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Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 10 – Friday

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ALBA Berlin – Efes

Two teams from the lower half of the standings will be playing to go a little higher in on Friday when ALBA Berlin (2-5) welcomes Zenit St Petersburg (3-2) for Round 10. ALBA snapped a two-game losing streak with a last-second win over ASVEL on Wednesday, 76-75. After missing four games due to COVID, Zenit has lost two of its last three, including the Russian derby against visiting Khimki, 83-88, on Tuesday.

This game will have two of the four lowest-scoring offenses in the league going against each other, but ALBA also has the poorest defense, allowing some 15 points more than Zenit on average. The hosts will have to lock down on defense if they want to win. Also, ALBA is last in the league in rebounds average (28.1 rpg.), which is a figure that could increase if that defensive aggressiveness starts working a bit better. Peyton Siva saved the day against ASVEL, but that does not happen every game.

Zenit is trying to find the competition rhythm again after missing a bunch of games, and the trip to Berlin can be a good chance to grow a bit more in that sense. ALBA has the worst defense of the league and is also the weakest team under the glass. Both are situations that the guests should try to exploit. The duo of guards formed by Billy Baron and Kevin Pangos will have to step up once again and try to lead Zenit against a team that should fit their style, on paper.

basketball prediction Tip: 2/2 at 1.83 with bet365
(Price correct at 20/11/2020, 08:50 CET, subject to change)

Milano – Zalgiris

Two teams look to salvage a victory from this double-round week meet on Friday when AX Armani Exchange Milan (3-3) welcomes Zalgiris Kaunas (5-4) for Round 10. Milan has lost its last two games, including Round 9’s at home against Zvezda, 79-87, on Wednesday. After a strong start, Zalgiris has lost its last three games, including a 78-87 home defeat to CSKA earlier this week.

Milan will want to bounce back soon from a painful home loss, and playing against the third-weakest team in the league under the glass could be a good opportunity. Zalgiris is the best team in the league from beyond the arc, 40.9%, and also from the free-throw line, 89.0%, so the hosts will have to try to limit Zalgiris’ options for good looks on offense, as Kaunas could revert quickly to its winning ways from the start of the season if allowed.

After a pristine start to the season, Zalgiris found a big bump in the road and will try to leave it behind in Italy. The guests have better numbers from all shooting ranges, but rebounds could be a problem. Zalgiris will have to try to run and move the ball on offense to put that shooting to work, but at the same time, to watch Milan scoring guards Sergio Rodriguez and Shavon Shields on defense.

Zalgiris swingman Patricio Garino will be out of action until December after a knee operation.

basketball prediction Tip: Under 156.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 20/11/2020, 08:50 CET, subject to change)

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Barcelona – Crvena Zvezda

Two teams coming from different places in the standings face off on Friday when FC Barcelona (7-1) welcomes Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (4-5) for Round 10. Barcelona leads the standings and saw its Roun 9 game earlier this week against Olympiacos postponed due to COVID. As such, the league leaders will look to regain their rhythm fast. Zvezda comes from a huge win at Milan, 79-87, that snapped a three-game losing streak. The guests will look to stay on that path and keep climbing spots on the ladder.

Barcelona not only sits atop the standings, but is also the EuroLeague’s highest-scoring team (83.1 ppg.) and the best in assists (20.9 apg.). But if you thought Barca was only about offense, think again, because it also boasts the best defense in the league, too, allowing just 70.0 points per game. The Catalan team is doing most things right, but it will have to pay attention to a Zvezda team coming loaded with confidence after a big road win in Milan.

Zvezda has a huge test in front of them to confirm that they are a team on the rise. On paper, Barcelona looks like a tall order. Confidence can be a great ally, but the guests will have to try to find more fluidity on offense to improve the assists numbers but also close in on defense to stop the huge, league-leading 60.0% accuracy rate for Barcelona in two-point shots.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+12.5) at 1.95 with bet365
(Price correct at 20/11/2020, 08:50 CET, subject to change)

Real – Fenerbahce

Two of the EuroLeague’s biggest modern rivals, who have met in four Final Fours since 2015, clash on Friday when Real Madrid (5-4) welcomes Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul (4-5) to the Spanish capital. The hosts are on a four-game winning streak after having started the season 4-5. Fenerbahce’s season has been back-and-forth, with two wins, three losses, two wins and two losses in that order.

