September 23, 2020

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

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Aleksandar Rakic says he “needs to make a statement” on Saturday and earn the biggest win of his career against Anthony Smith when the top-10 light heavyweights meet in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic. Their matchup headlines the marquee at the Apex facility in Las Vegas, with the main UFC fight card scheduled for 9 p.m. ET. The No. 8-ranked Rakic has been asking for big-name opponents since he broke into the UFC in September 2017. He gets his stiffest test yet against the fifth-ranked Smith, a former title-contender who’s looking to return to the top.

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 Zak Cummings (+100) to earn a decision victory against Alessio Di Chirico (-120) in a clash of middleweight prospects.

Di Chirico (12-4) was considered a rising prospect behind a 3-1 run over a two-year span, but he hasn’t won since taking a split decision against Julian Marquez in July 2018. The 30-year-old Italian has suffered consecutive decision losses against prospects Kevin Holland and Makhmud Muradov. 

Cummings (23-7), 36, is an eight-year UFC veteran who has an 8-4 mark with the promotion. The Texas native has won four of his past six fights, which includes a submission of prospect Trevin Giles in May of last year. But he followed up that performance with a decision loss against Omari Akhmedov in September. 

“Cummings is more dangerous on the feet and the ground, so he might be more likely to get a finish,” 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)