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UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic odds, predictions: MMA insider makes surprising fight card picks

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Anthony Smith’s rugged disposition and resilience have earned him a major following among MMA observers. He has a big fan following in the UFC brass as well because his fight on Saturday against Aleksandar Rakic will be his sixth consecutive main event with the promotion. The battle of top-10 light heavyweights anchors the UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic card from the Apex facility in Las Vegas. The main UFC Fight Night card is set for 9 p.m. ET. The bout was originally scheduled to be the co-main event but was elevated when another fight fell through, allowing the fifth-ranked Smith to keep his streak alive.

The former title-challenger has his work cut out against the No. 8-ranked Rakic, who is likely to crack the top five with a victory. Rakic is a -325 favorite (risk $325 to win $100), while Smith is a +265 underdog in the latest UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic odds from William Hill. In the co-main event, Neil Magny (-230) faces Robbie Lawler (+195) in a matchup of welterweight veterans. Before making any Saturday UFC Fight Night picks, make sure you see what SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley has to say, considering the epic run he’s on.

Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every single UFC card and does extensive research before each event.

Over the past 19 months, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up nearly $19,000. The accomplished MMA analyst has been on a rock-solid run in 2020 as he has connected on 16 of his last 20 main-event selections, a stretch that included a streak of five straight underdogs. At UFC Fight Night last Saturday, he accurately called a submission win for Joe Solecki (-105) against Austin Hubbard (-115) in a clash of lightweight prospects. Solecki controlled the action from the opening bell and soon secured a standing choke, giving Marley’s followers an easy winner. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.

Now, with UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every fight. Those selections are only available here

Smith vs. Rakic preview

Marley knows the bout comes with a keen sense of urgency for Smith (33-15), 32, who has lost two of his past three fights in lopsided fashion. His last appearance resulted in a prolonged beating delivered by No. 4-ranked Glover Teixeira in a bout that many observers believed should have been called off long before it was brought to a merciful end early in the fifth round. Smith also was battered around the Octagon by Jones in his March 2019 title shot.

Even so, “Lionheart” showed his signature fortitude by pulling an upset of former title challenger Alexander Gustafsoon with a fourth-round submission in their June 2019 fight.

Rakic (12-2) lost his professional MMA debut before reeling off eight consecutive stoppage victories. The 28-year-old Austrian fighter made his UFC debut in September 2017 and emerged as a contender behind four straight wins, with two coming inside the distance.

His lone UFC defeat came in a controversial split decision against No. 7-ranked Volkan Oezdemir in December of last year. Still, he was signed to a new six-fight contract in February. You can see Marley’s coveted Smith vs. Rakic picks here.

Top UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic predictions

We’ll share one of Marley’s UFC Fight Night selections here: He is picking Alex Caceres (+200) to pull the upset of Giga Chikadze (-240) in a battle of featherweight prospects. 

Chikadze (10-2) is seeking his third win in 2020 following decision victories over fellow prospects Jamall Emmers and Irwin Rivera. The 31-year-old Georgian fighter has six stoppages among his 10 victories but has yet to finish an opponent inside the distance in the UFC.

Caceres (16-12-1) is a 10-year UFC veteran who has shared the Octagon with the division’s biggest names, including former title-contender Uriah Faber. Following a stretch in which he lost four of six, the 32-year-old Miami native has responded with consecutive victories. He is coming off one of his best performances in recent memory, as he upset previously unbeaten prospect Chase Hooper in June.

“If Caceres won a striking-based fight, it wouldn’t shock me at all. Caceres lands at a higher rate, with better accuracy and better defense,” Marley told SportsLine.

How to make UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic picks

Marley also has strong picks for Smith vs. Rakic and every other bout on the UFC Fight Night card. He is also backing one “dangerous striker” to pull a monumental upset. Those selections are only available here

Who wins Smith vs. Rakic? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic, all from the incomparable expert who’s up nearly $19,000 on MMA in the past 18 months and nailed 16 of the last 20 main events, and find out.

UFC Fight Night odds (via William Hill)

Aleksandar Rakic (-325) vs. Anthony Smith (+265)
Neil Magny (-230) vs. Robbie Lawler (+195)
Alexa Grasso (-310) vs. Ji Yeon Kim (+255)
Magomed Ankalaev (-350) vs. Ion Cutelaba (+290)
Impa Kasanganay (-130) vs. Maki Pitolo (+110)
Mallory Martin (-300) vs. Hannah Cifers (+250)
Alessio Di Chirico (-120) vs. Zak Cummings (+100)
Giga Chikadze (-240) vs. Alex Caceres (+200)
Polyana Viana (-110) vs. Emily Whitmire (-110)
Sean Brady (-380) vs. Christian Aguilera (+310) 

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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