Whap!!! That’s the sound of us slapping your hand to keep you from making the same boxing betting mistakes that we did. While boxing betting is pretty straightforward, there are a lot of pitfalls and easy to make mistakes that can cost you a lot of money. The big problem is that we see these mistakes from sports bettors of all skill levels including beginners and experienced pros.
In this guide, we want to walk you through every one of these boxing betting mistakes. Our goal is to prevent you from having to learn the hard way and lose the money that we had to in order to figure out what we should and should not do. It’s very possible that this guide might be the most important piece of literature that you read on the topic of boxing betting in your entire betting career.
Before we get started with the boxing betting mistakes, we did want to make known a few additional resources for you. These are some great spots for you to check out after you get through this guide if you’d like to continue learning about how to master betting on the sport of boxing. The first link is to our main boxing betting hub. The hub is filled with all of the tools and resources you could ever want to improve your boxing betting abilities.
The second link is the opposing article to this guide. Instead of telling you what NOT to do when betting on boxing, it’s going to break down exactly what you should be doing. When you finish reading this guide, we highly recommend that you check out these two areas to continue your learning and growing process.
The number one mistake that we see from boxing bettors of all skill levels is betting way too many fights. No, this is not a bankroll management tip or anything to do with not taking on too much risk. This has nothing to do with that and everything to do with betting fights that have no value.
Boxing is an interesting sport where the temptation to bet on every fight on a card can be high. When there are only four or five fights a week, you may feel that you need to get in as much action as possible. The problem with this mindset is that you end up betting fights that you really have no business getting involved with. This is either because there is no good value in any of the bets or you just don’t have a clear prediction one way or the other. But, because the fight opportunities are limited, you start forcing bets.
In reality, you should only be betting on fights that you have a strong prediction about the outcome and that the offered betting lines offer value. If these two criteria are not met, you should not be betting that fight. Here’s the truth. No matter how sharp you are, you shouldn’t be betting every single fight. The best in the world know when they need to walk away from a fight and when the smarter play is no bet.
This also means that there will be a lot of times when you’re not betting the main event of a card. It can feel weird as a serious bettor not touching the high-profile fight, but it can sometimes be the smartest play. If you’re only betting to have a good time, then bet away on whichever fights you want to. But, if you’re serious about making money, you need to have the discipline to avoid the fights that lack value.
If you’re convinced that you can find value in every single fight, you’re doing something wrong.
When a fighter suffers a loss, it can hurt their ego. But, when a fighter suffers a loss by way of vicious beating or a brutal knockout, they can sometimes hurt a lot more than just their ego. When you’re betting on boxing fights, you need to be wary of a fighter if they lost their last fight or a recent fight by way of a beating or a knockout.
A few things can happen. One, some fighters can lose their edge mentally after taking a bad beating. No matter how tough they are, it can be hard for them to be as aggressive and fearless as they were prior to the brutal injury. Second, it can potentially take away their edge physically. There are countless stories of fighters getting knocked out and then never being the same again in the ring when it comes to speed, power, and their ability to operate.
This is not something that happens every time to every fighter. But, it’s something that you need to be hesitant of. For example, let’s say that you want to bet on a fighter that got brutally knocked out in their last fight but you think that was just a fluke and they got caught. While you could be right, you can’t forget about the fact that their body and their mind took a huge hit. You need to try and figure out how you think this is going to affect them in their upcoming fight. If the line looks like it’s skewed incorrectly away from them, this could be the reason why. We’re not saying not to bet on them, but you need to be a little cautious and don’t bet the whole farm as the fighter might not be the same fighter you’re used to.
For the most part, fighters “behave” and stay in the weight classes that they usually fight in. But, from time to time you will see a fighter jump up or down a weight class or choose to fight a catch-weight bout which is a fight in between two classes. We’re just kidding about the behaving part because there is nothing wrong with changing weight classes. But, from a betting standpoint, you need to be fully aware of when this is happening, why it’s happening, and how you think it’s going to affect the fighter making the change.
