Boxing Betting 101: Breaking Down The Basics Of Betting On The Sweet Science

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It's official: Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will finally meet in the biggest boxing event in decades. It has provided the industry with an immediate increase in terms of overall interest and that includes the sports betting markets. As a results, fans have even looked in to smaller events as well.

Betting on these types of events isn’t nearly as popular as it once was. However, any potential revival of the sport no matter how small means it’s worth taking a look at the basics for betting on boxing.

Boxing odds can be very simple if the bettor simply wants to pick a winner. The money line is the most popular bet available. The odds for both fighters will be listed next to them by the sportsbook and all that the bettor needs to do is simply pick the boxer they think will win and decide how much money they want to invest in them. Here is an example of what the money line for a hypothetical boxing match would look like this:

James Smith -200
John Angle +140
Draw +2000

According to this hypothetical situation, Smith is the favorite to win the fight at -200. Meanwhile, Angle is the underdog at +140. This means that anybody that wants to bet Smith to win will risk $200 in order to win $100. On the other side, anybody that wants to bet on Angle will only have to risk $100 to win $140. There is also the option to bet the draw at +2000. The fact that a draw in boxing is so rare means that it is usually not a good bet. However, the best betting sites still offer it in order to give bettors a chance to take a shot. In return, they will be rewarded for their substantial risk if it actually does happen.

Those bettors will risk $100 for a chance to win $2000. As attractive as that potential payout looks on paper, the bottom line is that the odds of a boxing match ending in a draw aren’t anywhere close to one boxer beating the other.

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While the money line is as simple as picking a winner and loser there is also the option to make a number of different proposition bets. The most popular prop bet is the over / under. This allows players to wager on how long they figure a fight is going to last. This bet works the same way it would in other sports only instead of the score the bettor will wager on how many rounds they think the fight will go as outlined in the example below.

OVER 6 FULL ROUNDS -140
UNDER 6 FULL ROUNDS +120

In this situation, the fight is expected to go longer than six full rounds. Any bettor that thinks it has the potential to be a long fight that is determined by decision will put their money on the OVER. Meanwhile, any bettor that thinks this fight has early knockout potential will put their money on the UNDER. The prop bets could also be more detailed including betting on one boxer to beat the other by knockout. This example builds on what we saw in the previous two:

James Smith by KO or stoppage -120
John Angle by KO or stoppage +200

This example takes the previous hypothetical match and provides the odds for both fighters to win. Of course, this is only via knockout – not decision. This is similar to betting either fighter on the money line only the bettor will be convinced that the winner will get the job done before the match goes to a judge’s decision.