Credit: imago images/Contrast, ZUMAPRESS.com - Scanpix | Basketnews collage
Credit imago images/Contrast, ZUMAPRESS.com - Scanpix | Basketnews collage

As usual, before the upcoming EuroLeague round, Andreas Blomdahl and Betting Corner present the best choices for betting enthusiasts.

Currently, Andreas correctly predicted 14 out of 22 possible outcomes. A pretty solid record of building upon. However, we remind you to gamble responsibly.

ALBA Berlin vs. Zenit St Petersburg

I like what we've seen from ALBA lately. Last week they had a great performance at home, beating UNICS 81-53, then traveled to Moscow and played a decent game although they lost 72-91. This weekend they had an impressive victory away to Bonn 89-77, where they saw the important Chris Koumadje return.

Zenit started last week by Beating Baskonia 90-82 just to have a poor performance against Real Madrid, losing 64-85. Just like ALBA, they had a game in the domestic league this week, beating Kalev/Cramo 75-74 after a great performance from Alex Poythress.

I really like what ALBA have shown lately, players like Koumadje, Luke Sikma, and Yovel Zoosman have stepped up and taken a bigger role when the team has been dealing with injuries. Marcus Eriksson and Ben Lammers are considered game-time decisions.

Zenit finally got Shabazz Napier training with the team, and he should make a season debut any game now. Conner Frankamp's absence continues, and they have to rely a lot on Kulagin/Carter at the point guard position, a duo I don't think is good enough for a top team in EuroLeague.

Zenit are favorites as they should be. But when ALBA are performing like they're, I don't think they should be this big of an underdog at home.

BET: ALBA Berlin +5.5 @ 1.90.

AS Monaco vs. Zalgiris Kaunas

Monaco managed to win all three games last week, away to PAO (91-83) and Crvena Zvezda (91-80) in EuroLeague and Gravelines-Dunkerque at home on Sunday 97-85 in the domestic league.

Zalgiris are playing at a high tempo, and then I'm not talking about the type of play, I'm talking about the number of games. Yesterday they lost to AX Armani Exchange Milan 70-74 after a tough battle at home. This means the Lithuanians now got 9 straight losses in EuroLeague.

This is the best bet of the week for me. Monaco are chasing that play-off spot and had the opportunity to rest their players a bit this week, Mike James played 20 minutes and Dwayne Bacon 11 minutes. There is also a small chance that Leo Westermann will return to action.

Zalgiris is playing their 5th game in 10 days, and after the loss against Milan, there is a chance that we see a very tired Zalgiris here, both physically and mentally. Zalgiris are still dealing with injury problems, and both Janis Strelnieks and Mantas Kalnietis won't be available.

As we all know, scoring is not a problem for Monaco, and I think this one can get ugly. I can see a 15+ points win here for the hosts.

BET: Monaco -8.5 @ 1.95.

Olympiacos Piraeus vs. Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Olympiacos was a bit shorthanded last week but put up a great fight when losing 75-67 away to Real Madrid, followed by a win in Vitoria against Baskonia (72-62). On Monday, they made the trip north to Thessaloniki, beating Aris 87-76.

Efes had a super game away to CSKA, winning 99-97 after incredible overtime. They followed that up by beating ASVEL at home 78-72 in a less incredible style, to say the least.

I don't understand how people, bookies, and whoever are pricing this game. We got Olympiacos playing at home, and how are Olympiacos performing at home?

They had a very poor performance last time against Crvena Zvezda, losing 72-76, no doubt. In November, they had one loss against PAO after an insane fourth-quarter run lead by Nemanja Nedovic for the greens.

Other than that, the last loss at home was in March 2021 against Fenerbache. The good news for the hosts is that Giannoulis Larentzakis was back in action this weekend against Aris and should be available here.

Even though both Shane Larkin and Vasilije Micic are playing better and better, I still don't trust Anadolu Efes as a team, especially when they play away. The last performances were away against CSKA and Galatasaray but is it enough here? I'm not so sure about that.

Of course, the game is around 50/50, but I still value the home court advantage a lot more than the bookies here.

BET: Olympiacos win (Including overtime) @ 1.90

Fenerbache Beko Istanbul vs. FC Bayern Munich

Fenerbache are looking better and better despite missing Nando de Colo and Jan Vesely. On Tuesday, they grabbed a very impressive win at home against Real Madrid, winning 66-51, and for the first time, we saw a big crowd in the Ulker Sports Arena, a big factor that I will come back to.

Bayern lost away to Barcelona last week 66-71 but bounced back and beat Maccabi at home 70-52. In the domestic league, overtime was needed to beat Braunschweig away, 91-82.

What we can consider as very good news for Bayern from the last few days is that Vladimir Lucic agreed to a contract extension through the 2024-2025 season. 

For me, there are three big factors, keys, whatever you want to call it, that make me lean heavily towards the hosts.

  1. Jan Vesely might be back for this game, which would be obviously huge.
  2. The crowd is back in Istanbul, and what a difference-maker that is, the game against Real Madrid was a perfect example of that.
  3. Fenerbache have adapted very well, and we see players like Melih Mahmutoglu, Ismet Alkpinar, and Devin Booker step up big time. In the long run, it might have been a good thing that Fener had to play a short period of time without their two star players.

I think you all know where we're going with these three key points.

BET: Fenerbache -6.5 @ 1.90

Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona

Of course, there will be a few words about the game of the week, El Clásico! And to be fair, it's just not an El Clásico, it's also number one against number two in the EuroLeague standings.

As mentioned above, Real Madrid lost in Istanbul against Fenerbache after a horrible performance. However, they were missing Jeffery Taylor, Adam Hanga, Gabriel Deck, Thomas Heurtel, and Guerschon Yabusele played only 12 minutes due to illness.

Barcelona beat Bayern and PAO at home last week and followed that up by beating Obradoiro in the domestic league 83-67 after Nikola Mirotic collected a double-double with just 23 minutes on the court.

Even though Real Madrid is at the top of the league, Barcelona got two straight wins against Real Madrid this season, and last season they played each other 8 (!) times which Barca won 6. It's a psychological advantage for Barcelona going into this game, without any doubt.

What's worrying for Real Madrid is all these absences. Taylor, Hanga, and Deck are all important players who have missed many games, Heurtel looked really good before getting sidelined, and I don't think Nigel Williams-Goss is good enough as a replacement.

Yes, Sergio Llull and Rudy Fernandez are taking a lot of responsibility, but I'm not convinced this will be enough against a super solid Barcelona lead by Saras.

Very close game to call, but when you get a bit over double the money on Barcelona, I'm going for a hattrick for the Catalans.

BET: Barcelona win (Including overtime) @ 2.30

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Olympiacos Piraeus
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
47%
4 Position
Field goals
47%
7 Position
34,09
6 Position
Rebounds
33,13
10 Position
17,05
5 Position
Assists
17,17
4 Position
6,36
11 Position
Steals
6,78
7 Position

Teams leaders

Jan  Vesely
13,4 PTS
61% 2P%
33% 3P%
Darrun  Hilliard
15,9 PTS
47% 2P%
42% 3P%
Jan  Vesely
5,9 REB
4,2 DREB
1,7 OREB
Othello  Hunter
5,3 REB
2,8 DREB
2,5 OREB
Nando De Colo
4,0 As
2,7 TO
23 MIN
Nick  Weiler-Babb
2,7 As
1,2 TO
26 MIN