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Boxing Over/Under Betting

Boxing Betting: Over-Unders

By Loot, Boxing Handicapper,

Often times when breaking down a fight, you have a stronger feeling on how long a fight will last than who will win the fight. Maybe you feel strongly that a fighter will not only win, but you think you know how he will win. In that case, over-under betting might be up your alley.

In this type of bet, the winner is not important. You are merely trying to gauge how long a fight will last. Either man can win and you still earn. You are merely focusing on how long a fight will go.

The Money Line

Over-unders take place on the money line. Let’s use an example:

Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley

Over 11.5 (-180)
Under 11.5 (+150)

The minus sign is a favorite and the plus sign is an underdog. In other words, this fight is favored to go over 11.5 rounds. If you like the “over,” you must wager $180 in order to win $100.

If you think the fight will end before 11.5 rounds, you receive $150 for every $100 you wager. So just to recap, a (-) sign means you must put up that number to win $100. While a (+) sign means you receive that amount for every $100 you bet.

Important Considerations

Many have learned this the hard way. If the number is 11.5, that means the fight must go 11.5 rounds for the “over” to win. That means 11.5 rounds must be completed. Therefore, the “over” will only become a winner halfway through the 12th round. Many people have thought 11.5 means halfway through the 11th round, but that’s incorrect. The number 11.5 does not mean halfway through the 11th round, but rather 11.5 finished rounds, which of course means the over becomes a winner at 1:30 of the 12th round.


The over-under does not come down to merely whether a fighter gets knocked out or not. Fights get stopped for any number of reasons. If a fighter slips over a banana peel in the first round and twists his knee, your “over” bet is a loser. It doesn’t need to be fair. Cuts, injuries, fouls, poor officiating, or any number of extenuating circumstances can abbreviate a fight. A lightning bolt can stop the fight early and if you have the “over,” it’s a loser.

It behooves the bettor to take note of the referee prior to making an over-under bet. Say you want to bet on the “over” for a big upcoming bout. Preferably, you want a referee who has no track record of being squeamish. You want a referee like Steve Smoger, a man who allows fighters to decide an outcome. The last thing you want is to have the “over” with a referee like Richard Steele who was known to prematurely give fighters the hook.

Also take note of the location of the fight. This is especially true when well-known fighters are performing at home, especially if it’s a fight that is a little off-the-radar, where shenanigans are more rampant. Many times, a visiting fighter taking on a local hero does not get the benefit of the doubt. You may have wagered correctly in taking the “over,” but if the referee is looking for any excuse to give the visiting fighter the hook, it could render your analysis moot.

It’s a lot easier for a referee or other official to openly favor the home fighter when that fight is away from the bright lights of Las Vegas. While shenanigans certainly take place in Sin City, the level and frequency of treachery increases the further you stray from mainstream events. It’s simply easier to allow monkey business to take place when less people are watching.

If you wager on a visiting fighter who is traveling to Colombia to take on a local favorite, you will be subject to things that simply don’t take place in more visible locations. If your fighter gets buckled, the ref might stop the fight. Guys at ringside might grab the fighter’s legs to make him a still target. Just be aware of these things before taking the plunge.

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