Heavyweight contenders highlight the boxing marquee Friday as former two-time world champion Anthony Joshua meets sudden contender Francis Ngannou with a potential title shot going to the winner. Their 10-round showdown is set for 6 p.m. ET from the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Ngannou is the former UFC heavyweight champion whose boxing debut resulted in a narrow decision loss to WBC champion Tyson Fury. That performance allowed him to skip the line in the rankings and secure a fight against Joshua, the former champion who is looking for another title shot of his own should he notch his fourth consecutive victory.

The latest Joshua vs. Ngannou odds list Joshua as the -350 favorite (risk $350 to win $100) to win on the money line, with Ngannou listed at +275. The over/under for total rounds is 7.5, with the Under slightly favored at -120. Before making any Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Joshua picks, make sure you see the boxing predictions and betting advice from SportsLine combat expert Brandon Wise.  

Wise, who is the combat sports editor for CBS Sports, is an experienced boxing and mixed martial arts analyst who has consistently provided winning selections for SportsLine members. For the past four years, he has hit numerous boxing selections in big-time matchups.

For example, just last week Wise called a win in Round 1 for Jake Paul (+200) against Ryan Bourland and also advised SportsLine members to take the Under 1.5 rounds (+120). Both bets connected when Paul scored a knockout toward the end of the first round. Anyone who has followed Wise’s combat sports picks has already seen massive returns.

Now, with Friday’s fight card approaching, Wise has studied the matchup from every angle and released confident picks for the fights. You can only see his picks and analysis at SportsLine

Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou preview 

One major reason Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs) believes he has returned to his prime form is because of his uptick in activity. He fought just once per year from 2020 to 2022 but his matchup with Ngannou will mark Joshua’s fourth fight since April of last year.

Joshua also credited the influence of new trainer Ben Davison, who was once the top trainer for Tyson Fury. What’s more, the former two-time champion is coming off the best of his three performances in that span. He dominated from the outset against veteran Otto Wallin and the fight was stopped following the fifth round.

“It’s the first time since 2017 I’ve had three fights, back-to-back, and getting consistent is paying off again,” Joshua said. “That’s why fighters do so well on their way up, because they’re fighting every other week and look amazing. The minute you get to the top, it all slows down and the only way out is retirement. I’m trying to rebuild and get that activity.”

From a pure boxing perspective, Ngannou (17-3 MMA, 0-1 boxing) believes his biggest edge against Joshua is the power he showed in his boxing debut against Fury. The WBC champion took a clean, heavy shot but managed to beat the count and continue the fight. Fury is known for both his chin and resilience, as evidenced by surviving four knockdowns in his memorable trilogy against Deontay Wilder. But Ngannou doesn’t necessarily believe Joshua has those same qualities.

The former champion has only been stopped once, when his undefeated record was spoiled by Andy Ruiz, but Joshua also has survived getting clipped in numerous other fights.

“Tyson showed that he’s very resilient. I saw him come back from a knockdown that you wouldn’t believe,” Ngannou said. “So I think he’s probably one of the most resistant people out there, and that’s not a disrespect to AJ. I don’t believe that AJ would take what Tyson did.” See who to pick here

How to make Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou picks

Wise likes the over 6.5 rounds. He also locked in a pair of confident prop picks that each return around +400. He’s only sharing his picks and analysis at SportsLine.

Who wins Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Joshua, and which props paying around +400 should you be all over? Visit SportsLine now to see Brandon Wise’s best bets for Friday, all from the CBS combat sports specialist who just called Jake Paul’s first-round win, and find out.


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