Las Vegas Sun

March 19, 2019

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Vegas Play of the Day: Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith at UFC 235

UFC 235 Open Workouts

Steve Marcus

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones speaks with reporters during open workouts for UFC 235 at the MGM Grand Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. Jones will defend his title against Anthony Smith at T-Mobile Arena Saturday.

The fifth season of the annual Play of the Day betting competition between the Sun's sports staff is now under way, effective July 1.

Bankrolls start at $10,000 for each of the four participants, with the objective to increase it as much as possible over the next year. The minimum daily wager is $300, with a $200 penalty assessed for failing to place a bet on an assigned day.

Past winners are Case Keefer in 2017-2018, Ray Brewer in 2016-2017 and 2015-2016, and Taylor Bern in 2014-2015.

Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith under 1.5 rounds at plus-130: $300 to win $390

I trust Jon Jones. Admittedly, those are three of the most dangerous words to put together when it comes to mixed martial arts’ sentences, but mostly for reasons outside the cage.

When he’s fighting, Jones has been every bit as good as advertised. And he’s advertising that’s he’s going to be terrific tonight against Smith in the main event of UFC 235.

Jones reports he’s at his best after going directly into this fight camp after beating Alexander Gustafsson at the end of last year. If he’s at his best, Smith doesn’t stand a chance. Jones will finish him — and fast.

The price is a little too high to take Jones by stoppage, however, at as high as minus-500. And it’s also problematic in trying to decide whether he’s more likely to submit or knock out Smith. Both seem possible.

That’s why it might be worth it just to wager on the fight wrapping up in less than seven and a half minutes at a plus-price. Jones knows the expectation that he should destroy Smith, and that’s what he will be out for.

And if Smith were to shock the world and win, it likely would be because he caught Jones with something and that’s always more likely to happen earlier in the fight. This is a tough bout to bet, but this might be the best way at the odds.

Current Standings: Keefer (27-25-2, $10,566), Brewer (17-17-2, $9,060) Emerson (3-3, $6,242), Grimala (16-16-1, $4,350)

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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