Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 9 – 19/11/2019

Basketball Predictions

Euroleague Basketball Tips

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Zalgiris – Panathinaikos

Two proud teams in the bottom half of the standings aim to stay in touch with the top half when Zalgiris (3-5) hosts Panathinaikos (4-4) in the very first game of an action-packed double-round week on Tuesday. Panathinaikos dominates their series this century, having won 16 of the 22 games, however Zalgiris has prevailed in four of the last five and only lost the fifth one by a point in Athens. Panathinaikos, on the other hand, actually owns the better record between them in Kaunas, 6-5.

Zalgiris would like to improve in almost all offensive metrics, but the key to all that is what Panathinaikos does much better: assists. From better passing comes better shots, higher percentages and more points. Zalgiris’s top four passers average just 10.8 assists as compared the 9.3 by Calathes alone on Panathinaikos. The defense on him, but also those Zalgiris passers creating better for their teammates, is essential for the hosts. Zalgiris needs to be careful of the fifth-ranked Panathinaikos shot-bockers, too, while working overtime to protect the rim itself, because the visitors are the best EuroLeague team at making two-point shots.

Panathinaikos may lead the EuroLeague in performance index rating, but three one-point defeats have brought change to the bench because its defense couldn’t do the job. The Greens, who give up a league-high 13.1 offensive rebounds, must find a way to finish defensive possessions better on Tuesday, especially since Zalgiris grabs the second-most of any team, 11.9 per game. The hosts are masters at drawing fouls, getting to the foul line and making free throws, too. Extra possessions and free throws win close games, and with more of both, Panathinaikos could be 7-1.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+3.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 19/11/2019, 09:50 CET, could have changed)

ALBA Berlin – Crvena Zvezda

One team will leave its last-place record behind when ALBA (2-6) hosts Zvezda (2-6) on Tuesday of Round 9. They are tied with three other teams at the bottom of the standings, but the winner of this game and one between Valencia Basket and Zenit St Petersburg is assured of climbing up a notch. ALBA and Zvezda have played just two games previoulsy this century, in the 2014-15 EuroLeague Top 16, and each won at home.

This is a stylistic battle, for sure. ALBA spreads the floor and moves the ball quickly to let the first open shooter try his luck. That recipe has the team making more assists (20.5) than any other EuroLeague team. It will need to work well against an in-your-shirt, defense-first team like Zvezda, but don’t expect ALBA to change on offense as much. The hosts expect to score, so the question is whether their defense will be as strong again at home, particularly in the paint, where Zvezda struggles with the lowest accuracy (45.3%) in the league.

ALBA is missing playmakers Peyton Siva and Stefan Peno to injuries. Also injured is Tyler Cavanaugh.

Zvezda has relied on guards Barron and Lorenzo Brown for much of its second-to-last-ranked offense lately, and the problem with that relance was evident in a loss to LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, the league’s poorest offense, last week at home. Shot selection around the basket especially shold be on the visitors’ priority list, especially knowing that ALBA has been the EuroLeague’s weakest team in that reguard, allowing 56.4% shooting to its opponents. The more Zvezda can score inside while Baron, Brown and league-leading three-point shooter Borisa Simanic (63.6%) threaten from the perimeter, the more chances the visitors will have to win. Stopping ALBA from scoring at home is the lesser option, this time.

Stratos Perperoglou and James Gist stayed in Belgrade, Nikola Jovanovic and Derrick Brown travel with team.

basketball prediction Tip: Under 163.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 19/11/2019, 09:50 CET, could have changed)

Bayern – Olympiacos

One of the teams locked in a four-way tie in the bottom half of the standings will take a step up on the other, at least, when FC Bayern Munich (3-5) hosts Olympiacos Piraeus (3-5) on Tuesday. Olympiacos has won all four of their previous games, including a sweep last season in which its defense dominated to the point of allowing Bayern just 62 points in a home loss. That was Bayern’s second-worst offensive performance at home ever.

Good as Bayern has been it at home, it has the curious distinction of ranking second in the EuroLeague with 40.7% three-point shooting while attempting fewer shots from the arc than any other team. Maodo Lo and Petteri Koponen both top 50% and take their fare share, but a third marksman would let Bayern have two shooters to space the floor at all times, leaving more room for Monroe, Vladimir Lucic and Danilo Barthel to operate. Nihad Dedovic, who scores inside and out, was once that extra threat, but his numbers from the arc a down so far. This first of two home games this week would be the perfect time for him to recover his shot and give Bayern a much-needed boost.

The long-time Olympiacos model of physical defense leading to opportunistic offense is flagging this season under low shooting percentages and the competition’s fourth-weakest offense. Good enough to surprise CSKA in Moscow but inconsistent enough to lose to Zenit St Petersburg at home, the Reds long for steadiness beyond Milutinov and two of the three top all-time scorers in EuroLeague history, Georgios Printezis and Vassilis Spanoulis. In the meantime, Milutinov will need help inside from Augustine Rubit and Willie Reed to contain the Bayern big men, lest it be a tough night for the visitors.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+5.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 19/11/2019, 09:50 CET, could have changed)

ASVEL Villeurbanne – Anadolu Efes

LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne will put its perfect home record on the line against last season’s EuroLeague runner-up, Anadolu Efes Istanbul. It will be the first official game between the two teams in nearly 16 years. ASVEL arrives in good spirits after defeating the champs in Round 7 and claiming its first road win, over Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade in overtime, last week. Efes, which has also won its last two games, is 2-1 on the road this season.

