It has taken a while, but it's finally happening: There will be a showdown between Callum Smith and Canelo Alvarez. If you're a boxing fan, you're obviously happy. This is a meeting that has been a year in the making, and many thought it might fall through. Luckily, the fight remains on schedule for December 19, and in advance of this prized battle, we have your Callum Smith vs Canelo Alvarez betting picks.
There is plenty of time separating us from the opening bell at this writing. As a result, make sure you're double-checking lines at all the sportsbooks before deciding on a wager. For now, it's onto our latest boxing picks!
Smith vs Alvarez Betting Breakdown
Callum Smith Boxing Style
Overall, Smith is a difficult fighter to get a grip on. We know he's good; that much is clear. He enters his matchup with Alvarez riding a perfect 27-0 record and having successfully defended his WBA Super Middleweight Title Belt on two other separate occasions.
Still, his overall style is an amalgam of many different approaches. Someone with his size (6'3") and reach (78 inches) is gargantuan for this weight class, and he's bound to rely on power. But he's also more of a stationary fight, which is atypical of someone who likes to go on the offensive.
That's where his reach comes in. He doesn't need to worry about positioning as much when he can land combinations from a further distance. His most powerful connects are more about the positioning of his hips and the angle of contact rather than the momentum of his actual punches.
Invariably, then, he makes opposing fighters come to him. And those who try to take more evasive maneuvers aren't doing nearly enough to throw him off his game. The split second they take to generate more space between themselves and him is all he needs to use his reach and land a decisive blow. Backing up or side-ambling out of his strike zone inevitably compromises balance for the slightest amount of time, and Smith is an expert at using it to his advantage.
Canelo Alvarez Boxing Style
Despite the matchup problems Smith poses for basically all of his opponents, oddsmakers aren't buying it relative to how he matches up with Canelo Alvarez. The latter blends a precise mix of speed and power, and his agility in this particular case far exceeds that of Smith.
In some ways, Smith's size can work against him. His larger torso makes for a bigger target. Alvarez, by comparison, stands just 5'9", which demands that Smith be more accurate with his combinations.
If you're going to attack Smith, you better be quick about it. Alvarez is exactly that. His combinations are completed with lightning speed. He is the rare fighter who can theoretically use Smith's penchant for remaining stationary against him. If he picks the right spot, he'll have the ability to work in two to four jabs at the torso before Smith can adequately fire back, and his back-pedaling burst will only make it harder for Smith to land those counters.
Best Sportsbooks to Use for Smith vs Alvarez
As the above odds have already shown, all the cream-of-the-crop sportsbooks are offering similar odds.
They each peg Smith as the heavy underdog, so you almost can't go wrong if you're interested in working his lines. All sportsbooks are paying out better than 4-to-1, though MyBookie and BetNow specifically lead the field with 4.75-to-1 odds.
Investing in Alvarez, the super favorite, is a little bit complicated. His lines have been all over the place—and not necessarily in a good way. He's been billed as a -800 favorite in some places. You want to find the sites offering better value than that if you're taking his moneyline.
At present, BetOnline is among the scant few sportsbooks still offering odds under -600. We recommend using them if you're rolling straight with Alvarez.
In the event you're looking to bet on a draw, there isn't much of a difference across the board. Pretty much every sportsbook offers a +2000 to +2200 return on prospective ties.
Smith vs Alvarez Betting Prediction
If you go off the odds alone, this fight doesn't project to be this close. Alvarez's lines have swayed, but he hasn't once moved out of the overwhelming favorite territory.
But perhaps he should.
We believe the public is grossly underselling the matchup nightmare Smith poses to Alvarez. Not only is he sporting a perfect 27-0 record, but 19 of those victories have come by knockout. His stationary fighting style seems simple and burstable on its face, but it winds up dictating the terms of engagement. He seldom opens up himself to risk by inviting offense from his opponents, and it's that conservatism that gives way to opportunism. If he waits long enough, fighters will stumble when they lunge forward or expose their chest or jaw while they're moving backward.
Alvarez's speed actually plays into this philosophy. He is an ultra-smart fighter, but he will be the aggressor. And while he will have a better chance of escaping Smith's reach with his speed, it only takes one punch to throw him off-kilter and totally expose his body.
Believe it or not, we're taking what is, as of now, considered to be the stark upset.
OSB Prediction: Callum Smith (minimum payout of +425)
Check out the below list of all the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which to use for all your boxing bets: