The "Sweet Science" takes center stage-or center ring-before HBO cameras, April 28 and May 5 and if there continues to be such a wide disparity of prices among sportsbooks, boxing betting fans finally could have the odds in their favor.
The HBO boxing betting tripleheader opens with a rematch of the Bernard Hopkins-Andre Dawson fight of last Oct. 16 that abruptly ended in the second round when Hopkins suffered a dislocated shoulder after being thrown to the canvas by Dawson. The WBC ruled the light heavyweight championship bout "no contest" and ordered a rematch, which takes place in Atlantic City, April 28. Seemingly, while operators of sportsbooks acknowledge that Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs) should be the favorite over the 47-year-old Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs), there’s a range of opinion regarding the actual numbers.
In fact, while some sportsbooks have Dawson as much as a -400 favorite (bet $400 to win $100), others have him at just -275. Meanwhile, the price on Hopkins ranges from +300 (bet $100 to win $300) to +225. So, a savvy gambler could bet Dawson at -275 and Hopkins at +300, creating what’s called a "Dutch Book," where, by properly weighting his wagers, a player assures himself a profit.
Of course, there are other ways to bet the fight, though none of them pack an assurance that the gambler will have bulging pockets.
There is a proposition on how the scheduled 12-round bout will end. You lay -175 that Dawson wins by decision; take +350 that Hopkins gets the nod from the judges; accept +500 that Dawson scores a knockout of some type (KO or TKO); or +1000 that Hopkins retains his title via stoppage. It’s also +2500 that the fight ends in a draw.
Gamblers can virtually choose their own over/under on the fight, anything from 1 1/2 to 10 1/2 rounds. The fewer the rounds, the better odds on the "under" and the shorter price on the "over."
Gamblers who truly feel lucky can get odds ranging from 22/1 to 80/1 by choosing which boxer will end the fight in the exact round. But if the fight goes the distance, the house keeps all the cash.
Boxing betting fans will have two more prime opportunities to pad their bankrolls when HBO offers a doubleheader from Las Vegas on May 5. In the feature, Floyd Mayweather Jr., takes on Miguel Cotto for the 154-pound world title. Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) opened as a -700 favorite over Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs), the +500 underdog, at most venues but, again, some sportsbooks are out of line, providing the boxing betting opportunist with hedging possibilities. We found one bet shop where Mayweather was just -450 and another where Cotto was +600 so that’s another chance to "Dutch" the books.
The consensus total for the Mayweather-Cotto bout is 9 1/2 rounds with "over" the favorite at -200 and "under" offered at +150. Bettors also can lay -125 that the fight goes the full distance or take even money that the three judges decide the winner.
As for how the fight will end, it’s even money that Mayweather wins via decision and +120 that Floyd scores a knockout. A Cotto victory by KO is worth +750 while bettors can take +1400 that Miguel scores a decision win. It’s +3300 that the fighters battle to a 12-round draw.
Individual round and group round betting is available for the truly clairvoyant.
Shane Mosley challenges junior middleweight champion Saul Alvarez on the May 5 undercard but unlike the Hopkins-Dawson rematch and the Mayweather-Cotto tussle, there’ll be no opportunity for boxing betting devotees to "Dutch" this fight. Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KOs) opened as a solid -1200 favorite at most wagering water holes with Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs) listed at +650. Alvarez backers can lay as little as -900 but Mosley supporters aren’t going to do any better than +650 so there’s no chance for a hedge bet here.
In fact, few knowledgeable observers see much chance for Mosley, who at 40, is nearly twice the age of the 21-year-old Alvarez. Mosley, a three-division world champion and certain Hall of Famer, is just 2-3-1 in his last six fights and 0-2-1 in his last three. The fight game always is unpredictable but it’s difficult to see how Mosley can defeat Alvarez.
But gamblers who don’t want to risk $900 just win a C-note have alternatives. They can lay -175 that Alvarez wins by decision or take +190 that the Mexican star scores a knockout. Mosley backers (there have to be some out there) get +1000 on their man winning by KO and +1600 on Mosley taking a 12-round decision. The unlikelihood of a draw gets you +3300.
The total on the bout is 9 1/2 rounds with the "over" quoted as a -500 favorite and the "under" listed at odds of +400. You lay -120 that the bout goes 12 full rounds or take +120 that it ends earlier than that.
With two opportunities to "Dutch" and the specter of a very formidable favorite, the April 28-May 5 time period could prove very beneficial to shrewd boxing betting fans.