Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez Over/Under Betting

GGG vs. Canelo Over/Under Betting: Boxing Totals

By Loot, Boxing Handicapper,

Looking at the upcoming September 16 Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez fight, the urge is always to think in terms of who will win the fight. That’s the easiest thing to root for. But an often-neglected part of betting on a big fight is the total, when you pick over/under on whether a fight will go a certain number of rounds. It’s really an easy concept. In fact, if someone like your grandma wanted to bet on a fight, this would be the easiest boxing wager to explain to her.

Explaining the Bet: The bookie posts a number of rounds that a fight will last and you have two choices—over or under. Can’t get any simpler than that. Let’s take a look at the betting odds for the GGG vs. Canelo total, as of press time:

Gennady Golovkin vs. Saul Alvarez
Over 9.5: -210
Under 9.5: +175

The number is 9.5 rounds. If you don’t think the fight will last 9.5 rounds, you bet under. If you think it will last longer than 9.5 rounds, you would bet over. Despite both fighters being noted knockout punchers, the “over” is actually favored at -210. So if you think the fight will last longer than 9.5 rounds, you need to pony up $210 for every $100 you hope to win. If you like the “under,” you would win $175 for every $100 you bet. The under is the underdog in this fight. And the whole $100 thing is just to make it easier to understand. You can bet any amount and the odds would just break down proportionally.

Let’s clarify that 9.5 doesn’t mean midway through the ninth round. In his formative boxing betting stages, yours truly made this mistake once, embarrassingly arguing with a sportsbook teller over this very issue. The number 9.5 actually means 9 and a half completed rounds, which would put the line in the sand at 1:30 of the 10th round, not the 9th.

Handicapping the Bet:

Each side has a legitimate argument. For those speculating a fight that does not last 9.5 completed rounds, the punching power of both combatants presents a compelling case. Canelo’s power has been improving as he gets up into the second half of his 20’s. And Golovkin just saw a KO streak of nearly a decade and two dozens fight end. These guys do massive damage with their punches and the idea that one of them will fall victim to that is hardly far-fetched.

At the same time, it’s easy to see why the “over” is the favorite. It’s amazing how many of these superfights go the distance. You’re dealing with top fighters who are evenly matched. A knockout is an expression of dominance more often than not and you usually don’t see that much separation at this level. And while some fights are superfights in stature, a lot of fights of this caliber turn out to not be all that super. The sky-high stakes usually result in a certain level of conservatism on the part of both combatants. No one wants to turn it loose in fear of the possible backlash. That’s why fights like Hagler-Hearns hold such a special place in people’s hearts. It’s quite rare to see two fighters in a fight of that magnitude show such a disregard for personal safety.


Neither fighter has shown a weak chin. That’s another important consideration. Canelo has shown a bit of vulnerability in being outboxed by elite fighters, but absorbing punches has never been a concern or a visible vulnerability. The same goes for GGG. Granted, he might be stepping in the ring with his hardest-hitting opponent, or at least the most robust offensive package he has faced, but he has withstood hard shots before without averse affect.

From a value standpoint, the nod might go to the “under.” To be getting a +175 price on a fight between two ferocious punchers not going to 1:30 of the 10th round isn’t an altogether bad proposition. While the “over” makes sense on a lot of fronts, the question is whether it makes sense at the robust price of -215. That’s a bit steep. It just doesn’t ring of exceptional betting value.

Admittedly, the message here is mixed. If asking what we think is more likely to happen, we’d take the “over.” If the question became which side contains the superior betting value, the pick would shift to the “under.” Our feeling is that in a fight of this nature, there is going to be such a vast landscape of different bets we can make. So if we like the “over” and it’s getting poor value, maybe it’s better to hold off for a bet that offers more bang for the buck. But if you have a really good feeling on the “under” that we might not really have, by all means take a shot. Good luck! Did you know… that you could be wagering on the GGG vs. Canelo fight at discounted odds? There’s a better than good chance that you’re laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to BetAnySports Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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