Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Anthony Crolla Odds, Preview: Long Night Ahead For the Pound-for-Pound Champ?

Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Anthony Crolla Odds, Preview: Long Night Ahead For the Pound-for-Pound Champ? article feature image

Mikey Williams for Top Rank. Pictured (left to right): Vasiliy Lomachenko and Anthony Crolla.

  • Vasiliy Lomachenko is a heavy favorite (-8000) over his mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla (+1800) on Friday.
  • The over/under on rounds offers much more betting value. We make a case for both sides of the total.

Betting odds: Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Anthony Crolla

  • Lomachenko odds: -8000
  • Crolla odds: +1800
  • Over/Under: 9.5 (+225/-275)
  • TV: ESPN+
  • Time: Friday, 11 p.m. ET

>> Sign up for an ESPN+ subscription to watch Lomachenko vs. Crolla.

Vasiliy Lomachenko is so fun to watch. His technical skills are so fluid that his fights start to look like poetry in motion. So it’s no surprise Loma is listed as a -8000 favorite in his fight with Anthony Crolla on Friday night.

Clearly betting Loma to win is pointless, but there is value in other areas.

Lomachenko’s dominance over the past few years cannot be overstated. There’s a reason why he’s the top pound-for-pound fighter in ESPN and The Ring Magazine’s rankings. As a junior lightweight, he won four consecutive fights by making his opponent retire on their stool, earning him the nickname No Mas-chenko. But since he moved up to lightweight, his strength hasn’t been quite as overpowering.

His first bout at 135 pounds was an action-packed fight with then-WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares and Loma stopped him by TKO in the 10th round. His most recent fight against Jose Pedraza was his first fight to go the distance since November 2014, though he did score two knockdowns in the 11th round.

Crolla, a former champ in his own right, has taken some losses recently — back-to-back losses to Linares in 2016 and 2017 — but hasn’t been stopped in a fight since 2012. While I have little to no worries that Lomachenko wins this upcoming bout (just like the oddsmakers), I don’t think we’ll see a return of No Mas-chenko. Frankly, he’s so good he can cruise through 12 rounds in his sleep and won’t need to over-exert himself for a flashy win. — Malik Smith

The odds tell you all you need to know about this fight. The only reason that “Million Dolla” Crolla is going to be in the ring on Friday night is because he is the WBA’s Mandatory Challenger. He’s got no chance to win and, as Malik noted, discussing the outright odds is pointless.

Instead, all of my attention will be on the Over/Under which is currently said at 9.5 rounds with the Under juiced at a hefty -275. In terms of implied probability, that number suggests that this fight goes Under (meaning it ends  before the 1:30 mark of Round 10) 70.4% of the time.

Even though Lomachenko’s eight-fight stoppage streak came to an end in his last fight, he still dropped Jose Pedraza twice, and was able to score the unanimous decision despite being the smaller fighter.

In fact, Loma’s last two fights came against natural lightweights and, even though it took some effort for “Hi-Tech” to find his footing against two bigger fighters, he still was able to stop Linares — after being floored himself — and dominate Pedraza with a pair of knockdowns.

Once again Lomachenko will be out-sized in the ring, but Crolla isn’t in the same tier as Linares nor Pedraza.

Most importantly, Crolla lacks the power to threaten Lomachenko, meaning the Ukranian talisman can get in and out without having to worry about getting caught — not that he would — by the Mancunian.

Crolla’s lack of power makes the Under more enticing to me and I think it’s fine as a standalone wager or as a leg in a parlay, if you’re into that sort of thing. — Michael Leboff

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