Round 1 (October 12-13). Euroleague Tips and Betting Previews.

Euroleague basketball

New Euroleague season starts today with 5 games. Format the same as last year (30 regular season games, 8 best teams goes to playoffs).

Last year clearly shown that we should forget those times, when we were able to make several value bets on each day. Now things looks much more complicated in terms of betting, because Euroleague is high limit market and bookies gives a lot of attention to them.

That’s how I see first week games.

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Date Match Prediction Pick Odds Units Bookie Result Profit
13/10/2017 Khimki – Valencia 80 – 74  paid subscription
Russian team completed very good transfer campaign this summer. A.Gill (Turkey) and T.Robinson (NBA, Lakers) is the real power under the rims, Honeycutt returned to the team after good season in Efes, C.Jenkins came from Crvena Zvezda and James Anderson from Darussafaka. Stefan Markovic (Zenit) is experienced playmaker and they also have A.Shved – probably best shooting guard in Euroleague at the moment. The team had good preparation, where only Shved has been missing (played at Eurobasket) and T.Robinson (personal matters). Anyway now team is full and in great shape. They won against CSKA in Moscow and bring Gomelsky Cup to the town.Valencia debuts in Euroleague after winning Endesa League. They are missing 3 important players (San Emeterio, Diot and L.Williams). Of course, they have enought depth to step into this game with 8-9 players who can compete on this level. But as for me Vives, Doornekamp and Van Rosson not yet ready for Euroleague battles. Also I am not sure about E.Green, J.Sastre and W.Thomas level to play important roles. They have new coach (T.Vidorreta) and had long travel to Russia, where they had never won in their history.

I see Khimki as better team and see them clear favorite in tonight game.

13/10/2017 Zalgiris – Crvena Zvezda 81 – 72  paid subscription          
Lithuanian team was not able to hold B.Motum (Efes) and Westermann (CSKA) for another year, but more important loss is point guard Lekavicius (Panathinaikos). Jasikevicius expected him to play for one more year, but PAO did incredible personal offer and Saras let him go. Micic was signed to replace him. The goods news is that coach stayed for another season and declined offers from big clubs like Barcelona. Jasikevicius feels that he can achieve playoffs with this team and this is goal for the season in Euroleague. Team management signed those players, who coach has asked. Davies, White, Bost, Toupane, Micic were invited by head coach, because he wanted to see athletic defensive minded players. Defense, team work and concentration on details – this is philosophy of Sarunas Jasikevicius. But new players still need few week to understand the system and their roles. Also Jankunas (team captain and key player) is bad form after resting this summer.Crvena Zvezda ruined everything they did in last few seasons. Almost new roster, very questionable signings like Keselj, Jankovic, Davidovac, Antic and Feldeine. Rochestie and Bjelica bring Euroleague experience to this team, but that’s not enough, because this league demands much more depth and quality, especially on the bench. As for me only PG position is ok for EL standarts, where talented Radicevic might be used together with T.Rochestie. 31-year-old Dusan Alimpijevic is the youngest coach in Euroleague and he doesn’t have any experience on such level. This is another weak point of CZ.

Zalgiris is like Crvena Zvezda last season. This the third season under the same coach. They have the core and system from last season. Great home crowd support and good roster. Dee Bost who is questionable (ankle), but Pangos and Micic will cover PG position. I expect Zalgiris to start with a victory tonight, but I am not sure about -6.5 handicap, because lithuanian teams is not yet playing balanced game.

13/10/2017 Barcelona – Panathinaikos  80 – 72 no bet          
The new Barcelona of Sito Alonso debuts in the Euroleague against Panathinaikos with the aim to make forget the last season (the worst one in the recent history). In th League Endesa they started with the three victories in three days. Team recovers Ante Tomic tonight, but it’s not yet clear how many minutes he can play after long break.This is going to be another special game for Panathinaikos coach Xavier Pasqual, who returns to home town with greek team. They again have good team with core from last season and some replacements (Lekavicius, Antetokounmpu, Lojeski, Denmon). But they had a late start of preparation and played just one official game against Olympiacos in empty gym (71-68).

I don’t have clear picture of Panathinaikos and don’t want to risk money due that. Barcelona seems to be in better dynamics at the moment and should use this advantage.

