December 6, 2022

Boxing’s red-hot spring continues this Saturday with a pair of intriguing cards. First up will be a card headlined by the biggest fight in the history of women’s boxing as Katie Taylor defends her four lightweight championships against former unified featherweight champion Amanda Serrano. The action then carries to a card anchored by rising star Shakur Stevenson battling Oscar Valdez with two titles on the line at 130 pounds.

Intriguing fights like these lead to interesting lines at the sportsbook window. Serrano enters her fight with Taylor as a slight favorite while Stevenson is a considerable favorite to beat Valdez and leave their battle as a unified champion.

With that in mind, we took a look through the cards to identify lines that present the best value, adding a bit of extra excitement to a big night of boxing. Let’s take a look at your best bets heading into Saturday.

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Katie Taylor via decision vs. Amanda Serrano (+160)

Taylor vs. Serrano is a massive, massive fight. It’s also a fight with an unusual — though not entirely rare — situation with the lines. Serrano is the slight favorite heading into the fight at -140. When looking at the favored outcomes, however, the most likely outcome via the odds is Taylor via decision at +160, beating out Serrano via decision (+175) or Serrano via KO (+330). Serrano’s power is what’s giving her the overall status as favorite as Taylor has basically no realistic chance of scoring a stoppage. With that in mind, if you want to make the play for Taylor, it makes more sense to take the decision line rather than the +120 straight bet on her simply to win. Taylor is an exceptional boxer, as is Serrano, but being able to get the most likely Taylor outcome at a line as high as +160 is a great value.

Shakur Stevenson via decision vs. Oscar Valdez (-150)

Again, we look at the decision in a main event for the weekend. Valdez is a bulldog, a face-first brawler who will look to drag Stevenson into a war. Stevenson, however, is likely to use his slick boxing skills to keep Valdez from engaging on the grounds where Valdez stands the best chance. That lessens the chances that Stevenson scores a knockout as he’ll look to box and limit Valdez’s space to be effective. That makes Stevenson riding to a decision a solid bet as he continues to emerge as one of boxing’s future pound-for-pound elite fighters.

Jessie Vargas (+220) vs. Liam Smith

If you were to go looking for pure upset value this weekend, Vargas is an appealing option on the Taylor vs. Serrano undercard. There are red flags here for Vargas, to be sure. He has not fought in more than two years and had this fight postponed from its February date after testing positive for COVID-19. He also is going to be the smaller man as he moves up in weight to face Smith. Still, Vargas has the better cardio and Smith isn’t above fading. Vargas should be comfortable at the weight, and if he can survive the early rounds without getting hurt, he has every chance of running away with the fight down the stretch. As with any upset pick, you’re accepting risk, but it’s worth it at +220 down to about +170 as the value is there.

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