Baskonia traveled to Russia twithout Jordan McRae, who remained in Vitoria despite training with a group this week. Basques got their first win by coast-to-coast buzzer beater, but they still need time to find their game and inner balance. At the moment only 3 players (Beaubois, Shengelia and Granger) score points and playing well. And Martinez task is to involve Timma, Janning, Diop and Voigtmann into offensive schemes. I think that major problem for the team – questionable signings this summer. Garino, Huertas, Janning looks very bad so far and McRae trying to get his form back and can’t do it at least for now.
Khimki is much healthier team, but bookies and public gives too much respect to them. Because actually they are deep and balanced team of players, but they have too many average players to become a real power in Europe. Of course, Shved and Robinson has great numbers in offense.. But every coach knows that Shved is weak defender and can shoot 4/15 at any given moment and Robinson is just a good rebounder with bad shooting skills. Such small things makes difference, especially in situations when everybody expect Khimki to cover spreads. They are 1-4 against the spread this season and has covered as underdogs in Madrid. However, at home they were just 1, 2 and 3,5 points below handicap line and won all games.
Baskonia has enough talent inside and at its best form can win. But they are very far away from that conditions. Will they be able to fight for handicap? I think, yes. They are improving, hungry for points and Khimki are 0-3 ATS at home. But I feel that is a kind of bookies trap. They want to see some action on Baskonia spread, because Khimki might kill them at home court with their defense and offense. So I decided to skip handicap and choose total here.
Another bet we need to consider here – under 159,5. Below you can see team stats, that explain why it’s good position. Baskonia has very slow pace in Euroleague. And after Martinez arrival they did 141 attacks against PAO and 132 attack in Malaga. Khimki had several slow paced games (under 145 attacks) in VTB league and against CZ in Euroleague. Seems they are absolutely ok to play possesioned minded basketball, if opponent want this.
Home avg. scoring: 1.01-1.09 pts/attack
Away avg. scoring: 1.05-1.12 pts/attack
Expected pace: 142 attacks
Expected total range: 146-157 points
Baskonia 3-0 for Under on the road