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.)
That is so yesterday’s news. Shortly after Strauss clicked the send button, the line moved again.
As of mid-afternoon on Wednesday, money coming in on Jones pushed the line to -1100 on the UFC light heavyweight champion, while Smith dropped to +650. That’s a huge wager on Jones, though he has rarely looked vulnerable in the Octagon, but a huge opportunity if you believe Smith has a shot at upsetting the champ.
UFC 235: Jones vs. Smith Betting Lines
- Jon Jones: -1100 vs. Anthony Smith: +650
- Tyron Woodley: -165 vs. Kamaru Usman: +135
- Ben Askren: -300 vs. Robbie Lawler: +240