Finally, we are on the eve of Euroleague season warm-up. 8 teams from 7 countries will try to get one & only ticket to Euroleague group stage and as always we can expect many surprising results. Today we’ll see 2 games from lower part of the seed with home side fighting for survival against full of ambitions ASVEL.
Qualification tournament is difficult to bet in first 2 days, so let’s see team and than decide about bets in upcoming games. Also more news to come soon. Stay tunned!
Strasbourg – Riga
Strasbourg saved the core of the team and signed T.Dragicevic, A.Traore and A.Dobbins. They should compensate D.Andersen and R.Greer who left the club this summer. However, they can’t lift Strabourg to new level in Europe and honestly I doubt about their chance to stay on the top of French league too. Add to this that A.Diot and Dragivecic played just one game in preparation period, and V.Collet (head coach) also was busy with French NT in Spain and joined the team just last week.
Riga on other side cut their budget and now relies on U-23 latvian players (quite talented generation however) + 2 US players + Bamba Fall from Senegal. They played just 5 games in preseason and just last week coach was able to work with full team. N.Mazur – is new head coach (34 y.o.), but he worked for 6 years in coaching staff and should know young players very well (and they should respect him too).
It is obviously for me that both teams don’t force their preparations for Euroleague. They are simply not ready to play there (especially Riga) and I am not sure about 100% motivation from both sides in this game. Normally I would bet under 151 points, but I don’t see enough value to offer it as pre-match pick. As for the sides, I fully agree that Strasbourg is a favorite here, but I don’t trust French teams in away games and also we should not understimate latvian players.
Oostende – Asvel
Asvel has made big changes this summer. They signed 7 new players and improved their level (at least in France) dramastically compared to last season. With E.Jackson and D.Andersen back from World Cup they managed to beat Barcelona 80:76 and Partizan 80:64. So seems that Asvel is well prepared for the new season and their additions working well with 9 matches played in preparation period. However, their total record is just 5-4 and it means that there is no major class difference between them and their opponents who were mostly from France.
Ooestende on other side is a host side, which played in Euroleague qualification final in 2013, when they beat such big teams as Banvit and Khimki. Those good results were confirmed in Eurocup where Oostende managed to finish with 7-1 home record and that one loss came from Valencia (cup winner), while another finalist (Unics) was beaten in Oostende in group phase. Oostende managed to save the core from last season and what is more important at this stage of the season they have great chemistry and team play.
I expect very tight game here. Asvel is slightly better team by names, but momentum might be in favor of Oostende who can rely on their last season schemes and home crowd support. They know how to beat really BIG teams and Asvel is far from that level. Can’t agree with market move on Asvel, but still can’t see value in Oostende at these odds too.