In this boxing preview we’ll be assessing the gaps in the market for betting on Terence Crawford and Jose Benavidez Jr. This main event pits the number 1 and 2 WBO welterweights, in a fight which the champion is heavily backed to retain his title. Read on for our suggested betting lines and prediction.
Crawford vs. Benavidez Jr Preview
Three-division champion Terence Crawford makes his first WBO title defence this weekend when he takes on the undefeated Jose Benavidez Jr. at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
Should Bud win on Saturday night he will consolidate his reputation as one of the pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. A victory for the American will also make inroads in negotiations for a super fight with the cream of the 147 lbs division in Porter or Spence Jr.
Crawford comes into this fight with 33 wins, no losses and a 75% KO rate. He remains fresh from dismantling Australian Jeff Horn in early 2018 in nine rounds, in a fight where he sustained little damage and took care of business with ease.
Benavidez Jr. has a style which should excite fans watching from both in USA and overseas. Merciless has earned his number 2 spot in the division through keeping a clean record of 27 wins and no losses, establishing 18 KOs along the way. He has fought and won twice this year already against credible opponents, suggesting he is in fine health and form.
Terence Crawford vs. Jose Benavidez Jr. Betting Odds
The mainstream betting platforms have pegged Crawford as clear favourite with odds of 1/25, which we view as a tad extreme. Benavidez Jr is coming to mix it up and the win for Bud won’t be as clean cut as the betting lines suggest. Here is out pick of the top markets to play with.
Terence Crawford to win outright
The champ should have this one in the bag. Backing him to win with a single stake is a bet that won’t offer any sizeable return, so if this is your market of choice consider doubling up with another safe win for any other fight this weekend. Crawford is one of the gifted boxers in this division and we expect him to remind viewers why with a flawless performance against his American counterpart.
Terence Crawford to win by KO/TKO
A Crawford KO is appetising due to the high probability going on paper records alone, however as he showed when fighting Horn, he can be patient in unloading those bombs with both fists. If Benavidez Jr comes out all guns blazing then we foresee him being caught early and struggling to hang on in the fight. Crawford admits that he doesn’t always look for the knockout but just thinks of the win. Bear that in mind if betting on a stoppage.
Terence Crawford to win rounds 9-12
Crawford is practically 1 or 2 fights away from a blockbuster showdown with Spence Jr, Thurman or Porter. He can leave no margin for error in facing a lively and undefeated Benavidez Jr. who is not to be underestimated. Odds on Crawford forcing a stoppage late in the fight are worth looking at, and if he should need rounds 1-6 impose himself then 9-12 could be when he comes into his own.
Fight to go the distance
Odds on the fight to not last are always higher than it going the distance when two heavy hitters face one another, but don’t let that steer you into backing this market. As mentioned above, Crawford needs to be smart in how he breaks down his adversary and if that means dishing out sufficient punishment to win each round without entering dangerous territory then the champ might push for 12.
Our Prediction – Crawford to Win
Before we ring this one up, let’s not forget Crawford is in the prime of his life. He fights both orthodox and southpaw and doesn’t know what it feels like to lose a professional fight. Digesting these factors, it’s difficult to imagine him throwing this one away.
For a man whose career was written off after being shot in the foot two years ago, Benavidez Jr has some balls to pick back up in the fight game where he left off: demolishing opponents with serious punching power and brute force. Even in showing no mercy, this could be a step up in class he simply hasn’t laid the groundwork for.