Real has shown during its streak that it can win high-scoring and low-scoring games with contributions across the board. Tavares, point guard Facundo Campazzo and forward Trey Thompkins have been the engines, but Gabriel Deck had his best game this season on Wednesday while Anthony Randolph, Jaycee Carroll and Rudy Fernandez have all stepped up recently, too. Real’s depth is its greatest strength, and at home for the entire double-round week, that could count even more. The ability of Campazzo to set the tempo and his teammates to keep up will be key in this one.

Fabien Causeur tested positive for COVID-19 and has not played since Round 2.

With legend Nando De Colo still injured, Fenerbahce has struggled to score, managing only 123 points total in back-to-back road losses to two other Spanish teams, FC Barcelona and TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. Expect the visitors to slow down this game and hope to use their defensive toughness to try to survive. Lorenzo Brown will be tested to make sure his teammates get good shots against a Real defense that can be more aggressive with Tavares patrolling the paint. Frustrating the hosts in their desire to run could pay dividends for Fenerbahce as the game goes on.

De Colo will be sidelined until early December with a calf muscle injury.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-8.5) at 1.86 with bet365
(Price correct at 20/11/2020, 08:50 CET, subject to change)

Valencia – Maccabi

Two teams coming from differing results and at different ends of the standings clash on Friday when Valencia Basket hosts Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv. Valencia took care of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on Tuesday to improve to 3-1 at home with its lone loss coming against league-leading FC Barcelona. Maccabi is now 1-4 on the road after getting blown out by Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Valencia sits near the bottom of the rebounding charts with 31.6 per game, while Maccabi is second with 36.2. The Israeli champs are also tough on the offensive glass with 10.7 per game. Valencia has the size, length and depth to contend with Maccabi and must make every effort to lock down the boards, otherwise strong defensive plays could turn into second-chance points for the Israeli champs.

Joan Sastre is sidelined with a partial tear to the internal lateral ligament of his right knee.

Three-point shooting has proven to be a critical part of the Maccabi attack. It’s simply a better team when the shots are falling. How much better? In its three wins, Maccabi has averaged 10.7 three-pointers made at a 41.0% success rate in its three wins, while in its five losses, Maccabi has made just 8.2 threes at 31.8%. If Scottie Wilbekin, Elijah Bryant and Tyler Dorsey get their threes to fall early, it will be a massive boost for Maccabi.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 160.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 20/11/2020, 08:50 CET, subject to change)

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News Source: Euroleague.net
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Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 20 – Friday

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CSKA Moscow – Barcelona

It is a big battle atop the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague standings. CSKA Moscow (15-4) is on a six-game home-court winning streak, led by Mike James (20.6 ppg., 6.0 apg.), Nikola Milutinov (9.0 ppg., 8.8 rpg.) and Darrun Hilliard (11.1 ppg.). FC Barcelona (13-6), still without Brandon Davies, Victor Claver and Nikola Mirotic, has won its last two games and looks for its second win in Russia this week. Cory Higgins (11.8 ppg.), Nick Calathes (7.9 ppg., 7.6 apg.) and Kyle Kuric (9.0 ppg., 61.4% 3FG) are leading the team right now.

CSKA had an overwhelming rebounding advantage in its last two wins – 33-60 against AX Armani Exchange Milan and 44-26 against Zalgiris. All CSKA players should keep powering the boards, especially its best rebounders – Milutinov, Johannes Voigtmann and Joel Bolomboy. Stopping former CSKA star Higgins should be one of the keys, and the Russian powerhouse relies on Nikita Kurbanov to do so. CSKA should push the game tempo, as players like James, Hilliard and Shengelia bring out their best in transition.

