By Lefteris Moutis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week in the EuroLeague turned out well for our column, with our prognostications on Olympiacos, Efes and Baskonia being confirmed, while Gran Canaria’s home loss to Bayern Munich ruined a perfect record for us.
Zalgiris – Armani Milan 1 / 1.57
Zalgiris still don’t have a home win, while Armani Milan suffered their first away defeat in the previous round to Barcelona. The Italians are having an excellent season so far, but they still don’t look like they could win anywhere as their performance has several ups and downs, and the absence of Nemanja Nedovic will become more and more apparent as time goes by. Zalgiris are still an excellent squad that can’t be easily beaten, whether at home or away. The home team is aiming for the Top 8 and the confrontation against Armani Milan is crucial, both in terms of the standings as well as the team’s psychology. The time has come for Sarunas Jasikevicius’s team to get its first win in Lithuania and the 1.57 on the home win can be included on a bet with a similar payoff.
Maccabi Tel Aviv – Bayern Munich 1 (-4.5) / 1.71
Maccabi Tel Aviv look improved both in terms of their game as well as mentally after hiring Ioannis Sfairopoulos. It’s not easy for the Greek coach to establish his own philosophy in such a short period of time, but the home team looks more lively in defense now than it did with Neven Spahija and if they want to achieve something worthwhile in the EuroLeague this season, they will have to improve some more in that department. The game against Bayern Munich is the first of many “finals” that Maccabi will have to play in the following rounds if they want to be on track for the Top 8 and we think that the time has come for them to return to winning ways. Their opponent is not dangerous and in Israel, the hosts always have the upper hand against teams of Bayern’s caliber.
Khimki – Panathinaikos
Anthony Gill Over 12.5 / 1.83
Khimki’s superstar, Alexey Shved, will be absent from this confrontation and the roughly 20 attempts he takes on in each game will be shared by the other players of Georgios Bartzokas’s team. One of the players that have to step up is Anthony Gill, whose line is set at 12.5 points. The Over can be verified, as Khimki’s forward might attempt close to 15 shots against Panathinaikos. Following the same line of thought, for those that would like a second option from this game, they could bet on Tony Crocker’s Over 12.5, though these kinds of bets always involve certain dangers for the bettor. Better to choose one of the two options.
Bryant Dunston Over 9.5 / 1.87
Ergin Ataman has a lot of faith in the American and has now changed Efes’s rotation in the 5 position, with the former Olympiacos player spending close to 25 minutes on the court. Bryant Dunston is in good shape lately and if he doesn’t have foul trouble he will play a lot of minutes against the Basques as well. In this case, the easy way or the hard way, he can score 5 baskets and confirm the Over 9.5.
Sergio Llull’s absence is crucial for Real Madrid and the payoff underestimates Dimitris Itoudis’s CSKA Moscow, who have the character and the experience to get the win in Madrid. The two teams are coming off defeats, with Real losing to Olympiacos at the Peace and Friendship Stadium and CSKA falling victims to a huge upset, suffering their first defeat in the competition at the hands of Buducnost. For the more daring, you can even bet on a clean away win at 2.25, though we will prefer to go with the handicap, as we expect the game to be decided in the details at the end. It’s very likely that the game will go down to the last shot and the handicap at +2.0 will prove pretty lucrative.
1. Real Madrid – CSKA Moscow 2 (+2) / 1.90
2. Bryant Dunston Over 9.5 / 1.87
3. Anthony Gill Over 12.5 / 1.83
4. Maccabi Tel Aviv – Bayern Munich 1 (-4.5) / 1.71
5. Zalgiris – Armani Milan 1 / 1.57