Zalgiris – CSKA

Zalgiris in front of sold-out arena will try to steal a win from Euroleague champs – CSKA Moscow.

CSKA came to Kaunas without Milos Teodosic, but C.Higgins joined a trip after missing several games. They are 5-1 for Under in last 6 games and it shows how their game style has changed. Itoudis asks for more defensive aproach from his team and he usually gets it. But also they played defensive minded Crvena Zvezda, Fenerbahce, slow paced and not so motivated Brose, weak Milan and awful Maccabi during this period. The only healthy team was Real Madrid and it was 170 points.

Zalgiris normally is an uptempo team. But they are experience huge difficulties in scoring points against aggressive defense, especially now when key players like Westermann and Pangos are playing below their level and expectations. But this game is always a special one for Zalgiris and its supporters. It’s like Barcelona – Real Madrid game for all Lithuania and I think that home team will do everything to avoid another double digit loss at home (they lost 3 of 4 last in double digits). Everyone is healthy for the hosts.

In-depth total stats

  • Home avg. pace: 143 attacks (-)
  • Home avg. scoring: 1,085 pts/attack
  • Away average pace: 154 (+3)
  • Away avg. scoring: 1.091 pts/attack
  • Expected pace: 149-153 attacks

At current odds value is on Zalgiris side. They were 14.5 points underdogs in Moscow and lost 86:95 there and were leading in 4th quarter. Their roster quality is good enough to give a fight at home and I think it’s good moment to end their home ATS losing streak (0-4 ATS). CSKA is just 3-6 ATS in away games (1-5 in last 5 games), they are missing Teodosic today and are 2-7 against -8 spread in away games. They won by 8+ points margin against unprepared for the season Galatasaray in first season game and than against incredibly bad Milan.

Prediction: Zalgiris 78 – 84 CSKA

Pick: Zalgiris +8 @ 1.92 4/10

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