Will Clyburn is out with an ankle injury. Daniel Hackett has missed the last two games with an ankle injury.

Stopping Milutinov down low should be a priority; he has recorded six double-doubles in the last seven games. With Davies sidelined, Barcelona relies on Artem Pustovyi, Pierre Oriola and Rolands Smits to play strong under the rims. Barcelona head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius has several options to guard James, but Calathes and Adam Hanga should be the most reliable ones. On offense, Calathes must get his team’s best shooters involved, Alex Abrines and Kyle Kuric, as they would open the floor for everyone else with their shots from downtown.

Brandon Davies has missed Barcelona’s last five games. Nikola Mirotic has missed Barcelona’s last three games.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+4.5) at 1.86 with bet365
(Price correct at 15/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

Fenerbahce – Panathinaikos

A Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul (9-10) team on the rise will welcome Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (6-12) on Friday for Round 20 in their second game this week. The hosts are currently on a four-game winning streak, including a commanding victory on Wednesday against TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, 96-76. On the other side, the Greens, who have just appointed Oded Kattash as new head coach, also got back on the winning track after three straight losses by triumphing over LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne at home, 88-71.

Fenerbahce is still the worst offensive team in the league at 74.6 ppg. but the injection of morale that the flurry of wins has given the team makes them a fearful foe. Coach Kokoskov seems to have found the formula and the hosts are going strong for a playoffs spot. However, Panathinaikos has better numbers almost on all fronts and it’s also a team looking to find its identity, as the Kattash signing shows, so expect a hard-fought battle.

Ali Muhammed has missed Fenerbahce’s last four games.

The Greens arrive in Istanbul with a new coach and having lost three of their last four games. However, the last one was a success and the team is still the fifth-best in the league under the boards, so that should be a weapon to help launch fast transitions. On defense, the Greens will have to watch out for Fenerbahce snipers (37.9% from the arc), but most of all, be ready to match the intensity and confidence that Fener will show after so many consecutive wins.

Ioannis Papapetrou did not play in Round 19.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-8.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 15/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

Zenit – Zelgiris

Zenit St Petersburg (11-6) looks to avoid consecutive losses for the first time this season when it hosts Zalgiris Kaunas. Kevin Pangos (11.9 ppg., 6.4 apg.), Arturas Gudaitis (10.3 ppg.) and Will Thomas (8.5 ppg., 5.5 rpg.) lead Coach Xavi Pascual’s team. Zalgiris Kaunas (11-8) comes off a road loss in Moscow that snapped a six-game winning streak. Marius Grigonis (15.2 ppg.), Joffrey Lauvergne (11.0 ppg.) and Nigel Hayes (9.7 ppg.) have been its top scorers so far this season.

Zenit has some of the best defensive numbers in the competition, allowing a league-low 73.4 points and allowing opponents to make just 52.7% of its two-point shots and 35.8% from downtown. Contesting deep shots should be important against Zalgiris, the best three-point shooting team in the EuroLeague (43.0%). On offense, Zenit should make the most of Gudaitis’s greta form, running his offense through him and Pangos.

Alex Poythress has been unavailable for Zenit’s last two games.

Stopping Pangos is a priority for anyone playing against Zenit as its other pure point guard, Dmitriy Khvostov, is sidelined. Zalgiris relies on Thomas Walkup to play intense on-the-ball defense against him. The Lithuanian champs have enough shooters – Grigonis, Hayes, Arturas Milaknis, Lukas Lekavicius – to dynamite any game from beyond the three-point time. Martinas Geben and Lauvergne should be ready to stop Gudaitis around the basket. Controlling the defensive boards should be important to get easy points in transition.

