Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 34- Friday

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Zenit – Maccabi

Zenit St Petersburg (18-14) will reach the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs with a victory if both Real Madrid (19-14) and TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (18-15) lose. It could be eliminated with a loss. Kevin Pangos (12.5 ppg.), Arturas Gudaitis (9.8 ppg.) and Billy Baron (9.6 ppg.) have been its top scorers this season. Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv (14-19) plays its final game in this EuroLeague season. Scottie Wilbekin (14.0 ppg.), Tyler Dorsey (11.1 ppg.) and Elijah Bryant (9.2 ppg.) have been its main pillars until now.

Zenit is one of the best defensive teams in the competition, allowing just 74.8 points per game. It has held opponents to low shooting percentages (52.4% 2FG, 35.8% 3FG). Zenit, however, forces fewer turnovers than any other team in the competition, 11.7 per night. Playing physical against Wilbekin and Chris Jones, Maccabi’s main ballhandlers, should be important in this decisive game. On offense, Pangos will run the show and Zenit must take advantage of its athletic frontcourt, led by Poythress and Thomas.

Maccabi’s motivation should never be questioned as it looks for its final EuroLeague victory of the season. The Israeli powerhouse comes off a 30-point home victory against Khimki Moscow Region and wants to wrap it up in style. On offense, Wilbekin and Dorsey should be ready to pull the trigger from downtown to make Zenit reach out and spread the floor. On defense, Zizic, Angelo Caloiaro and Oz Blayzer should expect a physical battle in the paint with extended playing time due to Othello Hunter’s absence.

  • Yovel Zoosman remains out with a knee injury.
  • Othello Hunter has not played in the last five games.
  • Omri Casspi’s participation is questionable for the regular-season finale.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-8.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 09/04/2021, 09:10 CET, subject to change)

Olympiacos – Khimki

Olympiacos Piraeus (15-18) is out of playoff contention, but wants to finish its Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season with a home victory. Sasha Vezenkov (11.2 ppg.), Kostas Sloukas (11.2 ppg.) and Shaquielle McKissic (10.8 ppg.) have been its top scorers this season. Khimki Moscow Region (4-29) looks for its first road victory since mid-November. Jordan Mickey (15.6 ppg., 5.8 rpg., 1.5 bpg.), Errick McCollum (11.4 ppg.) and Sergey Karasev (5.4 ppg.) are leading the team right now.

Olympiacos has won four of its last six games and is finishing the season strong. Vezenkov has been outstanding lately, averaging 19.5 points in those six games, so Olympiacos should keep running its offense through its versatile forward with unlimited shooting range. On defense, stopping Mickey down low should be the main priority, as Khimki tries to find him as often as possible. Boxing out and controlling the tempo through Sloukas and Vassilis Spanoulis are two of the biggest keys for the Reds.

  • Kostas Papanikolaou has missed Olympiacos’s last 18 games.
  • Hassan Martin is sidelined with a knee injury.

Khimki was outrebounded 45-34 against Maccabi earlier this week. It has been one of its main problems all season long; Khimki averages 30.9 rebounds and allows 36.5 boards on average. Khimki has also allowed opponents to shoot with very good percentages, especially from beyond the arc – 43.8%. If Khimki can win the battle of rebounds, it has enough talented players who can make the difference on offense plus great three-point shooters like Sergey Monia, Egor Vialtsev and Karasev to finish the season on a winning note.

  • Devin Booker has missed the last 12 games.
  • Stefan Jovic has not played in the last 11 games.
  • Janis Timma has not played in the last 8 games.
  • Jordan Mickey is sidelined with an injury.

basketball prediction Tip: Sasha Vezenkov (Olympiacos) Over 14.5 points at 1.80 with bet365
(Price correct at 09/04/2021, 09:10 CET, subject to change)

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AX Milano – Efes

AX Armani Exchange Milan hosts Anadolu Efes Istanbul in what could be a preview of a playoff series. Both teams have already clinched post-season berths and Milan (20-13) can clinch home-court advantage for its best-of-five quarterfinals with a victory. Efes (22-11) will finish the regular season in either second or third place and win could, depending on other results, set up a situation where Efes is third, Milan sixth and they meet again in the playoffs. Milan has slumped to lose three of its last four games, while Efes has won 11 of its last 12 and scored in triple figures in four of those games

Though these two teams are among the best at shooting from downtown – Milan (41.3%) is second most accurate and Efes (39.7%) fourth, Milan is third-worst at two-pointers (51.6%) and Efes (57.1%) is third-best. Milan, which is also third from bottom with 16.2 assists per game, must circulate the ball better to generate good looks in the paint for Kyle Hines, Kaleb Tarczewski and Zach LeDay to balance out the team’s strong perimeter scorers.

  • Malcolm Delaney has missed the last seven games after undergoing an arthroscopic cleaning of his left knee, but should return.

Efes leads the league in scoring with 84.3 points per per game and when it controls the pace and generates points, good things happen for Coach Ergin Ataman’s charges. Efes is 19-0 this season when it has scored at least 80 points. Considering Milan is averaging 80.9 points, a high-scoring game may be in store which bodes well for the visitors.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 161.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 09/04/2021, 09:10 CET, subject to change)

Barcelona – Bayern

The final game in Round 34 – and the final regular-season game for the two participants – pits FC Barcelona against FC Bayern Munich. For top-ranked Barcelona (24-9), the game is a chance to stay in form heading into the playoff. However, for Bayern (20-13), the home-court advantage could potentially be on the table. Bayern enters Round 34 knowing that with a win and other results going its way, fourth place is a possibility. On the other hand, a loss with certain other results could drop Bayern as far as eighth, which would result in a playoff series against Barcelona.

Barcelona has an elite defense and it’s extremely efficient when shooting the ball; the team’s true-shooting percentage of 52.0% is second in the league. The team’s biggest weakness is the average of 14.7 turnovers per game it has committed. Considering how potent its attack is, every turnover represents points lost and against a Bayern team that is second in the league in steals (8.1 spg.), that is all the more so the case. Fewer turnovers strengthen Barcelona’s chances.

Stopping MVP for March Nikola Mirotic is a must for Bayern and it will rely on JaJaun Johnson and James Gist to try to get the job done. Of course, Bayern will have to do much more against the league’s best defense; Barcelona has help opponents to 73.3 points per game this season. Bayern has made the fewest threes in the league (7.3 per game) and is ranked 17th in two-point shooting (50.5%), which are numbers it must raise to improve its chances in Barcelona.

  • Nihad Dedovic has missed the team’s last nine games.
  • Robin Amaize has missed the last 16 games.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-7.5) at 2.00 with bet365
(Price correct at 09/04/2021, 09:10 CET, subject to change)

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