By Lefteris Moutis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Before we begin analyzing the first game of the series, it’s best if we focus on the long-term bets, which can bring you profit by looking… further down the line.
In theory, it’s the series where the home court is going to play the dominant role, as Panathinaikos have a 14-1 record and none of the teams has gotten a win on the other’s home court in the post-Obradovic era in a total of 8 games.
Qualification for Panathinaikos, the sensible choice
So, the choice “Qualification for Panathinaikos in 3-2” seems obvious, but the 3,25 payoff is pretty good to be ignored. Considering the payoff (5,25), it’s worth taking a look at the “Qualification for Panathinaikos in 3-1” bet as well.
In picking the top scorer of the series, the choice that makes sense for Fenerbahce is Bogdanovic (4,25 payoff) and for Panathinaikos either Singleton (6 payoff) or James (5,5), but if you do pick one of these, do it based on your instinct since this bet too is expected to be decided in the details.
Another extremely interesting bet is for both Greek teams to advance to the Final Four. We are going to analyze the Olympiacos – Efes pair in greater detail tomorrow but the qualification of both “eternal rivals” with a 2,50 payoff is a rather tempting proposition, while the alternative of “Only Olympiacos” with a 2,80 payoff is also quite attractive.
At the same time, you can bet on any combination of teams that are going to qualify through a handicap of wins. So, the option of CSKA, Real and Olympiacos advancing in 3-0 or 3-1 (which means a -1,5 handicap) has a 3,63 payoff and is quite likely.
Panathinaikos’s advantage for the 1-0
Even though the two games of the regular season were decided by double-digit differences, the playoff games are expected to be close. So, the handicap at 3,5 points is quite “dangerous”. Better, then, to go with a simple win for Panathinaikos with a 1,65 payoff in the game’s regular time.
Among the special bets on players, perhaps it’s only worth choosing Singleton’s Over at 12,5 points as he is one of our most consistent choices. The limit is permanently set there and has been confirmed in 8 of the last 10 games. Furthermore, Fenerbahce don’t have a large rotation with big men and Singleton can take advantage of that.
CSKA have a strong lead to qualify against Baskonia but do not inspire much confidence that they can do it in 3-0, so it’s best to take the safer option, which is for them to qualify by 1,5 wins, which means in 3-0 or 3-1 (1,30 payoff @OPAP). A good option for the top scorer of the series is Nando De Colo with a 1,60 payoff, since, with an average of 20,1 points, it’s going to be hard for him not to make it.
The handicap of 10,5 points for the first game is pretty much a deterrent. However, there are several interesting special bets. Tornike Shengelia hasn’t been in good playing condition lately following his injury, while Kyle Hines can make the difference against Baskonia’s big men and score more points than the Georgian.
Accordingly, we’re also going to bet on Shengelia’s Under 9,5 points, as he has scored more only once in the last five games in the EuroLeague.
Panathinaikos – Fenerbahce Win for Panathinaikos 1,65
Singleton Over 12,5 points
Shengelia Under 9,5 points
Hines – Shengelia (+0,5) 1
Qualification for Panathinaikos 3-1 3,25
Qualification for CSKA -1,5 wins 1,30
Qualification for CSKA, Real, Olympiacos in -1,5 wins 3,63
Qualification for Olympiacos and Panathinaikos 2,5
Top scorer of CSKA – Baskonia series De Colo 1,60