Euroleague Top-16. January 7th picks

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Also last week I was on travel and was not able to inform you about pause. But now I am back and we start second part of this so far “hard to predict” season. I hope that Top16 stage and playoffs will be bring us more profit than regular season.

Today I like 3 games and decided to take home wins there in combo. 

CSKA – Real Madrid

Real Madrid travels to Moscow without Lull, but with K.Rivers who was signed as R.Fernandez replacement. Real playing really bad basketball recent weeks and I have big doubts about their ability to change something. Pablo Lasso lost control over this team, players looking tired of schemes they are playing 4th year in a row and it’s quite difficult to find motivation, if we won all titles last season. I think that Madrid did big mistake by signing contract with Lasso for 2 more years. They had to change coach last summer or change half of the team.

CSKA is an excellent form, but they lost to Khimki last week and will seek for their first win. Vorontsevic is questionable for CSKA, but they have enough boddies on his position to replace him.

Real has big troubles defensively this season and it will be mega-hard task for them to stop CSKA offense in Moscow. On other side CSKA defense also not looking confident in Euroleague, but mainly because they relax agains easy opponents after gaining 10+ lead. In this group h-2-h margin might be very important at the end of Top-16 and I expect CSKA finally to care about defense and margin.

I expect CSKA to score around 90 points today, but they should be able to keep Real offense under 81 points too. I can’t see value in taking CSKA handicap right now, but Real Madrid not to score 82 points looks quite promising. I expect 91-78 or something close to it.

Barcelona – Khimki

Barcelona lost to Olympiacos and will play in Moscow and Madrid in next 2 weeks. It means that for them this game is very important and we might expect 100% motivated Barca here. Arroyo is out for few weeks, but Satoransky and Ribas should fill PG position without problems. I think we should not take Barca loss to Olympiacos too seriously, because they played in less than 48 hours after game in Madrid, while Oly was resting & preparing for the game whole weekend.

Khimki comes to Barcelona without Davis and Todorovic has problems with health. Sokolov was signed to fill center position, but I am not sure about his abilities to play on Euroleague level.

Barcelona is better team here in almost “must-win” situation to avoid possible 0-4 or 1-3 start (I can’t see them winning both games in Madrid & Moscow). I am not sure about handicap, but quite confident about home win here.

Darussafaka – Cedevita

Cedevita comes to Turkey without Gordic and Zdanec, but last one is not a big missing. Darussafaka with their very deep roster should dictate the flow of the game on both ends of the floor. Darussafaka was looking well in most of their game in regular season and should start Top-16 with a win.

Total market is mostly about percentages. So far both teams showed good defense and Darussafaka played worst offense in Euroleague at home. Bookies set 147 points line, because they expect Darussafaka to improve their offense and I agree with this, because in TBL they are looking much better in offense. Maybe the problem was with opponents defense, because CSKA, Brose, Unicaja – are very good team defensively. I am not sure that Cedevita is so good too.

Pick: CSKA (1.23) + Darussafaka (1.42) + Barcelona (1.32) @ 2.30

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