Some people were surprised, particularly Anthony Smith, when Jon Jones opened as a massive favorite over the light heavyweight contender for their UFC 235 headlining bout slated for March 2 in Las Vegas.
Considered to be perhaps the greatest fighter of all time, it was no surprise that Jones would be a considerable favorite, but he opened at -500, which is a significant favorite in mixed martial arts. To put that in perspective, Jones opening at -500 means that you would have had to bet $500 on him to win $100 in prize money if he were to do as expected and defeat Smith.
“The line opened at -500 and was quickly bet up to -800 as bettors clearly have no faith in Anthony Smith. We have yet to see any buy back on Smith at +500, and believe the line on Jones could get as high as -1000 before bettors start taking the other side,” David Strauss, Head Oddsmaker at MMAWeekly.com odds partner MyBookie stated on Tuesday. (Use the promo code MMAWEEKLY to get a 50-percent sign-up bonus.)
Shortly after Strauss clicked the send button in early January, the line moved again. Money coming in on Jones pushed the line to -1100 on the UFC light heavyweight champion, while Smith dropped to +650.
As the fight draws nearer, however, the gap is closing slightly. The line on Jones has moved to -830, while Smith sits at +580 on MyBookie.
That’s still a huge wager on Jones, though he has rarely looked vulnerable in the Octagon, but also remains a huge opportunity if you believe Smith has a shot at upsetting the champ.
You can also wager on welterweight champion Tyron Woodley’s title defense against Kamaru Usman, the highly anticipated Octagon debut of Ben Askren, who faces former champion Robbie Lawler, or any of the other UFC 235 bouts.
UFC 235: Jones vs. Smith Betting Lines
- Jon Jones: -830 vs. Anthony Smith: +580
- Tyron Woodley: -170 vs. Kamaru Usman: +145
- Ben Askren: -275 vs. Robbie Lawler: +225