From Guru of Patras
16/11/2011 (21:52)

Fener.Ulker – Cantu

·    Caja Laboral 66-69
·    Olympiakos 74-81
·    Nancy 90-86
·    Bilbao 73-70

·    Nancy 80-69
·    Caja Laboral 69-81
·    Bilbao, 78-69
·    Olympiakos 64-63

It’s an important qualification match in this group for both teams. The Turks are within target having lost to Olympiakos away and Caja at home. But they have been equalizing the losses with the win in Bilbao. In Spain they just scored 6 points in the second period; they were loosing 67-59 at 36′, but made a 12-0 run (67-71) and won unexpectedly! Perhaps because coach Spahija found a coach to beat!

Fener, however, is a team with great depth and goals, but very bad coaching by Spahija and big periods of time of playing poorly. Shock in Turkey on Sunday with a home defeat from Turk Telekom 64-83 in jeers and heavy atmosphere! Questionable is Ukic for today and they don’t expect a lot of fans and want to do another addition from the NBA!

** Cantu is in a nice course in the league although a newcomer. They beat Olympiakos despite 4/21threes and -7 in a thriller game. Fights in away games but does not have much depth. We recall that in Caja they were even at the 32 minute. Easy win in Italy with Avellino 90-55 which is a good team! Very good psychology, tough defense, but has no depth, if they don’t hit the threes hardly make 70 points. They will try to “steal” the game with their dfense.

** What do we play? Fener logically wins but they will struggle with Cantu (the small Siena of Italy). Besides the Turks with their ups and downs are not very trustworthy and may have trouble with the defense of Cantu. Logically the 1.20 passes but it is low. Why become stressed? The under, however, is possible with 149 as Cantu with its zone can keep the Turks to 70-75 points.

Caja Laboral – Bilbao

Caja Laboral
·    Fener.Ulker 69-66
·    Cantu 81-69
·    Olympiakos 81-79
·    Nancy 85-90

·    Olympiakos 76-61
·    Nancy 73-87
·    Cantu 69-78
·    Fener 70-73

The Basque local derby! Caja Laboral is playing this year in second stadium of the city, “Arena Irantier” with 8000 fans as they are expanding “Buesa Arena.” They lost in Nancy as they had 12/37 threes but it was a game that they could afford to lose and we pointed out why they were soft on defense. Overall, however, something is lacking because it has a problem in the center position and the Americans Dorsey and Williams just do not make the difference.

Playing with three points on offense and this year they rely on defense. Had problems in Spain in Alicante and won 65-55 in a 10-0 run at the end after being 53-53 from 44-33! And he played bad basketball in general. In France, preceded by a 32-22, 58-59, 76-73 but suffered a 6-0 run (82-73).

** Bilbao with the Greek community with Katsikaris, Vassiliadis and Mavroidis is in crisis. Tired to play in two leagues but has depth and that’s surprising. Team with a bad roster and added Krupalja instead of Hervelle from Toulon (12 p) which is good and experienced but does not make a difference and has Banic in this position too. Generally as we said they don’t have the defensive and offensive balance of the previous season.

At risk is the qualification after having lost to Nancy and Cantu and Fener at home and has to win. With Fener lost a great opportunity (15-6 in the second period) and 67-59 in the 36 ‘ suffered a 0-12 run! Lost from Canaria (77-71) in Spain in a match he that were loosing 10-15 points (63-48,71-62) all game.

** Tricky game. Not touching it at 1.20 as Caja does not play well in offense. But Bilbao is incoherent and bizarre. But be careful because it has a good roster. And somewhere they will make a good victory. We go with the double with the +8 of Bilbao. Towards the under with 156 points as Caja lowers the scores.

KK Zagreb CO – Zalgiris

KK Zagreb CO
·    Bamberg 65-96
·    Panathinaikos 62-81
·    CSKA Moscow 47-89
·    Malaga 85-99

·    CSKA Moscow 74-87
·    Malaga 78-85 (Fri.)
·    Panathinaikos 75-92
·    Bamberg 81-70

Important game for Zalgiris an only for them! KK Zagreb is the weakest team of the Euroleague and hopes to… the opponents feel sorry for them to escape heavy defeats. As it happened in Malaga, however, the game was at 15-20p but did not quit the game. In the Adriatic League defeated 86-85 the weak Zlatorogk.

Kasoun is in great shape. Disappointment but generally they have no money to change things and does not gather many fans and don’t expect victory! And all this while they do not have such a bad roster, but it is incoherent, without good preparation and bad team chemistry.

** Zalgiris with the change of the coach tries to find balance and have no moaning of the overload in the perimeter that has filled the same type of players who want a ball for them in the offense! Good performance with the dangerous Bamberg. Weems is in great shape who is the new leader. It’s an important game for them if they want to qualify.

*** Zalgiris wins as they are another level and got better with the change of coach. At 1.20 low but pick it. With the difference in 7-8 points logically we pick Zalgiris as it runs and scores.

Olympiakos – Nancy

·    Bilbao 61-76
·    Fener 81-74
·    Caja Laboral 79-81
·    Cantu 63-64

·    Cantu 69-80
·    Bilbao, 87-73
·    Fener.Ulker 86-90
·    Caja Laboral 90-85

Final chance for qualifying for Olympiakos! Without the good roster of other seasons, they had a difficult schedule also and found themselves in the bottom of the classification. They need to be careful now if they don’t want to stay out of the top 16! Of course they had expected defeats but not having done an unexpected victory they don’t have the choice of loosing today. If they loose today the advantage goes to Nancy.

Expect 5000 fans while they have their mind in the big derby with Panathinaikos. In Cantu lost in the end in a thriller match having trouble in the offense but had differences of 6-7 points. Easy victory in Greece with Peristeri 92-65.

** Nancy is impressive and bears the double dash to the Euroleague and the First Division where is undefeated. Certainly the presence of Batum an NBAer plays a role of changes in performance and psychology. They are in great shape. Remain undefeated in France. They fought in Turkey; beat fairly Caja Laboral (32-22, 58-59, 76-73, 82-73) with super duo Batum and Akinbala. Have enthusiasm and great chemistry, but playing with 7-8 players actually and wants attention since they might be fatigued.

** So with all that we have Olympiakos approximately at 1.20 … to get a game with defense and bruit force and trying to tire Batum. With 8-9 points it’s marginal the handicap as Nancy scores but Olympiakos will lower the French to 70-75p. We pick Olympiakos at 8p and under at 157p.

*** Difficult, strange day. Logically, however, we have the wins of Olympiacos and Zalgiris and reasonable Fener but should be careful as it is low at 1.25 although Cantu has no depth. The under/s have luck but mainly in live. Let’s see. However it is an interesting day, but careful what you choose and how you play.

Most likely bets

Wins: Olympiakos, Zalgiris, Fener

Handicap: Bilbao +8, CSKA -15, Zalgiris -8, Olympiakos -8
Over/under: Under Fener 149, Caja 156, Olympiakos 157

Our predictions
Wins: Olympiakos, Zalgiris, Fener
Handicap: CSKA-15. After Bilbao +8, Olympiakos -8, Zalgiris -8 in that order
Under/over: Caja 156, Olympiakos 157 and after Fener 149

Best bets

Wins: Olympiakos, Zalgiris, Fener
Undr/over: Caja 156, Olympiakos 157 and after Fener at 149 singles mainly at live

** After handicap: CSKA at -15 and prerequisite all the others