UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira Betting Odds and Predictions
For the first time ever, the UFC will bring its traveling circus to Baltimore on Saturday night, and the best fighter in the world is coming along for the ride.
Jon Jones has not competed since a narrow win over Alexander Gustafsson in September. This time around, he defends his championship against a top light heavyweight with an entirely different skill set than any opponent he has faced thus far.
Glover Teixeira has long been lauded by hardcore fans as one of the best light heavyweights in mixed martial arts, but visa issues prevented him from making his Octagon debut until 2012.
He has not lost a fight since 2005. His 20-fight winning streak is impressive. But does he have what it takes to compete with one of the best talents the sport has ever seen? And, more importantly for our purposes, is he worth gambling on? We’ll take a look at the main event and the rest of the main card in the following pages.
As always, a disclaimer: Like any other sport, betting on mixed martial arts is about managing your money. It is fun to throw money on big underdogs in the hope they’ll pay off handsomely. But my goal with these previews is to help you make smart, informed decisions. If there is no value in a particular fight, I will tell you so.
But I also recognize that some of you just want to bet on fights. For you, I have included my standard Just for Fun and $5 Parlay at the end. It represents a chance for you to throw $5 down on five or more fights and hope it pays off big.
Let’s get started, shall we?
All odds provided by BestFightOdds.com.
Jon Jones (-525) vs. Glover Teixeira (+415)
The market for Jon Jones fights is typically barren. At this point in his career, oddsmakers are pretty good at setting his lines exactly where they need to be. He’s always a large favorite, and that eliminates most folks who aren’t big spenders from wagering on him.
Dropping $50 or $100 on a minus-500 or greater favorite? That isn’t much fun.
The market gives Jones an 84 percent chance of winning this fight. My own percentage is 85, which means there is no value here for me. Unless you are a big bettor who thinks nothing of dropping $10,000 or more on a huge favorite in combat sports, stay away from Jones.
Teixeira’s plus-415 line is getting close to my plus-500 Underdogs Rule, however. Any time an underdog in mixed martial arts is plus-500 or more, I recommend dropping a small flier on him, just for the heck of it. This is combat sports, after all, and anything can happen.
Teixeira fits the profile of someone who can score a big upset. It only takes one punch to end a fight, and he has big punching power.
With that said, I can’t imagine any other outcome than Jones getting his hand raised on Saturday night. If Teixeira gets to plus-500 or greater come fight day, I recommend a small “just for the heck of it” play on him. Otherwise, stay away from this one unless you are betting big bucks.
Prediction: Jon Jones
The Play: Stay away unless you feel like taking a small flier on Teixeira
Phil Davis (-225) Anthony Johnson (+185)
This is an interesting fight. By all rights, Davis should be a heavy favorite here. His wrestling is the ultimate equalizer, and he should be able to take Johnson down at will and keep him there. The gulf between the two fighters in terms of wrestling skill is a large one.
But what if Johnson can keep the fight standing? That’s the big question. On the feet, everything changes. I have not been impressed with Davis as a striker, and Johnson has big power and finishing ability.
The market gives Davis a 69.23 percent chance to win this fight. Personally, I have him at 60 percent. That isn’t enough of a difference for me to recommend a big play on Johnson, but it’s enough for me to take a small risk on him, with the amount of money I bet increasing if he becomes a bigger underdog.
The Prediction: Phil Davis by decision
The Play: Small underdog play on Johnson
Luke Rockhold (-900) vs. Tim Boetsch (+600)
Rockhold is a massive favorite here, and with good reason. He’s faster than Boetsch and better in just about every area of the fight game. The only advantage Boetsch has is his power, and Rockhold should be able to negate that with speed and strategy.
The current odds give Rockhold a 90 percent chance to win. For the first time ever, my own percentage is the exact same: 90 percent. Those are long odds, and I can’t recommend anything but staying away from this one as a result. Unless, of course, you want to throw a small flier on the heavy underdog just for the fun of it.
This should be a showcase for Rockhold, and I expect him to shine.
The Prediction: Luke Rockhold by decision
The Play: Stay away
Jim Miller (-210) vs. Yancy Medeiros (+175)
Medeiros is a late replacement for Bobby Green, who pulled out of the fight last week due to injury. He is a hard puncher with a lot of skill.
But he’s coming in on late notice against a resilient and durable man who is very tough to beat. Miller has been one of the UFC’s better lightweights for a long time. He hasn’t had the best stretch of his career over the past two years, but nearly all of his fights have come against some of the best competition the UFC has to offer.
The market gives Miller a 67.74 percent chance to win the fight. Because of the late notice for Medeiros, I have that number closer to 85 percent, which means there is a plus-17.26 percent difference between the market and my line. I typically look for plus-20 percent or greater when recommending big plays, but I am confident enough in Miller to recommend a strong play here.
The Prediction: Jim Miller by submission
The Play: Strong play on Jim Miller
Andre Fili (-155) vs. Max Holloway (+135)
Fili has a lot of raw skill and the ability to be one of the UFC’s more colorful and interesting featherweight attractions. He has only competed one time in the UFC, defeating Jeremy Larsen in his debut at UFC 166 in October. Holloway is the toughest opponent he has met in his career thus far.
Holloway, meanwhile, has faced a much tougher level of competition. His only losses are to Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor and Dennis Bermudez, and he has wins over Leonard Garcia, Justin Lawrence and Pat Schilling on his record.
Fili is the favorite, and I agree with the current line. The market gives him a 60.78 percent chance to win, and I have him listed at 60 percent. I think his skills and creativity will give him the edge over Holloway here. But because there is no difference between my line and the market, I can’t recommend a play.
The Prediction: Andre Fili by decision
The Play: Stay away
The Just For Fun and $5 Parlay: Jones + Davis + Rockhold + Miller + Benavidez + Castillo + Vallie-Flagg
All odds provided by BestFightOdds.com.