March 16 games preview

Pablo Lasso (Real Madrid coach)There are two free previews tonight for games in Istanbul and Athens. 

Efes – Maccabi

Maccabi lost any real hope of reaching the Euroleague playoffs long ago. Maccabi plays the first of four games over eight days on Thursday and Sunday’s derby against Hapoel Tel Aviv is a most important one during this stretch. Injury situation is the same as last week (Goudelock & Miller out).

This is an absolutely must win game for Efes, if they want to stay in playoff zone. Because they have very difficult schedule at the regular season finish (away vs. Zalgiris, at home vs. Fenerbahce and Olympiacos and trip to Madrid).

Efes is clear favorite, but odds are fair and value-less. Total set very well too.

Panathinaikos – Real Madrid

  • Home avg. pace: 142 attacks (-)
  • Home avg. scoring: 0,98-1,10 pts/attack
  • Away average pace: 156 attacks
  • Away avg. scoring: 1.08-1,15 pts/attack
  • Expected pace: 143 attacks
  • Expected total range: 147-160 points

Real primary goal in regular season is to secure home field advantage in playoffs and they are just one victory away from achieving it. Not sure if they carry about 1st place a lot, because it doesn’t give anything except additional pressure.

Panathinaikos is more or less in safe position due the h2h advantage over Darussafaka and Zalgiris pursuing them from the bottom. But Pasqual wants to see reactin from his team after 2 away losses. At home greeks are much better team (11-1 in regular season) and with Gist available against they are in good position to give real fight to all-mighty and little bit tired Real Madrid.

PAO misses quality on the bench to be clear favorite in such type of games, but I expect them to show much better basketball. But still I see this game very close to 50/50 chance and that’s not enough to offer a bet here.

As for the total I see some value on under, because at lower than average pace there is not much room to score 157+ points for both teams. Real this season often fails against agressive defense and showed own defensive skills several times this season.

Betting advice: Under 158 @ 1.95 Pinnacle

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