I don’t see any strong plays tonight and decided to share my thought about 4 games, which are going to be really interesting to watch. Maybe there will be something to choose from at in-play markets.
Zalgiris – CSKA
Games against CSKA are special one for Zalgiris for years. Every fan wants to see thriller in such games, but what are the real capabilities of Zalgiris today? They fight well against Real and Barcelona in Spain, they trashed Olympiacos in Kaunas 2 weeks ago. But they lost to Khimki by 31 points last week… CSKA is better team than Khimki and Zalgiris under huge pressure tonight because they must show something against best team in Europe. I don’t believe in Zalgiris defense, because you can’t defend well without defensive minded centers and power forwards. On some days opponents just have a bad day and can’t score baskets (Olympiacos), sometimes opponents is weaker than you (Pinar and Zeliona Gora), but I doubt that De Colo, Teodosic and Freeland (+ other CSKA guys) will have troubles against Zalgiris defense.
Jasikivecius wants to play faster basketball – but this will kill his team, if he will try to outscore CSKA. Zalgiris doesn’t have enough weapons for this. I expect up-tempo game today (about 168 posessions), but my numbers say that it will be difficult for Zalgiris to score ~76 points, while CSKA should finish in 86-91 points range.
Olympiacos – Khimki
Olympiacos travels to Moscow and than to Barcelona. This game is absolutely must win for them after 3 losses in a row and they know it. But Khimki also has difficult schedule in next 3 weeks (at home Real, than CSKA away and Barcelona at home) and they will do their best to get points tonight. I like Olympiacos chances to win here, but I don’t like odds, because Khimki is a little bit better team by names and normally Olympiacos should get -3.5 against them at home. But situational and public factor is already included into the line and we see greeks as -5 favorite here. Khimki will do their best to avoid big loss at least here to have h2h balance against them.
As for the total I expect Oly to score 74-77 points and limit Khimki to 68-74 points. Under could be a good choice, but it’s better to wait in-play offers and watch game pace closely. My system shows that game will be high paced, but only game will decide it.
Efes Pilsen – Fenerbahce
Both teams share same arena so this game doesn’t have usualy home factor. Last time they played against each other Efes won 93:84. But I rate Fenerbahce as better team and it’s quite surprising to see them as 3 points underdog today. Seems that motivation is a key factor here, because Efes needs to win, while Fenerbahce might be a little be relaxed and Obradovic may help his old friend Ivkovic.. Who knows, everything is possible with Obradovic and turkish teams. I prefer to stay away from betting here, but value is on Fenerbahce side for sure. But I can’t feel dirty games..
Real Madrid – Laboral
My line is exactly the same as bookmaker offer us. Laboral won in Barcelona, but seems that Barca is out of control now.. Real played very solid game against Olympiacos, but they were a little bit lucky there with crazy 3-pointers from Lull. Laboral is not at the level of Real in terms of strength and it’s absolutely logical to see Real as decent favorite to take a win here. I don’t see any option to bet something here.
Good luck with your bets on Euroleague tonight!