Zalgiris swingman Patricio Garino remains out of action after a knee operation. Steve Vasturia will be sidelined at least until mid-February with a knee injury.

basketball prediction Tip: Zalgiris Over 74.5 at 1.83 with bet365
(Price correct at 15/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

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Bayern – Real Madrid

A virtual tie for third place in the standings will be broken on Friday in Round 21, when FC Bayern Munich (12-7) hosts Real Madrid (12-6). Bayern has won two of its last three games, including an 82-80 decision at home against Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday. Real saw a blizzard postpone its own game that night game against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, so its most recent result was a home loss to AX Armani Exchange Milan, 76-80, in Round 18.

Bayern faces the third-best offense in the league, although Real will be missing Sergio Llull aside from Randolph. It can be a great opportunity for the hosts to return the favor from Round 6. However, Los Blancos still lead the league in average PIR and they will be a bit more rested having skipped Wednesday’s game. If Lucic can keep the pace he set against Zenit, his added dimension will be needed to put the breaks on a Real team that won six in a row before last week.

Robin Amaize, Nihad Dedovic and Zan Mark Sisko have missed the last two games.

Real has better numbers in general than Bayern, and after not playing earlier this week, should be a bit more rested. However, Bayern has not let much rattle it so far this season. Real will have to watch for the aggressive defense of the hosts, who are second in the league in steals (7.9 spg.). Pay attention also to the battle in the paint by two of the hottest centers in the competition, Jalen Reynolds of Bayern and Walter Tavares of Real. This rematch with a step in the standings at stake will be quite a battle as teams start battling tooth and nail for playoffs position.

Anthony Randolph is out with a ruptured left Achilles tendon. Sergio Llull and Rudy Fernandez were both sidelined in Round 18.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 156.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 15/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

Olympiacos – Villeurbanne

Olympiacos will look to extend its three-game winning streak when it welcomes ASVEL to Peace and Friendship Stadium for the first of two games in five days between these teams. ASVEL, which will try to end its four-game losing streak, is set to host their rescheduled Round 10 game on Tuesday. ASVEL is on a three-day trip to Greece where it suffered an 88-71 loss against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on Wednesday night, and now takes on a confident Olympiacos side coming off a dramatic 87-89 road win at Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv.

Olympiacos has found its offensive click. No team is scoring more points over the last three games than Olympiacos with 92.7 per game, however, Coach Georgios Bartzokas’s team certainly has room for improvement. The Reds would certainly like to move the ball a little better, averaging just 17.0 assists during that same stretch, which is in the bottom half in the league. If Olympiacos improves its ball movement, it will be hard to stop.

Kostas Papanikolaou has missed Olympiacos’s last three games.

ASVEL has been outrebounded by an average margin of 7.3 rebounds over the last three games. And while it suggests the team has been struggling to control the boards, the rebounding deficit has also been a product of the team making just 45.6% of its two-point shots over that span. It will be important for ASVEL to establish an inside game to have a better shot at an upset in Piraeus.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+8.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 15/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

Valencia – Crvena Zvezda

The final game of Round 20 will see Valencia Basket host Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. Valencia (10-8) is on a three-game losing streak for the first time this season and hopes to bounce back at La Fonteta. Klemen Prepelic (11.2 ppg.), Nikola Kalinic (9.7 ppg.) and Louis Labeyrie (8.3 ppg., 4.3 rpg.) are leading the team right now with Bojan Dubljevic sidelined. Zvezda (6-12) looks for its first road win since mid-November. Corey Walden (11.1 ppg.), Johnny O’Bryant (12.1 ppg., 5.5 rpg.) and Quino Colom (9.3 ppg.) lead the attack with Jordan Loyd out.

Valencia has been outrebounded in each of its last three games, so being more aggressive under the rims should be one of the aspects to focus on. Without Dubljevic, everyone must help on the boards, but especially Tobey, Labeyrie and Derrick Williams. Preventing Colom from generating good options off pick-and-roll situations is also important for Valencia, as well as speeding up the game tempo and getting its best shooters involved. If Van Rossom, Fernando San Emeterio and especially Prepelic find good shots, it should be easier for the hosts.

