1. Real Madrid (Spain)
2. Efes Istanbul (Turkey)
3. Zalgiris (Lithuania)
4. Niznhy Novgorod (Russia)
5. Dinamo Sassari (Italy)
6. Unics (Russia)
This group could be a very open one, if Unics would fail to qualify into this group. Now we have group where can set clear favorite (Real Madrid), Unics and Efes almost sure will qualify to Top-16 and 3 others teams will fight for last place in Top-16.
Real Madrid as clear favorite to win group A because their depth and class is simply too much for anyone to enter this contest. Normally Real should be a favorite on neutral against most of the teams here, but at the start of the season their form not yet at its best and maybe the odds for this outcome will be a little bit better after their visit in Kazan in Week 2. However, if they win there we will see something around 1.10 for them.
I expect Real to take about 1st place in this group. They host Final Four this year and badly wants Euroleague title after two in a row lost finals. That’s why I think that 1.40 is quite good offer for less than 3 month investment.
Top 2 Finish
Unics has MUCH better roster than Efes Pilsen this year and looking to the rosters they should finish 2nd this a group instead of Efes, which is listed as favorite for 2nd sport in the group. Expect never was good away team and I doubt that things will change this year. Unics should get more points against Zalgiris, Sassari and well-known Novgorod + they are really hot at home.
Top 16 Qualification
Bookmakers have not released odds for Top-16 yet, but looking to the Top-2 markets, I already might say value side.
Sassari, Novgorod and Zalgiris are more or less same class teams. But Zalgiris has big experience in Euroleague as club and many players who knows when and where it’s really must win situation. Zalgiris arena is also one of the best in Europe and I expect Zalgiris to fight at home against all teams (except Real Madrid).
I have no trust to Sassari in Europe with their style of play and current roster. Zalgiris and Novgorod are on the same level, but Zalgiris more experienced team here and I expect them to reach another Top-16.
Group A Prediction
So here is my prediction how teams will finish at the end of regular season.
- Real Madrid
- Efes Pilsen
I am not a big fan of future bets, but if you like them here is what I recommend to take at this moment. Later I will add more picks if there will be more offers on the market