Anthony Smith vs. Johnny Walker Odds, UFC Picks & Predictions: The Right Side of a Volatile Pick’em (May 13)

Anthony Smith vs. Johnny Walker Odds, UFC Picks & Predictions: The Right Side of a Volatile Pick’em (May 13) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC light heavyweight Anthony Smith

  • The UFC Charlotte co-headliner on Saturday features ranked light heavyweights with Anthony Smith vs. Johnny Walker on Saturday afternoon.
  • Oddsmakers have listed the fight as a pick'em with a total of just 1.5 rounds.
  • MMA expert Dan Tom breaks down the fight below and offers the right side of a closely contest UFC co-main event.

Anthony Smith vs. Johnny Walker Odds

Smith Odds
Walker Odds
1.5 (+110 / -140)
Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina
4:25 p.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday and via DraftKings

The UFC Charlotte co-main event features a fight between ranked light heavyweights Anthony Smith and Johnny Walker.

Smith hasn't been seen since his UFC 277 loss to Magomed Ankalaev, which was a fight in which the former title challenger injured his ankle.

Prior to that, Smith was on a three-fight winning streak, and he will be looking to recreate that momentum this Saturday.

Standing in Smith's way is Walker, who is as explosive as he is unpredictable.

That said, Walker seems to finally be settling into his semi-new home of SBG Ireland, reeling off two straight stoppage wins since losing to the current champion, Jamahal Hill.

Tale of the Tape

Avg. Fight Time9:276:35
Weight (pounds)205 lbs.205 lbs.
Reach (inches)76"82"
Date of birth7/26/19883/30/1992
Sig Strikes Per Min2.993.38
SS Accuracy47%60%
SS Absorbed Per Min4.372.60
SS Defense42%42%
Take Down Avg.0.440.41
TD Acc27%100%
TD Def48%58%
Submission Avg.0.71.2

Considering that each man was initially preparing for five rounds, I wouldn't be shocked to see either party push the action early.

A veteran of more than 50 fights, Smith has steadily learned to make pressure his friend over the years. Even when fighting down at middleweight, Smith apparently preferred to fight on the inside in spite of his inherent length advantages at 185 pounds.

However, since moving up a weight class and working with Marc Montoya at Factory X Muay Thai, Smith has put together a more fundamentally-sound process that incorporates more range tools and setups.

Working particularly well off of his lead hand, Smith stays much more active with jabs, which, in turn, help set up his underrated hooks.

Smith has also made some quiet improvements to his wrestling since doing his training camps in Denver, which could come in handy against a dangerous dynamo like Walker.

Lionheart with the beautiful RNC and had to let Spann know 😤.

— El Champ Champ (@ElChampChampMMA) April 10, 2023

Towering over most of his opposition at 205 pounds, Walker and his highlight reel can be a terrifying thing to take in if you plan on fighting the Brazilian wildman.

What's even scarier, however, is the prospect of Walker actually putting all of his skills together.

Johnny Walker does it again another finish via hammer

— Lok Lambert (@saran_yeager) January 22, 2023

Despite going through some initial growing pains after making the move to Ireland, Walker has steadily shown glimpses of improvements to his game both on the feet and on the floor. Whether he's feinting a knee to step into a straight punch or hitting a mat return to a back take, Walker has proven to be an offensive powerhouse from multiple positions.

Still, neither fighter is exactly a savant defensively, which makes this match all the more volatile.

Smith vs. Walker Pick

Despite the oddsmakers opening Walker as the favorite, money has come in on Smith, making this a pick'em at -110 a piece.

Considering that MMA gamblers traditionally love fading aging veterans opposite explosive opportunists, I'm admittedly surprised (and selfishly upset) to see money coming in on Smith. That said, the general public must be seeing what I am.

Although Walker has the ability to knock out anyone on the roster, Smith has shown a solid chin since moving up to light heavyweight and is incredibly difficult to finish even when hurt.

Smith also carries an underrated left hook off the counter that I see mimicking the success Ryan Spann had against Walker before succumbing to a strange finish.

"Lionheart" will still need to have answers for Walker's leg kicks, but those types of attacks usually only encourage Smith to close the distance and get more aggressive. Should Smith get this fight to the mat, then the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt will likely have an edge on Walker in grappling exchanges.

It's always dangerous betting on volatile matchups like this, so I don't blame anyone for choosing to pass or playing the other side.

That said, I see too many on-paper advantages for Smith – especially if this goes over.

For that reason, I sprinkled small on Smith to win in Round 3 at +1000 and kicked for coverage by playing his moneyline for a unit return. At prices like this, it's pick a side and ride, baby!

The Pick: Anthony Smith (-110 at Caesars)

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