This week we have last round of 1st leg in Euroleague. Half of the distance will be done and at the moment we have two teams (Valencia and Efes), who are almost out of their chances to qualify to playoffs. CSKA, Panathinaikos, Olympiacos and Fenerbahce are Top-4 team with solid distance from 9th place, but Real Madrid should join them very soon. Other teams are fighting to for playoff zone.
Last week we saw common picture with Efes and Valencia not being able to win their handicaps, while Zalgiris and Olympiacos significantly improved their positions with 2 ATS wins. CSKA lost both handicaps last week, but they are still at the top of the Euroleague power ranking.
Betting Advices and Tips for Week 15
Random number generator decided to open 3 Thursday picks to the public and close all Friday games.
Gustavo Ayon, Anthony Randolph, Ognjen Kuzmic and Sergio Llull are long term absences. Rudy Fernandez missed both games last week and seems not to be active for this game.
Fenerbahce has its usual roster. The bad news is that Kalinic will miss another month without action after returning to the action just few weeks ago.
Real is in good form lately (3 ATS wins in a row) and they very good team on the road this season with 5-2 ATS record (for 40 mins games). Fenerbahce owns 3-3 ATS record at home, but they are 1-3 against the spread in last 4 games. Obradovic still looking for championship level game and he knows, that his team is yet to find right balance to become a real strength.
I see good chances for Real Madrid to hold +4.5 handicap, because there is no class difference between the teams, but Real right now is in better ATS form. Of course, this is just a system pick, so reduced stakes are recommended.
Printezis, Milutinov and Mantzaris are out for greeks. But even without them Olympiacos has the same weight as whole Zalgiris team. 3-1 ATS on the road as underdogs this season and 10-4 in such situation in last 2 seasons. So idea to go against Olympiacos on the road with home favorite is rather bad than good.
Zalgiris arena is sold out today and great atmosphere will be created there. Unfortunately it doesn’t make Zalgiris stronger team. This week they had signed Beno Udrih, but he will be available only next week. The major question for me is how Zalgiris offense will look against Olympiacos defense.
Zalgiris is just 2-4 ATS at home this season and 4-10 against the spread in last 2 seasons. This is absolutely normal situation, because Zalgiris doesn’t have top players, who can decide games. They are doing good as a team, but Olympiacos has the same philosophy and they uncomofortable opponents for Lithuanians. They can score and use defensive weakness of Zalgiris (16th home defense in competition) as they did last season, when easily won in Kaunas 88:75. Actually greeks won 3 of last visits to Kaunas and lost only once. But according to rumours they had a wonderful night in night club before the game during that visit.
Despite huge Zalgiris form and Oly injuries – I see good chances for Oly to upset lithuanian crowd. Spanoulis and Strelnieks are absolutely ok to replace Mantzaris at PG position, Wiltjer, Papapetrou and Thompson will play at PF (to replace Printezis) and Bogris as center. I doubt that Zalgiris will be able to compete well against Olympiacos size in defense.
Public and bookies had lost any trust to Valencia after they’d collapsed against Zalgiris last week. With 16 weeks to go it will be very difficult to climb in the standings. On top of this Vives is again out with left ankle bursitis. Panathinaikos travel without N.Calathes but others are healthy. Vidorreta has also revealed that Bojan Dubljevic is “depleted” for the match against Panathinaikos.
Low pace expected, because both teams like to control it and both have some troubles in offense in last few weeks.
Home avg. scoring: 1.05-1.13 pts/attack
Away avg. scoring: 1.04-1.12 pts/attack
Expected pace: 133 attacks
Expected total range: 139-149 points
Valencia 5-1 for Under at home
Panathinaikos 3-1 for Under in last 4 away games
Maccabi – Unicaja
CSKA Moscow – Khimki
Anadolu Efes – Brose Bamberg
Baskonia – CSKA
Olimpia Milano – Crvena Zvezda
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