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Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 17 – Friday

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CSKA Moscow – Panathinaikos

Two teams in direct competition for the top spots of the standings ladder will square off to welcome 2020 as defending champs CSKA Moscow (11-5) host Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (9-7) at the end of the first half of the regular season. CSKA has won five of its last six games, including the last one against Milan by a tight 78-75. With new coach Rick Pitino on board, it looked like the Greens were on a roll, but they have now dropped three of their last four games, including at home in Round 16 against Real Madrid, 75-87. A win in this game will be a coveted prize and a momentum-builder into the new year for the team that comes out on top.

CSKA is determined to keep adding wins to pull itself up into the top four of the standings. Panathinaikos has the second-best offense in the league, but CSKA ties for third-best defense, so expect a battle of philosophies. CSKA has to impose its rhythm to control the game, but will have to watch out for the 56.4% in two-point shooting that allows Panathinaikos to score so much. CSKA boss Dimitris Itoudis will probably have to find a way to beat his old team through defense.

Panathinaikos keeps showing offensive basketball, but the method seems to have malfunctioned a bit these last weeks. It’s true that its last three losses came against teams at the top — Barcelona, Maccabi and Real — but CSKA could is another such team to watch out for. The offense seems alright for the guests, but its defense is another story. To stop CSKA, Panathinaikos will have to step up and disrupt CSKA’s league-best 40.5% shooting from beyond the arc. One glaring problem for the Greens is the league-worst 13.4 offensive rebounds per game that opponents have been able to snatch. Unless that number comes down, Panathinaikos will encounter rough sledding in Moscow.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+6.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/01/2020, 07:50 CET, subject to change)

Anadolu Efes – Khimki

Anadolu Efes Istanbul (13-3) will look to retain its share of first place on Friday when it welcomes Khimki Moscow Region (8-8) to start the new year and to finish the first half of the regular season. After a hiccup against CSKA Moscow two rounds ago, Efes went back to its winning ways last week against Maccabi at home, 99-79. On the other side, Khimki has dropped six of its last eight games and seems to have lost the momentum with which it started the season. Last week, Khimki was the newest victim to fall at the Astroballe against LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, 92-88.

Two of the top four scoring teams in the EuroLeague face each other in this game, so without digging much deeper it is clear that defenses will have a huge role in the outcome. Efes is giving up about 10 fewer points per game to opponents than Khimki is, so on paper it looks like the defensive battle could fall on the hosts’ side. However, Khimki is the best-scoring team so far this season and that must not be taken lightly, especially when the guests boast a solid 56.4% accuracy on two-point shots.

Bryant Dunston won’t be available against Khimki.

Khimki does so well on offense that it is a bit supriring to see the Russian power struggle for results in recent weeks. Of course, the main problem lies with defense, and that’s what the guests will have to work hard at if they want a chance to succeed on the court of one of the league’s hottest teams. Efes is dangerous on all fronts, but a league-best 57.6% on two-pointers shows its ability to generate good shots. It will be Khimki’s job to try to disrupt that and push the pedal to the metal to try to come out on top of what sure looks like an old-fashioned shootout.

According to the club, Alexey Shved will not play against Efes because he has the flu.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-9.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/01/2020, 07:50 CET, subject to change)

Villeurbanne – Real Madrid

After a strong start of the season, ASVEL overcame its first bad moment by winning the last three home games. Real is on an 11-game winning streak in the competition, its longest one under the new format. David Lighty is ASVEL’s top scorer until now (10.9 ppg.), followed by Adreian Payne (10.0 ppg.) and Tonye Jekiri (9.6 ppg.). Anthony Randolph (13.0 ppg.), Facu Campazzo (10.9 ppg., 6.7 apg.) and Edy Tavares (6.2 ppg., 6.8 rpg., 1.8 bpg.) have led Real recently.

ASVEL needs to take care of rebounds in order to be fully competitive against Real. The hosts currently rank 16th on the boards (31.8 rpg.) and get just 21.4 defensive rebounds on average. ASVEL has also struggled from beyond the three-point line, hitting just 34.3% of its shots from downtown. If ASVEL prevents Real from running and is able to get Payne and Jekiri involved, putting Tavares into foul trouble, it will have a better chance to win this game.

Real is shooting the ball with great efficiency this season, hitting 54.0% of its two-point shots and a second-ranked 39.9% from downtown. It all starts with defense and taking good care of the ball, though. Real averages 25.8 defensive rebounds per game, dishing 1.6 assists for every turnover. Even with some key players injured, Real has the depth, strength and size to put any team into trouble right now.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (+6.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/01/2020, 07:50 CET, subject to change)

Milano – Zenit

The last game of the decade featuring two teams that have never played each other before takes place when AX Armani Exchange Milan (8-8) welcomes Zenit St Petersburg (4-12) to the fashion capital on Friday. Since starting the season 6-2, the hosts have struggled, losing six of the last seven games to tie two other teams for the eighth and final playoffs position. Zenit has had worse luck overall, but has taken two of its victories in the last five rounds. Both could use another win like water in the desert.

Milan will need to dictate the tempo on its own floor or run the risk of Zenit staying in the game long enough to flip the pressure towards the hosts. Point guards Sergio Rodriguez and Shelvin Mack will have that responsibility, while Milan is expected to debut scorer Keifer Sykes in the same backcourt. Shooting from deep, where it ranks third with 39.5% accuracy, is not Milan’s problem. Rather, its 17th-ranked two-point efficiency, 47.3%, needs to improve. With both, the hosts will struggle a lot less.

Zenit will want to keep its eye on the perimeter with Sykes joining Rodriguez, Vladimir Micov and other dead-eye Milan shooters there. That’s especially true because the visitors have the worst three-point defense in the league, allowing other teams to shoot 39.5% there. Up-and-down play from key contributors like Mateusz Ponitka and Alex Renfroe needs to stay up if Zenit hopes to rise in the rankings by winning road games like this one. They and Austin Hollins will also be needed to defend the perimeter shooters better than until now.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 154.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/01/2020, 07:50 CET, subject to change)

Valencia – ALBA Berlin

A rematch of the last 7DAYS EuroCup Finals will be welcome 2020 in Spain, where Valencia Basket (7-9) hosts ALBA Berlin (5-11) to cap the first leg of the regular season on Friday. Valencia has won three of its last four games, including an overtime thriller at Fenerbahce last week, 98-100, and is knocking on the door to playoff spots going into the second half of the season. ALBA snapped a four-game losing streak last week with an 81-57 home blowout over Baskonia that gives the German team some good momentum.

Valencia knows how to beat ALBA, but this time the stage is different and the situation of both teams is not exactly the same the last time they met. This will be a direct duel that later in the season could have implications for playoff tickets. ALBA is very aggressive on offense, so Valencia will have to make sure that its defense stays on the level with the one displayed these last weeks. With 19.7 assists per game, ALBA is the best team in the league, so the hosts will have to try to stop the visitors from getting into an offensive flow.

ALBA arrives to Valencia with good numbers, especially on offense. But the absences of a couple key players and the fact that Valencia is making 53.5% of its two-pointers should make the guests beware. So far, the problems for ALBA have come from defense, so this will be the area in which the guests will have to work harder if they want to stop a confident team that will be playing at home in one of the hottest arenas in Europe.

basketball prediction Tip: Under 167.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/01/2020, 07:50 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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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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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)

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News Source: Euroleague.net
Basketball tips: Livetipster


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Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

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