Fighters can change weight classes for many reasons. They could be changing because they think they’re going to be able to perform better at a different weight class. Or, they could be changing because they think their path to the top is easier at a different weight class. Or, in some cases, fighters could just be getting lazy when it comes to weight cuts and want to try something a little easier. Regardless of the reason, you can’t ignore that fighting in a different weight class will have a huge effect on their performance even if the weight change is just a few pounds.
Each fighter will react differently to a weight change in either direction, but there are some generalizations that we can make to help get you started for what you might expect. When fighters are going up in a weight class (fighting heavier), you can expect them not to have to cut as much weight before the fight. This can have a positive effect on their cardio and overall performance. Be aware that if the fighter jumps weight classes and comes in smaller on fight night, they may be a bit faster than their opponents, but they will probably lack slightly in the power department.
If a fighter is going down in weight, you can expect them to have to cut harder if that is outside of their natural body weight. This will usually have a negative effect on their cardio as they will typically need to cut more weight than usual. But, if they are having to cut harder, it does mean that they will probably have a bit of a size advantage on fight night in trade for giving up some of the cardio edge.
These are just generalizations and a starting point for you to start analyzing the weight change. The most important thing to look at is how they are going about making the change. If they are coming in around the same size and capitalizing on the cardio advantage going up in weight or the power advantage going down in weight, then you need to be aware of that. Or, if they are working to change their walking around weight, so they’re effectively cutting around the same amount of weight as their opponent, then a lot of that is negated.
Still, a new weight class can bring new challenges for a fighter who hasn’t fought there before. Make sure that you’re aware when any fighter changes weight classes from where they normally fight. Failure to even be aware of this can put your bets in significant jeopardy.
Recreational boxing bettors have a horrible habit of giving extra credit to the fighter with more name recognition. They subconsciously figure that if they’ve heard their name a lot, it must be because they are the better fighter. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While it is probably true that most of the name recognition did come from success, boxing is a sport that can change overnight. Also, it’s a sport that is heavily driven by promoters, so name recognition can often be more of a sign of a great promoter and less of a sign of a great fighter.
Be careful not to fall into this trap. Just because you know a boxer’s name does not mean they have any better shot of winning a fight. Name recognition does zero for you once the bell rings and punches start being thrown. In fact, you can often find a lot of value betting against a well-known fighter when they’re up against an up and comer. The betting public will be firing hard on the well-known fighter creating a pretty unique value opportunity on their opponent.
Of course, don’t just go out and start betting against all of the well-known fighters with a lot of name recognition. But, these can be good places for you to start your research to see if there are value opportunities.
The cardinal sin in any form of sports betting including boxing is chasing wins and not value. This is a concept that can confuse the heck out of people, but it’s the basis for whether or not you’ll be a long-term winner betting on boxing. Here’s the gist of the concept. You can have way more winning tickets than losing tickets and still be losing money betting on boxing. On the flip side, you can have way more losing tickets than winning tickets and be wildly profitable betting on boxing.
If this just flipped your world upside down, you need to pay attention. The secret to winning long-term betting on boxing is not chasing wins. The secret is chasing bets that have value. This means that there will be times when you bet on fighters that you actually think are going to lose, but you know it’s a smart bet because of the value associated.
Now, we’re pretty sure a lot of you are probably extremely confused right now. How can it make any sense that you’re not looking to win your bets when winning bets is how you make money? Well, obviously, you’re still trying to win bets, but that is not your primary goal. If it is your primary goal, then you’re approaching everything wrong and are doomed to be a loser when it comes to turning a profit. You may end up with an awesome win/loss record, but you’re not going to make any money.
