Boxing Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Wilder vs. Breazeale
Courtesy of Showtime Boxing Twitter. Pictured: (left) WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, Dominic Breazeale.
- Deontay Wilder is a massive favorite (-1100) over Dominic Breazeale (+700) in their heavyweight championship fight on Saturday night.
- Our boxing staffers picked their favorite bet each for Saturday's main event.
Deontay Wilder vs. Dominic Breazeale Betting Odds
- Wilder odds: -1100
- Breazeale odds: +700
- Over/Under: 9.5 Rounds (+250/-310)
- Time: Approx. 11 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: Showtime
WBC heavyweight champion “Bronze Bomber” Deontay Wilder will make his ninth title defense when he faces challenger Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale on Saturday. Wilder, who is arguably the most outspoken and exciting boxer alive, will fight at the Barclays center where he’s had some of his most exciting knockout wins — Artur Szpiilka, Bermane Stiverne and Luis Ortiz.
Breazeale has some bad blood for Wilder after the two got into an altercation at a hotel in 2017. That’s led to some interesting comments from Wilder about killing a man in the ring:
Deontay Wilder on the Dominic Breazeale fight: “His life is on the line for this fight and I do mean his life.” Later adds “I’m still trying to get me a body on my record.” #WilderBreazeale pic.twitter.com/k7kg3xZpaV
— Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) May 15, 2019
If that doesn’t want to make you watch, I don’t know what will.
Here’s our staff’s favorite bets for Saturday’s scrap:
The bet: Over 9.5 Rounds +250
In his fight with Tyson Fury in December, Wilder proved two common narratives correct:
- He doesn’t have top-class boxing skills
- His power can cover up his flaws
I think we can learn a lot from that fight, but Breazeale is a completely different animal from Fury. “The Gypsy King” is in a class of his own in terms of movement and his unique style is almost impossible to game-plan against.
Even with Fury’s ridiculous movement, Wilder floored him twice to earn a draw. That is a tremendous achievement given how befuddled Wilder was for most of the fight. Breazeale is nowhere near as technically gifted as Fury, but he will be the better technical fighter, has power and a good chin. In other words, this will be a much more traditional fight for Wilder.
Given the stakes — a loss for Wilder could derail all of his momentum and rule him out of a mega-fight with Fury or Anthony Joshua — I expect him to take things slow in the early going to figure out Breazeale’s rhythm. Wilder will be hunting, of course, but I don’t expect him to push the envelope until we get to the second half of the fight.
Even when he does begin to ramp up the pressure, it won’t be easy given Breazeale’s boxing skills. Sure, he’s not in the same tier as Fury or Luis Ortiz, but Wilder’s technical ability is lacking and means he needs “Trouble” to make a mistake or take an unnecessary risk to get a lick in.
On the contrary, I think Breazeale’s best path to success is by being the aggressor early because Wilder has shown that his power is so extraordinary that it will still show up in the late rounds. Doing damage early will help zap some of that out of him, but that would mean leaving himself open. Saying you want to be aggressive against the most prolific power-puncher on the planet is one thing, actually doing it is another.
Even if his intentions are to come out firing, I expect Breazeale to remain somewhat cautious given that one mistake means a trip to the canvas. All of this should lead to a long, ugly feeling-out period while Wilder gets Breazeale’s timing down.
Wilder is a near-certainty to win this fight, but his odds are too high to back and I think everybody and their mother will be looking to find a way to get a discount on backing a Wilder win.
While everybody goes to the Under or Wilder to win by KO props, I think the Over 9.5 Rounds is the best value at +250 (implied probability 27.4%). I think that is the best value on the board given how this fight should shake out.
My bets: Wilder by KO/TKO (-200) for 1 unit | Wilder KO in 7th-12th (+200) for 0.5 unit | Over 9.5 (+250) for 0.5 unit
Deontay Wilder is 40-0-1 in his career and is considered by many people the most dangerous fighter in the world when it comes to knockouts. Of Wilder’s 40 career wins, 39 have come by knockout, with his last fight back in December his only draw, coming against Tyson Fury.
Prior to his fight against Fury, Wilder’s last five fights have been decided in the: 10th, first, fifth, eighth and ninth rounds dating back to 2016. If you don’t think Wilder will knock him out in the first, which I personally don’t, I think there is value in him waiting back a bit and letting the fight develop before he goes for the knockout starting in about the fifth round once Breazeale tires.
I also think there is an Anthony Joshua angle to this fight. Joshua (22-0), holds three world titles and has yet to fight either Wilder or Fury. Wilder has too much on the line to go out on a limb early — I think he gets the job done and knocks out Breazeale, but I think he will be a bit patient before finishing the job.
The Bet: Wilder wins by KO/TKO or DQ (-280)
Sometimes the best bet is the most obvious one. Deontay Wilder (-835), the No. 2 heavyweight in the world according to BoxRec, is 40-0-1 with 39 knockouts. In his last fight, Wilder went to a draw with Tyson Fury (27-0-0). Wilder scored multiple knockdowns in that fight and Fury needed a miraculous comeback to survive the last knockdown. Regardless, Wilder proved he has the power to put any heavyweight in the world down.
His opponent, Dominic Breazeale (+590) is 20-1-0 with 18 knockouts. Breazeale is ranked No. 11 in the world per BoxRec. Breazeale’s lone loss was a knockout at the hands of Anthony Joshua in June 2016. In that fight, Breazeale proved that though he may be an elite boxer, he can’t beat the very best in the division and he can be finished by them.
Wilder should win this fight and his most likely path to victory is via knockout. It takes an inhuman chin to survive Wilder’s power and it doesn’t appear that Breazeale has that sort of durability.
The Bet: Over 9.5 (+250) | Wilder wins in Round 10-12 (+460)
Breazeale and Wilder have some interesting things in common outside of the fact that they legitimately don’t like each other. Both guys played football: Breazeale at Northern Colorado, Wilder at a JUCO in Alabama. Both men are Olympians: Wilder won bronze in 2008, Breazeale was on the 2012 team. Both fighters like winning by knockouts, too, but Wilder is on a different level in that regard.
As Leboff pointed out, Breazeale is not Fury, but he does have a blueprint to follow to make Wilder work for the win.
In Wilder’s past nine fights (all championship bouts), he’s gone fought 8.5 rounds per fight on average and that includes the brutal first-round KO we mentioned against earlier against Stiverne at Barclays. Remove that and he’s fought exactly 9.5 rounds.
Those other two fights at Barclays were great examples of two things Wilder is good at, but doesn’t get credit for: he’s patient and better conditioned than most. Breazeale is a solid pro, but he’s never fought past the 12 round in his career.
I think Wilder will be smart enough to take Breazeale into deep waters and finish him off late late with that monstrous right hand. One man may have survived it, but every Wilder opponent catches it at some point and I don’t foresee Breazeale getting up from one on Saturday night.