Maccabi T-A (Israel)
Group B looks like very easy to predict the winner, but fight for other positions should be really entertaining. Also we can expect some suprise results here.
No doubts who is the best side in Group B. CSKA has covered almost all positions with 2 quality players and most players from CSKA roster has huge european experience what is really important in such competition as Euroleaugue. The only position which is looking very average is center positions. After departure of Krstic, Kaun should be a starting center but who is going to substitute him? There is no other center in CSKA roster at this moment..
CSKA is clear favorite for me to win Group B, because they are MUCH better team than all others here. However, CSKA currently has injury problems and might allow a slow start with ALBA, Maccabi and Unicaja in first 4 rounds and that is the reason why I don’t want to offer bet on CSKA at 1.50 to win a group. We might have better odds after 4 rounds.
Top 2 Finish
Maccabi is set as main favorite to take 2nd position in this group. And this is a very big mistake. They are Euroleague champions, but never were a top team in terms of roster strength. D.Blatt genius is gone to NBA, new coach, many new faces and big questions about team level at this moment. At least for now I see Maccabi close to the level of Unicaja and ALBA. But both these sides can rely on last season core & system + they are in much better shape at the start of the season. And best bet here is to lay Maccabi finishing in Top-2 in Group B.
Top 16 qualification
Cedevita is clear outsider in this group. Their roster is too weak to fight for big goals this year. I don’t expect them to pretend for Top-16 qualification.
The only team who can surprise is legendary Limoges. But they also has huge deficit of experienced players and it would be big suprise for me, if they will reach Top-16. But we can’t exclude such scenario because at home their might have a chance against most of the teams in this group and if they will be able to provide a surprise in Berlin, Malaga and Tel Aviv who knows.. But if to think realistically – their chances to qualify quite weak in competition with ALBA, Unicaja, CSKA and Maccabi.
Group B Prediction
I predict following standings at the end of regular season in Group B:
1. CSKA Moscow
2. Unicaja Malaga
ALBA Top-2 finish @ 7.50 Unibet
Unicaja Top-2 finish @ 2.50 Unibet