Our new European Basketball expert Simon Mali gives us his three best bets for Round 3 of the Euroleague.
Zalgiris Kaunas at Pinar Karsiyaka Thursday 16.45
The Karsiyaka Arena is known as one of the loudest in basketball and the home team are tough to beat in such an atmosphere. In Round 1 Pinar Karsiyaka beat Barcelona and are 5.5 point favourites against Zalgiris, who rely on experienced frontcourt players Robertas Javtokas, Paulius Jankunas, Brock Motum and Ian Vougioukas. Key player for the home team is forward Kenny Gabriel with an average more than 14 points and 10 rebounds per game and also guard Justin Carter and great three-point scorer Josh Carter will be a danger for away team defense. Back the home side to cover the 5.5 handicap.
Laboral Kutxa at Limoges Thursday 7.30pm
Both teams have started the season with a win and a loss. In Round 2, Limoges achieved an away win against Cedevita Zagreb whilst Laboral Kutxa had a thrilling overtime victory over Olympiacos Piraeus. Laboral Kutxa can always relay on big man Ioannis Bourousis, who will be a great danger for Limoges not so big centre line. Laboral Kutxa should also dominates in rebounds so we can expect many fast break points from away team. Tonight’s opponents Limoges average more than 80 points per game so the best bet lies in backing over 157.5 points.
Real Madrid at Fenerbahce Ulker Friday 5pm
Real Madrid topped Fenerbahce in last season’s Euroleague semifinal and after an away loss to Khimki in Round 1 they should be able to get a first away win in these season. The defending champions have Sergio Lull, Sergio Rodriguez, Jaycee Carroll, Jonas Maciulis and Rudy Fernandez, making them one of the best offensive teams in Europe, so they can in every game score 90 points or more. Fenerbahce who is coached by former Real Madrid coach Zeljsko Obradovic also has some excellent shooters in their team, so we should expect a strong offensive performance from both sides.
Zalgiris Kaunas at Pinar Karsiyaka: Pinar Karsiyaka -5,5
Laboral Kutxa at Limoges: Over 157.5 points
Real Madrid at Fenerbahce: Over 158.5 points