Predictions for Keith Thurman vs. Mario Barrios with Best Bets (February 5)

| February 2, 2022 10:32 am PDT

Keith Thurman vs. Mario Barrios goes down this Saturday, February 5 from the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.

I’ll be providing a bettor’s perspective of the fight, so expect to find predictions for Thurman vs. Barrios alongside odds and analysis of this welterweight clash. 

It’s been a while since we have seen Thurman inside the ropes. The former WBA and WBC welterweight champion was outpointed by the now-retired Manny Pacquiao in July 2019 in Vegas but will make his comeback in what should be a tough test. 

Barrios saw 26 straight wins as a pro snapped by Gervonta Davis at 140-pounds in June. Can he claim the biggest win of his career against a guy that was, until fairly recently, heralded as one of the top welterweights on the planet?

Before we get to my breakdown with predictions and betting picks for Keith Thurman vs. Mario Barrios, let’s see those odds.

Latest Thurman vs. Barrios Odds

I’ve taken the following odds from the Bovada sportsbook. But feel free to compare them with any of our recommended betting sites.

  • Keith Thurman to Win -190
  • Mario Barrios to Win +145

Thurman’s odds for the Barrios fight come in at -190.

If you’re asking how much of that price has to do with his perceived advantage over the Mexican, you’ll probably also be wondering if the initial sniff of value is down to his inactivity. 

I’m particularly interested in the latter. Thurman will need to shake off some serious ring rust on the night. We’ve never seen him out of the ring for such an extended period, which should be a worry for those looking to make money betting on Thurman to beat Barrios. 

Barrios is the younger, fresher guy. At 26, he enjoys a seven-year age gap with the American.

Although he has mostly fought at junior welterweight in recent times, Barrios has experience at 147. He won the WBA intercontinental title in 2018, but that seems to be the only real highlight of his career.

The odds for Barrios to beat Thurman equates to an implied probability just north of 40%. In other words, if these two were to fight ten back-to-back hypothetical matchups, he would be expected to win four of them.

I don’t see major betting value for Barrios, even with Thurman’s activity. I’ll explain more as we go along. 

Predictions for Thurman vs. Barrios – Who Wins?

  • Winner: Keith Thurman
  • Method of Victory: Decision

Keith Thurman has fought just three times in the last five years.

So, when making my predictions for Thurman vs. Barrios, you can understand why this stat hangs over my head.

Having been outclassed by an aged Manny Pacquiao in his last fight, as well as hobbling to a win over Joselito Lopez a few months before that one, it might seem bold to bet Thurman’s odds for Saturday’s fight.

Of course, my predictions for Thurman vs. Barrios do not have to be in line with the top betting picks for the fight. There is value had outside of the moneyline, and I might even lean toward props for the Thurman-Barrios fight as the more sensible option. 

Top Bets for Thurman vs. Barrios

With all things considered, this is a bit of a shaky fight to bet on. 

Still, here are the best Thurman vs. Barrios picks.

  • Fight to go the Distance -143
  • Thurman by Decision +175

Although “One Time” Thurman had a reputation for knocking his opponents out, he hasn’t scored a KO or TKO in almost a decade. 

No, I am deadly serious. Here, look it up.

The last time Thurman knocked out a fighter was when he stopped Jesus Soto Karass in December 2013. His wins over Julio Diaz and Luis Collazo in 2014 and 2015, respectively, were as a result of a stoppage due to cuts and a rib injury. 

While Barrios was stopped by Gervonta Davis in his last fight, that shouldn’t be a major factor why he will suffer a similar fate this Saturday. Yes, he is very hittable. He is moving back up to 147-pounds. But it’s not as though Thurman’s power is guaranteed to end this one. 

Eliminating the stoppage on either side, we could potentially see the poorest version of Thurman ever this weekend. But as he has shown us before, that could be enough for him to get over the line on points. 

The bottom line here is that the only two picks for Thurman vs. Barrios I would consider are for the fight to go the distance and Thurman to win on points. 

Can Barrios Upset Thurman?

If you’re not sold on betting Thurman to beat Barrios, it’s worth looking at the latter’s chances to pull off the upset. 

However, by the bookies’ estimations, it wouldn’t be a major upset. This shows just how far Thurman’s stock has dropped, having beaten the likes of Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter in the past. He was expected to be doing much better at this point. But a win over Barrios could set him up with a fight against one of Terence Crawford or Errol Spence. 

Don’t get wrong. Spence vs. Crawford is one of the boxing matches that must happen in 2022. But neither guy will reject a bout with Thurman, if the big one is off the cards. Providing he passes Saturday’s test with Barrios, One Time has a chance at one of the two major players in the division. 

So, what can Barrios do to stop that? Well, he’s a solid fighter with advantages of 2.5 and 2 inches in height and reach, respectively, over his man. He is busy and will keep Thurman on his toes.

Again, he is very hittable and does leave himself open. For this reason, you can’t blame some for falling into temptation when it comes to placing bets on Thurman to KO Barrios. 

Although it should be a competitive fight, I anticipate Thurman will have just about enough to get the nod. He’s the bigger name, without a shadow of a doubt, and that carries currency with the judges. Providing he can nick the ends of rounds with flurries and bunches, he should get himself over the line. 

I’m not willing to rule out the possibility of Barrios beating Thurman. But since I can’t prove he has the tools to do so, which no one can with his resume or past performances, the edge sits with the American. 

Wrapping Things Up

Keith Thurman should (just about) get the job done on Saturday night. 

Referencing back to my predictions for Thurman vs. Barrios, it’s hard to build a case for “El Azteca” in this bout. Thurman will be rusty, but he is the more proven fighter and will be putting it all on the line to prevent his stature from diminishing even further in this sport.

You can find odds and advice for more fights to bet on in February on our boxing blog. If this fight doesn’t do it for you, perhaps one of the following will. 

Good luck with your bets!


Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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