By Stathis Trapezanlidis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
A double round this week in the EuroLeague and the guests seem ready to make things happen on the road.
Gran Canaria – Barcelona
2 (-5.5) / 1.75
Gran Canaria still haven’t been able to find a rhythm and present something noteworthy on the court. Their performances, both in the Spanish league and the EuroLeague have been troubling. Barcelona have more quality on their roster, they’re still not at the desired level, something that was seen in Moscow, but they’re in better shape than the home team. The easy way or the hard way, the Catalans will figure out how to leave the island with a win. The handicap is worth the risk.
Bayern Munich – Panathinaikos
Stefan Jovic under 8.5 / 1.80
Jovic had an excellent game against Anadolu Efes on the opening day, scoring double digits. Panathinaikos are good defensively, while the Serb will come up against Nick Calathes, one of the best defenders in the competition. Bayern Munich’s ace doesn’t attempt risky shots but only those that the rival defense allows him. He’s not consistent in long-range shooting but rather has good nights and bad nights, and against the Greek team it’s not certain whether he will manage to find 4 or 5 shots on target to come up with the over 8.5. We’re going to go with the under.
Armani Milan – Real Madrid
1 (+8.5) / 1.70
Milan look better this season with Nedovic and James on their roster. The two talented guards want to lead the team all the way to the quarterfinals of the competition after several years of consecutive failures. I’m expecting the Italians to be especially competitive at home against Real Madrid, who may be a better team but who still have many fluctuations in their performance during the game. The home win with the handicap can be an option and we’re holding on to it.
Baskonia look like the favorites in the betting companies’ payoffs because they’re playing at home but also because of the form they’re in. The Basques were scary in their last league game, but against Olympiacos things are going to be different. David Blatt’s team can be competitive in Spain and force the game to be decided in the details and try to steal away the win at the end. The payoff for an away win is big and is worth it, while the 5-point cushion on the handicap for the Greek team looks even safer.
Another pair for which the payoff is unfair for the visitors. The Lithuanians are coming off two consecutive defeats at home in the EuroLeague (to Baskonia) and the domestic league (to Neptunas), but against Anadolu Efes we’re expecting them to show a different face. Efes are the favorites as they’ve presented an excellent image so far, but I don’t think it’s going to be easy to beat Sarunas Jasikevicius’s team. It’s very possible that the game will be decided in the details at the end, from a big shot or a good defense. We’re holding onto the handicap on the away win.
1. Stefan Jovic under 8.5 / 1.80
2. Baskonia – Olympiacos 2 (+5) / 1.71
3. Armani Milan – Real Madrid 1 (+8.5) / 1.70
4. Gran Canaria – Barcelona 2 (-5.5) / 1.75
5. Anadolu Efes – Zalgiris 2 (+5.5) / 1.86