Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 22 – Friday

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Crvena Zvezda – Anadolu Efes

Crvena Zvezda will look to put an end to a three-game slide when it hosts top-ranked Anadolu Efes Istanbul on Friday at Stark Arena. Zvezda had won four in a row before stumbling, but was back in good form last week when it lost narrowly on the road at FC Barcelona. Efes has won six in a row and 14 of its last 15 games behind the red-hot Shane Larkin, who has captured MVP of the Round honors in a record four successive games.

Defense will be a key factor for Zvezda against an Efes side that is second in the league in scoring (87.0 ppg.). However, Zvezda has allowed the second-fewest points (76.9), so a defensive focus is a given. Now that the team has added weapons in Kevin Punter and Vladimir Stimac, points have been easier to come by; Zvezda has scored at least 82 points in four of its last five games. It will need to be at its best on offense to top Efes.

Despite being one of the top-scoring teams in the league, Efes is one of the worst when it loses. In its three losses, Efes has averaged 71.3 points and a big reason was poor three-point shooting (30.1%). Zvezda is not only strong defensively, but its strong backcourt has helped limit teams to a league-low 33.7% on triples. A strong – or conversely a poor – three-point shooting night to be the difference in this game.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (+5.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 31/01/2020, 10:30 CET, subject to change)

Valencia – Panathinaikos

Two teams that stand close in the rankings will meet on Friday for Round 22 when Valencia Basket (10-11) welcomes Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (13-8). Valencia is in a winning dynamic but dropped last week’s game at CSKA, 81-70. Panathinaikos is also on a winning mode with three straight wins, the last one against ASVEL, 100-88.

Valencia just missed one of its top contributors, Jordan Loyd, to injury, so the team will have to re-adjust in order to adapt to the new situation. Playing at home is always a big factor for Valencia, but Panathinaikos is the top scoring team in the league, and presents good percentages from all ranges. The hosts seem to have an edge on the defensive end, so that and the boost given by the fans at la Fonteta should be big motivators for the Orange team.

Panathinaikos has found the way it likes to play and will want to stay that way when this game ends. The team is scoring like crazy and winning games, so there should be no reason to change the plan. Valencia is very dangerous at home, and they will want revenge from the loss earlier this season. To do that, Nick Calathes will be, again, the ultimate floor general from where all offensive situations will start.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 at 1.80 with bet365
(Price correct at 31/01/2020, 10:30 CET, subject to change)

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