Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 21 – Friday

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Fenerbahce – Milano

After a three-game winning streak, Fenerbahce (8-12) suffered a home loss against FC Barcelona but has this opportunity to bounce back in front of its home crowd. Milan (10-10) is on a seven-game road losing streak. Its last victory away from Mediolanum Forum came in late October. Nando De Colo (18.8 ppg.) is Fenerbahce’s top scorer, followed by Derrick Williams (11.8) and Kostas Sloukas (11.3). Sergio Rodriguez (13.2), Vladimir Micov (11.5) and Keifer Sykes (10.5) are leading Milan’s offense right now.

Fenerbahce’s improved defense has made it more competitive. The Turkish powerhouse has allowed 80.7 points on average this season, but just 69.7 in the last three games. Rebounding remains an issue, as Fenerbahce ranks last with 29.7 boards per game, and allows 11.3 offensive rebounds on average. If Fenerbahce is able to control the defensive boards, players like De Colo, Sloukas, Vesely and Luigi Datome will take care of business at the other end.

Milan is one of the best teams at defensive rebounds (25.3 drpg.) but ranks really low in offensive boards (9.4 orpg.), which is particularly worrying when the Italian powerhouse is last in two-point shooting percentage (46.6%). Milan does a great job at limiting turnovers, with just 11.8 on average. With the right ball circulation, coach Ettore Messina’s team has enough talent everywhere to improve that shooting percentage and eventually be more competitive.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 156.0 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 24/01/2020, 10:30 CET, subject to change)

Zalgiris – ALBA Berlin

Zalgiris (6-14) comes off a narrow road loss against Panathinaikos but has been doing better. After a recent nine-game losing streak, Zalgiris went on to win three of its next five games. ALBA (7-13) comes off a triumphant double-round week, with road wins against Olympiacos and Zvezda, and now looks for another one. Zach LeDay (10.9 ppg.), Lukas Lekavicius (10.8) and Jock Landale (10.5) are leading Zalgiris right now. Rokas Giedraitis (13.5) is ALBA’s top scorer, followed by Marcus Eriksson (10.9) and Martin Hermannsson (10.7).

Zalgiris is hitting just a third of its three-point shots (78-of-234, 33.3%) at home and is also struggling (49.0%) inside the arc. Feeding off its crowd’s energy will be very important for Zalgiris, as well as sharing the ball better, considering that it ranks 17th assists at 15.7 per game. Lekavicius has been on fire lately, but he will need help, especially from his frontcourt teammates, to make Zalgiris as competitive as it can be.

ALBA leads the EuroLeague in turnovers (14.5 per game), a critical issue to make the most out of its run-and-gun offense. ALBA is also first in assists (19.8 apg.) despite not having the best shooting percentages (50.3% 2FG, 38.8% 3FG). Overcoming the strong basketball atmosphere at Zalgirio Arena will be important for ALBA, as well as getting its most experienced players – Sikma, Siva and Giedraitis – involved on offense.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-6.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 24/01/2020, 10:30 CET, subject to change)

Panathinaikos – Villeurbanne

Panathinaikos (12-8) comes off a solid double-round week with come-from-behind home wins against FC Bayern Munich and Zalgiris Kaunas. On the other hand, ASVEL (8-12) is on a four-game losing streak and must battle hard in the Greek capital to snap it. Jimmer Fredette (14.3 ppg.) is Panathinaikos’s top scorer, followed by DeShaun Thomas (14.2) and Nick Calathes (13.6). Former Panathinaikos center Adreian Payne (11.1) is ASVEL’s top scorer, followed by David Lighty (9.8) and Livio Jean-Charles (8.9).

Panathinaikos is the highest-scoring team in the competition (89.0 ppg.) and leads the EuroLeague in two-point attempts (43.0 per game) with great efficiency (56.2%) inside the arc. Almost half of the team’s assists (18.6 apg.) come from Calathes, so grabbing defensive rebounds and allowing him to create for others will be, as usual, a big key for the Greens. Panathinaikos has a lot of great finishers – Tyrese Rice, Ioannis Papapetrou, Georgios Papagiannis, Thomas… – so finding who’s hot, a Calathes specialty, will be critical, too.

ASVEL is the lowest scoring team on the road (66.9 ppg.) and allows 84.7 points on average away from The Astroballe. Better ball circulation is needed to improve its shooting percentages (47.8% 2FG, 32.0% 3FG), so ASVEL relies on Taylor and Diot not only to slow Calathes down, but to find the right rhythm on offense, finding good shots and making the most out of its athletic advantage in the paint. If Jean-Charles, Jekiri and Payne can dominate inside and attack the offensive glass, ASVEL will have a better chance to beat Panathinaikos again.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (-13.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 24/01/2020, 10:30 CET, subject to change)

Real Madrid – Anadolu Efes

The top two teams in the standings stage a monumental showdown to finish off Round 21. League leaders Efes (17-3) set itself apart with a two-game sweep last week, while Real (15-5) saw a 13-game win streak stopped with consecutive losses and now has three 14-win teams breathing down its neck, making this result especially important for the hosts, who are unbeaten at home this season. Efes has an 8-1 road record, however.

Real rarely finds itself hard-pressed to outgun opponents, but that happened in its last loss, at Khimki Moscow Region, and Efes outscores the hosts 87.4 to 84.4 points per game. For that reason, Tavares and defensive aces Jeffery Taylor and Facundo Campazzo will be important on Friday. Both teams allow the same amount of points (77.4 per game) but Real holds opponents to much lower PIRs on average, and that effort has to be focused on keeping the Efes scorers, especially red-hot Shane Larkin, from going off.

Although Efes seems to be able to do no wrong, lately, it will need to do a lot right to win in the Spanish capital. Protecting the perimeter, where Madrid ranks second with 11.2 triples per game, will be job one. Getting around Tavares for good shots close to the basket will be another challenge. Power forward Chris Singleton may have a big role to play in helping lure Tavares outside, especially if Real is without its own corner ace, Anthony Randolph, who has missed the last four games due to injury.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 168.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 24/01/2020, 10:30 CET, subject to change

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