Examining the Betting Odds Ahead of Wilder’s Rematch with Ortiz
By:Robert Aaron Contreras
Oddsmaking is a funny business, something like predicting the future. But when it comes to a rematch like this weekend’s Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz rewind, Wilder’s success in their initial meeting seems to have eliminated the fortuitous spirit of the wagering process.
Meeting again, on Saturday from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Wilder looks like a safe bet. The WBC champion is listed as high as a one-to-seven favorite (-700, Bet365). Ortiz opened at +300 and currently sits as steep as five-to-one (+501, SportBet). Nearly two years since their first go, Wilder remains unbeaten. He has now totaled 40 knockouts in his career. The highlight being of course that tenth-round KO over Ortiz.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
In 2018, Ortiz was also relegated to the underdog role, but much closer at nearly even odds. The Cuban southpaw opened at +170 to Wilder’s -189. Come fight night, the psaphonic American closed at -400. It served as a precedent because Wilder was priced at -400 upon inking the second deal with Ortiz.
The punters and bookies have been happy to again bank on Wilder’s haymakers, shifting the odds even more decidedly in his favor. Considering the boxers in discussion have already fought—one decisively beating the other—is it not that simple? Should not Wilder’s previous victory close the curtains on boxing’s theater of the unexpected?
Never. Not in the sport’s maximum category at least. Divisional icon Evander Holyfield does not think so either.
“Why give a guy another chance who is that good?” Holyfield reacted, via FightHype.com. “I don’t know why Wilder did it.”
At jeopardy for Wilder is a mega-unification with Tyson Fury following their split-decision draw at the end of last year. Holyfield recognizes Ortiz presents no small risk, no matter how wide Wilder’s odds grow.
As of late, Holyfield has been interactive with the media. Aged 57, he shared his interest in returning to the ring against Riddick Bowe before delivering his prediction of boxing’s other blockbuster rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua.
Ruiz’s triumphant upset over Joshua provided major leverage in the eyes the bookmakers. Once a +800 dog, the suoid champion faces Joshua again at +250. It is a huge shift but still not good enough to give Ruiz favorable odds. But favorable odds did not help Joshua in the slightest. They do not help anyone.
If they did then any grudge match of a 50-50 fight (as Wilder vs. Ortiz predictably was) should statistically lean toward the loser—just as 50 percent probability stipulates.
Recall that before the referee waved things off, the clash was dead even: Wilder counted for two knockdowns but was nearly finished by Ortiz in the seventh period. To be sure, it will not be the same Ortiz in the ring on Saturday. He is older after all, passing that frightening threshold into the golden 40s.
The challenger’s age, though, will not be the only thing different. Ortiz was vocal about chalking up his loss to Wilder to poor cardio, citing fatigue in the closing stages of their battle. For assistance he has linked up with nutrition and supplement guru Victor Conte. While Conte remains infamous for his role in the BALCO scandal of 2005, boxing’s elite continually praise his work. Devin Haney and Mikey Garcia were just a couple of the latest.
Work with Conte is paying dividends for Ortiz. Social media has chronicled the Cuban’s supreme physique. And BoxingScene reported his being in “better shape” than 2018’s version.
It is always easy to bet against the previous loser in the series. Memories are easily mistaken for intuition, images percolating into the imagination: a faceless referee standing over a sunken heap of Ortiz—warped like Picasso’s “Old Guitarist”—all to the backdrop of Wilder turning away smiling, toward the flashing cameras, victorious.
It happens. In May, Emanuel Navarrete doubled down on his doubters. He pelted away at Isaac Dogboe for the second time. The first was a massive seven-to-one upset for the super bantamweight crown.
But contrasting examples might be Canelo Alvarez’s rivalry with Gennady Golovkin. After much support for Golovkin the first time around, the Mexican luminary then made sure to make his closing unanimous decision stick. As the results did when he trumped Sergey Kovalev, the Russian who first extended Andre Ward—fighting equally, if not robbed—before being felled and stopped inside the distance. Kovalev was similarly crumbled at the hands of Eleider Alvarez before the next time wreaking vengeance.
One more. How many times was Juan Manuel Marquez turned away before putting Manny Pacquiao to sleep?
It is clear the only guarantee in rematches is a sorry ending for determinist thinking. Holyfield understands this. Bookies not so much.
More People Are Betting On McGregor Than On Mayweather – A lot More
By: Sean Crose
Give Conor McGregor this – the guy is a master self promoter, perhaps one of the best in history. While he’s notoriously (no pun intended) well known for the self belief that fuels him, McGregor’s willful persona has also attracted massive numbers of dedicated followers, followers who are now putting up their hard earned money to showcase their faith in the man. The betting for this Saturday’s Mayweather-McGregor fight is massive. That’s no surprise, but what IS surprising is the fact that the vast, vast majority of bets are being placed in the belief that McGregor will win.
Photo Credit: Showtime
“Tickets are coming in on Conor McGregor at about an eighteen to one clip,” betting powerhouse William Hill has stated. That’s a massive difference. Of course, it’s been said that McGregor bets will be on the smaller side, while the kind of big money player that tosses a lot on these sorts of things will most likely go in with Mayweather, who most experts expect to win handily this Saturday night when he faces off with McGregor at the T-Mobile arena in Vegas. Yet it’s also been indicated that Las Vegas might take quite a bath if McGregor somehow pulls off the upset. Then again, things change quickly when it comes to betting. In other words, the tide of McGregor mania might subside over the next few days.
It’s worth noting that it’s not just faith in the MMA star’s ability to best the perhaps greatest boxer in a generation that has people laying down their hard earned cash. Some, perhaps far more than some, are betting that McGregor will actually get disqualified. You read that right. People are betting that McGregor will lose by doing something stupid in the ring on Saturday night. As the old adage goes: it’s your money. It must be stated, however, that the disqualification bets perfectly showcase the goofball nature of this entire event.
Floyd Mayweather’s right hand man actually compared the fight and all that surrounds it to the Kardashians and maybe he’s not too far off. People like to the watch and read up on the Kardashians, however. Yet no one’s probably ever bet money of Chloe going in for a roundhouse kick. One other odd note is it’s being reported as late as of this writing that the event still hasn’t sold out the T-Mobile arena, where the fight is being held.
It’s been said this has more to do with the expensive nature of tickets than any lack of popularity. For the younger crowd that McGregor appeals to may not have the ready money to toss a couple of grand off for fight night in Vegas, while perhaps some of those who coughed up thousands for Mayweather-Pacquiao in 2015 aren’t quite as willing to part with that kind of money in order to see Mayweather fight a man who has never boxed professionally in his life.