Bojan Dubljevic has missed Valencia’s last two games. Vanja Marinkovic has missed Valencia’s last 14 games due to a shoulder injury.

Zvezda is allowing 78.0 points on average per game, but that number went down to 72.0 in the last two games. Defense and concentration come first for Coach Dejan Radonjic and his team has been more disciplined lately, using non-shooting balls to avoid easy points. Zvezda needs to improve its shooting percentages (49.1% 2FG, 36.5% 3FG) and has talented scorers such as O’Bryant, Corey Walden and Dejan Davidovac. The additions of experienced players like Colom and Landry Nnoko only help Zvezda raise those numbers.

Langston Hall and Marko Simonovic have missed the last two games with an injury. Jordan Loyd has missed Zvezda’s last three games with an illness.

basketball prediction Tip: Under 157.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 15/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

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News Source: Euroleague.net

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Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 20 – Thursday

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Efes – Khimki

Two teams going in different directions will square off on Thursday when Anadolu Efes Istanbul (10-9) welcomes Khimki Moscow Region (2-17) for Round 20 in their second game this week. Efes has won three of its previous four games, including the last against ALBA, 84-76, on Tuesday. Khimki is on a 10-game downward spiral, including a 75-87 home loss to Barcelona on Tuesday.

Efes seems to be finding its rhythm in recent weeks and now sits one spot shy of playoffs territory. Khimki has the worst defense in the league, allowing opponents 89.9 points per game, and the hosts will try to take advantage of that. On paper, however, these teams are not that far from each other. Of course, Khimki is loaded with offensive weapons, so despite the result from their previous encounter this season, Efes will be wise to pay attention to all the details to stay on its positive streak.

Efes signed Dzenan Musa, who is set to make his season debut.

Khimki is in danger of falling out of the race for the playoff spots, and the negative wave the team is riding does not help. But this team is loaded with quality players who can win any game at any time, and the tide could turn with just a single victory. The numbers say that Efes and Khimki are not that far apart, so the guests will have to play with heart in Istanbul and show a collective effort, especially on defense, that can bring them back to the winning path.

Janis Timma and Jonas Jerebko have missed the last three games. Greg Monroe has not played since Round 13.

basketball prediction Tip: Under 172.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 14/01/2010, 11:45 CET, subject to change)

ALBA Berlin – AX Milano

Two teams experiencing different dynamics will square off on Thursday when ALBA Berlin (7-12) hosts AX Armani Exchange Milan (11-7) in their second game each of this double-round week. ALBA, missing coach Aito Garcia Reneses due to COVID and several players with injuries, has lost five of its last six games, including the last one at Anadolu Efes, 84-76. Milan won its second game in a row with a strong home victory against Valencia, 95-80.

ALBA is juggling injuries and has not been able to field a stable lineup lately. Now, it faces one of the strongest rosters in the league. Milan comes off two prestige victories, at Real Madrid and against Valencia, and will seek its first three-game winning streak of the season in Berlin. ALBA has to capitalize on the offensive flow that ranks it second overall in assists while also looking for better options from beyond the arc against a Milan team that is second-most accurate in the league (42.0%) from that range.

Luke Sikma and Niels Giffey are expected to miss several weeks with injuries. Head Coach Aito Garcia Reneses has missed ALBA’s last four games after testing positive for COVID-19. Marcus Eriksson has missed ALBA’s last 10 games.

Milan is on a roll and will look to stay that way in Berlin. For starters, the guests average 5 points more per game and are also playing the third-weakest defense in the league. However, Milan remains at the bottom of the rebounds rankings (29.9 rpg.) and will have to secure those boards to avoid ALBA from running and scoring easily.

Vladimir Micov has missed the team’s last four games. Shavon Shields has not played the last two games due to a thigh injury.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 162.5 at 1.95 with bet365
(Price correct at 14/01/2010, 11:45 CET, subject to change)

Maccabi – Baskonia

Two teams coming off losses earlier will look to end this double-round week on a high note as Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv (8-11) welcomes TS Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (9-10) to Israel on Thursday. Maccabi fell to Olympiacos at home in overtime on Tuesday, 87-89, while Baskonia suffered a heavy loss at Fenerbahce, 96-76.

