Boxing has become big business in the US, with millions of fans across the world watching the sport’s biggest fights. With big characters across a number of weight classes and the heavyweight division enjoying a golden generation, there are multiple opportunities to bet on boxing throughout the year.
For advice on betting strategy, see our comprehensive guide on how to bet on boxing. Before we take a closer look into the ring, though, it’s important to know the basic bet types in boxing.
The most common bet type in a boxing match is the money line, otherwise known as match or head-to-head betting. Unless two fighters are too close in ability to separate, you will traditionally have a money line favourite and money line underdog, while you can also bet on there being a tie.
Example: Tyson Fury is fighting Deontay Wilder in the heavyweight division and William Hill is offering odds of -270 that Fury, the favourite, will win.
The same sportsbook is offering underdog Wilder at +220, while the tie is +2200. If Wilder wins, a $10 bet earns you a $32.00 payout: $22.00 in winnings plus your $10 stake back. If Fury wins, a $10 bet earns you a $13.70 payout: $3.70 in winnings and your $10 stake back.
Betting on Fury earns you much less as his odds are so short, meaning sportsbooks think he is much likelier to win. A $10 on the tie, which is a rare result in boxing, would earn you a $230 payout, with $220 in winnings.
When you are betting on a boxer to win a match, you can also wager on the method of their victory. Outside the possible outcome of a tie, there are two ways a boxer can win a fight: via knockout (which includes technical knockouts where a referee stops a fight) or decision. There is also the possibility of a technical decision or disqualification, though some sportsbooks will group this with the knockout option.
Example: In another heavyweight fight, between Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin, BetMGM is offering odds of +140 that White wins on points and +137 that he wins via knockout. These odds are much higher than Whyte’s odds on the money line, because the bet is more specific.
So if you bet on Whyte to win via knockout and the fight went the full 12 rounds, with him winning on points, your bet would not win.
A much more specific bet type is what particular round a fighter will win the match in. With 12-round fights, there are essentially 24 possibilities across both fighters, added to the option of each fighter winning on points or the fight being a tie.
For this reason, the odds on each specific round are much higher and can vary from +1000 to +6000. Winning a bet of this type is very difficult, though, hence the greater odds. It may be easier to tell which round a fighter could win in if you are live betting on a match, although the odds here will be shorter.
A similar concept to individual round betting, grouped round betting gives you a broader selection to wager on. This offers you shorter odds but gives you a more strategic chance of narrowing down a group of rounds.
Grouped round betting usually divides the match into four quarters – Rounds 1-3, Rounds 4-6, Rounds 7-9 and Rounds 10-12.
Example: With Borgata Sports, Whyte is +700 to beat Povetkin in rounds 10-12. So if you thought Whyte would win via knockout later in the match, as Povetkin would start to tire, you could narrow this down as your selection.
Another bet type that looks at rounds is much less specific: totals betting. In totals betting, the sportsbook will set a line and you have to bet whether the fight will go over or under that line.
Example: Borgata Sports are offering +100, or even money, that the Whyte-Povetkin fight lasts less than 10 rounds. So if the match ended via knockout before the end of Round 10 and you made this bet, your wager would win.
The odds are shorter for the fight to go 10 rounds or more (-137) which means sportsbooks expect the fight to last or go the full distance.
Breaking down how long a boxing fight will last even further, you can take rounds out of the equation completely by betting on whether the fight will go the distance. If you are confident of the match ending via decision, and don’t think either fighter can produce a knockout, you can bet ‘yes’ for this selection.
If you think a match will be decided via stoppage or knockout, you can bet ‘no.’ This wager would then be successful whichever individual or group of rounds the fight stopped in, ranging from Round 1 to Round 12.
Example: For Whyte vs Povetkin, William Hill is offering the same odds (-120) for the fight to go the distance as it is for a knockout, making this a straight 50/50 choice. A successful $10 bet on either selection would earn a $18.33 payout, including your stake back.
Like in other sport, you can choose to bet on parlays when betting on boxing, which is a combination of multiple bets rather than just one single selection. The easiest and most common way to do this is by wagering on several money line selections.
Boxing nights will usually have a number of fights, with the main event and several others on the undercard. This presents a great opportunity to bet on several fights at once with a parlay.
If you choose to bet a parlay, your odds will increase but your chances of losing will, too. This is because every selection in a parlay has to win for the bet to be successful.
For the best boxing odds and betting offers, always compare before you bet.