Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 15 – Thursday

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Efes – Milano

Two contenders coming from different directions will square off in Round 15 on Thursday when Anadolu Efes Istanbul (7-7) welcomes AX Armani Exchange Milan (8-5) to Turkey. Efes is on a three-game losing streak, the last defeat coming earlier this week in Moscow against CSKA, 100-65. Milan snapped a two-game losing run with a convincing road win also in Istanbul, against Fenerbahce, by 71-79.

Efes is in a dangerous place and will need to get a win as soon as possible to get back to a positive trend. The team is averaging 77 points per game, and that will have to go up if it wants to start adding more wins. Efes presents solid numbers in two-point shots, but Milan’s 41.4% from beyond the arc is second-best in the league, so the hosts will have to pay attention to the visitors’ snipers. The biggest black spot in Efes’s numbers this year is under the boards, with the weakest figures in the league at this point (29.6 rpg.).

Milan comes off a prestige win and will not have to travel far for this second game this week, so that could be a big bonus for the guests. Milan’s main weapon is long-range shooting, but while Efes is last in rebounds, Milan follows suit with just 30.1 boards per game. The team that manages to step up on that front will have solid options to take this win. Also, the guests will have to lock in on defense to watch a consolidated Efes team that will want to win at all costs.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-3.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 17/12/2020, 09:00 CET, subject to change)

Zalgiris – Fenerbahce

Two teams trending in opposite directions will meet up on Thursday in Lithuania when Zalgiris Kaunas (7-7) hosts Fenerbahce Bekos Istanbul (5-9) for Round 15 in their second game of the double-round week. Zalgiris stepped out of a deep hole and managed to take back-to-back wins in its last games, including one earlier this week against Baskonia, 92-73. On the other side, Fener has lost six of its last seven games, including the last one at home against Milan, 71-79.

Zalgiris seems to have found some momentum again and will try to exploit it even some more against the worst offense in the league. The hosts have the best three-point accuracy in the league and Fenerbahce is the second-worst for two-pointers, so Zalgiris has a good chance to keep adding wins if it can exploit those differences. Despite injuries, the guests are an experienced team with quality names, so the hosts will have to watch for those 6.1 steals per game.

Fenerbahce is in a tough situation and needs to start adding wins at a steady pace to not lose track of the playoff spots. The team has the worst offense in the league, and also the third-lowest average PIR. Injuries have not helped, either. However, the guests seem to hold a slight edge over the hosts on defense, which they’ll need to stay strong at as they try to find the way on offense. Zalgiris also leads the league in free-throw accuracy, however, so keeping the hosts off the stripe could prove decisive.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 at 2.70 with bet365
(Price correct at 17/12/2020, 09:00 CET, subject to change)

Panathinaikos – ALBA Berlin

Two teams in opposite places will clash on Thursday for Round 15 when Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (4-9) welcomes red-hot ALBA Berlin (6-7) in their second game of a double-round week. The Greens lost six of their last eight games, including one earlier this week against Real Madrid, 93-97, after two overtimes. On the other hand, ALBA has won four in a row, the last in Belgrade against Zvezda, 84-90, also in overtime.

The Greens are in need of wins, and that could be a double-edged sword. In their last four wins, ALBA has drained a total 50 threes, so the hosts will have to put in extra effort to stop that barrage from falling also at OAKA. ALBA is also the second-best team in the league dishing assists, so in order to have solid options for a recovery win, Panathinaikos will have to push it hard on the defensive end.

ALBA is on a roll, and the confidence that team has right now is something that cannot be shown in stats. However, they play against a wounded animal in need of wins, and that’s another intangible that sits as a major obstacle. Panathinaikos has the second-weakest defense in the league, and the German will seek to exploit that with its quick-moving style leading to many assists and threes. If the plan works, ALBA will be in a good position to start thinking about some bigger goals than those it had in mind just one month ago.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 & Over 156.5 at 2.08 with bet365
(Price correct at 17/12/2020, 09:00 CET, subject to change)

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