Euroleague Preview & Tips – Round 26

Euroleague Predictions

Euroleague Basketball Tips

Euro League basketball predictions appear under each mini game preview.

Khimki – Real Madrid

With its back to the wall, Khimki hosts high-flying Real Madrid in the opening game in Round 26. Khimki has lost three in a row and now is in the untenable situation of being four wins outside of eighth place with five rounds to go. Madrid is in good spirits after whipping Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul last week, but has lost its last two and four of its last six road games. Khimki and Madrid have split the season series in every season in which they’ve met. Madrid won their previous game this season.

One of the most important things for Khimki to do to stop Madrid is to control the rebounds, thus denying the visitors ways to get out on the break or score in transition. It won’t be an easy task since Khimki is ranked 15th of 16 teams with 30.0 rebounds per game, while Madrid is first with 35.9. However, if Jodan Mickey, Malcolm Thomas and co. are able to do that, it will put the hosts in a much stronger position.

Since Alexey Shved has returned from injury, he is shooting 30% (6 of 20) on three-pointers and averaging 5.5 turnovers per game. While he is still a great volume scorer, Shved has not yet recaptured his peak form. Madrid may be wise to use its backcourt depth to pressure Shved and force others to carry the load.

Tip: 1 (+6.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 14/03/2019, 12:30 CET)

Zalgiris – Bayern

The champions of Germany and Lithuania will meet on Thursday when Zalgiris hosts Bayern with each trying to revive its fading playoff hopes. Zalgiris is three wins out of the playoff zone with five games to go, but comes off a rout of Herbalife Gran Canaria. Bayern is still strong in the playoff hunt, but has lost three of its last four games to slip out of the playoff zone. Zalgiris has won its last three home games.

Zalgiris has won the last four times it has scored at least 80 points and lost its last eight games in which it has netted fewer than 80. Coach Sarunas Jasikevicus may look to push the tempo a little for that reason. The hosts may also want to crash the boards and take advantage of the fact that Bayern is last in the league in rebounding (29.7 rpg.).

Zalgiris’s best player all season has been center Brandon Davies and the team is 6-3 when he scores at least 15 points. The task of keeping Davies below his average (14.1 ppg.) will be shared by Leon Radosevic and Danilo Barthel and if they are successful, Bayern will be in a promising position.

Tip: Over 155 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 14/03/2019, 12:30 CET)

Maccabi – Efes

Playoffs will be on the mind of both teams when Maccabi hosts Efes on Thursday. A win for the Israeli champs would see them crack the top eight spots in the standings for the first time this season. A victory for Efes – coupled with the right accompanying results – could clinch it a playoff berth. Maccabi has now won seven straight games in Tel Aviv and comes off an important road win at FC Bayern Munich. Fourth-place Efes has dropped seven straight road games, but has won three of its last four games overall, including a big showdown over FC Barcelona Lassa last week.

Maccabi must be ready to play excellent perimeter defense against an Efes team that is second in the league in assists (19.8 apg.) and third in three-point accuracy (40.7%). The challenge will fall on many men since Efes has four players averaging at least 2.5 assists per game, but between DeAndre Kane, Yovel Zoosman, Jeremy Pargo and John DiBartolomeo, Maccabi has the manpower for the challenge.

Efes needs to limit the second-chance points Maccabi often racks up as the third-best offensive rebounding team in the competition with 11.4 per game. This is doubly important because Efes allows the fourth-most offensive rebounds in the league (11.1 orpg.). On the flip side, Efes is tied for last with 8.2 per game. If Efes can step up and control the glass, it will be in a position of power.

Tip: Winning margin 3-way – Any other result (1-5 points) at 2.50 with bet365
(Price correct at 14/03/2019, 12:30 CET)

Milano – Olympiacos

In a game with major playoff implications, Milan and Olympiacos clash in the fashion capital with each side knowing that a loss can knock it from the friendly confines of the playoff zone. The teams enter with identical records and a share of a three-way tie for sixth place. Milan lost last week at CSKA Moscow to see its five-game winning streak snapped. The Reds ended a five-game slide with a road win at Buducnost VOLI Podgorica.

Milan is 0-4 so far this season against the teams with the three toughest defenses in the league (Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, FC Barcelona Lassa and Real Madrid). Olympiacos is fourth on that list. However, Milan has a stronger attack than at any previous point in the season with James Nunnally aboard and Nemanja Nedovic healthy. With its backcourt depth, Milan must push the tempo to wear down the Olympiacos defense and create a game to its liking.

Interestingly, Olympiacos is 9-1 this season when it’s scored 80 points or more. Although the Reds like to slow the pace and make use of Nikola Milutinov and Georgios Printezis in the halfcourt, Coach David Blatt’s side has big guys who can get up and own the floor quickly in Zach LeDay and Kostas Papanikolaou. The blend of strong rebounders and mobile bigs could allow Olympiacos to grab some key buckets in transition that could impact the outcome.

Tip: 1 (-3.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 14/03/2019, 12:30 CET)

Gran Canaria – Darussafaka

Two teams that are out of the race for the playoff spots will play for pride and for a season turnaround when Herbalife Gran Canaria (6-19) welcomes Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul (3-22) on Thursday. Granca has lost its last 10 games and Darussafaka has lost nine of its last 10 games, so the winner will be snapping a negative trend. The hosts just hired coach Pedro Martinez earlier this week in place of Victor Garcia, looking for a new spark that will lift the team for the rest of the season.

The fact that the team has a new coach in Martinez could be a wake-up call in itself. Martinez knows the club and some of the players, and that can help, but Gran Canaria will have to give it all to get a win that could change its trend in the season. Darussafaka features the weakest offense in the league (74.0 ppg.) and also the third lowest register in assists (16.0 apg.) so if the hosts manage to play tight defense, it could be the key to a more fluid offense, where Gran Canaria holds the higher ground at this point.

Darussafaka is another team in dire need of a win. Long gone are the playoff chances, but a triumph could help the morale of the team to come back stronger in domestic competition. Gran Canaria has the weakest defense in the league (89.4 ppg.) and the guests should have to exploit that, even if they hold the lowest numbers in offense overall. Both teams stand among the worst three in the league from beyond the arc but Dacka is the best team in the league stopping plays under the glass with 3.8 blocks per game, so it should have to exploit its virtues in defense.

Tip: Over 163.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 14/03/2019, 12:30 CET)


Basketball tips: Livetipster

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore