Euroleague Basketball Tips
Euro League basketball predictions appear under each mini game preview.
Real – Panathinaikos
Real Madrid held off a stirring comeback from Panathinaikos OPAP Athens to record a thrilling 75-72 home victory in the opening game of their playoffs series. Madrid was in front nearly all night and led by 14 early in the third quarter, but the Greens did not give up and roared in front 66-72 with 4 minutes left. Jeffery Taylor paced the winners with 13 points, Fabien Causeur scored 12. Nick Calathes recovered from a slow start to lead all scorers with 17 points for the Greens.
The hosts won the first game by the skin of their teeth but if one good thing comes out of that win is that now the team knows they can handle playoffs pressure. Panathinaikos had a solid 9 of 20 form the arc, so Madrid will have to watch for those open shots from long range, as well as the rebounds, as the guests managed to win the battle under the glass 38-39.
Panathinaikos was on the verge of upsetting the defending champs in Madrid, and that’s a good sign for future games. The problem for the Greens was that Madrid was consisten from the free throws line with 19 of 22 attempts, and in such close games, that is a huge factor. Also, Panathinaikos has the best passer in the league in Nick Calathes and got stuck at 10 assists, the third lowest mark for the team this season.
Tip: 2 at 3.15 with bet365
(Price correct at 17/04/2019, 09:05 CET)
Anadolu Efes – Barcelona
Anadolu Efes started the playoffs in style with a Game 1 win, but both teams know that it will be meaningless if Barcelona can even the series with a road win on Friday in Istanbul. The teams finished fourth and fifth, respectively in the regular season, but Efes finished stronger to get home-court advantage in the playoffs and for good reason. Efes is now 13-3 at home this season and Barcelona is 6-10 on the road.
The hosts gave no thought to Game 2 on Wednesday as they played their best players at length to open the series with a victory. However, the price paid is that four starters topped 30 minutes: Adrien Moerman (37:31), Krunoslav Simon (32:32), Vasilije Micic (31:08) and Bryant Dunston (30:05). Even though it’s the playoffs and players must give their all, fatigue may be a concern in a close Game 2. Efes will hope that the injured Brock Motum is available Friday and for bigger contributions from Rodrigue Beaubois, Dogus Balbay and Tibor Pleiss. Otherwise, Barcelona’s players – none of whom played even close to 30 – may have fresher legs down the stretch.
So many things went right for Barcelona in Game 1, yet Coach Pesic’s men still came up short. The visitors outrebounded Efes 32-38 and only committed 7 turnovers. Barcelona scored 18 second-chance points. The problem was shooting; Barcelona made just 21 of 44 two-pointers (47.7%) and 6 of 23 threes (26.1%). If Barcelona shot its regular season average on the same shots, it would have scored 80 points. A better shooting night is imperative to win Game 2 in Istanbul.
Tip: 1 (-4.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 19/04/2019, 09:05 CET)
CSKA Moscow – Baskonia
The pivotal second game of this best-of-five series tips off in Moscow where host CSKA looks to double up its lead, while Baskonia seeks to tie the score before heading to Vitoria-Gasteiz for Game 3 – and, if necessary, Game 4 – next week. CSKA stretched its home-court winning streak against Baskonia to 15 games with its Game 1 victory and the last two of those have been decided by big quarters in the second half.
CSKA Moscow began the playoffs with a convincing 94-68 victory over KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz in Game 1 of their best-of-five series.
CSKA outplayed Baskonia in the paint in Game 1. The hosts won the rebounding battle 31-25 and shot 60% on two-pointers, while Baskonia settled for 54.5%. League-leading rebounder Vincent Poirier was held to just 5 boards and All-EuroLeague big man Toko Shengelia scored just 6 points off the bench. Othello Hunter and Nikita Kurbanov in the starting five and Kyle Hines and Alec Peters off the bench did their job against Baskonia’s bigger frontline and if they can do it again, CSKA may start thinking about a sweep.
Baskonia was unable to follow its plans on Tuesday in part because Coach Perasovic was dealing with foul trouble from the start. Point guard Luca Vildoza was called for 2 early fouls and his replacement, Marcelinho Huertas, soon found himself in a similar situation. Shavon Shields was the team’s most effective offensive weapon, but he fouled out after just 20 minutes on the floor. CSKA has many guards who specialize in drawing fouls and it will be imperative for the visitors’ backcourt to avoid that trap and be ready to follow the game plan for 40 minutes.
Tip: Over 163.0 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 18/04/2019, 08:25 CET)
Fenerbahce – Zalgiris
Fenerbahce will try to remain perfect on its home floor and climb within one win of its fifth consecutive EuroLeague Final Four appearance when it welcomes Zalgiris for Game 2 of their best-of-five series. Fenerbahce has won all 16 home games this season and is on an 18-game home-court winning streak dating back to last season’s playoffs. Fenerbahce has also won all eight of its playoff games at home under Coach Obradovic, dating back to 2015.
Fenerbahce took control of the series behind a stellar defensive performance, beating Zalgiris 76-43 on Tuesday.
After an impressive display in Game 1, Fenerbahce’s challenge is to bring the same energy and focus into Game 2. Fenerbahce will want to avoid a letdown at all costs and try to get a quick start to carry the momentum from the first game. Fenerbahce will also like to get more from Jan Vesely, especially with Joffrey Lauvergne sidelined with an injury.
As Zalgiris head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius pointed out after the Game 1 loss, his team needs to find a way to answer Fenerbahce’s physicality. Zalgiris will need to take better care of the ball after committing 23 turnovers in the series opener. The visitors must also knock down some shots. Despite Fenerbahce’s defense, Zalgiris did find a bunch of open looks, but made just 3 of 16 three-point shots (18.8%) and will need to do much better than that to get a chance to win this contest.
Tip: 1 (-12.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 18/04/2019, 08:25 CET)