Euroleague Preview – Round 12 – Towards the half way

Euroleague Preview & Tips

The excitement continues as Round 12 of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague delivers another batch of crucial clashes, including a coaching legend returning to his former home for the Game of the Week.

Thursday’s matches

The first tip-off comes from Russia where Unics Kazan (3-8) hosts Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz (7-4). The two teams are both much more effective inside the paint – they respectively rank fourth and fifth in two-pointers made (Unics 22.36 per game; Baskonia 22 per game) – while also possessing the league’s worst three-point shooting conversion rates (Unics 33.33%; Baskonia 33.76%).This is a tricky one to bet on.

Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul (5-6) coach David Blatt faces visiting Real Madrid (8-3) for the first time since defeating the Spanish side to become Euroleague champion with Maccabi in 2014. To end its four-game losing streak, the Turkish team will need to take better care of the ball. Darussafaka ranks next to last in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (120.86%), while visiting Madrid is comfortably top in that category with nearly 2 assists for every turnover (187.29%). Real Madrid should have this and it pays 1.85 with bet365.

In Kaunas, Zalgiris (4-7) hosts an Olympiacos Piraeus (7-4) team which has won four of its last five games. Expect a battle under the boards whenever the home team has possession, because Zalgiris is ranked second in the league in offensive rebounds (13.27 per game) while Olympiacos is second in defensive boards (26.36 per game). High-scoring Zalgiris will also seek to gain an edge with its superior sharing of the ball, averaging 18.82 assists compared to the Greek team’s 15.09, the lowest in the league. Olympiacos has lost Hackett and might have to play without 2nd scorer Prindezis. Despite the odds stating otherwise, we fancy Zalgiris to win this tie at 2.30.

More away success to expect

Two teams aiming to return to the win column go head to head as Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (4-7) welcomes Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv (5-6). The Israeli team will hope to continue an unusual sequence which has seen its last four games all won by the away team, but needs to shed its unwanted status as the league leader in turnovers (14.27 per game). Zvezda, which has dropped its last three games, has been on the wrong end of far more blocked shots than anyone else, 4.73 per game. Maccabi’s win can prove good value at 2.20.

Thursday’s fifth and final contest will see Brose Bamberg (3-8) attempt to win two consecutive games for the first time this season as Anadolu Efes Istanbul (6-5), which is buoyed by three straight victories, comes to town. The Turkish team will hope rebounding proves decisive: Efes ranks first in the league with 38.27 boards per game, while Bamberg is last with an average of just 30.73 – although the German team needs less rebounding due to ranking second in the league in true shooting percentage (52.06%). Bamberg usually has close games and this could be another thriller. The away handicap at 3.5 points could prove enough to hold for the visitors.

Friday’s matches

Friday’s action starts in Istanbul, where Galatasaray Odeabank (3-8) is gunning for its fourth consecutive home victory against an EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (4-7) team which hasn’t won on the road since October. Everything points towards a shoot-out: Milan ranks fourth in the league in scoring (84.45 points per game) while only the Italian team (88.09 per game) has conceded more points to its opposition than Galatasaray (87.09 per game). Over 166.5 at 1.90 with bet365 might be the best option here.

It’s difficult to know what to expect when league leading CSKA Moscow (10-1) hosts FC Barcelona Lassa (5-6). No other team’s games have seen more total points than CSKA’s, with an average of 174.36 per game. Conversely, games involving Barcelona have been the lowest scoring, averaging just 143.9 points. But the Spanish team will surely need to score more than 72 points for the first time in six games to have any chance against an opponent which has registered at least 79 every game so far this season. Should we expect an upset? We will not risk it but the away win with a handicap of 10.5 points sounds interesting.

Friday’s final game is the only one between two teams currently in the top half of the standings as Zeljko Obradovic takes Fenerbahce Istanbul back to his former club Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens for the Game of the Week. Fenerbahce has the clear edge in shooting accuracy, converting 50.5% of its shots compared to Panathinakos’s 46.67%. But the Greeks will look to use their league-leading shot-blocking (4 per game) to disrupt the visiting team. This game can easily go Over 152 points and this is our pick.


Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore