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Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 17 – Thursday

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Crvena Zvezda – Bayern

Two teams within one victory of each other will welcome the new year with a direct clash as Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (7-9) gets a visit from FC Bayern Munich (6-10) to close the first half of the regular season. Zvezda is on a two-game winning streak, while Bayern has dropped its last two decisions and has not won outside of Germany this season. Last week Zvezda got its first win ever in Russia, 58-65 at Zenit St Petersburg, while Bayern fell hard at home to Zalgiris, 73-98. This game could have huge implications for both teams in the long run when trying to get a spot for the playoffs.

Expect a balanced battle on Thursday evening. Both teams have strong and weak points, so the outcome of the game will probably be decided on which of them can impose its playing style. Zvezda comes out on top in rebounds and steals, but sits at the bottom of the rankings with 72.6 points per game. The hosts will have to find a way to make their offense flow, and the Belgrade fans could be of major help with that. With some better shooting options and winning the battle for rebounds, Zvezda could have a solid option to keep its winning streak going. New players Kevin Punter, Vladimir Stimac and Marko Jagodic Kuridza should help in all those categories.

Bayern has lost its last two games, but the good news are that numbers say that a win in Belgrade is entirely possible. The guests are better than Zvezda in scoring, assists and shooting percentages from all ranges this season, not to mention in overall performance index rating, though not by much. These two teams are direct rivals for a playoff berth, and the result in this game could go a long way at the end of the regular season. Bayern will have to deal with the oppressive atmosphere in Belgrade and also make sure to pay attention in defense and rebounds so that it can control the tempo of the game. Having former Zvezda coach Dejan Radonjic on the bench should help Bayern overcome some of the problems other teams have playing in Belgrade.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 151.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 02/01/2020, 09:05 CET, subject to change)

Zalgiris – Maccabi

Two teams who saw their situations change in Round 16 will welcome the new year in Lithuania when Zalgiris Kaunas (4-12) hosts Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv (11-5) to complete the first half of the longest regular season so far. Zalgiris finally managed to snap its nine-game losing streak with a solid, 73-98 road win at FC Bayern Munich last week, and will now hope to turn that into a positive streak for its home fans. However, Maccabi had been one of the competition’s hottest teams until its five-game winning streak was snapped on the road at Efes, 99-79.

Zalgiris could be at a turning point of the season for the team, but to start a winning streak, the hosts will have to face down the third-best offense in the competition. On paper, Maccabi does everything better save for free-throw accuracy, where it ranks among the league’s lowest teams. Forcing Maccabi to score at the foul line could be a strategy for Zalgiris The hosts will also have to choose their three-point opportunities wisely, as they did in their win last week, because Zalgiris still owns the league’s second-worst efficiency from downtown. The fans at Zalgirio will be a welcome help in trying to defeat one of the best teams of the season.

Maccabi comes off a rare loss, but it was at the home of one of the hottest teams in the league, so a win in Kaunas could help the guests get back on track fast. Its 95.1 to 80.1 advantage over Zalgiris in average performance index rating indicates that Maccabi has the upper hand walking into this game. The guests also have the second-best defense in the league, giving up just 76.4 points per game. It would help to be able to count on any of the injured players who have been missing the last few games, but even if not, a happy ending in Kaunas is possible if Maccabi can stick to what has been working all season.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 at 1.86 with bet365
(Price correct at 02/01/2020, 09:05 CET, subject to change)

Olympiacos – Fenerbahce

Fenerbahce is on a four-game losing streak in which its last three defeats were by 3 points or less. Olympiacos won its last three home games but only registered one victory in December, losing four times on the road. Nando De Colo (19.2 ppg.) has been Fenerbahce’s top scorer until now, followed by Derrick Williams (11.6 ppg.) and Kostas Sloukas (11.1 ppg.). Georgios Printezis (11.5 ppg.), Nikola Milutinov (11.1 ppg., 9.3 rpg.) and Vassilis Spanoulis (10.1 ppg., 4.1 apg.) have been Olympiacos’s main pillars so far this season.

Olympiacos is one of the top rebounding teams in the competition (36.1 rpg.) and it must make the most of that advantage by attacking the defensive boards for transition and second-chance points. The Reds picked up 16 turnovers against FC Barcelona last week and hit just 6-of-21 shots from downtown (28.6%). Both teams have a lot of experience, so running its offense through veterans Spanoulis, Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou will be important for coach Kestutis Kemzura’s team.

