Euroleague basketball predictions included under each mini game preview.
Round 25 features a high-powered showdown that could be crucial in determining home-court advantage in the playoffs when Real Madrid hosts Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens. Another matchup with potential post-season ramifications sees reigning champ Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul travel to face Zalgiris Kaunas. And there’s a Spanish derby as Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz attempts to boost its playoffs hopes with a testing road trip to Valencia Basket.
Fenerbahce vs CSKA Moscow
A must-watch match-up sees Fenerbahce (18-7) host league-leading CSKA Moscow (20-5) in Istanbul. The visiting team has already secured home-court advantage in the playoffs, and now Fenerbahce has that target firmly in its sights. They are both extremely efficient offensive units, with CSKA leading the league in three-point conversion (43.1%) ahead of Fenerbahce (41.7%). CSKA also ranks first in two-point shooting accuracy (56%). But Fenerbahce has the edge defensively, holding its opponents to just 75.0 points per game, while CSKA has conceded an average of 79.6 points. Whatever happens, expect maximum intensity between two of the league’s biggest rivals.
Unicaja Malaga vs Panathinaikos
Panathinaikos (14-11) desperately needs to arrest a five-game losing slide on the road to boost its chances of securing home-court advantage, while Unicaja (10-15) needs something close to a miracle to re-enter the playoff picture after suffering two straight away losses. Panathinaikos’s road troubles have been a lack of offense, with Coach Xavi Pascual’s men averaging just 67.0 points per game during its current negative run. And Unicaja will not be the easiest opponent to address that problem, the Spanish team allowing just 68 and 69 points in its last two home outings – both of which resulted in victory.
Let’s summarize our Euroleague tips today.
Euroleague Basketball Tips
Crvena Zvezda vs Valencia
Two teams battling to stay in the race for the playoffs meet in Belgrade. Zvezda (10-15) needs to rediscover its offensive efficiency after registering just 54 points in last week’s loss at Barcelona – the second-lowest tally in the club’s EuroLeague history. To do so, Taylor Rochestie will look to extend his sequence of scoring in double figures for four consecutive games. On the other side of the ball, Valencia (9-16) sharpshooter Erick Green is coming off his worst two games of the season with just 3 and 4 points scored, so the Spanish champion will try to get him hot again as it looks for a first away win in four.
Brose Bamberg vs Anadolu Efes
A pair of mid-season coaching appointments meet as Luca Banchi’s Brose (9-16) faces Ergin Ataman’s Efes (6-19). Efes has not won on the road since Round 7, dropping eight straight since, while Brose has been in good form at home with three consecutive wins in Bamberg. The German champion has been excellent offensively during that stretch, averaging 91.3 points per game, and Dorell Wright is a particular threat after hitting 13-of-24 three-point attempts (52.4%) in his last three games. Efes’s last four losses have all been by double figures, but Sonny Weems has made a good start to his spell with the club by averaging 20 points in his two games.
Olympiacos vs Barcelona
After ending a five-game losing run with a blowout home win over Zvezda last week, Barcelona (8-17) will now attempt to wreck old rival Olympiacos’s (18-7) plans to move closer to claiming home-court advantage in the playoffs. The matchup appears to be a simple question of whether Barcelona’s dangerous offense (80.4 points per game, sixth best in the league) can overcome an Olympiacos defense that has allowed fewer points than anyone else (73.4 ppg). The Peace and Friendship Stadium has been a fortress in recent weeks with Olympiacos winning eight straight at home, so the visiting team faces a major challenge.
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Khimki Moscow
A big battle with major ramifications for the playoff race will take place in Tel Aviv, where Maccabi (13-12) can move level with Khimki (14-11) in the standings. After setting the all-time league record for three-pointers in a season (80 and counting), Alexey Shved will aim for another bucket-load of long-range strikes against a Maccabi team that set its season-high with 15 three-pointers in last week’s vital victory over Efes. The battle of the boards could be key: Maccabi leads the league in rebounds (36.8 per game), but Khimki has rebounding ace Thomas Robinson coming back to full health to significantly strengthen his team in that area.
Baskonia vs Zalgiris
Two teams with everything to play for meet at the Fernando Buesa Arena, where Baskonia (12-13) is desperate to break into the playoffs positions, while Zalgiris (15-10) is still firmly in the hunt for home-court advantage. Baskonia routinely piles on the points at home, having reached at least 81 points in its last seven games in Vitoria. But Zalgiris has also been free-scoring on the road, netting 86, 93 and 86 points in its last three away trips, so a shoot-out could be on the cards. Both teams are adept from long-range, with Baskonia making 40.5% of its three-point attempts compared to Zalgiris’s 41.7%.
Basketball Tips: livetipster.com
* Odds are correct at time of publishing and are subject to change.