While the pair of 205-pound fighters will fight for a scheduled five rounds tonight, plenty of fans and spectators will attempt to predict exactly how tonight's main event will end. And some individuals will go even a bit further by wagering on the evening's action.
Jones is a heavy favorite in this matchup (-850), and it's obvious—the UFC cites Gustafsson's height as a reason he could defeat Jones. That's not the kind of hype that will sway the gamblers, and Gustafsson's line of +525 displays that.
But instead of taking the heavy favorite in Jones, prop bets provide more intrigue than the line does.
Prop bets allow gamblers to predict outcomes on a more specific level than who will win the fight. Instead, method of victory and the round in which the stoppage comes can be wagered on, or an individual can wager on the fight ending via decision.
For Jones, a submission win is the most likely outcome, at least according to the above odds. That seems appropriate, even if he has nine career knockout victories to just six submission wins—he has three submission wins in his last five title defenses, compared to just one technical knockout.
Meanwhile, Gustafsson's odds just get steeper when prop bets are brought into the equation. Those looking to take a risk could go with a wager on Gustafsson for the flash knockout, but Jones has never been finished. Of course, some will look to wager on a submission win for the underdog, considering Vitor Belfort nearly submitted Jon Jones this time last year.
The Round-by-Round betting gives gamblers even more opportunities to find value. But be careful—just because these guys are elite fighters doesn't mean they're going to throw down early.
Jones has just one first-round stoppage in six championship fights. He also has one second round, one third round and two fourth-round stoppage victories in that span, along with a unanimous decision win.
The safest play is picking the decision win for "Bones," if only because predicting which round a stoppage could come is not an easy task. Gamblers looking to go that route will find value in picking the fourth round, as it pays out 6-to-1 and Jones is great at overpowering fading opponents late.
While picking a round for Jones is difficult, picking for Gustafsson is a bit easier. If he's going to finish this fight, it's going to happen early. Meanwhile, outscoring Jones on the judges' scorecards seems to be a very long shot. Those predicting an upset should roll the dice on a Round 1 or Round 2 finish.
For the gamblers looking to get more involved, prop bets provide plenty of opportunities for more specific wagers. Of course, the more specific one gets, the more difficult it becomes. Good luck tonight and, as always, enjoy the fights.
Odds courtesy of Bovada
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