Real played in two recent Euroleague Finals in London (lost to Olympiacos) and in Milan (lost to Maccabi). Now they are playing at home arena, which is going to provide huge support to them. Ulker is first Turkish team, which qualified to Euroleague semifinal stage since 2001, when Efes played in Paris. Will Real handle huge pressure and do a big step to the big Final or they will agains collapse against suprisingly good this season Ulker?
The only known absense for Ulker is Ricky Hickman, who is out for season.
Real Madrid played last two games in Spain without R.Fernandez, who got injuried against Bilbao. P.Laso wanted to give his leader some minutes this weekend against Andorra, but seems that Rudy was not 100% ready and he missed last chance to get some practice before game of the season for Real Madrid. However, it is reported that Rudy will be ready for Ulker.
The good thing for Real Madrid is their deep and quality bench. They have top-performers on each position and sooner or later their coach founds needed rhytm and Madrid find the way to victory almost everytime, when they play at home. The major problem is that Rodriguez, Fernandez, Noccioni, Ayon and some others showing mediocre game too often. And you never know, how players will deal with huge pressure, which impossible to avoid when you host such even as Final Four. Everyone want to see you with cup in hands, but road is so difficult…
Ulker has 22-5 record in Euroleague this season and it’s better than 22-6 Real record. Does that mean that Ulker is same quality team as Real Madrid? For some bettors yes, but not for me. Ulker team depends too much on Goudelock scoring ability and I am not rating high such players as Bjelica and Bogdanovic. They are good players (no doubts about this!), but not yet a top-level for me. And Savaz, Erden, Zoric, Preldzic, Zizis.. Obradovic must do all possible tricks to make space for its leaders, because his bench can’t be a difference maker.
But.. I must say, that Obradovic is probably best coach in Euroleague history and he knows each detail in Euroleague Final. He knows how to prepare, how to win and how to talk with players in locker room is such moments. And you know.. details at such level can mean so much, that’s we should not undestimate Ulker coach experience here. On top of this, I think that Obradovic made a choice to play against Real in SF, when his team lost to Laboral 76:93 in Vittoria. He knew, that CSKA is hard to beat for them and Olympiacos is too dangerous opponents. He choosed Real Madrid, who is not playing very well this season.
Current line (-6.5/158.5) says, that Real is rated by bookmakers as light favorite on neutral ground. Seems that bookies expect Real to be in bad shape and they could be right, because Rudy has not played for 2 weeks and team form is not a top conditions. And Madrid players (as well as CSKA) has losers mentality in big events. They lost both finals in Euroleague and spanish players failed at home World Championship.
This game will be huge test for Real Madrid and they can’t fail it…
For me it’s clear that R.Fernandez should be 100% healthy to bet on Madrid. Unfortunately, we don’t know how good he is and also there some questions on Lull form. He was very good in April, but seems that lost confidence in his shot. Still I rate Real Madrid as better and more quality team, than Ulker but in one game everything is possible. Especially, we should understand that Obradovic seems to be happy to play against Madrid. He is and old fox and he knows when to lose to get better seed in playoffs. He lost in Vittoria and avoided CSKA in SF. Now all depends on Ulker ability to win close games.
I expect very close game here and game will be decided in last few minutes. In must-bet situation I would take Ulker +6.5, but I really can’t see here -3.5 line for Madrid to call this value bet. Bookies are right with their estimations and wants to see money on Real Madrid. Our goal should be to avoid this and don’t bet on Madrid.
As for the total I decided to skip it, because I like over chances here, but if Real would not able to stay in control in high-paced and scoring game, they will play defensively.. And in defense they are very good, whem motivated and playing at home. Also I can’t trust Ulker offense, which is based on Goudlock scoring abilities. I expect Ulker to play fast game in Tel Aviv, but when Zisis is one and only PG – it’s looks like mission impossible. So we have too many questions on pace, scoring effeciency from both side to go for over and under is too risky to play too, because both teams has huge offensive weapons (if healthy and ready).
Nice game to watch, but in terms of value betting it’s better to stay away.
S.Rodriguez over 4.5 assists @ 1.84 Bet365
Lull is not looking good in last matches and perimeter shooting might a problem in today for hosts. So we should see more pick & roll situation and Sergio is king in such game. He rarely makes less than 5 asssists, when gets enough playing time. I expect him 5-7 assists from him today.
L.Caroll over 8.5 @ 1.84 Bet365
Can’t give this as official bet due the limited offer, but seems that he will get more minutes & shots today. Rudy form questionable and he direct replacement in offensive schemes + Lull struggling with form in last games and he might get minutes as SG too. In Spain he scores 12, 14, 26, 10, 14 and 11 points in last 6 matches.
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