These teams are practically even points scored and allowed, so inspiration will be the factor to watch in this game. Maccabi will have to limit the offensive flow of the guests, who live off their 19.5 assists per game. In overall figures, Maccabi’s average PIR is almost 10 points below Baskonia’s. The hosts could have an edge under the boards, but this game will be as close as they come.

After defeating CSKA last week, Baskonia will look to get back on the right track with another prestige win in Tel Aviv. Both teams compare closely in both stats and records, so expect a close game in which every detail could matter. Maccabi shoots a bit better from the stripe, but Baskonia shows better numbers from the field. The biggest edge the guests have over Maccabi is in assists, so if Baskonia can execute its trademark aggressive defense, it could translate into transition points and the desired win.

basketball prediction Tip: Maccabi Over 80.5 at 1.80 with bet365
(Price correct at 14/01/2010, 11:45 CET, subject to change)

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News Source: Euroleague.net

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Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 19 – Wednesday

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CSKA Moscow – Zalgiris

The next chapter in one of basketball’s oldest rivalries will be written this week when CSKA Moscow hosts Zalgiris Kaunas. But this game is about much more than history. League-leading CSKA (14-4) will look to bounce back from last week’s loss at TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, which snapped a 12-game winning streak. Zalgiris has won six games in a row to improve its record to 11-7 and a share of fifth place in the standings. Zalgiris is 6-2 on the road this season, but has lost all 12 of its games against CSKA in Moscow this century.

Mike James (20.5 ppg.) leads the league in scoring and CSKA is 6-1 when he’s scored more than 20 points in a game. James will need to carry a big load with Daniel Hackett and Will Clyburn sidelined. However, CSKA will need another player to step up and Toko Shengelia (9.5 rpg.) could be the answer. CSKA is 6-2 this season when he’s scored in double figures.

Will Clyburn is out with an ankle injury. Daniel Hackett’s participation is in doubt with an ankle injury.

CSKA leads the league in rebounding with 37.1 per game, but Zalgiris has allowed the fewest boards in the league this season (28.8 rpg.). The battle on the glass could prove pivotal. If Zalgiris is able to contain Milutinov and deny CSKA’s top-ranked offense second-chance opportunities, the Lithuanian champs will boost their chances of grabbing another key road win.

Zalgiris swingman Patricio Garino remains out of action after a knee operation. Steve Vasturia will be sidelined at least until mid-February with a knee injury.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+8.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 13/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

Bayern – Zenit

FC Bayern Munich will put its fantastic home record on the line against the team with the most road wins, Zenit St Petersburg, when they meet on Wednesday. Bayern (11-7) has won its last four home games and is 8-2 in Germany this season. However, it has stagnated recently with losses in three of its last five games (all on the road). Zenit (11-5) has won three straight games and is 8-2 on the road this season, with its only losses coming at CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid. With these teams ranked fourth and fifth in the standings, an intense showdown is a certainty.

Bayern can find success in a slow, physical game as it leads the league in fouls committed (23.6 per game) and has made the third-most free throws (14.7 per game) this season. In a game that could be close, offensive rebounds could prove decisive and Bayern has allowed the third-most (10.3) and Zenit the second-fewest (9.0). If Bayern’s bigs can reverse that trend and earn a few more second-chance points against the vaunted Zenit defense, it could make a major impact on the game.

Vladimir Lucic has missed the last six games with a back injury.

Robin Amaize, Nihad Dedovic and Zan Mark Sisko missed Bayern’s Round 18 game.