 12/10/2017 Unicaja Malaga – Fenerbahce   No bet          
Euroleague champions has more quality within their roster and I agree with their favorite status. Unicaja after winning Eurocup did everything to make their bench deeper, but its quality is far from high Euroleague standarts. Malaga’s strength is their system, but they always had problems against higher quality teams.Fenerbahce signed B.Wanamaker to substitute B.Bogdanovic and J.Thompson should take Udoh role. But more important signings are N.Melli, Guduric and Guler. These players should extend rotation to 10 players. Last season Z.Obradovic played most part of the season with just 8 players. Now this problem is fixed.
 12/10/2017 Baskets Bamberg – Maccabi TA  81 – 76  No bet          
In the long term I expect Brose to finish at the bottom of the table, while Maccabi has a chance to finish somewhere between 10th and 14th position, if Spahija will do his job well.I don’t like Brose roster this season, because they signed Hickman (2 awful season in a row with Fenerbahce and Milan) and Quincy Miller (their strongest player) is not happy in Bamberg and did not play in last 3 BBL games. Hackett is experienced, but nothing special on this level. Zisis too old for miracles, but still can hold the required level. But their bench looks very mediocre looking to the other teams.Maccabi has ruined everything from its past. Now it’s absolutely new team, which is coached by N.Spanija (worked 3 years in Atlanta Hawks). They did very strange transfer moves by signing players without Euroleague experience (7 in total). Those who played at this level (Parakhovski, Deshaun Thomas and Tyus) are far from being top players. And with this roster they want to achieve playoffs? The only way – to work hard and believe in the magic of Spahija.If Quincy Miller is out (and seems he is) line is fair. It’s still good chances to get a victory, but I can’t see them as favs in the line.

12/10/2017 Efes – Real Madrid 79 – 86  No bet          
Madrid traveled to Turkey without Fernandez (fever) and Thompkins (family reasons), Lull is long term absence and we should forget about him till 2018. There is no big changes in Real Madrid this summer. They are still the deepest team of competition with 14 players, who meets expectations of Euroleague. 3 players out and they are still good enough to fight for a win everywhere.Efes did some questionable signings (J.Adams, K.Simon, V.Stimac, E.Muric), but also there were good (B.Motum from Zalgiris, R.Ledo from Baskonia + fresh signing J.Doellman). Coach is V.Perasovic and he lead this team to playoffs last season.Of course, Real is better team with their top players and core saved from last season. But they are -5 road favorites and this fair estimation. Last season they were 7-7 ATS in such situations and against Efes won 80:78 (line was -3.5/170.5).I would advice to wait in-play and take Real to win @ 1.90+, if they start slow.
12/10/2017 CSKA – Milan 86-74 no bet          
CSKA compensated Teodosic loss by signing S.Rodriguez (Spain NT and ex-Real Madrid). O.Hunter joined front court to improve team defense. Leo Westermann and Will Clyburn are subs for A.Jackson and Kulagin. So CSKA stayed at their level, but looking to the dynamic of last season (5-12 ATS at home) they should have a very difficult season in Europe.Milan after bad season decided to part ways with Repesa and hired experienced coach Simone Piangiani. A.Goudelock, V.Micov, J.Theodore, D.Bertans and P.Young are key signings. Team quality is good enough to fight for playoffs, but as always everything depends on their ability to play basketball on the court. Milan always had money and players, but last time when they had good season in Europe was 5 or 6 years ago (with Langford playing for them).I believe that Piangiani can construct something interesting with these players, because he has scoring option (A.Goudelock), good inside player J.Theodore and big choice of players who can do dirty work. Milan needs time to find their game and balance.Today Milan without P.Young (recovers from surgery), Dragic and D.Pascolo. Andrea Cinciarini is in Moscow, but questionable (finger). Absenses are not very important and Piangiani may count on all players, who did preseason. CSKA with full roster and should continue to play their soft offensive minded basketball.Last season Milan played awful on the road (2-13) but only twice they lost by 14+ points. But both times that happened in Russia (vs. CSKA 64:101 and vs. Unics 79:100). CSKA finished the season with 16-1 home record and 7/16 victories were by 15 points and more.It’s hard to trust money to Milan on the road and I prefer to see them first.
12/10/2017 Olympiakos – Baskonia   No bet          
This game will be played in Crete, because Euroleague has suspended Olympiacos home court. It’s unsure if Spanoulis will play tonight with knee discomfort. B.Roberts is going to miss about 2 weeks, and K.Papanikolau had conflict with coach (but should play).Baskonia changed a lot this summer. New coach (Pablo Prigioni), 7 new players and most of them are looking like questionable signings at the moment. Basques needs at least few weeks to find the rhytm and right rotation. I expect Baskonia to play uptempo basketball this season, because they have plenty of good scorers and long bench. But let’s see how good is Prigioni as coach (0 games experience in Euroleague).Olympiacos philosophy is based on agressive defense and pace control. Baskonia has not played against such teams this season and it’s hard to set right estimations here.
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