#Betting101: Looking for Value With Valdez-Quigg

Oscar Valdez

Jason Lake

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 8:01 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2018 8:01 PM UTC

Oscar Valdez will defend his WBO featherweight title this Saturday against Scott Quigg. Here’s how to make a smart boxing pick on what should be an entertaining fight.


Free Boxing Pick: Valdez by decision (+138), Quigg (+310)Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

Boxing is a very special sport indeed. It used to be the most popular sport of them all; nowadays, there are so many other options out there – including in combat sports, where MMA has taken a big bite out of the market. However, boxing is enjoying a renaissance at the moment. There have been some quality fights of late, with major titles on the line just about every week.

Here’s another one this Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson, California: Oscar Valdez, the WBO featherweight champion, will defend against Scott Quigg, with ESPN showing the fight at 10:30 p.m. Eastern (or whenever the ACC college hoops tourney ends, whichever comes first). For all you #Betting101 fans, here’s how we approach these fights here at the home office to come up with our boxing picks.

Best of Both Worlds

The first thing to do with any fight is look at the boxing odds board and see if there’s some arbitrage available. This is when one sportsbook has Fighter A listed at a price that guarantees a profit when combined with the price for Fighter B at another location. For example, heading into last week’s WBC heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz, Wilder was available at –285 at one book, and Ortiz was available at +290 at another. You can use the SBR Arbitrage Calculator to figure out how much to bet on either boxer and lock in a profit.

Sadly, there isn’t any arbitrage available for Saturday’s fight as we go to press. But we can look at the odds to see where the market is moving. Valdez opened at around –340 last month before shooting up to –385 in early betting, then gradually settled back down to –355. Unlike other sports, sharp bettors don’t always jump on the early lines; the action on Valdez may have been driven by his large Mexican fanbase. Quigg will definitely have some betting support from his English supporters – watch for different prices on the two fighters, depending on whether the book in question caters more towards the UK market or not.

Quigg Thinking

In an ideal situation (aside from arbitrage), we’ll either get two fighters with similar odds, but one of them has the superior profile – as in Srisaket Sor Rungvisai’s super-flyweight title win over Juan Francisco Estrada – or we’ll get two fighters with similar profiles, but one of them has a better price. Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs) has established himself in a way that Quigg (34-1-2, 25 KOs) has not, so this isn’t one of those situations.

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I’m predicting that Valdez Quigg and Vences DeLeon, which will both be on ESPN March 10th, are going to be fight of the year candidates!

— Bob Arum (@BobArum) March 5, 2018
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Chalk tends to prevail in boxing, but if we want to avoid paying –355 on Valdez, there’s always the props market. Valdez is available at +150 to win by KO/TKO/DQ, which he does most of the time. However, Quigg will be the best opponent Valdez has ever faced. He’s a gym rat with tons of stamina, and his only loss was by split decision to Carl Frampton in 2016. We’ll take Valdez by decision at +138 instead, but we’ll also hedge by recommending a smaller moneyline bet on Quigg. Either result will give us a profit that way. Enjoy the fight, and may the squared circle be with you.

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