Above all, Fenerbahce must improve its overall aggressiveness on the court, as it ranks last in rebounds (29.4 rpg.), 16th in blocks (1.75 bpg.) and 14th in steals (5.69 spg.). Several unfortunate end-of-game situations have stopped Fenerbahce from getting more wins, so experienced players like De Colo, Sloukas and Luigi Datome, all excellent free throw shooters, must step up in crunch time to lead Fenerbahce to the winning track.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 157.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 02/01/2020, 09:05 CET, subject to change)

Baskonia – Barcelona

It will be an all-Spanish affair to start 2020 in Vitoria-Gasteiz when KIROLBET Baskonia (6-10) welcomes co-leader FC Barcelona (13-3) to put an end to the first half of the regular season. The hosts just welcomed back Dusko Ivanovic to the bench, but in his first game, they fell in Berlin to ALBA by 81-57 to make it three losses in a row now for Baskonia. On the other hand, Barcelona wons its five last games, including a 90-80 home result over Olympiacos Piraeus in Round 16. Baskonia’s objective is to play well enough to have a chance to win, even on its home court, and build confidence that way. Barcelona wants to start the new year as well as it finished the old one and keep pace with the top teams in the league.

Baskonia needs to react, and needs to do it soon. On paper, Barcelona will arrive to the Basque Country ready to roll and take the win home. The numbers say that the hosts will have to stay on top of rebounds, as they have done all season with the second-best average in the league on that front. But in order to stop Barcelona, Baskonia will have to improve its performance on offense, especially from beyond the arc and free throws, where the team has the worst numbers of the competition.

Not only do the numbers say that Barcelona is the favorite, but also the trends of the results of both teams create their own momentum before tip-off. Of course, playing on the road is never easy, and facing a well-known foe as Baskonia could be a double-edged sword for the guests. However, if Barca manages to impose its style, and if its three main players — Nikola Mirotic, Cory Higgins and Brandon Davies — have a good night, as they usually do, the rest of the team will just have to do their jobs in order to take home the first win of 2020.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (+6.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 02/01/2020, 09:05 CET, subject to change)

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News Source: Euroleague.net
Basketball tips: Livetipster


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* Odds are correct at time of publishing and are subject to change.

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BASKETBALL

Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 29 – Thursday

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Euroleague Basketball Tips

Euro League basketball predictions appear under each mini game preview.

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CSKA Moscow – ALBA Berlin

Back in-form CSKA Moscow will look to keep its momentum going when it hosts ALBA Berlin on Thursday. After dropping three of four, CSKA won twice last week, including a 31-point thumping of Panathinaikos in Athens. Every win is crucial for the champs, who are fighting for homecourt advantage in the playoffs. ALBA, which has lost three in a row, could see its playoff hopes formally put to an end if it losses and other results go the other way.

CSKA always does a great job of picking apart the opponents’ weaknesses and against ALBA it surely knows that by moving the ball and getting penetration or passing to the big men inside it will get great looks against ALBA, which allows a league-high 57.6% of two-point shots against opponents. Strong play from the CSKA bigs could decide this game.

While three-point shooting will be important to this game – the teams are ranked third (ALBA, 39.6%) and fourth (CSKA, 39.2%) in the league in three-point accuracy, rebounding for ALBA will be paramount. CSKA leads the league in rebounding (37.8 rpg.) and its league-best 26.0 defensive rebounds per game ignite many fast breaks. ALBA is a strong offensive rebounding team (fourth, 11.4 prpg.) and will need to be a factor there to avoid CSKA getting easy baskets in transition.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 167.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 12/03/2020, 10:50 CET, subject to change)

Anadolu Efes – Valencia

A host with only first place left to clinch faces a visitor struggling for survival when Efes (24-4) welcomes Valencia (12-16) to Istanbul on Thursday. Efes assured itself home-court advantage in the playoffs last Friday when Shane Larkin returned to MVP form in a 91-79 win over Olympiacos Piraeus. Valencia (12-16) suffered its fourth straight loss, 81-83 in heartbreaking fashion to AX Armani Exchange Milan on a game-winning three-pointer to beat the buzzer in overtime. Valencia now shares ninth place just four rounds after having held seventh place alone.

It’s easy to say give the ball to Larkin when he has rained 10 triples and more than 4 points in two separate games this season. But Efes will have to be wary of some things Valencia does well, like offensive rebounds, drawing fouls, making free throws and assist-to-turnover rate, in all of which the visitors rank among the top five in the league. If Efes keeps up an aggressive pace, however, its endless bench could well make the difference.

