I have very difficult season so far but seems that bookies can’t predict games too, because we have so many streaks (like Brose and Loko 7-0 against the spread in 7 games) and bookmakers continue to set lines according to their numbers and ratings. And there is good reason to trust their expectations because this is professional opinion..
Today I’ve decided to make a free day, so everybody can read what I’ve sent to paid subscribers in the afternoon. We have 2 half-stake bets tonight.
Cedevita – Efes Pilsen
Efes Pilsen want revenge for home loss and normally they should win this game, because Efes is all-side better team than Cedevita. But according to D.Ivkovic T.Heurtel is questionable for this game and Cedevita is priced almost at the same level as in Turkey (+3.5 at home is +12.5 in away match), where they had +15 handicap and won.. Bookmakers believe in Efes Pilsen and I agree with them, but I don’t see room to take something here as a bet. Total market is again set lower than team averages, but sooner or later Efes shots will stop falling in and we will see their defense. I see Cedevita in 72-80 points today and Efes might score in 78-86.
Sassari – Maccabi Tel Aviv
Not much to say here. Maccabi fights for their lives in Euroleague, but seems that they just don’t know what to do to on court and how to improve their game. They are one of the worst team in defense, bench is very poor despite there are enough players with experience. New coach came but did not bring any fresh ideas how to rebuild this team. Today full Maccabi roster is expected, but D.Smith is questionable to the twisted ankle. Latest news got from Bman (NBA tipster at our site) is that J.Farmar got injured today and seems to be out tonight..
Sassari is weakest team in Euroleague by names, but here we have typical situation when after coach change team its defense and seems that now they are capable to achieve something in Euroleague in front of their fans.
Maccabi has more quality on their side and might win here. I would take them if they would as outsiders here or at least at 1.90 (if the would in full roster). But I don’t like the idea to bet on them at current price, especially without knowledge about D.Smith availability and Farmar being out of the game.
Laboral Kutxa – Limoges
Handicap is set very well here. Limoges must win this game to fight for Top-16, but I doubt about their ability to make this. Their roster is just too weak for Euroleague level and Kutxa must use their bench and experience to outscore French champs. The only problem for me is pace.. Normally Limoges doesn’t like to run and their average pace in LNB league is only 158 posessions/game. In Euroleague it is much higher ~170 poss./game because their defense can’t stop opponent offense. If Laboral will get here 86 possesions they will score 81-92 points, while Limoges should finish in 68-73 points. But if game pace will be slow, than we might see something like 80:65. Unfortunately both scenarios are possible here and it depends on Limoges mood and motivation. If they are already thinking about Eurocup and French League than probably over has more chances, but if they still want to fight and Laboral will agree to play their slow-paced game than under is good choice.
Real Madrid – Fenerbahce
Real is at the bottom of the table, but this not yet at do-or-die game for them. Rudy Fernandez is out for month, Tompkins has hand injury and it is uknown if he plays or not. Defense not working, bench looks poor and Pablo Lasso looks out of ideas what he can do change things here. I think it was a mistake to leave him at coach position just because he won Euroleague last year. Team was unbalanced last year and despite showing some signs of life this season, looks that Real crisis continues and they need to change everything there.
Fenerbahce comes to Madrid without pressure. They are 6-1, but they have trip to Russia and this game. By losing these two games they might lose first spot. Sloukas is back to the roster, but Ekpe Udoh is out with injury. Obradovic has 8 players from main rotation. Fenerbahce game is improving from week to week, they are 5-0 ATS after 0-2 start. Not sure how much this almost new team is motivated to revenge for Euroleague semifinal, but I am quite sure that Zeljko Obradovic will find the way to motivate his players to show their best game tonight.
Real is just 1-6 ATS the spread this season and again is overrated. Without Rudy and questionable Tompkins both teams looks to be on the same level for me, so -4.5 would be more fair line. I think that Madrid will find the way how to get so important victory, but -6 looks way too much for the hosts.
Pick: Fenerbahce +6 @ 1.92 Pinnacle
Brose Baskets – CSKA
CSKA comes to Bamberg to fight for top position. They can’t take this game lightly, because loss here will seriously complicate their chances to win group. As I said many times in my previews Brose never was a strong team by names, but they trust their coach and he already showed us, how good average team could during his years in Cantu. But we see Brose with 5-2 record at the 3rd position. The reason of this success is mainly about Brose being a team for second year in a row with same coach and Darussafaka, Maccabi and Sassari playing their worst basketball ever.. Yes, there was a win over Unicaja, but spanish team was at low point of their form at the moment.
Brose holds 8-0 ATS record and this another prove, that something crazy happens in Euroleague this year. Bookmakers tends to trust their rankings instead of reacting to results and I fully agree with them. CSKA lost 5 spread in a row and I think it’s time to take them. I expect CSKA to score 79-87 points and limit Brose in 71-77 points range. CSKA will miss A.Jackson, but Higgins will replace him and Teodosic should start (CSKA offense should improve). So my pick here is CSKA, but this is a system pick so only half-stake.
Pick: CSKA -5 @ 1.90 Pinnacle
Olympiacos – Milano
I expect tough defensive battle here, but line dropped by 1.5 points few minutes ago and almost killed value here. Milan without Gentile and Macvan (however both travelled, so who knows…), while Olympiacos will miss Spanoulis and Tsairelis. Olympiacos provides huge defensive pressure on teams, when plays at home and Milano might struggle to create something. This should kill the pace too, but looking to Milan games this season I just can’t trust their defense. My system says that we should expect Olympiacos to score 74-85 points and Milan 64-73.
It’s better to skip this match, because we must know status of Gentile and Macvan + know the pace. It’s better to take something at half-time.