Playing against a team with elite point guards who like to push the pace, ASVEL’s playmakers must play with poise to keep the tempo to their team’s liking. Jordan Taylor and David Lighty will be tasked with that job while noting that in its five wins, ASVEL has averaged 73.6 points per game. In its six victories, Efes has been worth 87.7 points. It is also pertinent that ASVEL improves its two-point shooting accuracy, which at 47.5 percent is third-worst in the league.

Only twice this season has Efes failed to score 75 points and it lost in both of those games. ASVEL has held opponents to 74.6 points per game. In Efes’s two losses, it has shot 23.2% on three-pointers (16 for 69) and had 8 of its shots blocked, which is twice as many per game as in its wins. Efes needs to improve on those numbers to become the first team to snatch a win in France this season.

basketball prediction Tip: Winning Margin 1-5 points (any team wins) at 2.60 with bet365
(Price correct at 19/11/2019, 09:50 CET, could have changed)

Real Madrid – Khimki

Real Madrid will aim to climb another rung in the standings when it hosts Khimki Moscow Region, which is one of the six teams tied for the best record in the league. Real has won three in a row, including last week’s victory over archrival FC Barcelona, and is undefeated in its four home games. Khimki has won back-to-back games and is 2-2 on the road this season. Khimki has also won two of its last four games in the Spanish capital.

Stopping the scoring exploits of Khimki superstar Alexey Shved is something no team has been able to do, but Real surely knows that in Khimki’s two losses this season, Shved has averaged 3.0 assists and 3.5 turnovers. In the team’s six wins, he’s been worth 7.0 assists. Rudy Fernandez, Jeffery Taylor and Sergio Llull are all likely to spend some minutes guarding Shved and if they can make his life miserable, it could pay dividends for Los Blancos.

Mental toughness and a strong start are always keys to road wins. In Khimki’s two losses – at CSKA Moscow and Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, the team started slow and never led at all in the game. CSKA led by double figures in the first quarter and Zvezda went up by 14 in the second quarter. In Madrid, Khimki cannot afford to find itself in such a big hole and certainly not so early in the game. A strong start is a must for Khimki.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-8.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 19/11/2019, 09:50 CET, could have changed)

Valencia – Zenit

In a clash between two of the five teams tied for last place in the league at 2-6, Valencia Basket hosts Zenit St. Petersburg with the winner knowing it will climb a few spots higher in the standings. After a 0-5 start to the season, Valencia has found its footing and won two of its last three games. Coach Jaume Ponsarnau’s men are 2-1 at home this season. After its late rally against Efes in Round 8 came up short, Zenit has now lost three straight games. Coach Joan Plaza’s side is 2-2 in road games this season.

It starts and ends with defense. In its two wins, Valencia has limited its opponents to 64.0 points per game. In its six losses, that number climbs to 86.3 points. Valencia has a deep roster with many players who can play a big role on any given night. Thus far, the team has yet to find a consistent second scorer next to Bojan Dubljevic with the likes of Jordan Loyd and Brock Motum vacillating between big games and quiet ones. Strong team defense and strong offensive games from secondary scorers may be the recipe for another home victory for Valencia.

These teams have produced very similar numbers this season, but one area where they differ has been offensive rebounding. Zenit leads the league with 12.1 boards per game, while Valencia has allowed the fewest offensive boards per game (8.2) this season. In a game that could come down to the details, gaining a few extra possessions through the offensive glass or a few extra points through put-backs or denying those to the opposition could make the difference. Gustavo Ayon, Mateusz Ponitka and Colton Iverson are the men Zenit will rely on for that task.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 154.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 19/11/2019, 09:50 CET, could have changed)

Milano – Maccabi

A share of first place is at stake when AX Armani Exchange Milan hosts Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv on Tuesday in the fashion capital. While Maccabi heads to Italy after winning six in a row, Milan comes off a loss last week at Khimki Moscow Region. Milan is undefeated in four home contests so far. Maccabi is 2-2 on the road.

Maccabi has excelled in rebounding (a league-best 38.4 rpg.) so far this season, but it has yet to play a team with the size advantage that Milan can pose with Kaleb Tarczewski (2.13 meters) and Luis Scola (2.06 meters). The concern for the visitors will be even greater if Omri Casspi, who missed his team’s victory in Vitoria-Gasteiz last week, remains sidelined with a knee injury. Making the most of that advantage at both ends of the court will be critical to Milan’s chances.

After last week’s monster victory in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Maccabi leads the EuroLeague in scoring (87.8 ppg.), but its biggest strength this season has been its defense, which shows with Maccabi topping the table in defensive rebounds (28.9) and steals (9.2 ppg.). When it controls the defensive glass and gets steals, Maccabi is a force in transition. However, this week it must also slow the league’s most-accurate three-point shooting team (44.3%). Controlling the boards and limiting Milan’s outside shooting would greatly boost Maccabi’s chances.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-2.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 19/11/2019, 09:50 CET, could have changed)

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