York finally put things together last season after going 11-5 and earning a Wild Card berth. The Giants beat Dallas twice last year with Elliott on the field. We won’t be surprised if they win again.

von-miller-suspension-1Week 4 @ Denver

The Broncos had a disappointing season (9-7) coming of a Super Bowl run. And their QB issues aren’t solved going into 2017 either. However, they still have Von Miller and a tough defense that can slow down anybody. The Cowboys will have trouble scoring on the road without Zeke.

Week 5 @ Cardinals

It’s hard to know what to expect from Arizona coming off a 7-8-1 campaign that fell well short of their Super Bowl expectations. Our guess is that they come out better in 2017. But the jury’s out on whether they will or won’t defend home against Dallas.

Week 6 vs. St. Louis Rams

The Rams have a strong defense and solid running game. But we’re not sold on Jared Goff at QB until he proves himself. Dallas can definitely win this game at home.

Overall Analysis of Schedule without Elliott

ezekiel-elliott-suspensionWe predict that Dallas will either go 3-3 or 4-2 to start the season without Elliott.

We feel that the Cowboys have an edge at home against Oakland and St. Louis. They’ll likely split or go 1-3 in the four contests against Houston, New York, Denver, and Arizona.

The Cowboys will be pretty happy to come out of this with a 4-2 record. But a 3-3 mark or worse puts their playoff hopes in serious jeopardy. You can see why this is the case by looking at their remaining schedule:

Week 7 vs. Green Bay
Week 8 Bye Week
Week 9 @ San Francisco
Week 10 @ Washington
Week 11 vs. Kansas City
Week 12 @ Atlanta
Week 13 vs. Philadelphia
Week 14 vs. San Diego
Week 15 vs. Washington
Week 16 @ NYGiants
Week 17 @ Oakland

This includes 5 out of 10 games against playoff squads. It’ll especially be tough playing against the Falcons, Raiders, and Giants on the road.

Elliott Files an Appeal

Not surprisingly, Elliott has appealed the disciplinary action taken against him. According to the Washington Post, his appeal will take place on August 29, and be handled by former NFL labor relations executive Harold Henderson.

ezekiel-elliottElliott’s chances of winning the appeal aren’t great. Gabriel Feldman, the director of the sports law program at Tulane, said that it’ll be even tougher if NFL Commission Roger Goodell is the one hearing the appeal.

“The default answer has always been that the player has an uphill battle on appeal,” Feldman stated.

“The first question is: Who’s going to hear the appeal? If it’s the commissioner, it’s an even more uphill battle. Roger Goodell has had a chance to consider the evidence. The issue is whether Elliott and his legal team can present new evidence or mitigating factors.”

The NFL Players Association will do everything it can to help Elliott in the appeal process. But Feldman said that the appeal is likely Elliott’s only chance to do something about the suspension.

ezekiel-elliott-salvation-army-pot“This is the last chance for that. Once the appeal is considered and resolved, that’s when it becomes nearly impossible to overcome the commissioner’s authority to resolve these issues,” Feldman explained.

“If it goes to court, you’re talking about different policies, a different case, a different set of circumstances. But it’s the same broad deference given to an arbitrator’s decision.”

The baseline suspension for a domestic violence case is 6 games. And Goodell determined this length after the league conducted a long investigation.

League efforts focused on a domestic dispute between Elliott and his former girlfriend in Columbus, and another altercation where he pulled down a woman’s shirt during a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dallas.

“There’s the possibility the suspension could be reduced,” said Feldman. “But there was a lengthy investigation by the NFL. The standard in the personal conduct policy is pretty low. It just requires credible evidence. Based on his first review, Roger Goodell determined there was credible evidence.”

Cowboys 2017 Odds

Dallas certainly has a tough road ahead if they don’t have Ezekiel Elliott for the first portion of the season. But their odds of success still aren’t terrible.

Here’s a look at their betting odds according to our GTBets sportsbook:

  • Odds to win 2018 Super Bowl – Dallas +1500
  • Odds to win NFC Championship – Dallas +675
  • Odds to win NFC East – Dallas +160

As you can see, Dallas is being given a fair shot to compete in their division and conference. These odds are longer than before the Elliott suspension, but this team will still be competitive.

Their schedule is too tough to repeat last season’s 13-3 performance. But it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility that they go 10-6 or 11-5 and make the playoffs again. Dallas would certainly welcome a reduced suspension for Elliott too.

Maloof Brothers Bet $880k on Mayweather Beating McGregor – Donating Proceeds to Charity

maloof-brothers-mayweather-fightThe Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight is drawing bettors from all walks of life. And you can add the billionaire Maloof brothers to this list because they’re wagering $880,000 on Mayweather to win.

