By Charles Jay
No, the bookmakers are not giving Rocky Fielding very much of a chance to defeat Canelo Alvarez when the two face each other on Saturday night in New York City on DAZN, although it’s not as if the odds are getting way out of hand.
Naturally, the numbers are posted with the expectation of public action in mind, but the bettors will move these figures if the action is considerable enough. And while Fielding is getting some support, Alvarez is still a considerable favorite.
As we surveyed a lot of the sportsbooks that do business online, admittedly the prices on underdog are a little shorter. In those establishments that focus on overseas business (from the UK and Europe), we saw Fielding at +800 at most of the places we looked at, with a couple of them at +700 and one at +900.
When it came to those online sportsbooks that are U.S.-facing (i.e., those who accept customers from the United States), the price on Fielding is generally higher, from +875 all the way up to +1050 at one prominent outlet.
A quick note here – these prices all reflect a three-way proposition; that is to say, one where you could bet on either fighter or the draw, which mostly ranges from 25-1 to 33-1. When the sportsbooks offer the option of taking the draw out of the proposition (thus making it a two-way prop and a “push” with money returned if it does indeed wind up a draw), the price on Canelo goes a little higher and the “takeback” on Fielding is a bit lower.
And speaking of Alvarez, who, by the way, is the challenger in this fight, the odds you would have to “lay” on him varies, and in each case, it’s high. We saw -1600 at some places, with a fair number of -1800 and -2000, up to -2500 at one world-class outlet. There is one sportsbook that accommodates sharps (i.e., professional bettors) that has a much more narrow spread between the favorite and the dog, with a price of -1563 on Canelo and +1000 on Fielding. That offers more value than most books, on either side.
Incidentally, in case you are not all that familiar with what these numbers mean, when you see a price of -1600, for example, you have to lay 16-1, or bet $16 for every $1 in profit you hope to see in return. And on the underdog side of the ledger, when you have a price of +800, it means that you’d get paid off at 8-1 odds, with $8 in profit for every $1 wagered.
Perhaps a more competitive proposition for boxing bettors involves the “over-under,” which offers a wager on how many rounds the fight will go. The number that appears most prominently is 7-1/2 rounds, and rather than move it off that number, the oddsmakers from one sportsbook to another are instead changing the odds on each side of that two-way prop. For instance, you may see a price as low as -145 on the “under,” with a number as high as +1365 on the “over.” Of course, skilled sports bettors who have multiple accounts are always on the lookout for a “scalp” where they can find a “plus” number that is higher than the “minus” number listed somewhere else for the same prop, which means they can bet both sides of it and guarantee themselves a profit. However, it should be noted that these situations are closely monitored as sportsbooks do what they can to protect themselves from being part of such a thing.
There are many other options available for wagering. Among them are those that involve a specific result for the fight, and these can be significant for people placing bets, because they offer better payouts for those who can predict with additional accuracy. For instance, one number seen widely is a potential payout of 33-1 for Fielding winning the fight by decision, while most sportsbooks who post this kind of proposition have listed Canelo at -400 to win the fight inside the distance, whether it is by knockout, technical knockout or disqualification.
You can even bet on whether either of these fighters is going to be knocked down. One popular UK online wagering outlet prices Fielding at -500 to be knocked to the canvas (where you lay $5 for every dollar won), while Alvarez is priced at +500 for the same thing.
For some, evaluating the numbers adds that extra amount of “spice” to the experience of watching the big fights. And besides, for those “experts” offering predictions, it’s a chance to put one’s money where one’s mouth is.
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