Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 18 – Friday

Euroleague basketball predictions

Euroleague Basketball Predictions

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Zalgiris – Khimki

One of the hottest teams in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague takes on a squad in desperate need of a victory when Zalgiris Kaunas hosts Khimki Moscow Region on Friday night’s first game. Zalgiris has won five games in a row to improve to 10-7 and a share of fifth place in the standings. Despite its winning record, Zalgiris is 4-5 at home this season. Khimki has dropped its last nine games and sits at the bottom of the table with a 2-15 record.

This game features the most efficient offense against the most porous. Zalgiris leads the league in true shooting percentage (53.0%) and Khimki allows more points (89.3 ppg.) than any team in the league. The key factor in this game will be three-point shooting, which Zalgiris topping the carts at 43.7% and Khimki allowing a league-high 42.9%. The key for Zalgiris will be to stay patient and expose the holes in the Khimki defense and get off the three-point shots it likes.

Zalgiris swingman Patricio Garino remains out of action after a knee operation. Steve Vasturia will be sidelined at least until mid-February with a knee injury.

Khimki leads the league with 4.0 blocks per game and has allowed a mere 9.2 offensive rebounds per game. If Jordan Mickey, Devin Booker and co. can control the paint on defense as they have been and make a big impact on the offensive end, Khimki could find itself in a position to capture its second road win of the season.

Janis Timmas missed Khimki’s Round 17 game. Greg Monroe has not played since Round 13.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+7.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 08/01/2010, 09:20 CET, subject to change)

Olympiacos – Bayern

After snapping a three-game losing streak last week, Olympiacos Piraeus will try to start a winning run when it begins 2021 by hosting FC Bayern Munich. Olympiacos (8-8) will try to turn Peace & Friendship Stadium into a fortress after losing three in a row and five of its eight games at home this season. Bayern (11-6) has lost three straight road games, but is 4-4 away from home this season. Historically, the Reds are 3-0 all-time against Bayern at home.

Olympiacos boasts a bevy of tough frontline players, including Octavius Ellis, Hassan Martin and Livio Jean-Charles. They will have their work cut out for them against Bayern, which leads the league in two-pointers made (21.5 per game). Olympiacos has allowed teams to shoot 54.9% on twos and will need to cut that number to boost its chances on Friday.

Kostas Papanikolaou missed Olympiacos’s Round 17 game.

Bayern plays a physical and aggressive brand of basketball, which explains why it leads the league in both fouls committed (23.6 per game) and steals (7.9 spg.). That has also led to Bayern’s opponents committing an average of 14.1 turnovers per game. If Bayern can put that kind of pressure on the Olympiacos guards, it could be in line for another big win.

Vladimir Lucic has missed the last five games.

basketball prediction Tip: Under 155.0 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 08/01/2010, 09:20 CET, subject to change)

Villeurbanne – Efes

LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (5-11) has won four of its last give home games, but it is also on a two-game losing streak. Norris Cole (11.8 ppg.) has been its top scorer, followed by David Lighty (11.0 ppg.) and Guerschon Yabusele (10.6 ppg.). Anadolu Efes Istanbul (8-9) looks for its sixth win on the road this season, led by Vasilije Micic (14.5 ppg., 4.8 apg.), Shane Larkin (13.0 ppg., 4.5 apg.) and Krunoslav Simon (12.3 ppg.). Expect a hard-fought game at the Astroballe.

With Moustapha Fall sidelined, ASVEL relies on Ismael Bako and Amine Noua, two very physical players, to go out there with high energy against Dunston and Tibor Pleiss. Preventing Micic and Larkin from controlling the game tempo is really important for ASVEL, so it needs its guards, mainly Cole, Antoine Diot and Matt Strazel, to be fully focused on defense. ASVEL ranks fourth in three-point shooting percentage (39.2%), so finding open shots for Diot, Howard and Rihards Lomasz should be important, too.

Guerschon Yabusele missed ASVEL’s Round 17 game.

Efes is struggling to box out this season, as opponents are getting 10.9 offensive rebounds on average. Locking down its defensive glass is the first step to improving its offense, as players like Micic, Larkin and Beaubois can be unstoppable in transition. Without Fall, Pleiss has a size advantage in the paint and Efes should make the most out of it. Efes has an excellent assist-to-turnover ratio (1.51) and should use its ball circulation to find food shots for Simon, Beaubois, Moerman and Chris Singleton.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 156.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 08/01/2010, 09:20 CET, subject to change)

Real Madrid – Milano

Real Madrid (12-5) is on a six-game winning streak and has won 11 of its last 12 EuroLeague game led by Edy Tavares (11.4 ppg., 7.8 rpg., 1.9 bog.), Trey Thompkins (10.9 ppg.) and Sergio Llull (9.8 ppg.). AX Armani Exchange Milan (9-7) comes off consecutive home losses and wants to bounce back right away. Kevin Punter (14.9 ppg.) is its top scorer, followed by Shavon Shields (12.8 ppg.) and Malcolm Delaney (11.7 ppg.).

Real ranks second in defensive rebounds (24.3 drpg.) this season and Milan is 17th in offensive boards (8.0 orpg.). If Real can box out and get its transition game going, with Llull and Nico Laprovittola running the show, it should have a better chance to win this game. Real has been very effective inside the arc, making 56.1% of its two-point shots. Getting Tavares involved on offense should generate double-team situations, leading to better shots for Abalde, Llull and, of course, Jaycee Carroll.

Anthony Randolph is out with a ruptured left Achilles tendon.

Stopping Tavares down low is a key for Milan, which relies on its big men, Kyle Hines and Kaleb Tarczewski, to do so. Milan is averaging a league-best 11.1 turnovers this season, and taking good care of the ball is always important against a high-energy team like Real. Milan allowed an all-time record of 30 offensive rebounds against CSKA Moscow in Round 17. This is its first opportunity to bounce back from that situation – CSKA outrebounded Milan 33-60 – and to control its defensive glass.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 at 3.00 with bet365
(Price correct at 08/01/2010, 09:20 CET, subject to change)

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