Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 29 – Friday

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Efes – Zalgiris

Two teams riding different waves but with the same goal in mind will clash Friday when fifth-place Anadolu Efes Istanbul (17-10) welcomes ninth-placed Zalgiris Kaunas (15-13) in Round 29. Efes is arguably the hottest team in the league right now, riding a six-game winning streak, the last of which was a landslide against defending champion CSKA Moscow, 100-70. On the other side, Zalgiris is still giving it all to stay in the tight playoff race, but has lost four of its last six games, including the last one at home to Milan, 64-69. In such a close playoff race, everything is at stake for these two teams, who are only two wins apart.

Efes is in a great position right now, both on the court and in the standings. It took a while, but the best team from 2019-20 is back rolling and it will try to keep on doing just that against Zalgiris. The hosts have the second-best offense in the league and also the best in the last three games (101.7 ppg.). On the other side, Zalgiris has the fourth-best defense over the last three games, so it will be a battle of styles. Efes will have to watch for the aggressiveness of the visitors as they try to stay in a safe place for the final stretch of the playoff race.

Zalgiris is going through a rough patch at the moment and a visit to the hottest team in the league might not be the best situation. The visitors have to watch out for the high point-production of the hosts, so defense will be paramount. Zalgiris still has the second-best numbers from beyond the arc in the league (41.8%) and it will have to put that to good use against Efes, especially taking into account that the guests are just one win away from the playoff zone and that the race is as close right behind them.

  • Arturas Milaknis’s has missed the last three games.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-10.0) at 1.86 with bet365
( Euroleague predictions with correct price at 12/03/2021, 8:55 CET. Odds subject to change )

Baskonia – Bayern

Two red-hot teams clash in this Friday night contest. TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (14-14) comes off a road loss against top-ranked FC Barcelona which ended a five-game winning streak. Pierria Henry (9.9 ppg., 7.3 apg., 1.8 spg.), Rokas Giedraitis (11.8 ppg.) and Achille Polonara (11.1 ppg., 6.3 rpg.) are leading Baskonia. FC Bayern Munich (18-10) has won six of its last seven games, led by Wade Baldwin IV (15.4 ppg., 4.0apg.), Jalen Reynolds (14.3 ppg., 5.9 rpg.) and Vladimir Lucic (13.3 ppg., 4.6 rpg.).

Baskonia has kept all opponents under 70 points in its last three home wins. In those games, opponents combined to shoot 19 for 67 on three-pointers (28.4%) and committed 48 turnovers (16.0 per game). Sticking to those defensive numbers is critical to beat a physical team like Bayern. Baskonia has a size advantage in the paint with Polonara, Tonye Jekiri and Youssoupha Fall and it should make the most out of it to get Reynolds and Radosevic into foul trouble.

Bayern has the best defensive numbers in the EuroLeague when it comes to three-point shooting, allowing opponents to make just 34.0% of their shots from downtown. That is particularly important against a team with good shooters such as Giedraitis, Zoran Dragic, Alec Peters and Luca Vildoza. On offense, Baldwin should dominate the game tempo and everyone should help him rebound. Bayern ranks second in steals (7.9 spg.) and sixth in defensive boards (23.5 drpg.), which leads to fast break opportunities.

  • Nihad Dedovic has missed the team’s last four games.
  • Robin Amaize has missed the last 11 games.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+5.0) at 1.90 with bet365
( Euroleague predictions with correct price at 12/03/2021, 8:55 CET. Odds subject to change )

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Olympiacos – Zenit

Two teams that have slumped recently meet in the game on Friday. Olympiacos Piraeus (12-16) comes off a home win that snapped a seven-game losing streak. Shaquielle McKissic (11.5 ppg., 1.5 spg.), Kostas Sloukas (11.7 ppg., 6.0 apg.) and Sasha Vezenkov (9.5 ppg., 5.1 rpg.) have been the Reds’ main players this season. Zenit St Petersburg (16-11) comes off a home loss against Real Madrid and is 3-5 in its last eight games. Kevin Pangos (12.6 ppg., 6.3 apg.), Will Thomas (9.0 ppg., 5.1 rpg.) and Alex Poythress (9.3 ppg., 4.5 rpg.) are leading Zenit right now.

Olympiacos circulated the ball well in last week’s win against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, finishing the game with 24 assists and just 8 turnovers. That allowed the Reds to have great shooting percentages (75% 2FG, 40.9% 3FG). Vassilis Spanoulis and Sloukas combined for 14 assists and just 2 turnovers. If both players can share the ball like they did last week and prevent Pangos from finding his rhythm, Olympiacos should have a good chance to add another victory.

  • Kostas Papanikolaou has missed Olympiacos’s last 13 games.
  • Hassan Martin is sidelined with a knee injury.

Zenit is one of the best defensive teams in the EuroLeague, allowing just 75.3 points and only 9.1 offensive rebounds on average. At the same time, Zenit has been efficient on offense, shooting the ball with strong percentages (56.2% 2FG, 37.5% 3FG, 80.7% FG). Following the same recipe – strong defense and a patient, organized offense – should give Zenit good chances to beat Olympiacos, especially if Ponitka and Poythress manage to stop McKissic.

  • Arturas Gudaitis has not played the last two games.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 at 2.20 with bet365
( Euroleague predictions with correct price at 12/03/2021, 8:55 CET. Odds subject to change )

Valencia – Fenerbahce

Two of Valencia Basket’s core players will stare at their former team when Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul visits on Friday night. February MVP Nikola Kalinic and fellow forward Derrick Williams will try to help Valencia (14-14) snap a two-game slide to stay close to the playoff zone. Valencia is 9-4 at home last season and has won its last two home games against CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid. Fenerbahce (17-11) has rolled to a 12-1 record in its last 13 games, including five straight road wins.

Valencia is 11-2 this season when it has scored at least 80 points and Fenerbahce is 4-10 when it has failed to reach the 80-point mark, so both teams will be pushing for a high-scoring game. Valencia’s balanced attack will be critical to that effort with Bojan Dubljevic, Mike Tobey, Kalinic and Williams needed to score inside and Prepelic and Sam Van Rossom from deep to keep the Fenerbahce defense on its heels.

  • Guillem Vives has missed Valencia’s last seven games to injury.

These two teams are at the top of the charts in two-point shooting percentages with Valencia first (58.3%) and Fenerbahce second (57.0%). However, while Fenerbahce is one of the better defenses, keeping opponents to 53.3% on twos, Valencia has allowed opponents to make 56.5%, which is third-highest. The defensive play of the two teams’ big men and how well they can stop the opposing bigs could be decisive on Friday.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 168.0 at 1.90 with bet365
( Euroleague predictions with correct price at 12/03/2021, 8:55 CET. Odds subject to change )

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