These teams meet each other three times in Euroleague Finals. In 2012 CSKA was leading by 19 points in 3rd quarter but lost with buzzer beater floater from Georgios Printezis. Next year, in London, CSKA started strong but Olympiacos reacted very fast with and killed CSKA in semifinal 69:52. Both times CSKA was coached by different coaches. In 2012 CSKA coach was J.Kazlauskas and in 2013 was last season for E.Messina.
This year teams played twice and both times Olympiacos proved that money means nothing for them. They won in Pireus 84:76 and give a fight in Moscow, but lost it 70:76 playing without V.Spanoulis.
CSKA played in VTB league, where smashed very weak “Astana” team from court in 3 games. Kirilenko, Nichols and Fridzon missed games due the injuries. All are ready to play in Final Four, however, V.Fridzon chances looks slim due the long absence.
Olympiacos won Greece cup on May 2, and than played 2 games. Both games have been won 69:58 against Aris (after 16:24 start) and Panelfisinaikos was outscored by 49 points (104:55)
CSKA is all-side better team, except one important factor: mentality. Last time CSKA won Euroleague Final Four in 2008 in Madrid… Since that winning moment of Siskauskas, Langdon, Holden, Smodis and Papaloukas (golden Messina boys) CSKA reached semifinal every year except one season and never were succesfull. They also fear Olympiacos, who won all really big games against them in last few years.
Olympiacos suprised the world in Istanbul, proved their strength and Spanoulis genius in London. Greek team proves the old rule than basketball is a team game and it’s enough to have true leader and supporting staff to get result.
For me it’s clear that CSKA has better players on all positions and I tend to agree with bookmaker opinion and their 5,5 spread. However, I think that such spread is few points to lower than it should be, because everyone knows that Oly can beat CSKA on a good day and if they would set -7 line – they will get money on Olympiacos.
While everybody this time expect Olympiacos to do one more miracle, I think that we have more chances to see CSKA winning this much easier than public and betting line expects. I can’t say how exactly CSKA will do it, but for it is no question about huge quality difference between teams. And with Kirilenko on both ends of the floor CSKA get another superior player, which can hurt Olympiacos defense and offense too. Olympiacos needs to play excellent game in offense and make things difficult for high-skilled CSKA offense once again.. They were good enough in defense in Greece, but CSKA played without Kirilenko and Weems was just after injury. They had a good game without Spanoulis in Moscow (70:76) but De Colo & Teodosic had a bad one (5/22 shooting together). What will happen if Teodosic, De Colo, Weems, Kirilenko will make good or at least average game at once? I think that it will be blowout game something like 76:58 for CSKA..
The reason why I ski handicap line is low value. My ratings & systems shows that CSKA deserves -7.5 line here, but h2h and season stats saying that line should be 1-1.5 points lower. However, in must-bet situation I would pick CSKA handicap.
As for the total it’s easier for me. Both games between CSKA and Olympiacos were slow this season. Both teams are one of the best in defense. CSKA best away defense in Euroleague and Olympiacos best home defense and in overall standings. The difference between them is that Olympiacos statistically allows more in away games and CSKA less. On neutral field this is a big factor, because seems that Olympiacos needs some referee support to play hard defensively.
I expect very hard defense from CSKA tonight and expect to see Olympiacos finishing under 70 points. On other side Olympiacos defense should not give CSKA easy life in offense. Red Army should score with better percentage, but they will have limited posessions tonight and I hardly see them scoring 80 points tonight (finish in 71-78 range looks more realistic). All in one, I expect this game to go under the total and finish somewhere between 138 and 150 points.
Total points under 153 @ 1.92 Pinnacle
A.Kirilenko over 6.5 rebounds @ 1.85 3/10
His rebounds depends on playing time and opponents missed shots. I am sure that he will get 23+ minutes and he has 8.8 reb per game when he has 24 minutes on court. You can try him to make double-double for 4.50 at Bet365
S.Weems over 13.5 @ 1.85 Bet365
He is in very good form right now and should get lot of space, while Oly will try to defend against Teodosic and De Colo on the perimeter. Looking to his latest matches in VTB league (9 points per 16 minutes on court), he is fine form and while Fridzon is not fully ready, I expect him to get 30+ minutes and at least 15 points to be scored.
Teodosic rebounds + assists + points over 24.5 @ 1.84 Bet365
Limited offer (only Bet365) but I think that Milos can do 25-26 points only with assists and points + 2-3 rebouns to secure a bet
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