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Best Bets on Boxing and WWE Futures: The Noctagon

Trevor Dueck

by Trevor Dueck in Boxing

Dec 22, 2017 · 9:55 AM PST

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez throws a right hook. (Photo Credit: Boxing and MMA YouTube)

There’s not much going on this week in combat sports, but that gives us a chance to have a look at some of the big non-UFC fights that are coming down the pike. All sportsbooks worth their salt will have myriad boxing and MMA futures available to bet on now. Some will just be rumored fights that will only have action if they take place within a certain period of time (e.g. before the end of 2018, like we saw in this week’s Best Bets for UFC Futures: Weekly Wagering Deep Dive. 

One fight that could take place next year is a mega boxing rematch between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, which has been rumored for May 5th (a.k.a. Cinco de Mayo) in Las Vegas.

If you’re more into wrasslin than the sweet science, fear not. Sportsbooks have already released are some early WWE Royal Rumble odds (January 28th) on who will be the last man standing in the 30-man rumble; you can also bet on the next challenger for RAW’s Universal Champion (Brock Lesnar) and SmackDown’s WWE World Champion (AJ Styles).

Let’s circle around those futures and see if there is any value in betting on them now.

Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (-175) vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (+145)

Gennady Golovkin facing Gabriel Rosado in a World Championship Fight for the WBA and IBO Middleweight titles at the Madison Square Garden Theater.
Gennady Golovkin pounds the stuffing out of Gabriel Rosado in 2013 (Photo by Shandle Manqoba (Flickr) CC License)

Their first bout ended in a controversial draw thanks in large part to the scorecard of Adelaide Byrd (118-110 score for Alvarez), which reminded us again that combat sports, in general, can fall prey to some inept judging. If you’re a fight fan and you watched that entire bout, you know that GGG should have had his hand raised.

That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a close fight. Canelo was putting on the pressure in the closing rounds, but ultimately Golovkin had done enough to earn the decision.

The early odds on this potential rematch are about right. Is there value betting on this now?

That depends who you want to wager on. As we get closer to the fight, the line will move, just like it did in the first go around.

Heading into their first bout, the odds for a Golovkin victory went from -145 to -200 when the late money came in.  According to ESPN, international bookmakers closed with Golovkin as high as -500, and Caesars’ sportsbook took a six-figure loss on the draw (a draw bet opened at 30/1 but closed at 16/1).

With that knowledge in hand, if you’re looking to lay some money down on Alvarez in the rematch, best wait this out and check to see if you can get him at longer odds closer to fight night. The opposite applies to Triple G: grab him now at -175 if you are looking to run with the favorite.

Early 2018 WWE Royal Rumble Odds

Shinsuke Nakamura leans on the ropes
Shinsuke Nakamura – Photo Credit: By Courtney Rose CC License

WWE’s Royal Rumble is set to shake the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on January 28th. This is one of the few WWE events that you can actually throw money on and it just so happens to be one of my favorites.

The card is still coming together at this point, but what we do know for sure is that there will be a 30-man Royal Rumble match, and the winner will receive a shot at either RAW’s Universal Championship or SmackDown’s WWE Championship.

As we get closer to the event, you will start to see more sportsbooks release their odds. However, Paddy Power has beaten everyone to the punch:

  • John Cena: 9/4 (+225)
  • Roman Reigns: 5/2 (+250)
  • Shinsuke Nakamura: 11/4 (+275)
  • AJ Styles: 5/1 (+500)
  • Seth Rollins: 8/1 (+800)
  • Bobby Roode: 10/1 (+1000)
  • Braun Strowman: 10/1 (+1000)
  • Samoa Joe: 12/1 (+1200)
  • Finn Balor: 14/1 (+1400)
  • Randy Orton: 14/1  (+1400)
  • Sami Zayn: 14/1 (+1400)
  • Jeff Hardy: 16/1 (+1600)
  • Kevin Owens: 16/1 (+1600)

The list goes on and includes some names that are totally unrealistic, like Kenny Omega for instance, who is signed to New Japan Wrestling, not the WWE.

Right now, you have to think either John Cena, Roman Reigns or Shinsuke Nakamura will be the last man standing. Wrestling fans would love to see Nakamura pick up the win and face SmackDown’s WWE Champion, AJ Styles, at Wrestlemania 34. They tore the house down when they faced each other at Wrestle Kingdom 10 in Japan, and you know the WWE would love to have that kind of magic at Wrestlemania next year.

After taking time off to promote his many other ventures, John Cena is set to make his return to the squared circle just before Royal Rumble and he most definitely has a great chance of standing tall in the end. Who knows how long Cena has left in the WWE and he sits tied with Ric Flair as a 16 x World Champion (according to WWE lore, at least). If the WWE wants Cena to win his 17th, now is the time, and what better way to do it than on the biggest stage there is, Wrestlemania.

Roman Reigns is the other dog in the yard that could pick up the win. It has been rumored for months that WWE creative wants to schedule Reigns vs. Lesnar as the Wrestlemania 34 main event, and for Reigns to be the guy who finally kicks out of the F5 and beats Lesnar. If you can, take Reigns now at +250.

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