Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 14 – Wednesday

Euroleague playoffs

Euroleague Basketball Predictions

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Zenit – Bayern

Zenit St Petersburg (7-4) comes off its first road loss of the season and hopes to bounce back on its home court. Kevin Pangos (10.8 ppg., 6.8 apg.) and Austin Hollins (10.8 ppg.) have been its top scorers this season, followed by Alex Poythress (8.9 ppg.). FC Bayern Munich (9-4) has won its last two games and hopes to keep its momentum going. Vladimir Lucic (14.4 ppg.), Wade Baldwin IV (13.6 ppg.) and Jalen Reynolds (12.6 ppg., 6.8 rpg.) have been Bayern’s pillars until now.

Zenit has the best defensive numbers in the competition, allowing just 71.8 points on average. That number goes down to 67.8 points when Zenit wins. Both teams excel at defending three-point shots – Bayern leads at 32.1%, followed by Zenit at 33.0%. Keeping those defensive numbers and sharing the ball well to find good shooters such as Hollins, Pangos and Billy Baron are two of the keys for Coach Xavi Pascual’s team. Mateusz Ponitka and Poythress need to play physical and be focused against Lucic.

Bayern allows fewer offensive rebounds than anyone in the EuroLeague, just 8.5 per game, compared to its defensive boards average of 23.6. It needs to keep protecting its rim against good offensive rebounders such as Arturas Gudaitis and Will Thomas. As always, Bayern relies on Lucic and Paul Zipser to make the difference at the forward spots due to their versatility and overall talent. If Baldwin and Nick Weiler-Babb can run the floor and play in transition, Bayern will have a better chance to steal a road victory.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-3.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 16/12/2020, 09:30 CET, subject to change)

Barcelona – Khimki

FC Barcelona (10-3) hopes to remain atop the standings before hitting the road – it plays five of its next seven games away from Palau Blaugrana. Nikola Mirotic (16.4 ppg.) has been its top scorer, followed by Brandon Davies (11.9 ppg.) and Cory Higgins (10.2 ppg.). Khimki (2-11) looks to snap its current five-game losing streak. Alexey Shved (17.8 ppg., 9.0 apg.), Jonas Jerebko (12.7 ppg., 5.8 rpg.) and Devin Booker (12.4 ppg., 6.4 rpg.) have been its leaders so far this season.

Barcelona is allowing just 71.9 points per game this season. That number goes down to 68.4 when Barcelona wins, when it’s allowed just 49.5% on two-point shots and 29.1% from downtown. That kind of defense is needed against a high-scoring team like Khimki, with great three-point shooters like Shved, Janis Timma, Jerebko and Dairis Bertans. If Barcelona manages to prevent Khimki from running and gets shooters Alex Abrines and Kyle Kuric involved, it would increase its chances to add another win.

Khimki has allowed a league-worst 88.3 points per game and for opponents to make 41.0% of their three-point shots. First and foremost, Khimki needs to improve those numbers to be more competitive. The Russian powerhouse is doing a good job of boxing out, allowing just 9.3 offensive rebounds per game while grabbing 24.8 defensive boards. Better defense and a strong showing on the glass could be the recipe in Barcelona.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+11.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 16/12/2020, 09:30 CET, subject to change)

Olympiacos – Valencia

Olympiacos Piraeus (7-5) returns home after winning back-to-back games on the road against FC Barcelona and Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. Shaquielle McKissic (9.5 ppg.), Hassan Martin (9.4 ppg.), Kostas Sloukas (9.2 ppg.) and Georgios Printezis (9.2 ppg.) have been the Reds’ top scorers until now. Valencia (8-5) beat Anadolu Efes Istanbul at the buzzer last week and is looking for more wins led by Bojan Dubljevic (11.0 ppg., 5.2 rpg.), Klemen Prepelic (11.4 ppg., 96.0% FT) and Sam Van Rossom (7.6 ppg., 94.4% FT).

Olympiacos features nine players averaging 5.0 points or better, so it is a very unpredictable team on offense that looks for its advantages in every game. Having smart, experienced players such as Vassilis Spanoulis, Kostas Papanikolaou, Sloukas and Printezis helps the team find the right player at the right time of every game. Sloukas and Spanoulis must control the game tempo, preventing Valencia from running the floor and getting easy baskets in transition.

Valencia leads the 2020-21 EuroLeague in assists at 20.5 per game and is also first in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7). Having two great finishers in Dubljevic and Mike Tobey helps, as both players can play pick-and-pop and also score around the rim with great effectiveness. Getting them involved on offense is a must as they generate better looks for Williams, Nikola Kalinic, Prepelic and just about everybody else. Guillem Vives and Van Rossom must stop Sloukas in what is one of the biggest keys to this game.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 159.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 16/12/2020, 09:30 CET, subject to change)

Villeurbanne – Maccabi

LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (3-9) is on a three-game losing streak, but now plays its next three contests at home. Norris Cole (11.1 ppg.) has been the French powerhouse’s top scorer until now, followed by David Lighty (10.8 ppg.) and Moustapha Fall (9.9 ppg.). Back at full strength, Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv (5-8) has won its last two games and wants to keep its current momentum going. Scottie Wilbekin (17.0 ppg.), Othello Hunter (8.5 ppg., 5.6 rpg.) and Ante Zizic (9.2 ppg., 5.8 rpg.) have been its pillars this season.

ASVEL averages just 73.8 points per game, which ranks 17th overall. However, it has been worth 88.3 points in victories, which is second-best, while making 55.6% of its three-point shots. Circulating the ball to find its many shooters is mandatory for ASVEL to be more competitive. By finding shots for Lighty, Cole, William Howard or Charles Kahudi, players such as Fall and Guerschon Yabusele find more space to play one-on-one around the rim. Cole and Antoine Diot must try to find good shots for everyone, including themselves.

Maccabi relies on a deep, versatile frontcourt to make the difference at both ends. Zizic and Hunter must be ready for a big battle in the paint against Fall, Ismael Bako and Amine Noua. At the same time, Omri Casspi and Angelo Caloiaro can open the floor and play one-on-one, looking for advantages. Yovel Zoosman is back, giving Maccabi an extra weapon on both ends. As always, getting Wilbekin and Bryant involved is important for Maccabi, which leads the EuroLeague in rebounds (36.6 rpg.).

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (+3.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 16/12/2020, 09:30 CET, subject to change)

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