Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 34- Thursday

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CSKA Moscow – Villeurbanne

CSKA Moscow will look to lock up second-place in the regular season when it hosts LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne in the latter’s final game of the current campaign. CSKA (22-10) will be second if it wins regardless of other results. Coach Itoudis’s men will finish their regular-season schedule the following week with a makeup game from Round 25 against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. CSKA is on a four-game winning streak and is 10-5 at home this season. ASVEL (13-20) snapped a six-game losing streak on Sunday with a road win at Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv and is 5-11 on the road this season.

Dictating the pace and style is a key for CSKA, whose 83.9 points per game are second-most in the EuroLeague. CSKA has also made the fourth-most threes (9.8 per game). ASVEL has scored the third-fewest points (77.0 ppg.), allowed the fifth-most (80.8 ppg.) and made the fourth-fewest triples (8.3). A shootout favors the hosts.

  • Nikola Milutinov could miss the rest of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
  • Mike James has been suspended by head coach Dimitris Itoudis.

ASVEL must match CSKA on the glass and limit its turnovers to improve its chances. ASVEL is 14th in the competition in rebounds (31.0 rpg.) and 16th in offensive boards (8.7 orpg.). It has committed the third-most turnovers (14.7), too. CSKA leads the league in both rebounds (36.3 rpg.) and offensive rebounds (13.0 orpg.). If ASVEL losses both these battles in Moscow, winning becomes much more difficult.

  • William Howard missed ASVEL’s last game.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 161.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 08/04/2021, 09:30 CET, subject to change)

Zalgiris – Panathinaikos

Zalgiris Kaunas will look to finish its EuroLeague campaign with a home win when it faces Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on Thursday. Zalgiris (16-17) has hit an end-of-season slump with five losses in its last six games. Coach Martin Schiller’s men are 9-7 at home this season. Panathinaikos (11-20) will still have two more games – both on the road next week – after this one to finish its season. The Greens are 4-10 on the road this season and have not won outside of Greece since early December.

Though Zalgiris is the more efficient team on offense, it faces a stronger rebounding side. Panathinaikos is second in rebounding (34.7 rpg.) and offensive rebounds (11.7 orpg.). Zalgiris is 13th (31.1 rpg.) and 12th (9.2 orpg.), respectively. If Joffrey Lauvergne and co. can hold their own on the glass, it would help the Zalgiris effort greatly.

  • Arturas Milaknis has missed the last seven games.

Making shots will be the key for both teams. While Zalgiris leads the league in both three-point (42.0%) and free-throw (84.0%) shooting, Panathinaikos is last in the latter (74.9%) and second-from-bottom in the former (35.2%). The Greens must shoot better – or limit Zalgiris – to have better chances to snag a road win.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (-1.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 08/04/2021, 09:30 CET, subject to change)

Fenerbahce – Real Madrid

The first of several Round 34 matchups with major playoff implications will be this showdown between Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul and Real Madrid, a contest that has taken place in each of the past three Final Fours, including a Real victory in the 2018 championship game. This time, Real is fighting for its playoff life and Fenerbahce trying to get the home-court advantage for the quarterfinals. Real can celebrate a ticket to the next stage if it wins – or if Zenit St Petersburg on Friday. Fenerbahce needs to win and for AX Armani Exchange Milan to lose to Anadolu Efes Istanbul on Friday for it to place fourth.

Fenerbahce is the best shooting team in the league with a competition-best true-shooting percentage of 52.3%. It will need to spread the floor and make its shots against a Real side that leads the league in blocks (3.4 rpg.) and defensive rebounds (24.6 drpg.). With Vesely out, marksmen Marko Guduric, Dyshawn Pierre, Jarell Eddie and Danilo Barthel will be more important than ever to take apart the Real defense.

  • Jan Vesley will miss Round 34 with an ankle injury.
  • Nando De Colo will be a game-time decision with a knee contusion.

If Vesely, De Colo and Edgaras Ulanovas are all sidelined, Fenerbahce’s depth will be tested. Though Real has drawn the third-fewest fouls this season (19.1 per game), getting Nicolas Laprovittola and Carlos Alocen to attack the paint and for Usman Garuba and Tavares to attack the basket could force Fenerbahce deeper into its second unit than it hoped for and help Real get closer to a season-saving victory.

  • Anthony Randolph is out with a ruptured left Achilles tendon.
  • Sergio Llull is sidelined after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

basketball prediction Tip: Under 156.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 08/04/2021, 09:30 CET, subject to change)

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ALBA Berlin – Crvena Zvezda

ALBA Berlin hosts Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on Thursday in the teams’ EuroLeague finale for the 2020-21 season. Zvezda (10-23) will look to snap a four-game losing streak to ALBA in hoping to avoid finishing the season in the second-to-last spot. To do so, it must defeat ALBA by more than 6 points. ALBA (11-22) has dropped four straight games and is 5-11 at home this season.

ALBA forces the most turnovers in the league (15.0 per game), but also commits a league-high 14.9 per game. Turnovers can be the deciding point in any close game and ALBA must try to cut down on its giveaways to maximize its other strengths against a Zvezda team that is last in the league in scoring (74.6 ppg.).

One of the biggest differences on paper between these teams is that Zvezda plays more aggressive defense and has committed the third-most fouls (21.7) in the league, compared to ALBA’s 18.4, which are third-fewest. However, ALBA is second in the league in free-throw accuracy (83.4%). Zvezda must find a balance between playing tough defense and giving away free points in what could be a close game.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 at 3.00 with bet365
(Price correct at 08/04/2021, 09:30 CET, subject to change)

Valencia – Baskonia

It is the dream of all basketball fans: a win-or-go-home regular-season finale. Valencia Basket (18-15) hosts TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (18-15) on Thursday night with the losing team’s EuroLeague campaign coming to an end. The victor, however, will only be assured a playoff berth if Real Madrid loses in Istanbul earlier in the evening. If both Valencia and Real win, Valencia can also advance if Zenit St Petersburg falls on Friday. Baskonia will be out if both Real and Zenit prevail.

Keeping up with the Baskonia rebounders could prove critical as the visitors are third in both rebounds (34.7 rpg.) and offensive boards (10.9 orpg.). Valencia is 10th in both categories. The hosts also must make sure they have a strategy through Mike Tobey and help to contain the 2.21 meters of Youssoupha Fall, who has a knack for dominating games when the right matchups present themselves.

  • Martin Hermannsson has missed the last three games.

The pressure that Pierria Henry, Luca Vildoza and Rokas Giedraitis put on opposing backcourt may be critical. Baskonia leads the league in steals (8.2 spg.) and forced opponents into 14.0 turnovers per game, which is fourth-most in the league. Valencia needs its guards to play with cool heads; it generates the most assists in the competition (20.5 apg.) to lead the league n two-point shooting (57.9%) and place third in scoring (81.7 ppg.). The success of the Baskonia pressure will play a major role in this game.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+1.5) at 1.86 with bet365
(Price correct at 08/04/2021, 09:30 CET, subject to change)

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