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Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 22 – Thursday

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Euro League basketball predictions appear under each mini game preview.

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Khimki – CSKA Moscow

The Leningradka Derby promises a lot of excitement and action, as always. CSKA arrives on a four-game winning streak – its longest since late October. Khimki comes off a road loss against Baskonia, but managed to beat mighty Real Madrid in front of its fans in Round 20. Alexey Shved (21.1 ppg.) has been Khimki’s top scorer until now, followed by Janis Timma (13.1 ppg.) and Devin Booker (11.7 ppg.). Mike James (21.1 ppg., 4.4 apg.), Darrun Hilliard (10.6 ppg.) and Johannes Voigtmann (7.3 ppg.) are leading CSKA right now.

Khimki is the third-best scorer in the competition (86.6 ppg.) and does even better (89.7 ppg.) at home, where it’s made a EuroLeague-best 59.5% two-point shots at Mytishchi Arena. Khimki will run its offense through Alexey Shved, whose unlimited range and outstanding driving skills make him a nightmare matchup. In its VTB United League win, Khimki limited CSKA to just 9-of-29 three-point shooting (31%), which is important, as both teams lead the EuroLeague in shots from downtown (Khimki 28.4 per game, CSKA 28.3).

CSKA was sensational from beyond the three-point line, hitting 13-of-27 three-point shots against Baskonia (48.1%), and even better against Valencia (14-of-22, 63.6%). CSKA, however, has struggled inside the arc, combining for 29 of 71 shots (40.8%) in these two games. CSKA ranks second in defensive rebounds (25.8 drpg.) and that will be the key to raise that shooting percentage – being able to run the floor and find easy points in transition. Limiting the impact of Shved will be critical, too.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (+2.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 30/01/2020, 10:30 CET, subject to change)

ALBA Berlin – Fenerbahce

ALBA Berlin returns home from a successful road trip to host a resurgent Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul side. ALBA won two of three on the road in recent weeks to keep a late-season playoff run in the cards. Fenerbahce has won four of its last five games, including two away from home, but is 3-7 on the road this season.

The book on ALBA as a high-scoring team is that it needs to be firing on all cylinders on offense to achieve desired results, but in essence, its defense has been more important to results. ALBA is 4-1 this season when it has held its opponents to 80 points or less. Fenerbahce has averaged 79.5 points per game this season. No cat can change its stripes, so ALBA is likely to make this a high-scoring game, but strong defense may be the key to victory.

Fenerbahce ranks last in the league in rebounding with 29.6 per game and 8.3 offensive rebounds per game. Attacking the glass against an ALBA side that likes to get out in transition could pay dividends not only in second-chance baskets, but also by taking away those fastbreak and transition points from the home side. Malcolm Thomas and Jan Vesely should be the players to spearhead that challenge.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (-5.5) at 1.80 with bet365
(Price correct at 30/01/2020, 10:30 CET, subject to change)

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Olympiacos – Baskonia

Olympiacos comes off a tough road loss against Zenit and has the opportunity to bounce back in front of its fans. Baskonia snapped a three-game losing streak with a brilliant home win against Khimki, but has not won on the road since mid-December. Georgios Printezis (12.3 ppg.) has been Olympiacos’s top scorer this season, followed by Vassilis Spanoulis (11.3 ppg.) and Nikola Milutinov (10.4 ppg.). Toko Shengelia (16.1 ppg., 5.6 rpg.), Nik Stauskas (9.5 ppg.) and Shavon Shields (9.2 ppg.) are leading Baskonia.

First and foremost, Olympiacos has to improve its defense. It allowed 91 points against Zenit, which hit 23 of 37 two-point shots (62.2%) and pulled down 13 offensive rebounds. Boxing out will be critical and it is up to the whole team to have a better defensive attitude. The offense is finally flowing through Spanoulis, Georgios Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou. Olympiacos hits 59.1% of its two-point shots at home and limits opponents to just 52.5%. Getting Nikola Milutinov and Augustine Rubit involved for easy points in the paint will be important for the Reds.

Baskonia struggled from the three-point line in its win against Khimki, hitting just 4 of 17 shots (23.5%). Baskonia is last in three-point shooting (32.1%) and will look to its best shooters, Nik Stauskas, Shavon Shields and Matt Janning, to change this situation. Baskonia pulled down 16 offensive rebounds last week and now leads the competition in this category (12.5 orpg.). Using Fall and Michael Eric to get Milutinov into foul trouble will be one of the keys to the game, too.

basketball prediction Tip: Under 162.5 at 1.86 with bet365
(Price correct at 30/01/2020, 10:30 CET, subject to change)

Maccabi – Real Madrid

It is the most repeated game in European basketball history; Maccabi and Real face each other for the 60th time. Maccabi is undefeated at home this season and won eight of its last 11 games. After a 13-game winning streak, Real has lost its last three games and wants to return to winning ways. Scottie Wilbekin (16.3 ppg.), Othello Hunter (10.2 ppg., 6.5 rpg.) and Tyler Dorsey (9.5 ppg.) are leading Maccabi, which is expected to feature new signing Amar’e Stoudemire for the first time. Trey Thompkins (10.7 ppg.), Facu Campazzo (10.5 ppg.) and Jordan Mickey (9.9 ppg.) are Real’s active top scorers.

