Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren Betting Preview, Picks And Predictions: Askren To Upset The Odds
It's the fight that has gripped social media since it was announced with everybody having an opinion and a prediction. Here's the ultimate picks and betting preview for Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren.
There's been some great fights over the past 12 months. We've had Teofimo Lopez beating Vasyl Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis' demolition of Leo Santa Cruz and even that exciting Juan Francisco Estrada and Chocolatito Gonazalez bout in March. Now comes a fight which will be lacking all of that quality, but is arguably far bigger.
YouTube star Jake Paul has become a massive name. He's got 20m subscribers on YouTube, 14.7m followers on Instagram and another 3.8m followers on Twitter. This is the reason that despite possessing no boxing quality he's involved in one of the biggest fights of the year.
His opponent on April 17th is Ben Askren, a former UFC fighter with a 19-2 record in mixed martial arts. You'd be forgiven for thinking that any professional fighter would make light work out of a jumped up YouTuber, but Ben Askren isn't known as a boxer. He was an incredible grappler and a world class wrestler but he has never been acclaimed for his striking ability., Add to that, two defeats, including being the victim to a sensational knockout by Jorge Masvidal, and it's damaged his reputation. You'd imagine that Jake Paul chose to fight Askren due to his lack of boxing pedigree while also being able to then boast of his impressive fighting career, as Paul would look to chase further bigger fights.
Chasing big fights is something that we've seen a lot from Jake Paul. While other people have been spending their lockdowns improving themselves, he's spent it chasing a fight with Conor McGregor in increasingly cringey videos. Jake Paul owes a lot to 'The Notorious' and has stolen his playbook, trying to turn brash bravado into a fighting career, but with none of the charisma of the Irishman. The other big difference between Jake Paul and his inspiration Conor McGregor is that the former UFC champ knows the value of hard work, putting years of blood, sweat and tears, into the art that found him fame.
Jake Paul's idea of training for this fight has been an endless stream of cliches. He's been pulling vehicles by ropes, sliding into Ben Askren's wife DMs and documenting everything for his social media following. He's going about his professional fighting career with the air of a man shadow boxing in the mirror after watching Rocky and reading an article on Conor McGregor's top 5 quotes.
Ben Askren for his part is coming out of this circus well. He's widened his audience and in his press conference with Jake Paul he was clearly being the only adult in the room. While the moronic Paul continued make noises, instead of answers, as his brain struggled to compute anything beyond video views.
While the YouTuber, and brother of Logan Paul, acted like a petulent child, having a strop in the middle of a supermarket, it was Askren who looked like the bored parent, exasperated by their spoilt offsprings behaviour. In his interactions with the media it seems that Askren is aware that he isn't a boxer, but it's clear that he's happy for the payday and a chance to widen his brand, and who can blame him?
There in lies the rub, this is a fight that boxing purists, such as myself, hate but it is admittedly pure box office. Jake Paul might not be a fighter any more than Sylvester Stallone was when he portrayed Rocky in the movies, but he's spectacular at driving engagement and getting clicks which is all that matters in 2021.
This is a matchup which won't attract anybody looking for a high quality bout, and it'll be forgotten by 2022, but it will attract two types of people. Jake Paul fans and those who want to see his block get knocked clean off. The past 12 months haven't been great for anyone across the globe, but if there's one thing that might bring people together then it's seeing a human, who sums up everything wrong with 21st century America, getting sparked right out.
Now, let's get stuck into giving you a pick for the fight because I think there is a real opportunity for some value here.
Put simply, my money won't be on the YouTuber. Jake Paul isn't a boxer, he hasn't studied the artform, and if you asked him he'd probably say that Cassius Clay was the name of a dance trend on TikTok. In the carefully calculated sparring footage that he's put out on social media we see somebody who looks like they might have something, but like most of his career, it's a mirage.
Before we went "pro" he fought a fellow YouTuber, Deji, KSI's younger brother, who barely trained, and who inflicted some damage on Paul in a fight almost as tiresome as his music videos. He followed that up by defeating another British YouTuber AnEsonGib in his pro debut, in a fight which should have forced the Oxford Dictionary into rewriting the definition of professional. His most recent fight was a stoppage against a former NBA player, Nate Robinson. The knockout was brutal highlight reel stuff but let's not forget that it was against somebody who isn't a natural fighter and who was not defending themselves properly. That won't happen here.
There are two areas in which I see Jake Paul having a real advantage over Askren, firstly he is the taller man and that three inches is a sizable amount. Secondly, he appears to be the faster man, and his fast-twitch advantage could potentially get him out of trouble if Askren's slow sparring is indicative of his performance on April 17.
We've been through Asken's pedirgree already but as a two-time NCAA national wrestling champion and a UFC star, there is clear talent there. Despite a very good professional career in MMA there are till serious questions over his striking ability, which might be exposed in a boxing ring when he can't rely on his grappling skills.
Having rewatched some of his fights in the UFC I was struck by just his issues with striking, although that was against elite MMA opponents and not somebody playing at being a pro figher. Ben Askren's sparring too was hard to watch at times, he moves forward like a man wading through treacle, slow, laborious and predictable. I'm inclined to not think too much about that because Askren wasn't going into those public sparring performances trying to prove anything, he seems very confident in his ability to win this fight, and isn't playing at being a fighter, he is and always has been.
In the explosive press conference we saw Askren push Paul in the face before turning and walking away. Jake Paul threw a punch into Askren's ribs and the former UFC fighter didn't flinch. That was a very telling moment for me and I simply don't believe that Jake Paul has the power to cause any problems here. In that moment I knew Jake Paul couldn't win this fight unless it was by a dubious decision.
Despite what I've seen around his striking in both the octagon and in sparring I'm very bullish on Ben Askren winning this fight. He wouldn't have fought anybody this talentless since collegiate level, if not earlier. While his boxing ability isn't at the top level it will be more than enough to cause damage to Jake Paul, who'll get frustrated against a man used to taking punches, considerably harder than those Paul is throwing, and who won't be caught too easily.
So often in these freak circus fights we get suckered into betting on the novelty when the simple answer is to back the obvious choice. When you really think about it, the pro fighter won't lose to an all style, no substance social media star. Much like when Jake Paul's hero Conor McGregor fought Floyd Mayweather, this is a time when you back the sensible pick and at +160 there is huge value on Ben Askren.
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren Expert Pick
1u - Ben Asken to win @ +160
A $20 stake would return $52
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren Odds
|Result||Opening Odds||Current Odds||Implied % Chance||Public Betting (Past 7 Days)|
|Jake Paul Win||-280||-139||58.2%||39.26%|
|Ben Askren Win||+195||+160||38.5%||57.7%|
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren Public Betting
Jake Paul had been heavily backed by the public but last week's press conference saw things change. Following that event the bets flooded in on the former UFC star and the books reacted too, with Jake Paul's odds of victory moving to reflect public betting being more unsure on the former Disney actor.
When Is Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren
When is the fight? April 17, 2021
What time is the fight? 9:00 pm ET
Where To Watch Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren
You can watch the big fight on Triller FIght Club for the price of $49.99
Ben Askren Fight Record
Ben Askren has never fought in a profressional boxing bout before but as a former UFC star he has a record of 19-2 as a professional fighter, even if it was in another discipline.
Jake Paul Fight Record
Jake Paul has a 2-0 record in professional boxing. In those professionally sanctioned bouts he beat YouTuber AnEsonGib via a first round stoppage before knocking out former NBA star Nate Robinson in expolsive style.
How To Bet Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren?
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