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Jake Paul vs Ben Askren Odds & Prediction: YouTube Star vs Former MMA Star

Jake Paul (left) vs Ben Askren (right) odds

The two Paul brothers, Logan and Jake, who are very popular on YouTube, have crossed over to the boxing world. The older brother, Logan, has a fight booked with Floyd Mayweather Jr., while Jake recently boxed former NBA guard Nate Robinson and is now scheduled to fight former MMA champion and Olympic wrestler Ben Askren.

That’s right. After a second-round knockout win over Robinson in the co-main event of the Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. fight, Jake Paul is taking on the former Bellator and OneFC champion who may be most remembered for his flying knee knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal.

It may be a little surprising, though, to see in the Jake Paul vs Ben Askren odds that the YouTube star is a sizable favorite over the former professional mixed martial artist. Paul and Askren will be boxing on April 17 on Thriller PPV.

Online sportsbook Bovada has released Jake Paul vs Ben Askren odds with Paul listed at -265 and Askren coming back at +205. This means you would have to bet $265 to profit $100 with a Paul win, while a $100 bet on an Askren victory would profit you $205.

Jake Paul vs Ben Askren Odds

Jake Paul-265
Ben Askren+205

Odds as of February 23 at Bovada

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Jake Paul vs Ben Askren Betting Analysis

This fight is very interesting and should draw eyes from various different backgrounds. It’s also quite funny that the man with the professional boxing history is the YouTube star, not the former Olympian and MMA champion.

Is Paul ready for real competition?

Like him, hate him, or maybe you don’t even know who he is, Jake Paul has some boxing skills, no doubt about it. He has had two professional boxing matches, both in 2020, scoring a knockout victory in each one. The second came over former NBA player Nate Robinson midway through the second round of their bout.

His first triumph came over AnEsonGib, another YouTuber, so he has evolved from a YouTube boxing match to fighting an NBA player to now being favored over a former MMA champion.

Should Askren be the underdog?

If you were to ask a random person on the street whether a YouTuber could beat a mixed martial artist, I’m fairly certain the results would be 100 percent behind the fighter. However, “Funky” Ben was an Olympic wrestler and that was the method he employed to win 19 of his 22 pro MMA bouts – take them to the ground and punish them. But you can’t grapple in boxing.

That said, Askren has a really good chin, which was tested against Robbie Lawler and Demian Maia, though the notable test was the five-second knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal via flying knee. But you can’t throw knees in boxing.

Jake Paul vs Ben Askren Preview

Credit both men for taking on this challenge. On one hand, you have Jake Paul stepping into the ring with a man who has trained striking and punching for a significant amount of time, in contrast to Paul’s last two opponents, who looked like they’d never seen a 12-ounce glove.

Meanwhile, Ben Askren has to stand up for the sport of MMA, and losing or getting knocked out by a YouTuber would result in endless ridicule, I’m sure.

Askren’s striking: Is it really that bad?

It was clear throughout Askren’s career that his main approach was to close the distance on his opponents, grab them and take them to the floor to punish them. The guy we saw in the UFC was not the same guy who fought in Bellator and OneFC, mostly due to a lengthy layoff and a troublesome hip that eventually required surgery.

That said, he has been sparring and striking for years and definitely understands the basics of boxing. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ben tried to clinch and do some dirty boxing. He does a good job throwing straight punches and has really deceptive strength and power that may catch Paul by surprise. He has a tendency to overreach and rush his opponents, which is similar to what Nate Robinson did.

Does a Paul win open the door for a Conor McGregor fight?

The one thing I’ve said repeatedly about these celebrity boxing matches is that if you can throw a jab and work behind it, you will win. Paul has done a good job learning how to throw a jab and letting the fight come to him so he can land a clean, more powerful shot to end the night.

“The Problem Child” avoids damage by keeping his guard high, moving away from his opponent and tying them up when they get close. When he decides to punch first, he has a bad tendency to drop his hands and load up for a power punch while also usually being heavy on his lead leg.

Jake Paul vs Ben Askren Prediction

While I think that both men will land cleanly in this fight, which could look a little sloppy overall, the conditioning and cardio that Askren has in his back pocket will likely be the difference as this fight drags on to the fourth round and beyond. For me, there’s simply too much value on a professional fighter who was only knocked out by a flying knee but took punishment in other fights and survived much harder shots than Paul can ever throw.

Prediction: Ben Askren (+205) via decision