Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou odds, prediction, time: March 8 fight card picks by proven boxing expert



Former heavyweight Anthony Joshua seeks his fourth consecutive victory Friday when he faces crossover combat star Francis Ngannou in a boxing main event. The 10-round battle that carries title-shot implications is slated for 6 p.m. ET from the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Joshua once held three of the four major heavyweight titles before dropping them to Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021, but has since won three straight fights and a win over Ngannou would make him the front-runner for a title shot. Ngannou, the former UFC heavyweight champion, intends to steal the show following his narrow loss to WBC champion Tyson Fury in October.

The latest Joshua vs. Ngannou odds list Joshua as the -320 favorite (risk $320 to win $100) to win on the money line, with Ngannou listed at +250. 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 thing Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs) made clear as his matchup with Ngannou approaches is that he will not take the former UFC champion for granted as an opponent. Although Joshua concedes he once believed the recent trend of MMA-boxing crossover matches was farcical, Ngannou’s performance against Fury altered his perspective. Joshua now insists he won’t step into the ring Friday expecting an easy fight.

“They spoke about this fight before and I said: ‘No, it’s a gimmick,'” Joshua told the media. “It’s not something I thought was right, crossing over when I’m chasing heavyweight glory. But when they saw what happened with Ngannou against Fury, this opportunity presented itself again. I never turn down a challenge and we can now get rid of the word gimmick.

“I looked at MMA crossing over into boxing as a gimmick. But I can now see certain MMA fighters can box, and he’s one of them. I see him as someone who is serious about boxing.” 

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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