UFC legend Jon Jones, a polarizing figure in the sport, returns to the Octagon Saturday night for the first time since July 2019, and he’s facing yet another surging contender in Dominick Reyes. Could Reyes finally be the one to give Jones his first real loss in his MMA career?
Reyes (12-0) is listed at +340 at FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetRivers, the leading legal online books in Indiana. That line gives him implied winning chances of 23%. If you’re looking for some skin in the game and want to root for the underdog, then it could be a solid bet for the entertainment, but one might be hard-pressed to argue there’s a ton of value for your dollar on the Reyes moneyline.
If you want to bet on Jones (25-1), FanDuel is the best spot, offering a -440 line, compared to -455 at the other two mobile sportsbooks live in the Hoosier State.
Jones’ -440 line gives him implied winning chances of 81%. It would probably be a slam dunk bet on the 205-pound king at around -300, but his FanDuel price isn’t appalling and is worth an entertainment bet if you are a fan of Jones and/or want to root for the favorite continuing to make UFC history.
This fight is far more interesting as far as prop bets go.
Will the fight end in a finish or go to the judges?
Six of Jones’ last eight fights went the distance, including his last two. One of those recent finishes, a KO of Daniel Cormier in 2017, was overturned after a failed drug test. Jones isn’t known as a power striker, and his cautious style of fighting these days boosts the odds of the bout going to the scorecards.
The fight going the distance is +194 at FanDuel, a potential value bet if you’re trying to find a small edge against the sportsbook. That line implies that the fight goes to the judges about a third of the time.
Both DraftKings and BetRivers offer a less attractive +165 line.
If you think there will be a finish from either fighter inside the five rounds, DraftKings and BetRivers offer a leading -230 line, compared to FanDuel’s inferior -270.
What will be the method of victory?
DraftKings told Hoosier State Bets that, as of Friday, 58% of the prop’s handle and 60% of the number of individual bets are on Jones to win by KO, TKO, or the highly improbable DQ. Both DraftKings and BetRivers are offering a +225 line on that outcome.
You can get that outcome (excluding the DQ scenario) for a better +240 price at FanDuel.
DraftKings and BetRivers offer a +225 price on Jones by decision, superior to FanDuel’s +210 price.
About 16% of DraftKings’ handle is on Jones by points, according to the data provided to Hoosier State Bets.
Head over to FanDuel if you like Jones by submission, where the book is offering a +270 price, compared to +210 for the other two. Jones by submission at +270 gives you the most bang for your buck on this prop on the Jones side and might be tempting considering that Reyes’ ground game is in doubt and Jones has six submission wins on his resume. The last one, however, came way back in 2012.
If you like Reyes by KO/TKO, DraftKings and BetRivers offer a +550 price, compared to FanDuel’s +500.
Don’t be fooled by Reyes’ last fight where he demolished Chris Weidman in round one. Weidman, who was moving up a weight class, is unfortunately on a downward spiral and many observers believe his chin may be severely compromised. It was undoubtedly a highlight-reel win for Reyes, but the strength of that stoppage is in doubt thanks to where Weidman is at in his career. Reyes isn’t a devastating power puncher like Jones’ last opponent, Thiago Santos. Reyes did have two head-kick KO wins in 2017 against relatively obscure opponents, but it’s hard to see him doing that to Jones.
While it’s unlikely someone beats Jones on the scorecards, his fight with Santos was a split decision. Jones has proven time and time again to be a master at avoiding a big shot from an opponent, so the odds that Reyes can land that fateful punch to send Jones to the canvas aren’t great.
If Reyes were to have his hand raised, it just as likely could come via decision as by a KO/TKO.
FanDuel has an attractive +1300 line on that outcome, compared to +1100 at DraftKings and FanDuel.
All three books are offering roughly +2000 lines on Reyes by submission, but it’s probably a good idea to avoid this bet like the plague. Bettors seem to agree, with a mere 1% of the method-of-victory betting handle at DraftKings coming on that outcome.
Photo credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Subscribe to get the latest Indiana sports betting news to your inbox.