Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 16 – Wednesday

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Zalgiris – Bayern

Zalgiris Kaunas (8-7) is on a three-game winning streak that came on the heels of six consecutive losses. Marius Grigonis (14.7 ppg.) has been the Lithuanian champs’ top scorer until now, followed by Joffrey Lauvergne (10.1 ppg.) and Nigel Hayes (9.2 ppg.). FC Bayern Munich (10-5) is 5-3 on the road despite losing its last two games away from Audi Dome. Wade Baldwin IV (13.7 ppg.), Jalen Reynolds (13.2 ppg., 6.9 rpg.) and Paul Zipser (9.7 ppg.) are Bayern’s pillars with forward Vladimir Lucic (14.4 ppg., 4.9 rpg.) sidelined by injury.

Zalgiris has averaged 39.7 rebounds in its last three wins and only allowed 25.0 per game. That’s far better than its averages; Zalgiris ranks 13th in rebounds at 31.3 per night and allows opponents to get a league-low 28.6. Being aggressive on the boards generates second-chance opportunities for sharpshooters such as Grigonis, Milaknis and Lukas Lekavicius. If everyone stays hungry – as many as 10 players rebounded the ball against each Panathinaikos OPAP Athens and Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul – Zalgiris should have a better chance to win.

Zalgiris swingman Patricio Garino remains out of action after a knee operation. Steve Vasturia will be sidelined at least until mid-February with a knee injury.

Defense comes first for any squad coached by Andrea Trinchieri; Bayern allows 70.7 points when it wins and 86.4 in losses. Zalgiris is on a roll, playing very physical under the baskets and Bayern must use its physicality to power the boards. Athletic players like Reynolds, Baldwin and JaJuan Johnson should be ready to play with high intensity. The German powerhouse should focus on its three-point defense, as Zalgiris has plenty of shooters able to change any game with their accuracy.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 at 2.55 with bet365
(Price correct at 23/12/2020, 09:40 CET, subject to change)

Fenerbahce – Olympiacos

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul will look to put its rough run of form behind it when it hosts Olympiacos Piraeus on Wednesday night. Fenerbahce (5-10) has lost three in a row and seven of eight. Coach Igor Kokoskov’s side enters this game with a roster in flux; 2019 EuroLeague MVP Jan Vesely missed the team’s last two games through injury, while new signing Marko Guduric could be good to go. Olympiacos (7-7) lost twice last week to continue a pattern of two wins followed by two losses. The Reds are 2-4 on the road this season.

Fenerbahce is last in the league in scoring with just 72.2 points per game while committing the fifth-most turnovers (14.9 per game). Its 7.7 offensive rebounds per game are also last in the league. To beat Olympiacos, Fenerbahce must improve all three numbers and by simply taking care better care of the ball and getting a few more offensive rebounds, those extra possessions should translate into a few more much-needed points.

Marko Guduric joined the club last week.

The Reds have been outrebounded by 1.3 rebounds per game this season, but no team has allowed more rebounds than Fenerbahce (36.0 rpg.). With Hassan Martin, Octavius Ellis and Livio Jean-Charles, the Reds have the strong on the frontline to attack the glass – even more so if Vesely misses the game for Fenerbahce. If they are successful at that, Olympiacos could grab another road win.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 at 2.30 with bet365
(Price correct at 23/12/2020, 09:40 CET, subject to change)

AX Milano – Baskonia

AX Armani Exchange Milan will look to keep its momentum going when it hosts TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, which is eager to snap a three-game slide. Milan (9-5) returns home after playing its last four on the road. Coach Messina’s men are 4-2 at home this season. Baskonia (6-8) will play its third straight game on the road, where it is 4-2 this season. It’s a special game for Milan swingman Shavon Shields, who hosts his former team after spending the last two seasons with Baskonia.

Milan has been successful this season because of its excellent offense; the team is second in the EuroLeague in three-point shooting (41.7%) and fourth in scoring (81.5 ppg.) while committing the fewest turnovers (11.1 per game). However, Milan has been outrebounded by an average of 4.6 boards per game and has allowed opponents to make 41.5% of their threes. An improvement in one of those areas seems important to stop Baskonia.

Both Baskonia and Milan have outscored opponents by roughly two points per game, but Milan is scoring more and allowing more points than Baskonia. The visitors would be wise to slow the pace and play their kind of game. That job falls on the shoulders of Henry and Luca Vildoza and it won’s be easy against Milan’s deep backcourt, however, if Baskonia can control the tempo, it should have a noticeable advantage.

basketball prediction Tip: Under 156.0 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 23/12/2020, 09:40 CET, subject to change)

Valencia – Khimki

Valencia Basket will try to bounce back from its recent loss, while Khimki Moscow Region looks to stop a seven-game losing streak when the teams meet on Wednesday. Valencia (9-6) had won back-to-back games before it lost to Crvena Zvezda on Friday and is 5-3 at home this season. Khimki (2-13) will play its third straight road game and look for just its second road win all season.

Valencia is third in the league in scoring (83.3 ppg.) and facing a Khimki side that has allowed a league-high 88.3 points. However, Valencia’s strength is scoring inside; it leads the league in two-point shooting at 59.3%. Khimki averages a league-best 3.9 blocks per game. Valencia will have to move the ball well to avoid the Khimki shot blockers and keep its attack on pace for another home win.

Vanja Marinkovic has missed Valencia’s last 10 games due to a shoulder injury. Joan Sastre is sidelined with a partial tear to the internal lateral ligament of his right knee.

Khimki has committed the third-most turnovers in the league (15.1 per game) and forced only 12.1 per game. What’s more, Valencia has turned the ball over an average of just 12.0 times per game. Alexey Shved leads the way for Khimki on offense, but also leads the league in turnovers with 5.1 per game. Cutting down on those turnovers and turning some of those points from easy baskets for the opponents into extra shots could go a long way in Valencia.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+4.5) at 2.00 with bet365
(Price correct at 23/12/2020, 09:40 CET, subject to change)

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