Week 1. Friday picks

Yesterday day went as expected. Efes showed the world how is poor Unics form, Olympiacos won in 50/50 game against Valencia and Crvena surprised with too easiy victor over Galatasaray. 

Tonight we have many interesting games and probably the most interesting will be played in Berlin, where O2 arena welcomes CSKA. 

ALBA – CSKA

CSKA goes into this game without Khriapa, Nando De Colo and D.Nichols. With Teodosic, Weems, Kaun, Fridzon, Markoishvili, Vorontsevic and Hines on the board they still have some class advantage and can take victory in Berlin, but what I disagree here is 5.5 points handicap. At this momemnt of the season CSKA is not looking ready play its best basketball yet. They lost to Lokomotiv in clear manner few days ago. Teodosic playing alone, Fridzon and Weems can’t find their last season level yet. CSKA coach (also new face) can count only on 8 players, while others are non-Euroleague level players.

ALBA saved the core from last season, improved roster depth and playing their third season with coach Obradovic. Full roster available for Obradovic and team is playing very solid basketball at the start of the season. Usually it is best period in team life and their victory over Spurs last week proves this. ALBA is ready for another step and I expect them to be a very hard team to beat at home.

I see this match as 50/50 and would not be suprised with ALBA winning this one. Can’t see CSKA -5 favorite here at all costs.

Pick: ALBA +5 @ 1.94 Pinnacle

Novgorod – Sassari

It’s difficult to set right estimation of Novgorod team at this moment of the season. Russian team changed coach and system this summer, while all success from last season was based on Zoran Lukic system, who worked here for 5 years.

Sassari goes in opposite direction. Team is developing each season and playing under the same coach for many years. Their style of play is quite risky and may fail at anytime, but if their shots fall in they are very hard to beat.

Normally we should see Novgorod with 5-6 points handicap, because they have a little better roster by names, but right now it is more important to play as a team, and Sassari has an advantage in this aspect. Nobet for me here.

Ulker – Milan

Milan is not playing at its best level at the moment. Generally, I am quite pessimistic about Milan chances to repeat last year success in Europe. They were too lucky last season with Langford super-performance, but right now seems that injury troubles in preseason play against them.

Ulker did very good job this summer and should be much better. Older, not motivated and injury-troubled players have gone, new arrived and, as result, Zeljko Obradovic got one of the best Euroleague rosters. Looking to preseason results seems that team form is not yet at 100%, but I believe in them today.

In my book Ulker should be set as 8.5-9 handicap, so bookmakers set almost right line here. I suggest to wait for live betting and take Ulker handicap below 5 points if there will be a chance in 1st half.

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Real Madrid – Zalgiris

Barcelona – Bayern Munich

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