Euroleague basketball predictions included under each mini game preview.
Three of Thursday’s four games were won by the visiting teams, including victories for playoff-bound sides Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul and Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens, which showed just how strong they are at this time of the season. The only road loser on Thursday was Zalgiris Kaunas, which actually had its playoff spot secured by virtue of other results. Friday brings four more contests to wrap up the last double-round week of the regular season, leaving just two rounds to go, but plenty to be decided still, before the playoffs.
Khimki Moscow vs CSKA Moscow
A crosstown derby in the Russian capital will see Khimki (16-11) attempt to maintain pace in the race for a top four finish, no doubt hoping that CSKA (22-5) is already in playoffs preparation mode after already securing a first-place finish with Wednesday’s victory over Olympiacos. Khimki’s playoffs-clinching win at Efes earlier this week was based on a defense which only allowed 24 points in the second half, and that kind of resistance will again be crucial against a CSKA team which ranks among the most potent offenses in EuroLeague history, averaging 89.6 points per game. It’s a meeting of the league’s top two scorers as Alexey Shved (21.8 ppg) faces Nando De Colo (17.1 ppg).
Bamberg vs Malaga
A climb up the standings is the motivation as Brose (10-17) faces Unicaja (11-16), whose playoffs chances may or may not remain by tipoff because they no longer depend solely on the visitors. Brose has been in great form at home in recent weeks, winning four games in a row in Freak City, but Unicaja comes off a morale-boosting victory against fellow Spanish side Barcelona two days earlier, snapping a three-game losing streak. Brose are one of the league’s worst rebounding teams, averaging 31.9 boards per game, so Unicaja (35.3 rpg) will look to control the paint through James Augustine, who has claimed more rebounds than any other player so far this season.
Olympiacos vs Anadolu Efes
Olympiacos (18-9) will seek to bounce back from two straight losses to claim a victory which could be enough for homecourt advantage in the playoffs, depending on other results. Efes has lost six games in a row (6-21) and needs to win its remaining games to have any chance of avoiding a last-place finish. Former Olympiacos man Bryant Dunston, who averages 5.7 rebounds per game) will give his team a strong inside presence and his battle with Nikola Milutinov (5.3 rpg) promises plenty of big collisions. Efes had mixed fortunes on offense in its last game against Khimki, scoring 29 points in the first quarter but only 24 in the second half, and will need to be at its best for 40 minutes on this occasion.
Barcelona vs Baskonia
The double-week closes with a Spanish derby which carries huge significance for a Baskonia (14-13) team gunning to protect its current position in the top half of the standings. Host Barcelona (9-18) has no chance to advance, but presents a major offensive threat after scoring 88, 90 and 91 points in its last three games. Baskonia is no slouch in that department, winning its last four games by averaging 88.8 points per game. The Round 14 meeting in Vitoria, taken 85-82 by Baskonia, was one of the best games of the season and another high-scoring shoot-out could be on the cards on Friday night.
Let’s summarize our Euroleague tips today and for the current match day.
Euroleague Basketball Tips
Basketball Tips: livetipster.com
* Odds are correct at time of publishing and are subject to change.