If the Maloofs are successful, they’re set to win a $160,00 profit on their wager.

It may seem that Gavin and Joe Maloof are trying to cash in on what seems like a sure victory. But the truth is that they’re only making the bet for fun, and proceeds will go to various charities in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, where they own businesses.

“We have a huge opportunity to help a lot of people in charities, so we decided to do it,” Gavin Maloof told the Associated Press. “It’s a neat way to enjoy the fight, and it’s a fun way to promote our product.” According to Forbes, the product that they’re referring to is Never Too Hungover, a hangover prevention drink.

In addition to helping charity, the Maloofs are also helping Las Vegas’ South Point sportsbook. Given that 85% of money has been wagered on McGregor in recent weeks, South Point needs some help in balancing out the books. The Maloofs large wager will help in this department.

News broke that somebody had bet $880k on Mayweather to win just days ago. However, the identity was originally unknown at the time. But this has now been cleared up thanks to the Maloofs going public with their bet.

Maloofs not Worried about Growing McGregor Trend

mcgregor-mayweather-press-conferenceWhen it was originally announced that Mayweather and McGregor would fight back in the spring, “Money” Mayweather was a huge favorite. Our GTBets sportsbook had him sitting at -800 odds, compared to +500 for McGregor.

But it seems that analysts and the press tour have somehow swung the odds towards McGregor. Here’s a look at our updated odds on McGregor and Money:

  • Mayweather -455
  • McGregor +320
  • Fight at 10:30pm EST on Aug 26

On paper, it doesn’t seem like McGregor had much of a chance. He’s experienced lots of success in the UFC as the current Lightweight and Featherweight champion. However, boxing is a different sport than mixed martial arts. And Conor has never fought a fight at the professional or amateur level.

Meanwhile, Mayweather is a perfect 49-0 in boxing and has beaten some of the greatest the sport has ever seen, including Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao.

Gavin Maloof didn’t put McGregor’s chances at zero. But he also points out more valid points on why he and his brother are betting the favorite.

“Floyd is the greatest counterpuncher that probably ever lived,” Maloof said. “I know Conor is a great puncher, and I’m not taking anything away from the UFC. Conor is probably going to be the aggressor.

gavin-maloof“Floyd will wait until he punches. You have a guy switching sports, and that’s not easy, and then you’re taking on the greatest boxer of all time. Now on the reverse side, you have Conor who’s much younger, and maybe that will affect Floyd. It’s a good fight.”

The Maloof brothers don’t stand to win much by their standards. But if they lose, it’s not like they’ll be foreclosing their homes. The brothers have an estimated $1 billion fortune. And they made $534 million when they sold the NBA’s Sacramento Kings in 2013, which was previously a league record.

Maloofs’ Original Ticket had the Wrong Numbers

ESPN showed an original slip from the Maloof brothers that featured the wrong numbers. Here’s what they wrote on the matter:

“The original ticket showed only a $120,000 profit, instead of the correct $160,000 that would come from the wager. The misprint was caused by a rule in South Point’s bookmaking system that does not permit payouts of greater than $1 million, according to sportsbook director Chris Andrews. The total payout, should Mayweather prevail, would be $1.04 million. The book rewrote two separate bets for $440,000 each to rectify the issue.”

Even with the correct bump up to $160,000, the money isn’t a lot to the Maloof brothers. But it would certainly help the charities that they intend to donate to if Mayweather comes through. And with a perfect 49-0 boxing record, this shouldn’t be hard.

Conor McGregor Predicts Second Round KO of Mayweather – Should You Bet on Him?

mcgregor-mayweather-oddsFloyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor have had an outstanding press tour that’s sure to bring them untold riches come August 26. But does all of this hype mean that the heavy underdog McGregor has a chance to win?

If we’re to ask McGregor himself, he not only think he has a chance to win. He honestly believes that he’ll knock out Mayweather when the two face off at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

“I fight in four-ounce gloves, why would I give a [expletive]?” McGregor said regarding the much-discussed gloves size.

“If we’re wearing eight-ounce gloves, I’m struggling to see how he lasts two rounds, and that’s the God’s honest truth. The only reason I maybe give him two rounds is because in this game, the referee stops me from pounding his head into the canvas, and he has 10 seconds to recover. That’s the only reason he might make it to a second round.”

The Irishman isn’t afraid to show his confidence, even when facing Mayweather, who’s 49-0 in professional boxing.

“He [Mayweather] keeps talking about, ‘Under the lights!’ ” McGregor said. “He keeps saying, ‘He looks good in the gym.’ I look good everywhere. I look good in the gym and I look good under the lights. In fact, I look better under the lights.”

