Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 17 – Friday

Euroleague predictions

Euroleague Basketball Tips

Euro League basketball predictions appear under each mini game preview.

Open an account with bet365 today (T&Cs apply)

CSKA Moscow – Panathinaikos

Two teams in direct competition for the top spots of the standings ladder will square off to welcome 2020 as defending champs CSKA Moscow (11-5) host Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (9-7) at the end of the first half of the regular season. CSKA has won five of its last six games, including the last one against Milan by a tight 78-75. With new coach Rick Pitino on board, it looked like the Greens were on a roll, but they have now dropped three of their last four games, including at home in Round 16 against Real Madrid, 75-87. A win in this game will be a coveted prize and a momentum-builder into the new year for the team that comes out on top.

CSKA is determined to keep adding wins to pull itself up into the top four of the standings. Panathinaikos has the second-best offense in the league, but CSKA ties for third-best defense, so expect a battle of philosophies. CSKA has to impose its rhythm to control the game, but will have to watch out for the 56.4% in two-point shooting that allows Panathinaikos to score so much. CSKA boss Dimitris Itoudis will probably have to find a way to beat his old team through defense.

Panathinaikos keeps showing offensive basketball, but the method seems to have malfunctioned a bit these last weeks. It’s true that its last three losses came against teams at the top — Barcelona, Maccabi and Real — but CSKA could is another such team to watch out for. The offense seems alright for the guests, but its defense is another story. To stop CSKA, Panathinaikos will have to step up and disrupt CSKA’s league-best 40.5% shooting from beyond the arc. One glaring problem for the Greens is the league-worst 13.4 offensive rebounds per game that opponents have been able to snatch. Unless that number comes down, Panathinaikos will encounter rough sledding in Moscow.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+6.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/01/2020, 07:50 CET, subject to change)

Anadolu Efes – Khimki

Anadolu Efes Istanbul (13-3) will look to retain its share of first place on Friday when it welcomes Khimki Moscow Region (8-8) to start the new year and to finish the first half of the regular season. After a hiccup against CSKA Moscow two rounds ago, Efes went back to its winning ways last week against Maccabi at home, 99-79. On the other side, Khimki has dropped six of its last eight games and seems to have lost the momentum with which it started the season. Last week, Khimki was the newest victim to fall at the Astroballe against LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, 92-88.

Two of the top four scoring teams in the EuroLeague face each other in this game, so without digging much deeper it is clear that defenses will have a huge role in the outcome. Efes is giving up about 10 fewer points per game to opponents than Khimki is, so on paper it looks like the defensive battle could fall on the hosts’ side. However, Khimki is the best-scoring team so far this season and that must not be taken lightly, especially when the guests boast a solid 56.4% accuracy on two-point shots.

Bryant Dunston won’t be available against Khimki.

Khimki does so well on offense that it is a bit supriring to see the Russian power struggle for results in recent weeks. Of course, the main problem lies with defense, and that’s what the guests will have to work hard at if they want a chance to succeed on the court of one of the league’s hottest teams. Efes is dangerous on all fronts, but a league-best 57.6% on two-pointers shows its ability to generate good shots. It will be Khimki’s job to try to disrupt that and push the pedal to the metal to try to come out on top of what sure looks like an old-fashioned shootout.

According to the club, Alexey Shved will not play against Efes because he has the flu.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-9.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/01/2020, 07:50 CET, subject to change)

Villeurbanne – Real Madrid

After a strong start of the season, ASVEL overcame its first bad moment by winning the last three home games. Real is on an 11-game winning streak in the competition, its longest one under the new format. David Lighty is ASVEL’s top scorer until now (10.9 ppg.), followed by Adreian Payne (10.0 ppg.) and Tonye Jekiri (9.6 ppg.). Anthony Randolph (13.0 ppg.), Facu Campazzo (10.9 ppg., 6.7 apg.) and Edy Tavares (6.2 ppg., 6.8 rpg., 1.8 bpg.) have led Real recently.

ASVEL needs to take care of rebounds in order to be fully competitive against Real. The hosts currently rank 16th on the boards (31.8 rpg.) and get just 21.4 defensive rebounds on average. ASVEL has also struggled from beyond the three-point line, hitting just 34.3% of its shots from downtown. If ASVEL prevents Real from running and is able to get Payne and Jekiri involved, putting Tavares into foul trouble, it will have a better chance to win this game.

Real is shooting the ball with great efficiency this season, hitting 54.0% of its two-point shots and a second-ranked 39.9% from downtown. It all starts with defense and taking good care of the ball, though. Real averages 25.8 defensive rebounds per game, dishing 1.6 assists for every turnover. Even with some key players injured, Real has the depth, strength and size to put any team into trouble right now.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (+6.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/01/2020, 07:50 CET, subject to change)

Milano – Zenit

The last game of the decade featuring two teams that have never played each other before takes place when AX Armani Exchange Milan (8-8) welcomes Zenit St Petersburg (4-12) to the fashion capital on Friday. Since starting the season 6-2, the hosts have struggled, losing six of the last seven games to tie two other teams for the eighth and final playoffs position. Zenit has had worse luck overall, but has taken two of its victories in the last five rounds. Both could use another win like water in the desert.

Milan will need to dictate the tempo on its own floor or run the risk of Zenit staying in the game long enough to flip the pressure towards the hosts. Point guards Sergio Rodriguez and Shelvin Mack will have that responsibility, while Milan is expected to debut scorer Keifer Sykes in the same backcourt. Shooting from deep, where it ranks third with 39.5% accuracy, is not Milan’s problem. Rather, its 17th-ranked two-point efficiency, 47.3%, needs to improve. With both, the hosts will struggle a lot less.

Zenit will want to keep its eye on the perimeter with Sykes joining Rodriguez, Vladimir Micov and other dead-eye Milan shooters there. That’s especially true because the visitors have the worst three-point defense in the league, allowing other teams to shoot 39.5% there. Up-and-down play from key contributors like Mateusz Ponitka and Alex Renfroe needs to stay up if Zenit hopes to rise in the rankings by winning road games like this one. They and Austin Hollins will also be needed to defend the perimeter shooters better than until now.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 154.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/01/2020, 07:50 CET, subject to change)

Valencia – ALBA Berlin

A rematch of the last 7DAYS EuroCup Finals will be welcome 2020 in Spain, where Valencia Basket (7-9) hosts ALBA Berlin (5-11) to cap the first leg of the regular season on Friday. Valencia has won three of its last four games, including an overtime thriller at Fenerbahce last week, 98-100, and is knocking on the door to playoff spots going into the second half of the season. ALBA snapped a four-game losing streak last week with an 81-57 home blowout over Baskonia that gives the German team some good momentum.

Valencia knows how to beat ALBA, but this time the stage is different and the situation of both teams is not exactly the same the last time they met. This will be a direct duel that later in the season could have implications for playoff tickets. ALBA is very aggressive on offense, so Valencia will have to make sure that its defense stays on the level with the one displayed these last weeks. With 19.7 assists per game, ALBA is the best team in the league, so the hosts will have to try to stop the visitors from getting into an offensive flow.

ALBA arrives to Valencia with good numbers, especially on offense. But the absences of a couple key players and the fact that Valencia is making 53.5% of its two-pointers should make the guests beware. So far, the problems for ALBA have come from defense, so this will be the area in which the guests will have to work harder if they want to stop a confident team that will be playing at home in one of the hottest arenas in Europe.

basketball prediction Tip: Under 167.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 03/01/2020, 07:50 CET, subject to change)

Open an account with bet365 today (T&Cs apply)

News Source:
Basketball tips: Livetipster

Euroleague Standings

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore