Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 15 – Thursday

Euroleague Predictions

Euroleague Basketball Tips

Euro League basketball predictions appear under each mini game preview.

Fenerbahce – Zenit

Two teams very much in need of a victory will look to snap losing streaks in Round 15 when Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul (5-9) hosts Zenit St Petersburg (3-11). Earlier this week, Fenerbahce lost in a thriller at Panathinaikos, 81-78, while Zenit dropped a 71-82 decision at home to Maccabi. Fenerbahce, which ranks last among all EuroLeague teams in rebounds (29.1 per game) will be challenged to overcome that deficit. Zenit, among the league’s bottom three in both scoring and three-point accuracy, will be hard-pressed to improve in both to hope for a road win.

The hosts are in a rare situation of feeling the pressure to win this early in the regular season. Of course, Fenerbahce has the resources and the talent to get back on its feet, but on paper, its numbers compared to Zenit’s are closer than one might think. Zenit may rank low in scoring, but remember that two of its three victories this season were on the road. The hosts will have to watch out for Zenit big men Thomas and Gustavo Ayon, the main contributors for the visitors, and turn the support from their loyal fans into a boost.

Zenit is tied with Zalgiris for last place as it travels to Istanbul. The guests outperform Fenerbahce in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Maybe not by much, but that’s a bit of a head start that Zenit should use to its advantage, as it has shown this season that it can pull off road wins if it manages to play a tight game.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 154.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 19/12/2019, 11:25 CET, could have changed)

Maccabi – Panathinaikos

Two of the hottest teams right now in the league will meet in Israel for Round 15 when Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv (10-4) hosts Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (9-5) on Thursday. Maccabi is riding a four-game winning streak that includes a 71-82 triumph at Zenit earlier this week, despite having injury problems with Omri Casspi, Tarik Black, John Dibartolomeo and Nate Wolters. The Greens have won five of their last six games, including a thriller at home against Fenerbahce, 81-78, also in this double-round week.

Maccabi just extended the contract of head coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos and signed point guard Aaron Jackson for help in the backcourt, although he may not be available yet for this game. The numbers this season show Maccabi with the third-best offense in the league. The only problem is that Panathinakos has the best one. In order to win this game, Maccabi will have to control the rebounds to keep the edge over the guests and also tighten its defense to try to keep Nick Calathes and the Greens’ 18.3 assists per game as low as possible.

Since the comeback of coach Rick Pitino to the team, Panathinaikos has gone nowhere but up, save for a small hiccup in Barcelona. The Greens boast the best offense in the league (88.5 ppg.) but they also have the third-worst defense, so working on that discrepancy will be paramount in such a difficult place to play as Tel Aviv. Panathinakos is some 16 points higher in average PIR, but Maccabi is on a roll and will want keep it going in front of its fans.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 at 3.20 with bet365
(Price correct at 19/12/2019, 11:25 CET, could have changed)

Milano – Valencia

Two teams experiencing opposite dynamics at the moment will meet for Round 15 in Italy when AX Armani Exchange Milan (7-7) welcomes Valencia Basket (6-8) on Thursday. Milan started the season rolling but is currently in the middle of a five-game losing streak, including the last one at Real Madrid, 76-67, on Tuesday. After losing its first five games, Valencia has won five of the last seven, including a 105-77 home blowout of Baskonia earlier this week. Milan sits in eighth place at present, so this game could mean a change of possession of the last playoff spot as the half-way mark of the season nears.

After a strong start to the season, Milan needs to steady its mind and use its home court advantage now to avoid going deeper into its losing streak. Valencia comes to Milan in the good mental state of a team playing better and better, but the hosts have the talent and the experience to overcome that. Milan will want to rediscover a way of making its offense flow and increase its 15.4 assists per game, especially with a whiz like Sergio Rodriguez at point guard.

Having finally found its rhythm, Valencia is now winning games left and right, including its first road victory a week ago. The guests will try to capitalize on Milan’s recent struggles. Valencia has improved its numbers everywhere, but especially in its two-point shooting reliability of 53.7%, which is 7.2% higher than Milan’s. Valencia manages to keep its defense tight and keep excelling inside, it will have a solid chance of keeping its momentum going right into the top half of the standings.

Valencia will be without guard Joan Sastre and forward Fernando San Emeterio, who did not make the trip due to injuries.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 160.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 19/12/2019, 11:25 CET, could have changed)

Baskonia – Real Madrid

Two teams on different trajectories will face each other in Round 15 for an all-Spanish derby between KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (6-8) and visiting Real Madrid (11-3). Baskonia has not yet found its rhythm this season, especially with the injuries it suffers, and is having a hard time building winning streaks. Earlier this week it lost big in another all-Spanish affair at Valencia, 105-77, its fifth loss in the last eight games. Los Blancos, meanwhile, are on a roll as they came back earlier this week at home to defeat Milan 76-67 for their ninth consecutive victory this season, matching the team’s second-longest win streak this century.

Baskonia would probably have preferred another opponent to try to get back to the winning path, as Real’s average PIR is 22 higher than the hosts. Baskonia has the upper hand in the rebounds, and if it manages to protect that will be on the way to a chance for the win. That will be even truer if they limit Real’s 19.0 assists per game, third best in the EuroLeague, and do not let them take open three-pointers, where the visitors rank third in accuracy at 39.3%.

Nothing can touch Real right now, or at least that’s the feeling one gets when seeing the team winning nine in a row with impressive numbers. Real has the fourth-best offense in the league, is the third-best team in assists, and has made more three-pointers than any team (156), which is 41 more than Baskonia. Real coach Pablo Laso comes back to his hometown leading a team full of confidence and with the will to increase its winning streak to the double digits. However, Baskonia is the best team in the league under the glass, so the guests will have to pay special attention to that aspect.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 at 2.75 with bet365
(Price correct at 19/12/2019, 11:25 CET, could have changed)

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