McGregor added, “I am comfortable in this. This is my life. I’ve been under the spotlight for a long, long time, and in these mega-events also.”

Does McGregor Really Have a Chance?

conor-mcgregor-second-round-mayweatherObviously Mayweather and McGregor’s back-and-forth is designed to sell pay-per-view packages for Showtime. And it’s certainly working because this fight is expected to break pay-per-view records.

But many wonder if there’s any substance behind the hype. After all, McGregor, a mixed martial artist, has never fought in an amateur or pro boxing match.

One aspect that’s being used to hype this event is Floyd’s age. He’s 40 years old and definitely out of his prime. Meanwhile, McGregor is 29 and holds both the UFC Lightweight and Featherweight belts.

Age notwithstanding, “Money” Mayweather holds the advantage in nearly every other category. He’s expected to win this bout and win big. Perhaps the only spot where McGregor may have an edge is his punching power. But that’s if he ever gets through Mayweather’s defense to use it.

Maybe where McGregor does have a chance, though, is his ability to rise to the occasion. “The Notorious” is perhaps the only fighter on the planet who’s as equipped to deal with the pressures of the ring as Money. Going further, he’s shown a penchant to elevate his MMA skills when needed.

Can McGregor Put Mayweather on the Canvas?

mcgregor-mayweather-press-conferenceMcGregor may be overstepping his bounds by predicting a knockout – even with his power. After all, Money has only been knocked down once, if you can even call it this.

Mayweather was winning handily in the twelfth round of a fight, when he touched the canvas with his glove after a punch. However, this was by design because he’d injured his hand and wanted to force more time off the clock.

If The Notorious can even knock Mayweather down – let alone register a knockout – it would be one of the greatest feats in boxing history. Mayweather is not easy to hit, and he’s shown a good chin the few times that he has been hit good.

8-ounce Gloves Approved for Mayweather McGregor Fight

8-ounce-glovesThe Nevada Athletic Commission has approved 8-ounce gloves for this bout, instead of the standard 10-ounce gloves.

Some see this as a safety risk because lighter gloves mean a higher potential for damage to an opponent’s face, as well as one’s own hands. However, the rule was added to make McGregor feel more comfortable because he’s used to fighting with 4-ounce gloves in the UFC.

McGregor said that he doesn’t care what size of gloves they have, which makes this feel like a ploy to convince fans that he has a better chance to win.

Both Fighters Set for a Huge Payday

There’s obviously motivation on both sides to sell pay-per-views and make it look like McGregor has a chance. Both fighters are expected to earn over $100 million from the bout.

This looks to be the biggest fight in history from a revenue perspective. So it only makes sense to hype McGregor up. And the 29-year-old has played his role well by trash-talking even better than Mayweather.

McGregor is Highly Motivated

conor-mcgregor-training-mayweatherNobody truly knows what to expect when Conor steps in the ring on August 26. However, we can certainly expect him to put on a good show, no matter what.

He’s always been a very professional fighter. And the birth his his 3-month-old son, Conor Jr., has only made him more pumped up to compete.

“The other day, we were comparing pictures of when I was that age and he’s that age side-by-side and we’re like identical,” said a happy McGregor. “I’m like, yes, because he’s going to look exactly like me. He has my name and he’s carrying my, you know, it’s a legacy. I’m just in awe of my little man.”

It’s typical for new fathers to be happy about their new child. But McGregor says that this has taken his fighting skills to a new level too.

“It’s made me more focused, more disciplined because I can’t slack off, I can’t float around, I can’t do what I used to do,” McGregor explained. “I must train, recover, go home, look after my boy, rest and train again. It’s kept life more structured for me and it’s actually helped me as a fighter and as a man, with business and with training.

“Everything is more structured, as it should be, and that’s the key to getting to the high, high level. You must have structure. It’s been eye-opening and amazing and it’s only been three months. So many good times are ahead.”

Even with how good McGregor feels about his son being born and training, odds are that this fight won’t go his way. After all, the Irishman just doesn’t have the same level of experience as his opponent, nor the undefeated pedigree.

But one thing’s for sure, he’ll come ready for the challenge. McGregor has never wilted in a big-time UFC match. So don’t expect him to do anything less than give his all under the bright lights of T-Mobile Arena.

Mayweather McGregor Odds

Here’s a look at the current odds on Mayweather and McGregor from our GTBets.eu sportsbook:

McGregor, Conor +335
Mayweather, Floyd -455

McGregor originally started off as a huge underdog. But he’s somewhat closed the gap with more of the public betting on him.