The visitors would do well to grind it out, slow the game, and somehow keep both Larkin and Micic to a minimum of shots. They have a lot to do with Efes ranking first in both two- and three-point accuracy, so Valencia’s defenders will likely risk trying to turn off the spigot at its source. Not many defenses have had luck with that, but disrupting the perimeter play of Efes would change the dynamic of the game, and that’s not a bad way to try to beat the league leaders.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-11.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 12/03/2020, 10:50 CET, subject to change)

Maccabi – Baskonia

Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv will look to rebound from a loss in Belgrade when it meets red-hot KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. Maccabi had won five in a row before its loss to Crvena Zvezda and is neck-and-neck with CSKA Moscow for fourth place, which is worth homecourt advantage in the playoffs. Baskonia has won three in a row to join a heated playoff race and at 12-16 in now one of five teams that is one win outside the playoff zone.

The test of rebounding in the game will be when Baskonia misses shots. Coach Ivanovic’s men are third in the league in offensive rebounds (11.5 orpg.) and Maccabi is second in defensive boards (25.7 drpg.). If Baskonia can make noise on the offensive glass and get a few extra second-chance baskets, it could go a long way. But if Maccabi locks down the defensive boards and turns them into transition points, the Israeli champs will be in pole position.

It is as important as ever for Baskonia to take good care of the ball against Maccabi. Baskonia has committed the second-most turnovers in the league (14.3 TOpg.), while Maccabi has taken more steals than any other team (7.8 spg.). There are many players on the Maccabi defense with quick hands and Baskonia must rise to the challenge to keep them at bay.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+8.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 12/03/2020, 10:50 CET, subject to change)

Real Madrid – Crvena Zvezda

Two teams with different goals in mind will meet in Round 29 when Real Madrid (22-6) hosts Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (11-17). Real has clinched a playoff berth and has won seven straight games, including last week against ASVEL at home. The hosts are looking to get the home-court advantage for the next phase. On the other side, Zvezda managed to win again last week after losing eight of its previous nine games. The Serbian champs defeated red-hot Maccabi at home to remain in the playoff hunt.

The hosts average almost 10 points more per game than the visitors,  are on a winning run and still fighting for a tangible goal. It’s hard to deny that going into the game, Real is the favorite. Los Blancos have better numbers on all fronts and that fact is summed up with a difference of average PIR of 102.6 vs. 77.5 in favor of Real. However, Zvezda is still looking for a playoff ticket and the last home win against such a solid team as Maccabi at this point could give the guests a boost of morale that could be dangerous for the hosts to underestimate.

Zvezda will land in Madrid with a lot of things at stake. It has everything to win… and everything to lose also. One could expect that the visitors can drop this game in the Spanish capital, but at this moment, Zvezda is still playing for a playoff ticket so winning in Madrid has become almost mandatory. It won’t be easy because Real is on a roll and is also playing for a specific goal. The visitors will have to come into the game pumped by the last win against Maccabi and with the idea to steal an upset that would put them in a good position to fight for one of the last places in the next phase.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 159.0 at 1.90 with bet365

(Price correct at 12/03/2020, 10:50 CET, subject to change)

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News Source: Euroleague.net
Basketball tips: Livetipster


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BASKETBALL

Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 28 – Friday

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Mirotic Barca

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Khimki – Fenerbahce

Two teams in the thick of the playoffs race will face each other on Friday when Khimki Moscow Region (12-15) hosts Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul (13-14) for Round 28. After having won three in a row, Khimki’s streak came to a halt earlier this week at Zalgiris, while Fener won at home against Zvezda and finally entered the playoff positions.

Going into the game, Khimki’s best option will probably be to unleash its better offense. Fenerbahce is also the worst team of the league under the boards, so if the hosts manage to control those defensive rebounds and run on offense, thanks to their second-best assists numbers in the league, they could have solid options to take this win.

Fenerbahce finally overcame the mental obstacle of being outside of the playoffs zone, and seems to be getting up to speed. Even if Khimki shows better numbers on almost all aspects, the biggest weapon for the guests will be a strong mentality that is just getting stronger week after week and, of course, the second-best three-point shooting in the league.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 at 2.20 with bet365
(Price correct at 06/03/2020, 10:05 CET, subject to change)

Anadolu Efes – Olympiacos

A classic EuroLeague matchup will live a new edition on Friday when league leader Anadolu Efes Istanbul (23-4) welcomes Olympiacos Piraeus (12-15) for Round 28. Efes comes off a rare loss earlier in the week at Maccabi that snapped its 11-game winning streak. The hosts will be facing the Reds, who land in Turkey fresh off a close win at home in the Greek derby against Panathinaikos earlier this week.

It’s kind of ironic that Efes suffered its first loss in 12 rounds just when it had its full roster available again. The hosts are the second-best offensive team in the league, and this loss shows that they are human after all, but it could also be a wake-up call just at the right time. Efes is already in the playoffs, but a win in this game combined with either a Maccabi or CSKA Moscow loss, would secure home-court advantage for the hosts in the next phase.

