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Last week CSKA cruised past Valencia, while Real lost in Tel-Aviv and Zalgiris won in Milan. That did huge changes at the top of power rating. Barcelona, Milan and Baskonia continue struggling at the bottom with poor ATS records in last 2-3 rounds.
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Last Thursday’s 90-83 win over Real Madrid brought back memories of triumphant seasons, with the fire displayed by the players on the court and the atmosphere created by the fans off it reminiscent of the days in which Maccabi was a regular member of the Final Four club. Efes got their first against unpredictable Barcelona without Doellman and Brown.I think that Efes roster doesn’t meet high Euroleague requirements. They have too many players who fails to show required level (Simon, Ledo, Motum, Adams, McCollum). They are good as bench players, but not as starters. Stimac and Dunston can’t decide game and be sole leaders of Euroleague teams, because they depends on assists and rebounding. Perasovic has a lot of work to do with this team to start showing good game.Maccabi has different picture. They have many uknown names for Euroleague, but Spahiha feeling and coach the team very well. They shoots, defends, runs and enjoy the game as a team. They will do their best to continue their run against Efes, which is missing Doellman (can’t find reason, but he missed last 2 games) and Brown (will be back in a few weeks). Despite Efes is 2-1 ATS on the road I stay with Maccabi here, but can’t see enough value to back them.
Stats like chances for Under, but only as a system pick. Public should like an over here, but offensive quality of both teams is quite mediocre to expect high percentage. Maccabi defense might be a deciding factor here.
Home avg. scoring: 0.98-1.08 pts/attack
Away avg. scoring: 1.07-1.10 pts/attack
Expected pace: 147 attacks
Expected total range: 150-160 points
A.Gill has joined T.Honeycutt in the injury list and will be unavailable for 3-4 weeks (surgery). He is best rebounder and team will miss him. But Bartzokas has enough players to fill the spot (Monia, Zubkov), but that will make defense more soft and less athletic.PAO started the season slow, but at home they continue to be perfect. Last season they finished regular season with 14-1 record and they were 7-3 ATS in last 10 regular season games, before failing 0-2 to Fenerbahce in playoffs. This season they covered by 1 point -9 spread against Brose and had a push against Fenerbahce, against whom they won from behind. Last round they won against Olympiacos, which is struggling to show solid basketball without Spanoulis.I think that bookies feels weel PAO team by setting them as -5.5 favorite today. They are deep team with good balance, but Khimki is not easy opponent to cover against. I think that Khimki is more than capable to fight in Athens with their offensive level and depth. Don’t forget that Bartzokas knows greek basketball very well and should prepare game plan.Russian team is fastest in Euroleague at the moment. They push pace with early attacks and defensive errors and I expect this game to have at least 150-152 attacks. That should help both teams to create more shots and score more points.
Home avg. scoring: 1.02-1.12 pts/attack
Away avg. scoring: 1.03-1.09 pts/attack
Expected pace: 152 attacks
Expected total range: 156-168 points
Baskonia – Real Madrid
Real Madrid (-3) @ 1.92 7/10 LOST
Under 167.5 @ 1.92 5/10 LOST
Ognjen Kuzmic and Gustavo Ayon can’t help Real Madrid, but Walter Tavares was signed after playing in D-NBA League. After falling at home to Khimki, they lost to Macabbi Tel Aviv and continue the fall this Sunday by losing el-classico to FC Barcelona Lassa (80-84). 3 losses in a row very uncommon thing for Real Madrid, so I think we should await maximum from them tonight.Baskonia still trying to find their game. Different rotations are used by P.Martinez, but only Shengelia stats are promising. But to win the games you need at least 3 players to score points and coach trying to figure out whom to trust. And he has no other choice than to experiment, because McRae and Garino are out with injuries. Vildoza and Malmains (deep bench players without EL experience) getting their minutes. But of course, they can’t do the job well at this point their careers.Both teams in downtrend right now, but Real is right favorite, because they have system and quality, while Baskonia has troubles everywhere. Real should win after giving away 2 games in Euroleague and Baskonia conditions are just too bad to get something out of there.Also we should try and under here, because my stats shows enough gap for Under here and Real is 2-1 for Under on the road.
Home avg. scoring: 1.04-1.14 pts/attack
Away avg. scoring: 1.13-1.16 pts/attack
Expected pace: 146 attacks
Expected total range: 158-168 points
We just can’t yet allow to stop playing Zalgiris spread on the road. They are 4-0 ATS in away games this season and 17-2 in last 19 road games. Unicaja will miss their best player (A.Nedovic), while Zalgiris travels with full roster, but Kavaliauskas has back spasms and will be evaluated before the game.Handicap drops, but it doesn’t matter. Zalgiris will cover only in case of winning the game and I feel that it is quite possible scenario. They had good preparation and in great moment of form.
This game will be played in Nurnberg and it means that Bamberg will play on new rims, new lights and other small things that might affect their performance. Hackett is out, Dorell Wright can’t be decisive factor in EL and it makes Brose quite weak team. Barcelona is hard to predict, despite they have deep and experienced roster. They’ve failed to cover in both road games this season and now they are 0-5 ATS as road favorites in last 2 seasons. Maybe we should take hosts here due the trend, but I need to see value to take and I can’t see it.
Barca is right favorite and should win. Total is a bit lower than it should be from numbers point of view, but Brose has 3-0 under trend at home this season.
I don’t see value positions here.
Crvena Zvezda – CSKA Moscow
Valencia – Olimpia Milano
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