Today I see 3 games where I would like to offer 5 selections. However, either of them can be a high-confidence pick.
CSKA Moscow – Partizan
Partizan will play without Kinsey in Moscow and according to their coach D.Bertans should see his first minutes this season. Seems that Partizan is switching to Adriatic league at this moment of the season, because after loss to Olympia they must care about participation in Final Four. They must win this week against Szolnok and next week against Buducnost to achieve this goal. And I expect D.Vujosevic to rotate his players tonight in Moscow to avoid fatique and injuries.
CSKA is dreaming about revenge for loss in Belgrade but more important is to get confidense before battle in Madrid next week. They must send a notice to Madrid and big win is good message in such cases. Full roster expected for CSKA today.
Mathematically I see good chances for CSKA to score 79-88 points today and they should be able to limit worst EL offense under 65 points. I see CSKA winning this one quite easy by 20-25 points, because they like to smash small teams after loss. I like CSKA handicap here but must say that value is not so big as I like and that’s a reason why I am using reduced stake here.
Pick: CSKA -18.5 @ 1.93 3/10 Pinnacle
Fenerbahce Ulker – Unicaja
Market supports Ulker handicap here which has moved to -9 points already. This is happening due the news aboust Caner-Medley, Suarez and Granger injuries + Ulker motivation to win by 14+ points. But Malaga press informs that most probably all injured will be included into the roster this evening, but nobody knows how healthy they are and how it will affect their game. But the one thing is clear for me – Unicaja will try to its best to avoid 14 pts loss, and Ulker will do everything at least to win and try to climb to 14 points difference.
Ulker is not a scoring machine anymore but they are looking quite good defensively these days, especially against limited offensive clubs. I’ve never liked Unicaja offensive game which tends to struggle in half court basketball, which should be imposed by Ulker today at home. According to my calculations we should see Ulker in 75-83 points and Unicaja will end in the 64-69 points. This could be 74:69 or 78:72 or 76:65 but I see good chances for under here. Not sure about handicap here.
Kleiza is a team leader these days in Ulker. His shooting norm is ok for 15 points total. He is doing ~12 points from the game and he is doing most FT in this team (4.4 per game with 95%) so we can expect around 15-16 from him today.
Pick: under 152.5 @ 1.92 4/10 Bet365
Pick: Kleiza over 12.5 pts @ 1.83 Sportingbet
Kutxa Laboral – Emporio Armani
Public becomes crazy with this Emporio Armani… Money goes on Armani Jeans as on Christmas sale. But why? They are still a one-man team who gets help from Jerrels and Hackett. That’s all! If Langford will stop shooting 60% from everywhere Emporio will repeat cenderella story. They never were and will never be (at least this season) high ranked Euroleague team. They have many players who are not yet ready for big goals in Euroleague and time will prove this. And while everyone is liking this Cinderella and I go with old powerhouse from Vitorria… Laboral is getting hot these days. S.Scariolo knows Milan very well and will prepare his boys for this battle. Seems that crisis is gone and Laboral is ready to win again looking to their win over PAO and Joventud.
Laboral for me a more complete team than Emporio Armani and normally we should see Laboral as 4.5-5 points favorite here. But Milan recent results against problematic teams (Pao, Olympiacos) and K.Langford mega-form delivers a value pick on hosts tonight. Also reduced stake here because Laboral must show balanced game and they often struggle with this and, yes, I give some respect to Milan recent results too.
With W.Hodge departure T.Huertel getting more minutes in Laboral on PG position. Also he can also play on SG position if needed when Poetta plays as playmaker. Normally he is doing 3-4 layups & jumpers per game and adds 1 three pointer in ACB league. In Euroleague he failed to score a 3 pointer in 3 games. But it’s only a matter of time. I expect him to score at least 9 points today, but don’t take this if you get 9.5 or 10 points line.