Olympic boxing is a great sport to watch, and a great sport to bet on. The tournament format is very different from what we typically see in boxing, and it can create some great betting opportunities. For those looking to maximize their profit from betting on the Olympic boxing tournament here are seven factors to consider:
What fighters are experienced? – As a boxing handicapper you have to consider that the Olympic tournament is extremely high pressured. Fighters face several fights in a short time, and each one is life or death because a single loss ends their run. You can never really know how a fighter is going to respond to that pressure until they face it – especially if they face high expectations heading into the tournament. If a fighter has been through the Olympic tournament in the past, though, then they will know what they are facing and will have a better chance of dealing with that pressure well. That doesn’t mean that the most experienced fighters will win, but it does mean that they are easier to trust when it comes to betting. In a tight competition, that could make a big difference.
What fighters show in qualifying? – Some fighters make the field easily – they are essentially the only viable candidate from their country, and they face an easy qualifying tournament because of their region. Other countries are far more competitive, however. Several fighters would not only be able to make the field, but could be a real threat once they get there. In countries with a strong boxing tradition – the U.S. or Cuba, for example – the national trials to earn the right to represent their country can be at least as tough as the first couple of Olympic fights. The pressure will be intense, and the level of competition very high. Not only do they have to win those trials, but they also have to earn a spot in the Olympics after they have secured their national spot. The fighters who have performed well in the face of all that pressure are the fighters that could be competitive in the Olympics and should get a second look from sports bettors..
What fighters are looking towards their pro careers? – For a lot of fighters the Olympics are their last swan song as an amateur before they go pro. Some guys are able to contain the thoughts of their next steps, while others can’t help but think of bigger things – especially if their future is bright. Many times we have seen a guy underperform because he wasn’t entirely focused on the task at hand. Keeping an eye on high profile fighters who are likely tempted by their future is a worthwhile activity for bettors.
Study the brackets – Boxing is a single elimination tournament, so the matchups are crucially important. If two top level fighters meet before the finals, for example, then obviously one of them won’t even get a chance to fight for gold. As such, it is very important to not just focus on which fighters are best, but which ones face the most advantageous path to the finals. There are regularly fewer than 32 fighters in a particular weight class, so several fighters will have a first round bye. This can prove to be a big advantage for fighters as the tournament progresses and Olympic bettors must consider this factor.
Which fighters are under the radar? – The big name fighters will draw the bulk of the betting attention in many weight classes, and they will have the best chances of winning the tournament. Upsets do happen, though – even the best fighter can lose one fight. When one or two fighters are drawing the majority of attention in a weight class it can be a very worthwhile exercise for boxing handicappers to look at fighters that have the combination of skills, form, and matchups that could allow them to pull off an upset and be a factor on the podium.
Which countries will draw extra attention? – There are some countries that have a tremendous amount of success in Olympic boxing – the U.S., Cuba, Italy, Great Britain, and the former Soviet Union, for example. Fighters from those countries are almost always going to draw the bulk of attention from bettors – even if they don’t necessarily deserve it. When considering fighters from these countries, then, sports bettors need to be particularly careful that there is still value to be had.
Consider the women – For the first time, the 2012 Summer Olympics featured women’s boxing. It’s not something that most bettors consider or typically pay any attention to, but perhaps they should. There are far fewer top level fighters, so the events are more predictable and the betting volume is lower. That can make value easier to find for bettors who do pay attention. There are also far fewer weight classes, so it is easier to get a handle on everything that is going on in the sport than it is for the men.