Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren: Complete Betting Guide
What: Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Atlanta, Georgia
When: April 17
How to Watch: Triller
What's at Stake: Thirty-six years ago, it was Hagler and Hearns.
Twenty weeks ago, it was Tyson and Jones.
This time around, it's Paul and Askren.
Regardless of the light in which you cast their offering, there's little doubt the eight-round boxing match between the mouthy YouTube sensation and the former UFC contender is the most talked-about event of the week in the combat sports realm.
And with mainstream attention comes wagering opportunity.
The DraftKings sportsbook is buzzing with pre-fight prospects of multiple sizes and shapes—from the predictable lines on which man will win to additional forecasting options on the moment of would-be victory and the method in which it might be secured.
We've made it our mission to assess where the smartest money ought to be spent and the spots where gutsy speculation could yield high-end accumulation.
Click through to get a look at our thoughts, and feel free to let us know if the cash is flowing in the B/R Betting community section.
Who Will Win?
Squad Ride Pick: Ben Askren (+140)
Maybe it's too obvious. Maybe we're overthinking it.
Or maybe we're just too traditional.
Still, no matter how many times we look at it, the idea that a decorated mixed martial artist—even at 36 and with a skill set leaning distinctly toward wrestling—could lose a fight of any kind to a social media influencer with only a fellow YouTuber and a retired basketballer on his victim's list seems patently ridiculous.
And yes, we've seen the viral knockouts.
But while you're replaying them over and over, consider the contexts in which they came.
Paul landed a right hook—a sweet one, no doubt—on the chin of a 5'9" foe who'd taken up boxing barely three months before he walked to the Staples Center ring. Askren, meanwhile, was on the concussed end of the UFC's quickest-ever finish, but it was against an accomplished fighter with legit BMF street cred.
In something beyond a battle of clicks or likes, it's best to ride with the genuine article.
How They Will Win?
Hammer Lock: Jake Paul by KO, TKO or DQ (-115)
For what it's worth, Jake Paul will arrive Saturday night as the bigger, stronger and younger man, and the one who's coming off a string of successes—even if they were against non-combat opponents.
On the flip side, Ben Askren last had his hand raised more than two years ago and suffered a pair of subsequent losses, both inside the distance, that prompted his retirement from the UFC's Octagon.
So while the logic for backing him may be suspect, the reality that Paul's path to victory is through a finish is difficult to argue. If you're in his corner, it's likely because you expect a KO is imminent.
Dart Throw: Tie (+1200)
There are darts. And then there are darts.
For these purposes, those of a certain vintage can imagine the lawn variety—and the indelible images of mundane family reunions veering into near-death experiences before they were banned in the late '80s.
Betting on a draw, or a tie (in the words of DraftKings), is roughly the same feeling for a gambler type.
Maybe it's the scars from last fall's Tyson-Jones nostalgic debacle, which nearly everyone scored in Iron Mike's favor before it was ruled a let's-all-shake-hands wash. The folks behind this circus have gone to great pains framing it as a real fight, but the idea it ends in a similar fashion is worth the shot.
Squad Ride Pick: Ben Askren on Points (+375)
As we said earlier, those sworn to Team Paul allegiance have the option to back their man for a finish.
But if you're even modestly hesitant about going that way—or you're all-in for the ex-MMA star—there's a good profit-making option should Askren win a longer, more grueling match in which he takes his foil's best shots before gradually sapping his strength, stamina and spirit.
Picking Askren by a late KO would earn a more substantial haul, but we'll suggest riding with a more conservative play of the Missouri alum winning a decision.
When Will They Win?
Sprinkles: Jake Paul - Round 3 (+700), Jake Paul - Round 4 (+1000)
It's not an impossible scenario to imagine, particularly if you buy into Paul's ring prowess.
He begins pelting Askren with power shots in the opening two rounds, gradually softening him up and limiting his means of escape on the way to a decisive and fight-ending barrage before the halfway mark.
It'll be a nice payout if it happens in the third and a few bills more if it lingers into the fourth, but a profitable night's work either way.
Dart Throws: Ben Askren - Round 7 (+4000), Ben Askren - Round 8 (+5000)
Regardless of where your loyalties lie, it's always about the money.
There aren't another pair of options on the board, in either direction, that'll bring more of a return than dropping cash on Askren to finish matters in either of the final two rounds.
While an early Paul stoppage is worth a look, it pales in comparison to the prospect—a perfectly legit one, incidentally—of the veteran surviving early and taking over late prior to a KO or TKO.
Happily deposit the money, and for his next trick, let Paul level down for a callout of Tom from MySpace.
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