A lot of games tonight but not much to say because bookies doing a great job and it is hard to find value in each match. I will concentrate on Rytas and Zalgiris matches tonight because I know these teams a little bit better than others and maybe that’s why I see some value there.
Lietuvos Rytas – Maccabi
After lucky win against weakened and not ready for the season Panathinaikos, Rytas has been outplayed in Kuban and by Kutxa Laboral in Vilnius. Rytas has weak bench and can be competitive only when their leaders are in good form and bench players doing their job well. But right now team is disbalanced and it will take time to get it again. Normally, it is enough to get some easy wins and recover confidence, but at this moment Rytas doesn’t have easy opponents in their schedule (or their roster too weak to be favorite against anyone?).
Maccabi is improving week by week, but still not at it best. But tonight they will play against Rytas. And I expect Maccabi to dictate the game, because Rytas doesn’t have strong center to compete with Shortsianidis in the paint. It will be really hard for Rytas to defend against Maccabi shooters, James & Shortsianidis at the same moment. Also this should lead to quick posessions and higher pace.
I like Maccabi chances to score over 76.5 points, but not sure about Rytas offense. I doubt that they can play even worse than they did against Kutxa Laboral last week, and expect them to score 68-75 points. You can try over 147.5, but I prefer Maccabi over because they are clearly better at this moment, and I hardly imagine defensive plan for Rytas tonight.
Pick: Maccabi over 76.5 @ 1.83 4/10 Sportingbet
Efes Pilsen – Zalgiris
Zalgiris showed great shooting skills in their must-win against Strasbourg, but French team looks pathetic and not so interested in that game. Zalgiris players may feel some kind of euphoria after such game but they still at the same point as they were before. They are clear outsiders in this group and have just few players who can play at Euroleague level (Jankunas, Jasikevicus, Dentmon, Pocius and Lavrinovic, who need to get form back after injury). All others are ok maybe or Eurochallenge or Eurocup but not for Euroleague. And you can say and ask whatever you want, but you can change things here. Zalgiris is weak team this season.
Efes on other side has 8 players who can play at this level and all they are in good form (and age). I hardly see player who can defend against Planinic tonight on PG position, Zalgiris just one clear center to defend against Barac and Erden in the low post. Lavrinovic is out of form and Jankunas is power forward and should be used against Savanovic, who is hot too. And what about Vasiliadis, Gordon and Hopson? Who will defend & score against them?
Efes is looking much better team, plays at home and showed what they can do with team who are at the same or a bit higher level than Zalgiris. They won against Milan by 20 points, and against Strasbourg by 10 playing away from home. They were also leading against Brose by 10+ points but did not manage to hold the lead and lost. But that loss makes them motivated today and I see them winning this game quite easily but double digits.
Pick: Efes Pilsen (-9) @ 1.95 4/10 Pinnacle