Euroleague Week 7. Thursday Picks

smith maccabi6 games tonight in the schedule, but lines are very tricky and I don’t recommend to go with high stakes on any selection. 

Crvena Zvezda – Neptunas

Not decisive but very important match for both teams. Crvena without Jokic, but that’s not a important absence for them. Neptunas has no serious problems, only Mazeika missed last match in LKL, but expected to return today.

It’s no doubt for me that Crvena Zvezda is better team and should prove this on their home court. So far their wins came after huge defensive efforts, when they limited their opponents to 0.76-0.78 pts/poss. Due the high game pace opponents still managed to score 63-68 points, but defensively Zvezda is very good team in my eyes. They will continue playing in this manner and I expect Neptunas offense to have difficulties in scoring tonight, because their offense is not yet at Euroleague level and this especially turns against them in away games.

I expect Crvena Zvezda to score 82-86 points and Neptunas to finish in the 66-72 range. But looking to the stats seems that 82-69 is more realistic score. I can’t go with high stakes here because of possible high pace and expectations that percentage will be lower than average, but 158.5 line (nov moved to 160) looks few points too high from fair.

Pick: Under 160.5 @ 1.92 Pinnacle

Maccabi – CSKA

CSKA without Teodosic, Maccabi without Randle. I see CSKA as favorite here, but they don’t need win here and I don’t see any reason why we should back CSKA here with -5 spread. Over looks promising but without Teodosic 3-pointers CSKA offense might be limited. It’s better to decide about bets here at HT.

Smith scored 13+ points in 4 of 5 euroleague games. He scored at least 2 3-pointers in 4 of 5 games, despite he shoots just 28% from there (after 37 and 41% in last 2 seasons). It means he can score 3-4 3-pointers on a good day. Also he always scored at least 2-4 FG attempts and added at least 2 FT in 4 of 5 euroleague games. He missed the first game in Moscow and will show tonight how important he is for Maccabi. I expect him to score 15+ today.

Pick: D.Smith (Maccabi) over 12.5 @ 1.85

Real Madrid – Unics

It’s not easy to analyze this game looking to the results in Euroleague, because Sassari and Novgorod play fast paced basketball and games against them should not be included into analysis. In other games (against Efes, Unics and Zalgiris) Madrid has average total of 146 points, while Unics has 147 points against the same opponents. With new coach Unics showing better defense but still fails to find its offense. Real on other side tends to fail against good defensive teams but in last 4 games allows just 69.5 points/game and as I said last week seems that team really working on its defense these days.

Madrid has much deeper and better roster and should win this one. But I don’t expect to see fast paced game as it was against Sassari or Novgorod. I expect Real to score around 80 points, while Unics should score 70-75 points. My line here is 152.5 points.

Pick: Under 156.5 @ 1.97 Pinnacle

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Laboral – Olympiacos

Fenerbahce – Turow

Alba – Unicaja

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