Euroleague basketball predictions included under each mini game preview.
Round 29 tips off with a bang as reigning champion Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul travels to face Khimki Moscow Region. Later on Thursday, there’s another colossal showdown between the only two teams in the running for the final playoff spot when Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz plays host to Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv. And the drama continues on Friday with an age-old rivalry renewed as Zalgiris Kaunas welcomes CSKA Moscow.
Unicaja Malaga vs Olympiacos
Olympiacos (19-9) will seek to secure a top-three finish by winning on the road against an Unicaja team (11-17) hoping to end its home campaign on a high note. Olympiacos is the lowest-scoring team in the competition, averaging just 75.5 points per game, but Unicaja has struggled defensively in recent weeks, allowing at least 80 points in each of its last five fixtures. Olympiacos is ranked second in the league in rebounding, averaging 36.2 boards per game, but faces a tough test in that area against the competition’s leading individual performer, James Augustine, who averages 6.8 boards.
Crvena Zvezda vs Real Madrid
Real Madrid (17-11) knows that a victory may be enough to seal home-court advantage in the playoffs as it travels to take on Zvezda (11-17). Los Blancos have scored exactly 88 points in each of their last three outings and will be looking for revenge after suffering a home loss to Zvezda in one of the best games of the season in Round 10. Zvezda saw its four-game home winning streak snapped by Fenerbahce last week and will have to work hard to disrupt the accuracy of a Madrid team that has made 56% of its two-point attempts this season, which is second-best in the league.
Zalgiris vs CSKA Moscow
Old rivals meet again in Kaunas as Zalgiris (16-12) hopes to maintain its chances of a top-four finish, while CSKA (23-5) can prepare for the playoffs knowing that first place is already guaranteed. Zalgiris has struggled for consistency in recent weeks, losing three of its last four games, and will have to step up on defense against a CSKA team that has scored at least 81 points in nine successive games. These are the two most accurate teams in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, with Zalgiris’s true shooting percentage of 53.2% only bettered by CSKA’s 54.2%.
Panathinaikos vs Valencia
Panathinaikos (17-11) knows that victory over visiting Valencia (11-17) is imperative in its final home game before the playoffs to maintain realistic hopes of enjoying home-court advantage in post-season play. Valencia won on its only previous EuroLeague tripe to Athens and has found an excellent offensive rhythm in recent weeks, scoring 90, 96 and 93 points in its last three games. But Panathinaikos has shown excellent form on defense, bouncing back from a poor run and putting together its own three-game win streak by only allowing 79, 71 and 75 points.
Let’s summarize our Euroleague tips today and for the current match day.
Euroleague Basketball Tips
Khimki Moscow vs Fenerbahce
Khimki (16-12) needs a victory to maintain its bid for home-court advantage in the playoffs against visiting Fenerbahce (20-8), which has already secured that status and is now gunning for a second-place finish. Fenerbahce ranks second in the league in three-point shooting conversion (42.5%), but will face a challenge in that category as Alexey Shved attempts to further extend his record for triples in a season. Fenerbahce is aiming for a fourth consecutive road win and will lean upon the best defense in the competition, allowing an average of just 73.6 points per game.
Anadolu Efes vs Barcelona
Two teams at the bottom of the standings seek a boost in morale as Efes (6-22) faces Barcelona (9-19). Efes has lost seven consecutive games and allowed at least 81 points in each of its last four meetings. Coach Ataman’s team also has the next-to-worst true shooting percentage in the competition, making just 46.5% of its attempts, while Barcelona has the league’s fourth-best two-point shooting conversion ratio at 54.8%. But Barca is one of the weakest offensive rebounding units in the league, averaging 9.3 per game compared to Efes’s tally of 11.9.
Bamberg vs Olimpia Milan
Brose (11-17) will seek to extend its excellent form in Bamberg by gaining a sixth consecutive home win with the visit of Milan (9-19). The German champion has averaged an impressive 91 points during its five-game winning streak in Freak City, so Milan – which is on a three-game losing run – will probably have to deliver a strong scoring night to compete. These are the 14th- and 15th-ranked rebounding teams in the league (31.6 rpg. for Brose and 31.5 for Milan), so there could be a significant edge for whichever team is able to dominate that aspect.
Baskonia vs Maccabi Tel Aviv
A huge showdown in Vitoria could see Baskonia (15-13) seal the final playoff berth with a win, while Maccabi (13-15) knows its hopes can only be kept alive with a road triumph. The Spanish team is in fantastic form with five consecutive victories through an extremely consistent offense, which has produced 87, 81, 84, 103 and 86 points along the way. Maccabi, on the other hand, has lost its last three games and five out of six and will need to guard the perimeter well against Baskonia’s dangerous three-point shooters, who have made the league’s third-highest number of triples (9.8 per game).
Basketball Tips: livetipster.com
* Odds are correct at time of publishing and are subject to change.