Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith Odds, Pick & Prediction: Juicy Bet for ESPN Boxing Headliner (Saturday, January 13)

Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith Odds, Pick & Prediction: Juicy Bet for ESPN Boxing Headliner (Saturday, January 13) article feature image

Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency. Pictured: Boxer Artur Beterbiev of Russia

Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith Odds

Beterbiev Odds
Smith Odds
Total (Over/Under)
8.5 rounds (-135 / +100)
Videotron Centre – Quebec City, Canada
10 p.m. ET (main event at approx. 11:45 p.m. ET)
Odds as of Saturday afternoon and via DraftKings. Maximize your boxing betting action with our DraftKings promo code.

Here's everything you need to know about Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith on Saturday, Jan. 13 – our expert boxing prediction and pick.

Our first big title defense of 2024 is here!

Tonight, Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) is defending his WBO, WBC and IBF light heavyweight titles against Callum Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) in his Montreal home live on ESPN and ESPN+ on Saturday night (10 p.m. ET main card)

Yes, the card will be on air at 10 p.m. ET, meaning it'll be in combat with the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Miami Dolphins playoff game, but you probably can find ESPN easier than Peacock. Either way, this main event will likely go live as the game is ending.

But don't blink: Beterbiev has a 100% KO rate, and this could end at any point.

Let's break this down.

Beterbiev vs. Smith Analysis

Artur Beterbiev has been out of the ring for two weeks short of a full year. He will be at a disadvantage physically against Callum Smith, who at 6-foot-3 with a 78-inch reach, is 3.5 inches taller with a five-inch reach advantage.

But almost everyone Beterbiev fights has a height/reach advantage:

  • Yarde: 6-foot-0, 72-inch reach
  • Joe Smith Jr.: 6-foot-0, 76-inch reach
  • Marcus Browne: 6-foot-1, 75-inch reach, southpaw
  • Oleksandr Gvozdyk: 6-foot-2, 76-inch reach
  • Radivoje Kalajdzic: 6-foot-3, 76-inch reach

These were five of his past six opponents.

Still, Beterbiev has been the most feared man at light heavyweight for several years and a champion since 2017.

Smith has been a light heavyweight for two years and was a champion at super middleweight from 2018-2020, successfully defending his crown twice before losing a unanimous decision to Canelo Alvarez in late 2020.

Alvarez not stopping Smith doesn't automatically mean Beterbiev will win on the cards – because Canelo stopped only three of his last eight opponents and none of his last four.

But Smith poses an interesting equation for Beterbiev to solve given his height, reach and mobility, along with some power.

Beterbiev, 38, is also aging. But the power is the last thing to go, as we were reminded last week with Ismael Barroso's amazing knockout against Ohara Davies in just one round of boxing.

Smith, 33, has actually been a pro for longer (since November 2012 whereas Beterbiev turned pro the following summer) and has logged more professional rounds, 152-91.

Smith has also been away from the ring longer.

Beterbiev pressure-fought his way to a thrilling stoppage victory over Anthony Yarde last January, securing the TKO in Round 8. We haven't seen Smith since August 2020, when he beat little-known Mathieu Bauderlique via fourth-round knockout.

Expect Beterbiev to cut off Smith's movement as Canelo attempted time and again. Alvarez pressured Smith, who tried employing his height and reach, the entire fight, and ultimately didn't get the knockout.

But the size difference between those two was enormous, though it didn't matter – Alvarez dominated. But Beterbiev, while disadvantaged, won't have as significant a gap as did Canelo, who is 5-foot-8 with a 70-inch reach.

Beterbiev vs. Smith Pick

This isn't a fight I'm wagering a ton on for a few reasons.

The over/under is smartly placed at 8.5 or 9.5 rounds, depending on the book. Beterbiev by KO/TKO is appropriately listed -200 to -225. Smith is -260 or so to be knocked down, and group round betting is always difficult, even though that's where I usually look – mainly because I know bettors rarely want to pick -500 favorites straight up.

Anyway, there are multiple bets I like for this fight. My favorite one is Beterbiev to win and over 1.5 knockdowns, which is +150 on DraftKings (listed under the "Knockdowns" submenu).

Look, this is tough, but Alvarez was close to dropping Smith on multiple occasions. Beterbiev is bigger, stronger and hits harder, and I think he'll actually get it done, as he has 19 other times to 19 different opponents.

(Fight fans in North Carolina: With NC sports betting coming online this year, you’ll be able to bet legally at major sportsbooks. Learn more.)

Smith is damn tough, so I think he gets up from a knockdown before being stopped by a second. There's also a non-zero chance Beterbiev gets dropped; he has previously in his career – the challenges of pressure fighting.

I also lean Beterbiev to win by TKO – exact method of victory – as opposed to KO. The TKO is +120 at bet365 (as opposed to -110 at DraftKings), with the KO at +250. Beterbiev has TKO'd two straight and four of his last five. Finally, I lean under 9.5 rounds, which is a market-best -124 at FanDuel.

But again, our main play for Beterbiev vs. Smith is Beterbiev to win the ESPN main event with the bout also seeing at least two knockdowns. DraftKings has that bet available as of fight day on Saturday afternoon.

Enjoy the fight and don't go broke!

The Pick: Artur Beterbiev to Win & Over 1.5 Knockdowns (+150 at DraftKings)

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