Euroleague Preview & Tips – Round 1 – 04/10/2019

Spanoulis Olympiacos

Euroleague Basketball Tips

Euro League basketball predictions appear under each mini game preview.

Zalgiris – Baskonia

Both of these teams made it to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs last season. They start a new campaign with the same goal. Each underwent many roster changes in the off-season, but managed to keep signature players who will allow them to be competitive from Day One. Expect the first of many basketball parties in Zalgirio Arena, as basketball is a religion in Lithuania and the atmosphere in Kaunas is second to none.

Stopping Toko Shengelia and Fall down low will be the biggest key for Zalgiris, which counts on Landale, Hayes, LeDay and Paulius Jankunas to do so. Zalgiris needs its best shooters – Arturas Milaknis and Marius Grigonis – to be in top shape against two of the best three-point marksmen around, Stauskas and Matt Janning. Preventing Henry and Luca Vildoza from controlling the game tempo will be another critical key for the hosts.

Shavon Shields and Patricio Garino give Baskonia a physical advantage at the small forward position due to their quickness, athleticism and all-around skills. Shengelia continues as the team’s leader and must give his best against Jankunas and LeDay, but Shields, Janning and Stauskas will be ready to help him from the perimeter. Fall has what it takes to dominate and the whole team knows that. Expect him to be found often around the basket.

Nikolas Stauskas will miss the EuroLeague opener due to injury.

Tip: 2 at Half Time at 2.20 with bet365
(Price correct at 04/10/2019, 11:05 CET, could have changed)

Anadolu Efes – Barcelona

In one of the most intriguing opening-round games you could hope for, Efes and Barcelona square off at Sinan Erdem Dome in a rematch of their five-game EuroLeague Playoffs series from last season. Efes took the series 3-2 and proceeded to reach the championship game, while Barcelona will surely want to showcase what the team can do at the start of a season with the highest of expectations.

Efes had great success hitting from downtown last season. Efes set an all-time single-season record with 385 three-pointers made, and that was helped by its playoff against Barcelona. Coach Ergin Ataman’s team made a single-series record 63 triples, or 12.6 per game, in those five playoff games. With all the size and rebounding ability Barcelona has inside, making shots from downtown and opening up the paint with be key for Efes once again.

Adrien Moerman will be missing the season opener against Barcelona. Rodrigue Beubois, Shane Larkin and James Anderson are questionable for the game.

With so much firepower at all positions, it looks like head coach Svetislav Pesic could have a good problem. However, it would be no surprise if it still takes time for everything and everybody to synch together for Barcelona, on both ends of the floor. Similar to last season, Barcelona will have one of the best frontcourts in all the EuroLeague. Using that depth, and controlling the boards will be very important in a tough road environment at the start of the season.

Tip: Over 163.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 04/10/2019, 11:05 CET, could have changed)

ALBA Berlin – Zenit

It’s a historic night for Zenit, which will play in its first-ever Turkish Airlines EuroLeague game, but the occasion is not much less significant for ALBA, which returns to the competition for the first time in five years, and for the third time this decade. Both teams are determined to have a strong showing in the German capital and to get their EuroLeague journey going strong.

ALBA played some of the most exciting basketball in the EuroCup last season, averaging 87.1 points and 21.8 assists, setting all-time record totals in each category. Having the same coaching philosophy, the core of the roster intact, and few experienced additions can only boost the team’s performance. ALBA will rely on its up-tempo high-scoring offense again this season again, starting with this opener against Zenit.

Team leader Peyton Siva will be out with injury for this EuroLeague opener. Stefan Peno and Joohannes Thiemann (groin injury) will not play in Round 1, either.

Zenit certainly has a great size – and experience – advantage inside with Ayon, Iverson, Thomas, Abromaitis and Zubkov, and will definitely try to put it to use. And let’s not forget about Ponitka, who is capable to do just about everything for his team on the floor, including score from long range. If Abromaitis, Zubkov and Thomas are successful in stretching the floor with outside shots, that size inside could become a key factor for Zenit’s hopes of a victory.

Anton Pushkov will probably miss the next three weeks with a hand injury. Dmitry Khvostov has re-joined the team for pracices but he will probably not play against ALBA.

Tip: X (Tied at end of regulation) at 9.00 with bet365
(Price correct at 04/10/2019, 11:05 CET, could have changed)

Villeurbanne – Olympiacos

ASVEL returns to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague after a decade away, but Olympiacos will try to play the role of a villain on Friday night at the Astroballe. The reigning French champions have high aspirations in this campaign, and in seasons to come, while a perennial title contender, Olympiacos, tries to bounce back after missing out on the EuroLeague playoffs by a virtue of a tiebreaker last season.

ASVEL has just four players who have previously appeared in a EuroLeague game, and with coach Zvezdan Mitrovic also making his debut, the team will need to be very disciplined and take care of the ball against an experienced opponent ready to punish every mistake. ASVEL played tremendous defense in the EuroCup last season and excelled in offensive rebounding, and it will certainly try to use the same recipe, in this opening clash.

It is no secret that for almost an entire decade Olympicos would go as far as its mastermind Vassilis Spanoulis would take it. But going on the road against an opponent and crowd eager to taste EuroLeague success, it will be a must for the Reds to take control of the game’s rhythm from the very start. That means Spanoulis will have a key role once again, but so will his fellow playmaking teammate Will Cherry. If that duo takes control of the game, Olympiacos will be on a good path.

Aleksey Pokusevski did not travel for Round 1.

Tip: 2 at 1.57 with bet365
(Price correct at 04/10/2019, 11:05 CET, could have changed)

Valencia – CSKA Moscow

The 7DAYS EuroCup reigning champion hosts last season’s Turkish Airlines EuroLeague winner in what promises to be a truly exciting showdown. Valencia was undefeated at home in the EuroCup last season. Its last home loss in European competition came on March 8, 2018 in the EuroLeague. CSKA has aced its EuroLeague opener in each of the last eight seasons and aims to keep that streak going. Expect an extraordinary basketball atmosphere at Pabellon Fuente de San Luis.

Valencia needs to take James out of his rhythm and counts on three different point guards to do so: Colom, Sam Van Rossom and especially Guillem Vives, their best defensive player at that spot. Valencia has a lot of versatile players, such as Alberto Abalde, Aaron Doornekamp and Joan Sastre, who are able to look for mismatches and make good decisions on offense. Defense and locking the defensive board could lead Valencia to a very important win.

Final Four MVP Will Clyburn is set to have more responsibilities from now on and should start leading CSKA right away. Clyburn, Nikita Kurbanov and Andrey Vorontsevich – who comes off a strong World Cup last month – give head coach Dimitris Itoudis plenty of size, strength and versatility at both forwards. Hilliard and Daniel Hackett should be ready to stop Valencia’s shooters, Marinkovic and Loyd, too.

Kostas Koufos did not travel with CSKA due to a foot injury

Tip: Over 162.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 04/10/2019, 11:05 CET, could have changed)


Basketball tips: Livetipster

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