Olympiacos is having one of the most irregular seasons of the last decade, and having Vassilis Spanoulis and Nikola Milutinov sidelined does not help, either, However, the Reds have won three of their last four games and they are still pushing hard to make the playoffs in a tough competition. On paper, Efes is basically better at everything this season, but Olympiacos is famous for beating the odds, and the fact that they play on the road with the chance to avenge the home loss earlier this season just adds to the motivation.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 158.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 06/03/2020, 10:05 CET, subject to change)

Crvena Zvezda – Maccabi

Playoffs hopeful Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (10-17) will welcome Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv (19-8), a team that just punched its postseason ticket, on Friday for Round 28 of this double-feature week. The hosts are going through a rough patch, having lost eight of their last nine games, including a close one at Fenerbahce earlier this week, 66-63. On the other hand, Maccabi comes from a thrilling home win over Efes, 77-75, that increased its winning streak to five games and secured the club a playoff berth for the first time since 2015.

The hosts need to get out of the dark zone they are in right now. A motivated and happy team like Maccabi might not be the best option to do that, but Zvezda plays at home and that is always a big factor in any game. Maccabi does not have many weak points, but its free-throw percentage is the third-worst in the league, so stepping up on defense and then sending the guests to the line could work in Zvezda’s favor for this game.

Maccabi is in a good place right now. The team is playing well, the wins keep coming in and the playoffs are a reality once more after four seasons. Now it’s just a matter to keep pushing in order to earn home-court advantage. Maccabi has the upper hand in this game, especially in offense, and also with the second-best numbers of the league under the boards. Zvezda also has the worst percentage in two-pointers, so paying attention to defense could bring a big payoff to the guests.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (-4.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 06/03/2020, 10:05 CET, subject to change)

Barcelona – Bayern

Two teams in opposite places will face each other on Friday as already qualified FC Barcelona (21-6) welcomes FC Bayern Munich (8-19) for Round 28. Barca is one of the hottest teams in the league, with eight consecutive wins, including on Wednesday against another German team, ALBA. The hosts also have the February MVP, Nikola Mirotic, on a roll. Bayern, on the other hand, has lost 11 of its last 13 games, including at home to Baskonia earlier this week, and at risk of soon being mathematically ruled out of the playoffs race.

It all looks bright for Barca going into this game. The hosts are facing the second-worst offense in the league, and the second-worst team in rebounds per game. All in all, Barcelona averages a PIR of 20 more than Bayern per game, plus the hosts are playing well and winning games like they had not done for quite a few seasons now. If Barca manages to execute its game plan, it should be able to add another win and get closer to home-court advantage in the playoffs.

Bayern is in a rough moment of the season and the fact that it plays on the road against one of the hottest teams does not help. Barca is a talented team with a deep bench, so Bayern will have to clench its teeth from tip-off and try to start building a win through defense. Expect the visitors to base their game on going inside to Greg Monroe and Danilo Barthel, and hope that creates space for shooters like Petteri Koponen, who will be playing on his former home floor.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 159.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 06/03/2020, 10:05 CET, subject to change)

Baskonia – ALBA Berlin

Two teams still in the race for the playoffs will square off on Friday when KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (11-16) welcomes ALBA Berlin (9-18) in Round 28. Baskonia has won three of its last four games, including the last road win at Bayern, and seems to be making a big push towards the postseason spots. ALBA has lost three of its last four games and needs to get back to the winning track if it wants to retain some options.

Baskonia has the worst offense in the league and plays against the fourth-best. That could seem a tall order for the hosts, but these teams are in opposite trends and Baskonia stands at the better end of those. Baskonia is also the EuroLeague team averaging the least assists per game, while ALBA is third, so this will be a clash of styles. If Baskonia manages to put its third-ranked defense at the top of its priority list against an opponent that gives up the most points this season, the hosts could be on their way to their fourth win in five games.

ALBA just fell short of defeating Barcelona in Berlin, and has now lost three of its last four games. Against Baskonia it will be a duel of opposite styles. ALBA will have to by-pass the tough defense of the hosts in order to display its fun-to-watch offense. If those league-best assists flow and those threes fall in the basket (third best numbers in the league for ALBA), the guests could upset Baskonia for a second time this season, even if missing some players like Peyton Siva.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-5.5) at 1.95 with bet365
(Price correct at 06/03/2020, 10:05 CET, subject to change)

Get up to £100 in Bet Credits!

News Source: Euroleague.net
Basketball tips: Livetipster


Euroleague Standings

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

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