Maccabi leads the league in defensive rebounding (26) which allows the team to run or play at the right pace. Maccabi is shooting the ball from downtown better on the road (38.6%) than at home (37.4%), and it will be important to raise that number, as Real relies on Edy Tavares to change a lot of shots down low. On defense, Maccabi has to put a lot of pressure on the ball to prevent Facundo Campazzo from creating for others. The sea of yellow fans in the stands will be Maccabi’s X-factor.

Real is struggling to score on the road (78.0 ppg.), with more than 10 points per game fewer than its home average (89.3 ppg.). Real keeps opponents to hit just 48.8% two-point shooting and only Maccabi (46.0%) does better at that. Not being intimidated by Maccabi’s physicality will be one of the keys to the game. Real has done a good job at cutting turnovers, averaging just 12.3 per game and ranking third in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.55). Maccabi forces a lot of turnovers (1.4 3per game), so staying focused will be a key for Los Blancos.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 at 2.00 with bet365
(Price correct at 30/01/2020, 10:30 CET, subject to change)

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Villeurbanne – Zalgiris

In a critical clash at the bottom half of the standings, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne hosts Zalgiris Kaunas on Thursday evening. The French champs are looking to get back on the winning track after losing their last five games. However, ASVEL was 7-2 at home to begin the season before losing its last two home games. The Lithuanian champs have won four of their last six games with a pair of road wins included.

Defense has been ASVEL’s biggest problem during its recent losing streak. Over the past five games, the team has allowed an average of 91.4 points per game; it had allowed only 78.6 points in the first 15 games of the season and the team is 5-2 when it has kept opponents to less than 80 points. Zalgiris is averaging just 78.2 points this season. This game could be a chance for ASVEL to get its defensive mojo back and end its losing streak.

Zalgiris is one of the leading offensive rebounding teams in the league with 11.5 per game and it has done so without a single player averaging 5 boards or 2 offensive rebounds. That display of team rebounding could become a major factor against ASVEL, which does not have an elite rebounder when Tonye Jekiri is not on the floor. A few second-chance baskets and denying ASVEL points n transition could become very valuable as Zalgiris targets another road win.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 at 1.83 with bet365
(Price correct at 30/01/2020, 10:30 CET, subject to change)

Barcelona – Zenit

Two teams on opposite sides of the standings will meet each other in Round 22 when FC Barcelona hosts Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday. The hosts won their last two games and seem to be on the winning path again. Last week they defeated Zvezda at home, 86-82. Zenit seems to have found its rhythm and has won three of its last four games, including last week at home against Olympiacos, 91-87.

The hosts average 9 more points than the visitors per game, so their main leverage over Zenit lays on the offensive side. Barcelona seems to have overcome a rough moment of form and the team will look to stay on the winning track for good. Zenit seems to fare a bit better on the defensive categories, but Barca has better numbers from all ranges.

It took a while, but Zenit seems to have found its game in the last month. Winning in Barcelona will be a difficult task, but the painful loss at home could trigger some extra motivation for the visitors. However, if the team takes the game to the end, details like being the second-worst team in the league from the free-throw line could become a problem, so paying attention to those kinds of things could go a long way for Zenit.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+13.5) at 1.90 with bet365

Milano – Bayern

Two teams on losing trends will look for a precious win that could become a turning point for them when AX Armani Exchange Milan welcomes FC Bayern Munich in Round 22. Milan just added swingman Drew Crawford to try to turn around a situation in which the team has lost its last three games in a row, the last of them at Fenerbahce, 73-64. Last week, Bayern finally managed to snap a six-game losing streak with a win against Maccabi at home 80-68 and will look to confirm that turnaround in Italy.

After an almost flawless start to the season, Milan has been faltering in the last rounds. To turn the situation the team has brought in Drew Crawford, but he cannot be expected to deliver the goods from game one. Milan has the worst two-point shooting percentage in the league, so the hosts must build their offense and find open situations to make shots. Sergio Rodriguez could be the go-to guy, but of course, it is easier said than done.

After a prestigious win against Maccabi, Bayern will look to stay on that path. After the coaching change, things seem to be getting back to normal and the team will have to look to play to its strengths, such as being the third-best shooting team in the league for three-pointers or taking advantage of the fact that Milan is ranked last in the league in steals per game.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 154.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 30/01/2020, 10:30 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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* 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

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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

Euroleague Basketball Tips

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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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