Errol Spence vs Terence Crawford Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Bet Boxing’s Fight of the Year (Saturday, July 29)
Al Bello/Getty Images. Pictured: Boxers Errol Spence Jr. and Terrence Crawford weigh in
Errol Spence vs Terence Crawford Odds
Errol Spence Jr. vs Terence Crawford is here.
After confronting each other in a dingy hallway following Maurice Hooker's TKO victory over Alex Saucedo in November 2018.
After publicly calling out each other on social media, in interviews and with merchandise over the last few years.
And after one guy left his whole ass Top Rank and ESPN promotional deal to make this fight happen.
It's here. It's finally here.
WBC, WBA and IBF welterweight champion Spence Jr. (28-0, 22 KOs) and WBO titlist Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) will unify their titles to crown the first undisputed welterweight champion in boxing's four-belt era, and the first since Zab Judah held the WBC, IBF and WBA belts in 2006. (The four-belt era is considered to have begun in 2007.)
This is the fight. These are the two best welterweight boxers in the world.
On Saturday night, Spence vs. Crawford takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas – with millions more expected to watch on Showtime PPV (8 p.m. ET main card). The latest boxing odds list Crawford as a -150 favorite (bet $150 to win $100), with an implied win probability of 60%. Spence is a +120 underdog (bet $100 to win $120).
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) July 29, 2023
Crawford, who began his career at lightweight, unified two titles at 135 pounds and subsequently became undisputed at super lightweight before moving to welterweight, where he's a perfect 9-0 with 9 KOs. Crawford is widely considered, if not the pound-for-pound No. 1 boxer in the world, as close as you could possibly be to that nearly unachievable accolade.
Spence has done all his damage at welterweight and has hinted at moving up to super welterweight following this bout.
He is on every pound-for-pound list worth a damn and has been one of the top welterweights since dethroning then-IBF champion Kell Brook in 2017.
If you read any boxing preview I've done here so far – and hopefully, that's most of them! – read this one.
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford is the biggest fight since at least Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury I in 2018, perhaps back to Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin I in 2017, or even Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao in 2015.
Spence vs Crawford Fight Pick Analysis
Spence is slightly taller at about 5-foot-10 and is naturally bigger, but Crawford's 74-inch reach is superior in length by two inches. Despite being 5-foot-8, Crawford has a 6-foot-2 reach – more on why that matters shortly.
In my opinion, here are how I'd distribute some of the vital physical advantages.
- Power: Spence
- Speed: Crawford
- Outside fighting/countering: Crawford
- Inside fighting/pressuring: Spence
- Defense: Crawford
- Versatility: Crawford
- Body punching: Spence
- Footwork: Crawford
- Explosion: Spence
- Chin: Draw (for now)
Many of these aren't a blowout, by the way, but to simplify this breakdown let's say these two things before quickly outlining our road here.
One: If you think Spence wins this fight, it's because you favor his size and strength, his reign at 147 pounds, and you think Crawford is too small and/or lacks the resume, which we'll get to shortly. You believe that Spence's pressure and power will ultimately be too much for Crawford.
Two: If you favor Crawford, it's because you believe his all-around abilities that have, so far, translated at welterweight, will be too much for Spence. Crawford switches between orthodox and southpaw better than anyone in boxing and is a precision counter-puncher with a defensive advantage, and if you're backing him, you think his versatility, speed and footwork will be able to neutralize Spence's pressure for enough of 12 rounds.
A new name gets etched in boxing lore TOMORROW night🔥
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) July 28, 2023
On their resumes, Spence and Crawford share mutual victories over former champions Shawn Porter and Kell Brook.
Crawford defeated both more impressively, but Spence beat better versions of both, having faced them earlier.
Spence initially beat Brook in the U.K. for his first welterweight title in May 2017. While that came eight months after Brook jumped up two weight classes to fight middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin – losing via fifth-round TKO – he was still considered an elite welterweight.
He left the loss to GGG with a fractured eye socket, and in his defense against Spence, he lost via 11th-round knockout and again fractured his eye socket. He was dropped in each of the bout's final two rounds. Crawford stopped Brook in Round 4 of their encounter, but that came three and a half years later.
Spence beat Porter via split decision in September 2019 by two cards of 116-111, and one 115-112 for Porter. The bout unified Spence's IBF and Porter's WBC titles, and while Spence dropped Porter in Round 11, it was clearly the Texan's toughest bout of his career and still is his best victory to date.
Porter had two narrow losses at that point, to Brook and Keith Thurman in 2014 and 2016, respectively, but entered with wins over Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia and Yordenis Ugas, among others, to that point.
Crawford fought Porter a hair over two years later – 15 months after Porter's clean sweep unanimous decision win over undefeated Sebastian Formella – and became the only man to stop Porter, winning via 10th-round TKO after dropping him multiple times in the round.
Crawford's performance was again more impressive – but against a slightly lesser version of what came at Spence.
Spence's biggest wins to date? Porter, Garcia, Ugas, Brook and Mikey Garcia, who was undefeated but moved up all the way from lightweight.
Crawford's biggest wins to date? Porter, Julius Indongo (whom he knocked out in the third round of their undisputed super lightweight title bout), Viktor Postol (with whom he unified at lightweight), Yuriokis Gamboa (his first title defense at 135 pounds) and Brook. Indongo, Postol and Gamboa were all undefeated when facing Crawford, and none of them has reclaimed anything resembling their prior success post-Crawford.
Now, for why you're here: Spence vs Crawford picks.
Spence vs Crawford Pick – And Other Bets
My gut, my eye test, my studies, my data and my analysis internally have been consistent from Day 1 on how I've felt about this fight, so let's waste no time.
The Pick: Terence Crawford by decision, which I took at +175 (DraftKings) at the beginning of the week.
(As of Saturday on fight day, you can still find that line – perhaps at an even better price, depending on your sportsbook of choice.)
Usually – not always, but usually – I favor the all-around boxer who could counter-punch more effectively over the pressure fighter who'll constantly come forward or needs to in order to be successful.
I took Mayweather by decision over Pacquiao. I took Oleksandr Usyk over Anthony Joshua by decision both times. I thought Andre Ward would out-box Sergey Kovalev ahead of both contests. It's a consistent philosophy, and if you do the work, it's OK to rely on your principles. That's why they're your principles.
Is it an undefeated concept? Absolutely not. Nothing is foolproof in betting. But I've pictured Crawford winning on points with 116-112, 115-113-ish scores from the beginning. I think Crawford loses a couple of early rounds, gradually takes over, and does enough to win on the cards in a high-level boxing performance.
As I did with Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue earlier this week, here are other Spence vs. Crawford bets to monitor and/or consider – because this is the biggest damn fight of the last five to eight years.
- Round 11 to start and Terence Crawford to win (+140 at FanDuel): I think this goes to the cards even if Spence wins, but Crawford gets better as the fight progresses.
- Errol Spence by decision (+200 at FanDuel): If you're a Spence bettor, this is your likely outcome. I don't think either man gets stopped – perhaps even dropped – in this bout. So if Spence wins, I have a much easier time seeing this land on points.
As always, anything can happen in this sport, so when you bet, be mindful of that.
Enjoy the fight and don't go broke!