Rios, Benavidez Set to Come Out Swinging at Mandalay Bay

Jason Lake

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 10:10 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018 10:10 PM UTC

It’s a very busy Saturday on the boxing odds board. There are fights all over the place, including two important matches at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Boxing: Saturday's Card at Mandalay BayFree Boxing Picks: Rios +1400; Benavidez -550Best Line Offered: Matchbook; Bovada

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Saturday night is all right for fighting. We’ve already told you about the big World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight bout between WBA (Super) champion George Groves and IBO champion Chris Eubank Jr. But there’s another super-middleweight title on the line Saturday: David Benavidez will defend his WBC title in a rematch against Ronald Gavril at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas (10 p.m. ET, Showtime).

And that’s not even the main event. Danny Garcia and Brandon Rios will square off in a WBC welterweight title eliminator. Garcia is a former champion in two weight divisions; Rios held the WBA lightweight title in 2011.

Let’s dig deep, peel back the layers, and get to know the real story behind the boxing odds for these two fights.

His Name Is Rios, and He Dances on the Sand

The main event might have the bigger names, but it doesn’t look like a particularly competitive matchup. Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) is the -2000 favorite at press time, while Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs) is available as high as +1400 if you shop around. However, the odds for this fight have taken some dramatic twists and turns. Garcia went from -1900 at last month’s open to -3000, then took a sudden drop to -2250 last week before leveling somewhat.

Maybe there’s more to this fight than meets the eye. Garcia dropped the WBC welterweight title to Keith Thurman (-190) last March in a split-decision; Thurman had the lead going into the late rounds and started coasting, almost costing him the match. Rios is coming off a knockout win over Aaron Herrera (+775) last June, after nearly two years on hiatus following his TKO loss to Timothy Bradley (-515) for the WBO welterweight strap. This looks like another one of those fights where the underdog will almost certainly lose, but is worth a flyer for our boxing picks at these odds.

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BRANDON RIOS knocks out Danny heard it ere first.🥊

— 🥊TheFightGuru🥊 (@TheFightGuru) February 14, 2018

As for the co-main event, it’s not on the board at SBR as we go to press, but odds are available at assorted sportsbooks -- including Bovada, where Benavidez (19-0, 17 KOs) is the -550 favorite to Gavril (18-2, 14 KOs) at +375. Benavidez was priced at -3000 when he took the strap off Gavril, also by split decision; Benavidez was knocked down in Round 12, but otherwise did enough to win this surprisingly close fight.

This time, the odds are moving in the champ’s direction, up from -420 at the open. We’ll buy that for a dollar -- and may the squared circle be with you.

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