Boxing Betting: Getting Juicy Lines
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Make Moderate Underdogs a Big Part of Your Betting
A strange phenomenon exists in boxing betting, where a relatively even match will have odds that clearly favor one fighter. When looking at upcoming fights where a line has not been posted, try to identify relatively even match-ups, where a case can be made for either fighter winning. Then wait for the line to come out. If one fighter is a +160 underdog or more, it might be a bet you want to make.
This is a nice way to gain an edge in your wagering. By finding good value on dogs, you make it so you can profit by winning well under 50% of your bets when using this play. Sometimes, little factors can contribute to two otherwise evenly-matched fighters being given disparate odds. Many of those contributing factors are based on things like notoriety, visibility, and other things not connected to fighting skill.
Keep an eye on underdogs around the +160 to +300 range. Especially if they are unknown. An anonymous fighter facing a well-known one who is only a moderate underdog can often times be a great value. And before most fighters get to the top, there was a time or two when they were in the spot of being a moderate underdog. When laying bets on a specific fighter, why wait until he's a favorite to jump onboard? Try to bet on them before they really hit the big-time, when you can actually make a nice profit by backing them.
Exploit Weak Lines
Needless to say, the oddsmakers who set the lines know what they're doing. If they didn't, they wouldn't be in the position to set the odds in the first place. So don't think that you're going to outsmart these guys on a regular basis. But it's important to note that odds don't necessarily reflect the probability of who will win, but rather to make it so an even amount of money gets placed on both sides--so the house gets all the juice.
So you can sometimes find lines that are off. Not because the oddsmakers are off their game, but because they want to make both sides of the bet equally enticing to bettors. It's important to note how critical a role hype plays in this equation. The fighters who are super-famous or who have gigantic fan bases usually receive poor value. Those who fancy underdogs can often times find tasty betting lines on more uncelebrated fighters.
In a closely-contested match, you will also see the less-hyped fighter often times receive much better odds simply by virtue of their followings not being as big or as rabid as their ballyhooed counterpart. It's important to look at a line and determine how these numbers were arrived at. If you can identify that certain things accounted for the odds that are not necessarily items that translate to actually beating the opponent--then act accordingly. Popularity, big fan bases, and heightened media attention plays a role sometimes, but those things don't really win fights.
It's important to caution bettors who are attempting to extract the most value out of their bets to close up their leaks. And having the propensity to chase after losing is a gaping leak. Boxing betting veterans will tell you that how you handle failure is the true test that separates great boxing bettors from ones who can't make it work. Those who are good at this realize that this is a marathon, not a sprint. They don't get a big head when they score a series of wins. But more importantly, a loss or series of losses does not send them spiraling down the slippery slope of chasing.
Chasing is when you make bets you wouldn't normally make or increase your stake on future bets--all because you lost. It's as normal as it gets in gambling--where people try to atone for recent failures by attempting a quick turnaround. You lose some bets, but rather than trying to rebuild thoughtfully by trusting in your game for the long-run, you act like a football team down by 14 late in 4th quarter and start lobbing hail-marys down the field.
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Winning is easy. How you handle defeats is really the key point, however. It can be hard. You lose a few bets--you feel discouraged or even a little desperate. You want to make things right. But making bets you wouldn't have otherwise made is a losing strategy.
Every month or few weeks, you pour over the fight schedule and decide which bouts you want to wager. You handicap the fights with a clear head and make conscientious picks that stem from having a calm demeanor. But all that goes out the window when you chase. Now you're making bets based on losing. It's all coming from a bad place. The way boxing is structured, you can sit back and make a plan. Stick to the plan. Do not allow setbacks to make you lose your poise and deviate from the script.