Heavyweight championship boxing is back in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The trilogy match between champion Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder is upon us as the pair meets for a third time inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with the WBC title on the line.
The second fight was largely dominated by Fury after the British champion dropped Wilder multiple times before Wilder's corner threw in the towel in the seventh round. Despite many accusations from Wilder that Fury cheated as well as his legs being shot after wearing a 40-pound costume to the ring, the American was granted his third opportunity against Fury thanks to an independent arbitrator that ruled in his favor thanks to language in his contract allowing for a trilogy.
When there's a big fight on tap, just about everyone is going to want to get in on a piece of the action. That's why sportsbooks tend to see a huge influx of bets on big PPV fight nights. With that in mind, we're here to help get you ready with some advice before you place those wagers. We'll take a look at two of the undercard bouts as well as the main event with our best picks for each. Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
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Adam Kownacki (-220) vs. Robert Helenius (+180)
Helenius and Kownacki are meeting in their own rematch. Helenius scored a major upset in their first meeting with a fourth-round knockout. He was brought into the fight to serve as an opponent to set up Kownacki for a championship opportunity but took advantage of Kownacki's reckless aggression to score the stoppage. The victory breathed new life into Helenius' career after being viewed as well past his prime before upsetting Kownacki in front of his home crowd.
With all that in mind, there are two ways the fight is likely to play out: either Kownacki remains reckless with his offense and Helenius is able to pick him apart once again or Kownacki buttons up his attack a bit and is more effective in hurting and finishing a much older opponent. The latter seems like the more likely option, but either way it feels like a stoppage is coming. The fight ending in under 6.5 rounds is -125 while under 7.5 rounds is -137. Give up a little bit to give your bet the extra three minutes. Pick: Under 7.5 rounds (-137)
Frank Sanchez (-180) vs. Efe Ajagba (+155)
Ajagba vs. Sanchez is an interesting fight. Both fighters enter the ring undefeated and with a prospect label. Sanchez is a Cuban fighter with a style that makes his background clear, with technique coming before power, though the power is there. Ajagba is a Texas-based Nigerian fighter who hasn't been perfect, despite his undefeated record. What Ajagba does have, however, is good power that has allowed him to overcome some mistakes, including when he suffered a knockdown against Iago Kiladze in a 2019 bout.
This is a big step up for both men and prospect vs. prospect fights can bring out many truths, for better or worse. The odds here on both men are intriguing without being wide enough to scare away a straight bet on a winner. Sanchez's technical prowess likely controls the fight and Ajagba has stumbled against worse fighters. Sanchez is +175 to win by stoppage and +220 to take a decision. A decision could be the better bet there if Sanchez decides to simply outbox Ajagba and avoid trading power. Still, the safe bet is to just make a play on Sanchez to win on the moneyline. Pick: Frank Sanchez (-180)
Tyson Fury (-270) vs. Deontay Wilder (+220)
Fury is the better boxer. We have 19 rounds of data to prove this. No one in the game has the one-punch power of Wilder, very few people in boxing history have. That power means Wilder is automatically "in" every second of every fight. Wilder's mentality is either a weakness or a strength. Either the stream of excuses is the sign of a man broken by having to suffer the harsh reality that he's a mere mortal. Or, Wilder is so overwhelmingly confident that he can't fathom a loss by any fair means and is unaffected by having been so thoroughly dominated.
The problem with this is if Wilder doesn't see the flaws he brought to the ring in the first two fights -- and especially the rematch -- he may not have taken any steps to address them. There's been a lot of talk that Wilder will focus on a body attack in the rematch, but it's easy to see Fury taking advantage of Wilder trying to become a different fighter. Fury's style is a tough one to replicate in the gym and it's just hard to imagine this fight plays out too differently unless Wilder is able to land some fight-changing bombs.
The break-even point for round bets is 7.5, with the over and under both sitting at -120. Given Wilder's power and Fury having even more data on Wilder than he had when he scored the seventh-round stoppage in the rematch, the under seems like a good play there. The question becomes: How low of a round total are you willing to move? Under 6.5 is +120 and under 5.5 is +175. It wouldn't seem a smart play to go any lower than that. The most interesting play may be to combo two grouped round bets for Fury, understanding his likelihood to win and proven ability to hurt Wilder. Pick: Combine Fury in Round 4-6 (+400) with Fury in Round 7-9 (+400)
Who will win Fury vs. Wilder III? And which huge 30-1 prop bet should you be all over? Visit SportsLine now to see Brandon Wise's best bets, all from the CBS combat sports specialist who has crushed his picks, and find out.