Boxing Odds & Picks: Gervonta Davis Puts Undefeated Record On Line vs. Leo Santa Cruz at Alamodome (Saturday, Oct. 31)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Gervonta Davis
- Gervonta Davis looks to continue his undefeated career on Saturday at the Alamodome.
- Leo Santa Cruz is a volume puncher who could give “Tank” some trouble.
- Michael Leboff explains where the value is for bettors in this fight.
Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz Odds
|Davis Odds||-715 [BET NOW]|
|Santa Cruz Odds||+500 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+1800 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||10.5 Rounds (-136/+102) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Approx. 11:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||SHO PPV|
It seems like it’s been a decade since Gervonta “Tank” Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) busted through the gates with his seventh-round knockout of Jose Pedraza at the Barclays Center. The win over Pedraza was as impressive as it was ruthless and looked like a true breakout performance from Tank. But in the nearly four years since, the Baltimorean has yet to really recapture that magic.
Davis has yet to lose and still has a 96% KO rate, but his path has been winding and confounding, rather than the steamroll forward that boxing fans expected on the heels of the Pedraza victory.
With his fight against the venerable Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs), Davis once again has a chance to launch himself into the conversation for a career-defining fight with other young stars like Ryan Garcia or the recently-crowned Teofimo Lopez.
A loss to Santa Cruz could throw Davis’ career into a tailspin as Lopez, Garcia and Devin Haney continue to surge ahead of him as Boxing’s Next Big Things.
Santa Cruz Can Withstand Davis’ Power
Davis is the clear A-side on this ticket, and there are plenty of people who are viewing this as a showcase fight for Tank, a rung on the ladder as he climbs his way towards a date with one of his contemporaries like Garcia or Lopez. That way of thinking is a disservice to Santa Cruz, a 32-year-old who has over a decade of solid performances on his resume. He is no gatekeeper.
Santa Cruz has been defeated just once in his career — a tight majority-decision loss to former champion Carl Frampton — and has won belts in four weight-classes. His KO rate pales in comparison to Tank’s, but that shouldn’t concern LSC fans as it would be shocking to see El Terremoto go hunting for the stoppage in a fight where his path to victory is through a decision.
Santa Cruz may not be the show-stopping type of fighter that fans want to shell out pay-per-view money to watch, but he’s as technically skilled as anybody in this weight-class and his grind-to-the-final-bell style can be a nightmare to fight against.
Not only does Santa Cruz have a motor that never quits, but his high-volume style is always well-received on the scorecards. When you’re throwing 1,300 punches in a fight you’re going to look like the more active fighter. Judges like that sort of thing.
That said, I don’t imagine we’ll see that kind of prolific output from El Terremoto against Tank Davis. A volume-puncher with unending stamina, Santa Cruz will still need to score to have a chance, but he’ll have to pick his spots against Davis, who is as powerful a counter-puncher as you’ll see in this weight class.
Santa Cruz’s chin has held up throughout his illustrious career — he’s never been knocked down, let alone stopped in a professional fight — but he’s also never faced a fighter as dangerous as Tank Davis.
Of course Davis has not faced a fighter as polished and unrelenting as Santa Cruz. LSC is a technician and, if you are betting on him, you can be sure that he’s going to step into the ring with a game plan for how to keep Davis’ powerful left hand in his pocket.
Completing that task will be easier said than done but Santa Cruz has the reach advantage and can work behind his jab to keep Tank at bay. If Leo is able to successfully navigate the early part of this fight, look out.
Santa Cruz vs. Davis Best Bet
Picking a winner and betting on a fighter are two very different things. The odds already tell you that Davis wins this fight more often than not (his odds translate to an 80% implied win probability). If you are betting Davis, whether that means roping him into a parlay or laying the wood or taking him in a prop, you need to know that you are paying a steep tax in a very tricky fight.
Floyd Mayweather is not shy about promoting Davis and that kind of hype does tend to inflate the odds in boxing matches. The 25-year-old Davis could be a star, but we’ve seen him turn in flat performances against lesser opposition. Tank’s power is still the most important tool in this matchup, but there are flaws to his game, most notably his stamina.
In his last fight, against a past-his-prime Yuriorkis Gamboa, Davis looked spent in the second half of the fight. Gervonta still was able to close the curtains the 12th round, but it was another fight that left me with more questions than answers about the powerful southpaw. Those kinds of efforts can still earn you wins against also-rans, but Santa Cruz is being criminally underrated in what is a very winnable fight for him.
It’s pretty clear how Davis will want this fight to end. He’s a knockout artist and his clearest path to success is through a stoppage. But if he doesn’t get it, he’s in trouble — especially if Santa Cruz can bank a round or two in the early stages of the fight.
Santa Cruz’s biggest edge in this fight is his endurance and ability to maintain a ridiculous output deep into the championship rounds. In fact, I think he could be a great live-betting option in the middle stages of the fight so long as he is hanging in there.
Tank is built to end fights early. Santa Cruz is built to win them late. It would not be surprising to see LSC take four of the last six rounds if this fight goes to the final bell.
I think Santa Cruz has a good shot at pulling the upset relative to his odds, which imply he wins just 15.2% of the time.
The Bet: Santa Cruz +400 or better