It wasn't that long ago that Manny Pacquiao against just about anyone was a betting mismatch, but following two straight losses, including one emphatic KO defeat, the 34-year-old Filipino has now opened as a more modest favorite for his next fight, which comes November 23 against Brandon Rios, in Macau.
Bovada has Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO) installed as a -400 favorite for the bout, with the 27-year-old Rios at +300. The odds were closer for Pacquiao's last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez, where Pacquiao came in as a -240 favorite, but without question, Marquez is a significant step above Rios.
Both sets of odds, though, make good sense. There is some question as to how much Manny has left, and the hard-charging Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO) will test him physically and mentally. If Pacquiao returns from the bad KO gunshy, or just a little worried about getting into a scrap and having his chin checked again, this thing could get really interesting.
But he does deserve to be the favorite. Rios, too, is coming off of a loss, and has never beaten anyone near even a declining Pacquiao's quality. It will also be Rios' first serious foray into the 147-pound division.