Euroleague Previews & Tips – Round 12 – Thursday

Euroleague basketball predictions

Euroleague Previews and Basketball Predictions

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Zenit – Fenerbahce

Zenit St Petersburg will look to keep its hot streak going when it hosts Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul. Zenit (6-2) has won three in a row and is tied with FC Barcelona (8-2) for the fewest losses in the league. Fenerbahce (4-7), which has been plagued by injuries, has slumped to four straight losses and is 2-4 on the road this season. However, Zenit has struggled so far at home, where it has lost two of its three games.

Zenit is averaging 74.4 points per game and whenever it has controlled the pace to its liking, it has won. Zenit is 5-0 when it has scored in the 70s. It lost its lone shootout (83-88 against Khimki Moscow Region). Raising its three-point shooting – Zenit is third-worst in the league at 34.8% from downtown – would also boost the home team.

Fenerbahce is ranked second-bottom in both offensive rebounds (7.6 orpg.) and blocked shots (1.5 bpg.). The starting frontline of Jan Vesely and Danilo Barthell will have their work cut out for them against Zenit’s bigs, but if they can take control of the paint, get some second-chance scores and deny the hosts points near the basket, it would change the game and put Fenerbahce in a favorable position.

De Colo has been sidelined with a calf muscle injury.

basketball prediction Tip: 1/1 at HT/FT at 1.80 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/12/2020, 08:30 CET, subject to change)

CSKA – Olympiacos

One of the EuroLeague’s great rivalries will continue when CSKA Moscow hosts Olympiacos Piraeus on Thursday evening. CSKA (8-3) is red-hot with six consecutive wins to tie league leader FC Barcelona (8-2) for the most victories in the league. Olympiacos (5-4) returned to action last week after missing two games due to COVID-19-related matters and suffered a loss at TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. However, with an additional week to return to shape, the Reds should be a top-notch opponent.

Despite the presence of a pair of All-EuroLeague big men in its starting lineup, CSKA has not dominated the paint. It is shooting a mere 51.1% on two-pointers, has only 3 rebounds more than its opponents all season and has had more of its shots blocks (2.4 bpg.) that it has rejected (2.2). All players are better when active on offense and with CSKA’s league-low 13.8 assists per game, that could be one way to fix the problem. Better ball movement and bigger roles for Nikola Milutinov and Toko Shengelia could change a lot.

Not only is Mike James red-hot, but in CSKA’s wins this season he has averaged 20.9 points on 44% three-point shooting. Stopping CSKA’s top-gun will be a priority with Kostas Sloukas, Charles Jenkins and perhaps even Shaquille McKissic tasked with that job. Raising the team’s three-point accuracy, which at 33.8% is second-lowest in the league, could also be a boon for the visitors.

basketball prediction Tip: Winning margin 3-way: Any other result (1-5p difference) at 3.30 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/12/2020, 08:30 CET, subject to change)

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Maccabi – Crvena Zvezda

In a clash between teams on a slide, Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv hosts Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on Thursday. Maccabi (3-8) has dropped three straight games with the last two coming by a total of 3 points. Zvezda (4-7) has lost two in a row by double figures. After losing just once at home in the entire 2019-20 campaign the Israeli champs are 2-3 on their home floor this season. Zvezda is 2-4 on the road.

Maccabi’s recent woes have been as much mental as anything else. A late turnover cost the team dearly in Valencia two weeks ago and allowing a four-point play to AX Armani Exchange Milan in the final minute at home last week allowed the visitors to force overtime. Total focus for 40 minutes must be the goal every week and it is now more important than ever. With the recent return of key players from injury and the roster close to full, Maccabi has the weapons it needs to succeed.

Zvezda big man Johnny O’Bryant returns to face the team he made his EuroLeague debut with and he is joined on the frontline by Emanual Terry, who got to know Maccabi last season when he played for Hapoel Jerusalem. Their contributions will be important against a Maccabi team that leads the league in rebounding (36.7 rpg.) with a big front line. A strong evening on the glass could be just what Zvezda needs in Tel Aviv.

Langston Hall missed Zvezda’s Round 11 game.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-7.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/12/2020, 08:30 CET, subject to change)

Milano – Panathinaikos

In a clash between two teams coming off makeup games on Tuesday night, AX Armani Exchange Milan hosts Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on Thursday. Milan (6-3) has won three consecutive games and it displayed fantastic defense in a 75-55 victory over ALBA Berlin earlier this week. Milan is 4-1 at home this season. Panathinaikos (3-7) has lost four straight road games and allowed at least 93 points in all of them.

Milan is second in the league in scoring this season with 82.2 points per game and comes off its best defensive outing of the season, showing that the team can game plan against its opponents’ weaknesses from game to game. In this case, Panathinaikos’s struggles have been on defense and a fast-paced, high-scoring game could be to the hosts’ advantage and the visitors’ detriment. Controlling the gloss and handing the ball to Malcolm Delaney and Rodriguez and letting them run could be the recipe for another victory.

Panathinaikos has allowed an average of 91.6 points on the road so far this season and it cannot expect to win many games outside of Greece with such numbers. Much of that damage has been done from the perimeter with opponents averaging 40.3% shooting on three-pointers. Alongside Howard Sant-Roos, the Greens will need Nedovic, Shelvin Mack and Georgios Kalaitzakis to chip in with strong defensive games to change things for Panathinaikos.

basketball prediction Tip: Panathinaikos Over 79.5 at 2.50 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/12/2020, 08:30 CET, subject to change)

Valencia – ALBA Berlin

Valencia Basket will look for its fourth straight win when it hosts ALBA Berlin, which comes off its worst offensive showing in ages. Valencia (7-3) has climbed up the standings with its recent winning run and boasts a 4-1 record at home with the lone loss coming at the hands of first-place FC Barcelona. ALBA (3-7) will play its second game in 48 hours after falling 75-55 on Tuesday at AX Armani Exchange Milan in its lowest-scoring game since 2003. ALBA is 1-3 on the road this season.

Valencia leads the league in both scoring (82.5 ppg.) and assists (20.9 apg.). Its great ball movement has led to great looks and a league-best 58.5% on two-point shooting. ALBA has allowed the third-most points (83.2 ppg.) and its opponents have made a league-high 57.6% of their two-pointers. The key for Valencia is to attack and push the ball inside to Dubljevic, Nikola Kalinic and Derrick Williams and to have the perimeter scorers, such as Klemen Prepelic, Sam Van Rossom and Guillem Vives attack too.

Vanja Marinkovic has missed Valencia’s last five games due to a shoulder injury. Joan Sastre is sidelined with a partial tear to the internal lateral ligament of his right knee.

ALBA is missing two of its premier perimeter scorers with both Marcus Eriksson and Simone Fontecchio sidelined. Their absences open the doors for Niels Giffey, Louis Olinde and Jonas Mattisseck to have bigger roles. That trio must produce at both ends and help stretch the floor with their three-point shooting to boost ALBA’s chances to return home with a win.

ALBA will be also without forward Lorenz Brenneke for the next few weeks due to ankle injury.

basketball prediction Tip: Under 167.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/12/2020, 08:30 CET, subject to change)

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