Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 31 – Thursday

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CSKA Moscow – Crvena Zvezda

CSKA Moscow will look to formally clinch a spot in the EuroLeague Playoffs this week, but it will need more than just defeating Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. CSKA (19-10) must win and have results in other games later Thursday or possibly Friday go its way. Last week CSKA bounced back from back-to-back losses with a convincing showing to beat Real Madrid on the road. Zvezda (9-21) has been formally eliminated from playoff contention, but now back at nearly full strength has been in good form with wins in each of its last two games.

Will Clyburn is CSKA’s No. 2 scorer this season with 13.6 points per game, however, his points may be among the most important on the team. When Clyburn has scored in double figures this season, the team is 14-3. Clyburn will have an advantage in either size or athleticism against most of the players Zvezda lines up against him and if he gets going, it’s good news for CSKA.

  • Nikola Milutinov could miss the rest of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

To increase its chances of winning in Moscow, Zvezda must play with a larger presence in the paint. To date, its 49.6% shooting on two-pointers is last in the league. Even though CSKA has a strong interior defensive presence, balancing the attack by getting points from Duop Reach and Ognjen Kuzmic inside would help Loyd and Corey Walden create on the perimeter to the benefit of the whole team.

  • Quino Colom has missed the last seven games.
  • Dejan Davidovac did not play in Round 30.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 160.5 at 1.90 with bet365
( Euroleague predictions with correct price at 25/03/2021, 10:15 CET. Odds subject to change )

Efes – Panathinaikos

Anadolu Efes Istanbul will look to bounce back after having its eight-game winning streak snapped last week when it hosts Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. Efes (19-11) is on the cusp of a playoff berth and it could come this week if it wins and both Valencia Basket and TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz lose their games. Panathinaikos (10-18) has been formally eliminated from playoff contention, though at full strength the Greens are a force to be reckoned with and the club pride will push the players to fight at all costs.

Efes’s offensive weapons are such that it leads the league in performance index rating (97.0) and is second in scoring (82.6 ppg.) while committing the second-fewest turnovers (11.3). Panathinaikos has allowed the third-most points in the league (81.5 ppg.). As long as Efes can push the pace and share the ball among the likes of Shane Larkin, Micic, Rodrigue Beaubois and Kruno Simon without turning it over often, the numbers paint a good picture for the hosts.

Panathinaikos is second in the league in rebounds (34.8 rpg.) and offensive rebounds (11.6 orpg.) and must maximize those strengths against an Efes side that is an average outrebounded by 1.7 per game. Efes also leads the league in assist to turnover ratio (1.62), which is something the Greens must move in their favor to improve their chances.

  • Nemanja Nedovic has missed the last six games.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 163.5 at 1.90 with bet365
( Euroleague predictions with correct price at 25/03/2021, 10:15 CET. Odds subject to change )

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Zalgiris – Maccabi

The Lithuanian champs meet the Israeli champs in a showdown of traditional powers. Zalgiris (15-15) has slumped recently to lose three games in a row and fall out of the playoff zone. Maccabi (11-17) has lost back-to-back games and six of its last seven. Its last road win came in Round 18 in Berlin in early January.

Zalgiris is one of the best shooting teams in the league and ranks third in true-shooting percentage (50.9%). Moving the ball and getting good shots may be the key against an aggressive Maccabi defense, which has been vulnerable in its losses.

  • Zalgiris swingman Patricio Garino remains out of action after a knee operation.
  • Arturas Milaknis has missed the five games.

Maccabi has among the worst assist-to-turnover ratios (1.18) in the league and is also third-worst in true-shooting percentage (46.8%). Coach Sfairopoulos’s men would be best off raising both numbers to be able to claim a road win and a sweep of Zalgiris for the season.

  • Yovel Zoosman will be out until late March with a knee injury.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+3.5) at 1.90 with bet365
( Euroleague predictions with correct price at 25/03/2021, 10:15 CET. Odds subject to change )

Villeurbanne – Real Madrid

LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (12-17) is on a three-game losing streak and hopes to snap it at the Astroballe. Norris Cole (13.7 ppg.) has been its top scorer until now, followed by David Lighty (11.9 ppg.) and Guerschon Yabusele (10.3 ppg.). Real Madrid (17-13) is deep into the closest playoff race in competition history and needs to keep adding victories, led by Edy Tavares (11.7 ppg., 8.3 rpg., 1.8 bpg.), Jaycee Carroll (10.0 ppg.) and Trey Thompkins (9.9 ppg., 4.5 rpg.).

ASVEL is getting 22.2 defensive rebounds and allowing 9.6 offensive boards on average. It needs a better effort from everyone to box out and get going in transition. ASVEL ranks third in turnovers at 14.6 per game and needs to reduce that number to be more competitive. On defense, Cole should put pressure on Nicolas Laprovittola, preventing him from running his team’s offense. Ismael Bako and Fall must play aggressively against Tavares, too.

  • Derrick Walton has been sidelined for several weeks with a hip injury.

Real leads the EuroLeague in defensive rebounds per game (24.8 drpg.) and holds opponents to just 51.2% on their two-point shots. ASVEL has a physical frontline, so Real needs Tavares, Alex Tyus and Usman Garuba to play with high intensity, especially against Yabusele and Fall. With Llull sidelined and Carlos Alocen not 100%, Laprovittola should see extended playing time at point guard and his matchup against Cole should be one of the biggest keys to this game.

  • Anthony Randolph is out with a ruptured left Achilles tendon.
  • Rudy Fernandez has not played in the last six rounds due to back issues.
  • Sergio Llull is sidelined after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (-5.5) at 1.90 with bet365
( Euroleague predictions with correct price at 25/03/2021, 10:15 CET. Odds subject to change )

Valencia – Bayern

It is a critical game for both teams in the playoff race. Valencia Basket (16-14) is in the thick of it and controls its own destiny as long as it keeps winning. Klemen Prepelic (11.7 ppg.), Nikola Kalinic (10.1 ppg., 3.2 apg.) and Mike Tobey (9.3 ppg., 4.8 rpg.) are leading the team right now. FC Bayern Munich (19-11) could qualify for the playoffs with a win, depending on other results. Vladimir Lucic (13.7 ppg.), Jalen Reynolds (14.4 ppg., 6.2 rpg.) and Wade Baldwin IV (15.2 ppg., 3.9 apg.) have been its main pillars.

Injuries are the main concern as Sam Van Rossom, Bojan Dubljevic and Martin Hermannsson are questionable due to respective injuries. If all of those players remain sidelined, Coach Jaume Ponsarnau will be forced to use a different lineup, with Louis Labeyrie and Tobey splitting minutes at center and Guillem Vives seeing most of the playing time against Baldwin at point guard. Stopping Reynolds down low should be really important for Valencia, as well as powering the offensive glass to prevent Bayern from running the floor.

Valencia leads the EuroLeague in two-point shooting percentage (58.5%) and Bayern ranks 17th (50.8%) despite taking more shots inside the arc (42.2) than any other team in the competition. Bayern must try to keep playing at a very high rhythm, but improve its shot selection and effectiveness at the same time. On offense, Lucic and Zipser are very versatile players who can either attack the basket or pull the trigger from downtown. Getting them involved may be one of the critical keys to this game.

  • Nihad Dedovic has missed the team’s last six games.
  • Robin Amaize has missed the last 13 games.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-3.5) at 1.90 with bet365
( Euroleague predictions with correct price at 25/03/2021, 10:15 CET. Odds subject to change )

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