Zenit’s greatest weapon has been its defense; the team allows the fewest points (72.9 ppg.) and second-fewest rebounds (29.3 rpg.) and assists (15.0 apg.) in the league. Bayern is a team that likes to go inside – it has made the most two-pointers (21.4 per game) and fewest threes (7.3 per game) this season. Bayern also leads the league with 8.0 steals per game. Stopping the likes of Jalen Reynolds, James Gist and Baldwin from scoring inside and denying Bayern easy baskets off turnovers are crucial to Zenit’s chances in Munich.

Alex Poythress was unavailable for Zenit’s Round 18 game.

basketball prediction Tip: Winning margin 3-way ‘Any other result’ (1-5p. each way) at 2.60 with bet365
(Price correct at 13/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

Panathinaikos – Villeurbanne

Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (5-12), which is on a three-game losing streak, will look for its fourth home win of the season when it hosts LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, which has also lost its last three games. Nemanja Nedovic (16.0 ppg.) has been Panathinaikos’s top scorer until now, followed by Ioannis Papapetrou (13.1 ppg.) and Georgios Papagiannis (9.2 ppg.). ASVEL (5-12) is on a five-game road losing streak. Norris Cole (12.6 ppg.), David Lighty (10.6 ppg.) and Guerschon Yabusele (10.2 ppg.) lead the team’s attack.

Panathinaikos is struggling from beyond the arc this season, having made just 35.8% of its three-point shots. Getting its best shooters – Nedovic, Marcus Foster and Shelvin Mack – involved should be important to raise those numbers, as it would also create more space for Papagiannis and Mitoglou to play close to the basket. As always, Panathinaikos needs to get Papapetrou involved on offense; his experience and character is needed to put an end to the Greens’ current losing streak.

ASVEL has allowed over 80 points in each of its last five games and comes off a 22-point home loss in which Anadolu Efes Istanbul scored 102. Improving its defense should be the first step to be more competitive, as well as powering the offensive glass. ASVEL ranks 15th in offensive rebounds at just 8.7 per game despite hitting 52.0% of its two-point shots (13th overall). Getting Fall back should help, but ASVEL needs Yabusele, Ismael Bako and its entire frontcourt to be more active under the rims.

basketball prediction Tip: Panathinaikos Over 80.5 at 1.80 with bet365
(Price correct at 13/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

Real Madrid – Crvena Zvezda

Real Madrid (12-6) comes off a home loss against AX Armani Exchange Milan which snapped a six-game winning streak. Los Blancos will try to get a new run going when they host Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. Edy Tavares (11.6 ppg., 7.8 rpg., 2.0 bpg.), Trey Thompkins (11.1 ppg., 4.1 rpg.) and Alberto Abalde (8.2 ppg.) are Real’s pillars right now. Zvezda (6-12) looks for its first road win since mid-November. Corey Walden (11.1 ppg.), Johnny O’Bryant (12.1 ppg., 5.5 rpg.) and Quino Colom (9.3 ppg.) lead the attack with Jordan Loyd still sidelined.

Real ranks third in two-point shooting percentage (56.3%) but is 12th from downtown (37.0%) despite leading the EuroLeague in three-point shots attempted at 29.2 per game. Its ball circulation is excellent, with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.56, so it needs to put the ball in the hands of its best shooters – Thompkins, Fabien Causeur and Jaycee Carroll, who has been in great shape recently. Feeding Tavares down low should be critical for easy points in the paint and off double-team situations.

Sergio Llull and Rudy Fernandez were both sidelined in Round 18.

Zvezda is allowing 78.0 points on average, but that number went down to 72.0 in the last two games. Defense and concentration come first for Coach Dejan Radonjic and his team has been more disciplined lately, using non-shooting balls to avoid easy points. Zvezda needs to improve its shooting percentages (49.1% 2FG, 36.5% 3FG) and has talented scorers such as O’Bryant, Walden and Dejan Davidovac. Adding experienced players like Colom and Landry Nnoko can only help Zvezda raise those numbers.

Langston Hall and Marko Simonovic have missed the last two games with an injury. Jordan Loyd has missed Zvezda’s last three games with an illness.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-11.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 13/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

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News Source: Euroleague.net

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