The glamour division is back.
New Jersey sports betting and boxing fans scour an appetizing menu when unbeaten heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury deliver the rematch of their pulsating 2018 draw Saturday night in Las Vegas. It’s a rematch Wilder calls “unfinished business.”
This is one of the best wagering boards assembled for a boxing match in a long time.
Why? Bettors have many places to go.
First, the fight is competitive. Major books, headlined by DraftKings and FanDuel, have the bout practically a pick-em. That makes the win line viable on either side, and it should attract significant betting attention.
The boxing moneyline resembles that of other major sports, in which a bettor lays $11 to win $10 on either side.
This event has glitzy numbers. The fighters are a combined 71-0. Two heavyweights in their prime, in prime time. Wilder is 42-0-1 with 41 knockouts. Fury is 29-0-1 with 20 knockouts. And they already fought each other to a draw.
Handicapping is a reasonable task for bettors. Never mind looking back several years to determine where a fighter is at today. Bettors will evaluate the first fight, realize adjustments will be made this time, and try to predict who makes the more effective change.
NJ sportsbooks look at the intangibles
The props are not merely an alternative to the moneyline. They augment it with several options.
Wilder was outboxed significantly during the first fight, lending credence to a possible Fury decision for the rematch.
But Wilder, an explosive puncher, rallied to drop Fury in the ninth and 12th rounds, stealing the draw that retained his WBC heavyweight title. Wilder backers would be paid handsomely if Wilder caught Fury earlier and took him out this time.
Both fighters say this fight won’t go the distance. Payouts for pinpointing a knockout round are strong across the board.
Fury suffered a nasty gash above his right eye in the third round of his 2019 victory over Otto Wallin. He showed durability in prevailing despite impaired vision for nine rounds.
But if Wilder opens the same cut, it is right in the path of his stiff, excellent jab. Should Fury become cut, odds are the consequences would be more severe against Wilder.
It is more difficult for Fury to box as perfectly as he did throughout the first fight than it is for Wilder to decide to apply more pressure earlier in this bout.
Wilder usually has a game-changing moment that decides his fights. He had two of them against Fury, one in the ninth and one in the 12th, but somehow Fury survived. A tangible betting question is when Wilder hurts Fury in this battle.
Great Wagering Ties
American fans have long embraced boxers from the UK, ranging from heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis to welterweight king Ricky Hatton and now the modern heavyweights, Fury and Anthony Joshua.
The charismatic Joshua has three of the four major heavyweight titles. Wilder has the other. Boxing fans hope for a Joshua-Wilder fight at some point to unify all the titles. Many of the rabid New Jersey sports betting fans have graduated to betting status, post-PASPA.
Big Past Performances
Wilder has one rematch in his career. It was stellar. In 2015, he captured the WBC title with a stirring 12-round decision victory over Bermane Stiverne in the same building in which he’ll fight Saturday. That was Wilder’s first time fighting 12 rounds, his previous long being four. He fought Stiverne in a 2017 rematch and knocked him out in one round.
Fury became prominent with a 2015 victory over Wladimir Klitschko, who had won 22 fights in a row and was considered the top heavyweight in the world at that time.
NJ Sportsbooks see no moneyline edge
DraftKings has both fighters at -110 on the moneyline, a rare expression of parity in the boxing world. Most fights offered at 4-1 or are considered competitive for boxing. This one is the rare pick-em.
The prop betting is tantalizing. A Wilder knockout, technical knockout or disqualification is +135, while Fury is 5-1 for the same wagers, at DraftKings.
A draw, which occurred the first time, is 22-1. Back-to-back stalemates are quite rare, but bettors wager on draws on the hunch of weird scoring by the judges.
The over-under total closest to betting parity is 10.5 rounds, with the over at -121 and the under +121. Under 4.5 rounds, for anyone expecting a quick finish, is +400.
So, if NJ sports betting apps peg the logical outcome as a long fight, why is a Wilder decision a hefty 8-1, whereas Fury is +165?
The odds imply that Fury’s method of victory would be a decision, and Wilder’s a knockout. Wilder has knocked out 41 of his 42 opponents. And the way Wilder closed their first fight, with two knockdowns in the past four rounds, suggest he’ll try to hurt Fury earlier and make this a shorter fight.
Nonetheless, Fury, at 6-foot-9, is the first opponent to really make the 6-foot-7 Wilder box more. He out-landed Wilder in the first fight, and Wilder was less effective as a boxer than in most of his previous fights.
FanDuel provides a key betting option
One of boxing’s long-time wagering weaknesses was its absence of betting options.
FanDuel routinely offers a solution via group-rounds betting for a knockout. The book provides a range of knockout rounds and payouts for this fight.
Wilder to win in inside three rounds is 10-1, and Fury is 22-1.
Wilder returns 6-1 for a victory between rounds 4-6, a +550 hit between rounds 7-9 and 8-1 for a knockout in the final three rounds.
Fury is 22-1 for a win inside three rounds, 16-1 in both the 4-6 and 7-9 ranges, and 18-1 for a stoppage win in the final three rounds.
One semi-conservative strategy is selecting two different three-round groupings, increasing one’s chance to win, albeit with a smaller payout.