Boxing might not capture the hearts and minds of Americans like it did back in the days of Ali and Tyson, but when a notable heavyweight title fight is on the schedule, it’s still a spectacle to behold.
If you’ve decided to wager on the outcome, it’s a nail-biting affair that’s as exciting as any event in sports. Because wager-worthy fights don’t happen regularly, some bettors may not be as familiar with the handicapping process.
In this article, I’ll explain what you need to look for when betting on boxing. I’ll also give you some inside information about the most dangerous things to watch out for before your next boxing wager.
1. The Health of the Fighters
Because fighters only compete once every few months, it’s not always easy to stay on top of how each is doing physically between bouts. You’d think that as professional athletes, they’d maintain their impeccable fitness all year long.
Even though you might have to take some writer’s word for it as you won’t be able to observe it for yourself, doing your research to find out exactly what state of health and fitness a fighter is in during the weeks and days leading up to a fight is crucial. The longer between bouts, the more important this part of the process becomes.
2. The Odds, Of Course
One of the most common mistakes that amateur bettors make regularly is thinking that winning a bet is all that matters. While it’s true you won’t get paid if you don’t win, it’s also the case that if you’re regularly betting on big moneyline favorites, eventually, things are going to go south, quick.
If you’re evaluating a fight and trying to determine where to put your money, I’d be wary of putting your bankroll in jeopardy and risking significantly more money than you stand to gain. For example, even if a fight seems like a near-certainty, it’s important to remember that things can change in an instant with a knockout.
While there may be a handful of exceptions out there, most fighters are more than capable of ending the fight with one swing of their fist. Would you feel comfortable taking a bet that is, say, -250, in a scenario when a knockout is a potential outcome that’s on the table?
Remember, not all gambling wins are created equal. Just because you’ve hit on your last 2 moneyline favorite picks, that could all be wiped out, and then some, if you bet on a heavy favorite who goes down.
3. Look at Your Prop Options
Prop bets are a major source of action when it comes to combat sports. In boxing, nearly all sportsbooks will give you a range of options to choose from should you decide to stay away from picking the winner outright due to a lack of confidence or simply unfavorable odds.
The difficult thing about choosing prop bets for a boxing match is that they’re often wildly unpredictable. For example, the most popular prop bet for boxing matches is likely the over/under total number of rounds the fight will go. While it’s not exactly the norm, as I’ve mentioned earlier in this article a fight could be over at any second if a haymaker connects and results in a KO. Keep this potential outcome in mind when you’re looking at your options.
Another bet that receives a good deal of attention during big fights is the method of victory. The options are knockout, TKO (technical knockout), or by decision. Before you put down any money on this type of play, do yourself a favor and look back at the fights that each boxer has had in the past.
For a heavyweight like Tyson Fury, that answer is yes. For a “defensive” fighter such as Floyd Mayweather, that isn’t going to be the case. Of course, past results are not necessarily going to be indicative of what happens in the future.
Also, if you want to increase your payout, consider checking out alternate lines that can put you in a more favorable risk-to-win situation.
4. Live Betting Options
Maybe you’re a boxing expert who’s recognized that a certain fighter is making mistakes that are eventually going to result in a knockout, or perhaps you’re just looking to roll the dice on and see what happens.
Although there are some online sportsbooks that will allow you to make a bet during a round, I would advise waiting until you’re in between rounds to put your money in.
When it comes to the most common mistakes bettors make on a live bet, I’d say contradicting your original bet is at the top of the list.
If you do decide to live bet, make sure you’re being mindful of things like fatigue and how many hits each fighter has taken. Even the fighters with chins of steel will eventually crack if they get hit enough.
In a sport where the competition can be over in just a single second, there are several variables that must be taken into account. Unfortunately, sometimes the outcomes are entirely unpredictable, and that’s just when you have to roll with the punches (pun intended).
Do your research beforehand, find the best odds for your particular bet, and make sure you’re minding your bankroll. If you do all of those, you’ll be successful even if you don’t have a vast knowledge of the sport.