If this is even remotely new to you or confusing, we highly recommend that you take some time right now and read our guide on understanding value and how betting lines work. This is hands-down the single most important piece of writing on our entire site not just for boxing bettors but for bettors of any sport. This is the holy grail, key, secret, whatever you want to call it to being a successful sports bettor.
This is the simplest boxing betting mistake to correct and avoid on the list, but it can also be the most costly when ignored. Mistakes happen. Whether you’re betting online and putting in the best yourself or going to the sportsbook and having an agent put them in for you, mistakes happen. You might accidentally type in the wrong amount on a bet or accidentally click the other side of a contest. The sportsbook agent might mishear you through all of the loud commotion and excitement of the sportsbook and key in the wrong bet.
This happens way more than you think. We’ve talked with sportsbook managers, and they say mistakes are made multiple times every single day. It’s inevitable because of how loud and wild sportsbooks are and the fact that you have people inputting thousands of tickets every single day.
What happens to you when your ticket is wrong? Well, it’s not good. You could end up betting way more or way less than you want to on a fight or even worse you could end up betting on the wrong fighter or the wrong fight altogether. We can’t stress enough that this happens no matter how careful you are or how good the sportsbook gate agents are. That means you could be watching a fight and cheering only to find out later that your incorrect ticket is a bust because it was accidentally printed for the wrong fighter. Guess who is going to care at that point and help you? No one.
But, you’re not out of luck. You see, this is the easiest thing to protect yourself against and it only takes a few seconds after you make a bet. Check your ticket. Before you hit the enter button or click submit on your online betting account, check your ticket. Or, before you walk away from the counter in the brick and mortar sportsbook, check your ticket. If it’s wrong online, make the correction. If it’s wrong in the book, tell the agent before you walk away from the counter and they will correct it.
It’s really that easy to fix, but it requires you to be on your toes and take a few seconds to check every single one of your tickets for accuracy. What are you looking for? Make sure that you’ve bet the correct amount, on the correct fight, on the correct fighter, and with the correct bet type. It’s as simple as taking a quick scan and checking the key numbers and information.
No matter how perfect you think you are or how much you trust the agents, just take a second to double check everything. Even if there is never a mistake in your entire boxing betting career, you can at least have the peace of mind to know you’re good to go.
The world of boxing is one that is driven by hype. Promoters who are good at their jobs can sell a fight between two fighters regardless of whether or not that fight is going to be exciting. They can make what is going to be a one-sided affair seem like it’s going to be the fight of the century. Before we go any further, we want to be clear; we are not knocking promoters for doing what they do.
But, what we want to make sure you’re aware of is that this hype train doesn’t just stop with the promoters. Often, it extends into all corners of the news and sports media. While this is great for selling tickets and PPV buys, it does nothing for helping you to find value and pick a winner. In fact, it probably does the opposite by muddying the water and making it harder to separate emotion from fact.
When you’re making your boxing betting picks, don’t let yourself become jaded or your views clouded by the news media. Remember, hype is great for fans, but terrible for sports bettors. Make sure that your picks are rooted in facts and not in what your heart wants to happen. That is how the betting public bets and that’s the reason that there can be so much value in boxing bouts.
That’s the complete list of the most common boxing betting mistakes that we see time and time again from bettors of all skill levels. If you can commit these mistakes to memory and remember never to do them, you stand to save yourself a lot of money and lost bets. Some of these mistakes are things that you can hear once and never worry about doing again. Others are ones that you will have to actively work at and not allow yourself to fall victim to the temptation to take the easy or more appealing road.
Remember, if you’re strictly betting for entertainment purposes, then you can bet on whoever you want, and you can disregard everything we said here today. But, if you are looking to make money betting on boxing, then you need to have the knowledge and discipline to keep yourself from making these potentially costly mistakes that can be detrimental to your bottom line.
If you’re still looking for more information to improve your boxing betting, make sure you check out our main boxing strategy hub where we have a ton more great information to help you get the best of the books and a leg up on the rest of the betting public.