UFC 235 is good card for bettors. Other than the Jones vs Smith main event, it’s full of very competitive fights which gives us the opportunity for big payoffs without relying on props or parlays. A true handicapper’s dream.
Personally, I think Lionheart vs Jones is more competitive than people are talking about. The thing is, unless you think Smith is going win, there’s isn’t any reason to consider it from a wagering standpoint. But lets do it anyway.
Anthony Smith is a tough one to handicap. He’s a veteran of 46 fights with 31-13 record, impressive, but not when you consider he’s up against the greatest MMA fighter of all time. Sure he’s 6-1 in recent fights, but those wins came against relatively weak competition. Chalking up all those W’s got him here, but they didn’t prepare him for Saturday night.
What makes it tough in my mind is that Smith is huge and built like a tank (hard to believe he ever made 185). He wanted this fight badly and I think he’ll be unafraid to throw down.
Jones hasn’t faced anyone lately who could legitimately pressure him like Smith can. If he can create some real chaos, his combos are lethal. I know I’m in the minority, but see Smith as a real danger. If you’re going to bet on Smith don’t get greedy with prop bets, play him to win at +525. There’s nothing worse than picking a huge upset, only losing the bet because it goes done in the wrong round.
Jones is great, what more needs to be said. He’s seen it all and beaten better fighters. The only question is his quick turnaround. He’s only fought once a year since 2013 and now he’s coming back in 2 months? Jones deserves the long price, so how can you make any money betting him. I suggest playing the fight out in your head and coming up with the exact round the fight ends. Prop payouts are reasonable if you hit on the round. I’d go with Jones wins in Round 2 (+250) or Jones wins in Round 3 (+650).
Jeremy Stephens (+195) over Zabit Magomedsharipov – I love these kind of fights, it gives every handicapper the opportunity to look like a genius or a fool. I think the betting line should be reversed. Look, I like Zabit but when these guys square off it’ll look like man vs boy. Stephens has been in against the best and picked up his share of big wins. Zabit hasn’t fought anyone with the power or skill to earn his respect, which could stymie his incredible flow. This fight reminds me a bit of when Edgar schooled Yair & I see a similar outcome.
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