Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Olympiakos - Anadolu Efes ( 1st game )

Olympiakos Piraeus Anadolu Efes pick
After a long journey for both sides, it's now time to face the most important week of the season. Anadolu Efes and Olympiakos Piraeus will face each other in possibly the most even match up of these quarter finals. Since Anadolu Efes finished the group stage at the third place, the first two games will be held in Piraeus, Greece.

Both teams showed some declining performance towards the end of the season. Anadolu Efes after their 6 game winning streak, had  a lot of trouble securing the top 2 spot. In fact, they lost the chance to take advantage of home court advantage by ending up at the 3rd place. However, I don't think such past matters a lot for either side because these games will be played by totally different motivation. According to the latest news, neither side suffers significant injury issues.

As it isn't a secret anymore, The bottleneck of Anadolu Efes team is its front court. Neither Semih Erden nor Stanko Barac is tough enough to guard the rim properly, so they find it hard to confront a team with deeper paint rotation. Olympiakos in that sense isn't the most awful opponent among others. Instead, Anadolu Efes team should pay more attention to guard Olympiakos' perimeter players, most importantly Kostas Papanikolaou. To balance his contribution,  Dusko Savanovic's productivity is crucial tonight. Sascha Vujacic is also ready. He seemed to have some issues finding his rythim in the past 2 games. I expect him to be %100 tonight. His scoring potential off the bench as well as his defensive presence is essential for visitors.

We all noticed yesterday that there isn't any single easy game in the remainder of Euroleague season. Regal Barcelona which was reckoned to be heavily favourites against Panathinaikos Athens had hard time clinching the victory. What is about to happen tonight doesn't turn out to be any different. Home side Olympiakos Piraeus is a clear favourites on paper, but i feel they aren't going to dominate as heavy as it looks. The spreads in the first leg games are generally decent on behalf of underdogs, so let's exploit them.

Pick: Anadolu Efes +7.0 @ 1.90
Stake: 8/10

Good luck and happy betting!

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