Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 24 – Thursday

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Valencia – CSKA Moscow

Valencia Basket (11-12) is on a three-game losing streak and has only registered one victory in its last seven EuroLeague showdowns. Klemen Prepelic (12.0 ppg.) has been its top scorer until now, followed by Bojan Dubljevic (10.1 ppg.) and Nikola Kalinic (9.8 ppg.). CSKA Moscow (16-7) won one of its last four EuroLeague games. Mike James (19.9 ppg.) is back in action, leading the team alongside Darrun Hilliard (10.7 ppg.) and Toko Shengelia (10.8 ppg.).

Valencia should protect its rim better, as opponents have made 57.2% of their two-point shots at La Fonteta. That should allow Valencia to get more defensive rebounds – it ranks 14th at 21.6 per game – and capitalize on the good work it is doing distributing the ball. Valencia dishes 1.72 assists for each turnover, ranking second overall. On defense, Guillem Vives and Sam Van Rossom should be ready to play really aggressive on James, putting pressure on the ball, in what could be one of the biggest keys to this game.

  • Nikola Milutinov could miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.
  • Mike James did not play the last two games due to club suspension.

James is back and Milutinov is now sidelined, so CSKA is set to have a new rotation from now on. Joel Bolomboy and Voigtmann are set to see more playing time at center and CSKA should run its offense through James, the EuroLeague’s top scorer. On defense, CSKA should focus on Valencia centers Dubljevic and Mike Tobey, who are good pick-and-pop players able to open the floor with their shots from downtown. As always, CSKA must be aggressive on defense and under its board to get the chance to score in transition.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 04/02/2021, 10:45 CET, subject to change)

Barcelona – Efes

Two teams on the rise will face each other in Round 24 when leader FC Barcelona (17-6) hosts Anadolu Efes Istanbul (12-10) on Thursday. Barca is on a six-game winning streak after edging Olympiacos 74-76 last week. Efes has won four of its last five games, including a Round 23 victory over Zvezda, 86-72. Efes star Shane Larkin suffered an injury in his team’s domestic league game over the weekend and may not be fit to play in Barcelona.

Barcelona leads the standings and has shown that it can win in the tightest games and difficult situations. That gives a team with many things going for it an even bigger mental edge. The hosts have the fourth-best offense in the league and the best defense. Barcelona is also third in average PIR, so it is clearly a consistent team. However, Efes is not that far away on many fronts and it has a group of players that almost plays with heart. If the hosts stick to their game plan, they should be favorites to win this game. If Larkin is not available, it won’t hurt either.

  • Tibor Pleiss has missed last seven games with an injury.

Efes seems to have found a rhythm in the last games and it will look to confirm that momentum at the home of the leaders. The doubt of Larkin can put that plan in jeopardy, as Barcelona is a team that ranks among the top five teams in the league in virtually all stats categories. Efes will have to try to disrupt the hosts’ style of play with its trademark defense and then try to run in transition to get as many easy baskets as possible.

basketball prediction Tip: Winning margin 3-way ‘Any other result’ (1-5p. each way) at 2.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 04/02/2021, 10:45 CET, subject to change)

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