Why is Mike Tyson the underdog for fight with Jake Paul? Gambling experts offer explanation

There is no argument among oddsmakers about who the favourite is to win the Mike Tyson-Jake Paul fight.

Paul, 27, has emerged as a firm favourite over Tyson, 57, according to five sportsbooks that have offered odds for the sanctioned pro heavyweight battle on July 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.  

"It's all about age," stated Johnny Avello, DraftKings' chief oddsmaker. "Who enters the ring at 57 years old?"

Tyson will actually be 58 years old when the battle takes place. DraftKings favours youth, with Paul as a -180 favourite ($180 must be wagered to win $100 if Paul wins) and Tyson as a +135 underdog ($135 will be won for every $100 wagered if Tyson wins).

"We know people are going to say, 'Mike Tyson? Is the legendary Mike Tyson an underdog against Jake Paul?" Avello explained. "And they probably will bet the underdog, but we're fine with that."

According to Jay Kornegay, executive vice president of race and sportsbook operations at the Westgate SuperBook, age is also an important issue, with Paul listed as a -250 favourite and Tyson as a +200 underdog.

"I know a lot of people go back to Mike Tyson's training video, and he looked really impressive, and it looked like he was in shape." Kornegay was alluding to videos of Tyson's training sessions that he had shared on social media. 

"But it's a pretty big hurdle for Tyson to overcome a younger, bigger foe like that, despite how he appears on a training video."

Tyson faced Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition in 2020, which finished in a draw. "But he really hasn't fought since 2005," Avello added.

"So as oddsmakers, we have to look at who is fighting these days, which is Paul," Avello remarked. "He has some skills. I'm sure he won't just stand there and let Tyson beat the heck out of him.''

This week, the 6-foot-1 Paul stated that he weighs 230 pounds, despite previously fighting in the 200-pound cruiserweight division. Tyson is 5'10" and weighed 220 pounds for his showcase versus Jones.  

"Jake Paul is bigger than most people think, he's skilled, and he has more power than Mike Tyson right now," Kornegay added. "That's the way we see it."

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