At the start of the season I told that Efes major problem this season is roster quality. Jannings, Draper, Osman, M.Bjelica, Lasme, Saric – good players, but no so good to be a real power in Euroleague. At some point of the season there was a moment, when we started to believe, that all of them did a big step in their careers and formed a high-quality team based on talent. But now when season comes to an end Efes again looking like a team full of talented players, who still needs 1-2 years to become a real force.
Saric does not show notning from “extra”-level, Krstic play on his level, but he is not a top-center any more, bench is long but can’t do big things.. Heurtel is not playing at top level too..
On other side we have Real Madrid which will host Final Four this year. This team is full of players, who can play at highest level. Rodgriguez, Carroll, Nocioni comes from bench! Starting five is from from top-level players. And the only thing which bothered them this season – their form. They had some up and downs this year, but right now seems they are in good form as a team, but there is one small question regarding R.Fernandez back problem. He missed last 2 games, but expected to be on court today.
Real Madrid is clear favorite in this playoff pair for me. Efes Pilsen not showing basketball, which can create troubles for Real. Away they won only against weak teams like Zalgiris, Sassari, Novgorod and Milan and lost against all big teams.
-13 looks quite a high line, but today I expect Real to win by 14-22 points and send message to Efes Pilsen and other teams about their ambitions and power. Real likes to win with high margins at home, but I advice to keep stakes low due the low value and double digit handicap.
Pick: Real Madrid (-12.5) @ 1.90 Bet365 5/10