Euroleague Top-16. February 27 picks

kirilenkoAgain we have 4 matches in the schedule and 2 free previews. Hope that free selection will bring us some profit. 

CSKA – Fenerbahce Ulker

I am covering Euroleague for many years (and others events), but can’t remember situation, when team covered the spread in 8 away games in a row. This might happen today if Ulker will lose by less than 9 points… And we go against this trend, because CSKA is the most difficult exam for Ulker in Euroleague. 

CSKA takes this game like a final and will be very motivated today. This week they signed Andrei Kirilenko, but at this moment he is just a big moral boost for teammates and fans. With his arrival CSKA defense should become MUCH better. Ulker offense is predictable and I am quite sure that CSKA should be able to stop opponents under 78 points. Offensively CSKA is very hard to stop and seems, that their bad form is far away now and they are ready to prove it on court. 

I see CSKA scoring ~85 points and can’t see Ulker scoring more than 77 points here. I expect something like 86-72 for CSKA and trust my system, that indicates hates huge chances for Ulker to lose its spread finaly. 

Pick: CSKA -8.5 @ 1.93 Pinnacle

Barcelona – ALBA

Xavi Pascual said that “The game against Alba is a final for us” and it’s not far from the true. With a loss Barcelona will have 4-4 record and h2h advantage will be on ALBA side. With 11 points victory Barcelona will have 2 wins advantage (+h2h) over 5th place and with 6 games left to play it is like playoff ticket in the hands. But I am sure that Barcelona seek to finish second (or first) in this group to get home court advantage in playoffs and avoid CSKA/Olympiacos in the quarterfinal.

Unfortunately, for Pascual M.Huertas seems to be completely out of form. Some rumors reports that Marcelinnio had a clash with coacs in the locker room after Copa Del Rey final, but head coach denied all rumours in the press conference. But still seems that something goes wrong between them.. Let’s see how situation will develop because Huertas is only true and experienced PG in the team.

ALBA comes to Barcelona without 2 very important players J.McClean and C.Hammonds. Not sure how S.Obradovic going to replace them, but normall J.Tabu should get more minutes and under the rim they have large choice of power forwards to compensate McClean absense. But will very hard to find quality replacement.

If handicap would be around 10 points – no doubts that I would take Barcelona to cover it. But it is set at 16 points and this looks a bit too high, taking into account that Barcelona doesn’t show signs of ability to trash opponents by 20+ points easily.

My advice here is to wait for starting whistle and root for ALBA in first half. If spread will drop to 10 points (or lower) at HT – take it.

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