UFC Fight Night 168 odds, predictions: MMA insider enters picks for Felder vs. Hooker, Crute vs. Oleksiejczuk

There are many mixed martial arts observers who believe the main event of Saturday's UFC Fight Night 168 could emerge as a Fight of the Year candidate. Ranked lightweights Dan Hooker and Paul Felder top the bill at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. The main UFC Fight Night 158 card starts at 7 p.m. ET. The matchup provides intrigue not only because the winner will enter the title-bout picture, but also because their similar fighting styles suggest an action-packed bout is in store.

The sixth-ranked Felder (17-4) and seventh-ranked Hooker (19-8) are both excellent strikers who are known for coming after their opponents and an ability to withstand damage. Hooker is a -150 favorite (risk $150 to win $100), while Felder is a +130 underdog in the latest Felder vs. Hooker odds. In the co-main event, Michał Oleksiejczuk (-140) faces Jimmy Crute (+120) in a battle of light heavyweight prospects. Before locking in any UFC Fight Night 168 picks of your own, be sure to see the latest MMA predictions from SportsLine's Kyle Marley.

Marley won the first-ever "ToutMaster" UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and also appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and DFS shows. Over the past year, $100 bettors who have followed Marley's picks are up nearly $18,000.

Just last week at UFC Fight Night 167, Marley told SportsLine members to back Lando Vannata (-115) against Yancy Medeiros (-105) in a matchup of lightweights to kick off the main card. The MMA expert reasoned that Vannata's overall skill set would be too much for Medeiros to handle, and was proven correct when Vannata dominated the action from the opening bell and took a unanimous decision. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.

Now, with UFC Fight Night 168 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 single fight. He's sharing those selections right here.

Hooker vs. Felder preview

Marley knows the main event will be a turning point in the careers of two lightweights vying for position amid a top-heavy division. Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov faces top-ranked challenger Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in April. Nurmagomedov already has successfully defended his title against No. 2-ranked Dustin Poirier and third-ranked Conor McGregor. Fourth-ranked Justin Gaethje is likely next in line, ahead of the winner of Saturday's main event. Even so, Hooker or Felder could be in position for a title shot by the end of the year.

Hooker appears to be hitting his prime at age 30. The Auckland native started his UFC campaign with a 3-3 mark, with the low point coming in a loss to journeyman Jason Knight in November 2016. But he has been on a tear ever since, with five finishes among his six victories. His lone defeat in that stretch came against the venerable Edson Barboza in December 2018.

Felder, 34, split his first four UFC bouts before going on a similar surge. He defeated Barboza by split decision in September to avenge a loss in their 2015 meeting. The Philadelphia native also has emerged as a respected color analyst for UFC events and has said he will pursue broadcasting full-time if a title shot doesn't materialize in the near future. Get Marley's Hooker vs. Felder predictions here.

Top UFC Fight Night 168 expert picks

At UFC Fight Night 168, Marley is backing Marcos Rogerio De Lima (-145) to get the best of Ben Sosoli (+125) in a heavyweight bout on the main card.

De Lima (16-6-1) fell to Stefan Struve his last time out, but beat Adam Wieczorek via unanimous decision in late 2018. He'l enjoy a 2.5-inch reach advantage over Sosoli (7-2) and stands an inch taller.

"De Lima is the rightful favorite and has the edge everywhere in this fight, especially early. He can win in Round 1 with a submission or a knockout." Marley is calling for De Lima to put the fight away via TKO.

How to make UFC Fight Night 168 predictions

Marley also has strong picks for Hooker vs. Felder, Crute vs. Oleksiejczuk and every other bout on the UFC Fight Night 168 card. He's also targeting one fight where Vegas' "recency bias" means the line is way off. You can see every pick for every fight at SportsLine.

Who wins Hooker vs. Felder? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night 168, all from the expert who's up nearly $18,000 on MMA in the past year, and find out. 

UFC Fight Night 168 odds

Dan Hooker (-150) vs. Paul Felder (+130)
Michal Oleksiejczuk (-140) vs. Jimmy Crute (+120)
Yan Xiaonan (-255) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (+215)
Marcos Rogerio De Lima (-145) vs. Ben Sosoli (+125)
Magomed Mustafaev (-130) vs. Brad Riddell (+110)
Zubaira Tukhugov (-115) vs. Kevin Aguilar (-105)
Jalin Turner (-200) vs. Josh Culibao (+170)
Jake Matthews (-230) vs. Emil Meek (+190)
Song Kenan (-185) vs. Callan Potter (+160)
Kai Kara-France (-260) vs. Tyson Nam (+220)
Angela Hill (-200) vs. Loma Lookboonmee (+170)
Takashi Sato (-115) vs. Maki Pitolo (-105)
Shana Dobson (-190) vs. Priscila Cachoeira (+165)

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